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I'm with RJ

Author: RJ Falcioni

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I'm with RJ is a founder's focused podcast which seeks to delivery street-level intel on emerging industries and markets to all corners of the globe.Featuring well-known entrepreneurs and operators alongside successful and notable investors and fund managers, with a few award-winning entertainers and authors sprinkled in the mix for good measure, I'm with RJ takes a light hearted approach to delivering the goods.
85 Episodes
As season 4 heads into the final straightaway, RJ welcomes Marcus Williams, the Vice President of Community Growth Partners (CGP) based in Massachusetts, to the show.  Unfortunately Claire was under the weather but as Marcus had invited the I'm with RJ show to check out CGP's first location, a beautiful farmhouse-style dispensary in Great Barrington, MA, called Rebelle Dispensary, we couldn't delay the recording - sorry Claire! Buttttttt...we're damn sure glad we didn't reschedule because this episode is a full hour of truth as Marcus breaks down the market in Massachusetts, the opportunities and challenges facing retailers and brands in New England and what its like to be a black cannabis executive with a passion for the plant and a previous career in technology.With so much to discuss, forget this description and just check out the episode. So press play, turn the volume up and open up your mind as Marcus Williams joins the I'm with RJ show and drops some seriously valuable knowledge that every cannabis regulator, investor, entrepreneur, laborer and consumer needs. Season 4 - Episode 11 - here. we. go. Connect with RJ:IMwithRJ.comOutspoke IOInstagramTwitter Linkedin - RJLinkedin - ClaireConnect with Marcus and Community Growth PartnersWebsite - Community Growth PartnersWebsite - Rebelle DispensaryLinkedin - Marcus Williams 
2021 was a hell of a year - glad you are all still with us.Season 4 has made it to double digits and the conversation is a dandy as RJ and Claire connect with David and Chef Phil from Acronym Investments, the team behind Kush Kitchen Oils and Misty Mountain Carts.Claire connected with the Kush Kitchen team while budtending and running social media strategy for Wonderbrett's retail location - energetic, focused and respectful of the plant best described their first meeting and in a lot of ways, the Acronym family of brands. The conversation focuses on the roots of AI, which began in Washington D.C. - D.C. operates under decriminalization rather than legalization and the market is something of a sandbox environment, evident by the number of sku's Acronym has available in the east coast.The conversation also covers what it's like launching products in the California market and the uniqueness of both Kush Kitchen, a flavored tincture designed for use with food, and Misty Mountain Carts, which is making 1 of the only full gram rosin 510 thread cart available in California. Join us for another kick-ass conversation this time with a focus on food and the future of cannabis as Claire and RJ connect with Acronym Investments Connect with RJ:IMwithRJ.comOutspoke IOInstagramTwitter Linkedin - RJLinkedin - ClaireConnect with David, Chef Phil and Acronym InvestmentsWebsite - Kush KitchenWebsite - Misty Mountain Instagram - Misty Mountain
Join RJ for another great conversation, this time with Gordon Lewis, CEO of Massachusetts-based CRoPWith a site planned for Framingham, MA, CRoP intends to offer mature cannasseurs an unforgettably invogatoring experience, a concept that has been overwhelming under prioritized until now despite the obvious need and demand for it. Gordon and RJ dive into the rich history of pot in Massachusetts, discussing the good ol hash-filled days and the impact those experiences have had on Gordon and the retail store. This is a great conversation for cannabis entrepreneurs, investors and consumers of all ages, so  if you're lucky enough (and old enough) to have some oily, fragrant temple ball hash laying around, pull out your best hash pipe and open your mind to this I'm with RJ episode featuring Gordon Lewis of CRoP.Connect with RJ:IMwithRJ.comOutspoke IOInstagramTwitter Linkedin - RJLinkedin - ClaireConnect with Gordon Lewis and CRoPWebsite - CRoPLinkedin - Gordon Lewis 
Join RJ and Claire for the first interview of the year, featuring Wana Brand's VP of Innovation, Mike Hennesy.Mike's story is a classic one, having started as a sales person and worked his way to an executive role where his voice is now shaping one of the highest valued edible companies in all of cannabis. If you're just starting your career in cannabis or you're wondering what Wana brands is up to behind the scenes, this episode was made for you. Connect with RJ:IMwithRJ.comOutspoke IOInstagramTwitter Linkedin - RJLinkedin - ClaireConnect with Mike and WanaWanaWana's InstagramLinkedin - WanaLinkedin - Mike 
The 8th installment of I'm with RJ's 4th season may be one of our realest episodes yet.RJ and Claire are joined by Wes Eder, a successful cannabis entrepreneur and now Global VP of Revenue for publicly traded Bhang Inc.Wes was extremely honest and heartfelt in every moment of this episode, whether discussing the opportunities and challenges around the domestic cannabis market or whether looking at the trials and tribulations he endured while walking his path to success. For those who haven't yet met him, drawing on his family's rich history in the liquor distribution game, Wes Eder launched Shelf Life Distribution  with his business partner and wife Courtney Eder as adult-use recreational cannabis came to California back in 2017. Prior to that, Wes successful navigated the prop 215 medical market in California, becoming known as one of the best brokers in Southern California. The episode covers the entire journey and focuses on several aspects in depth including Wes' successful exit from Shelf Life and his new role as Global VP of Revenue for one of the oldest cannabis chocolate companies in America, Bhang Inc. If you manage people, if you're looking to launch a cannabis business or if you're just ready for a great fucking story about an interesting person, it's time to press play on Episode 8 of the I'm with RJ show featuring Wes Eder.Connect with RJ:IMwithRJ.comOutspoke IOInstagramTwitter Linkedin - RJLinkedin - ClaireConnect with Wes Eder and Bhang Inc. Bhang Inc.Shelf LifeBhang InstagramWes' Instagram Linkedin - Bhang Inc. Linkedin - Wes
If you weren't already excited for the Turkey Day break, sit down and crack open your favorite cannabis beverage as Claire and RJ are live once again from the floor of MJ Unpacked, joined for Episode 7 by Lisa Hurwitz and Joe Reynolds of Happi Beverage Co. Featuring uniquely appealing flavors like raspberry honeysuckle and lemon elderflower, Happi's approach can be summed up as low dose, high quality. The product is all natural, vegan, non-gmo, a lot healthier than most other "adult" beverages and at 2.5mg's per can, the product is set to be a surefire hit with a wide range of canna consumer categories as dispensary beverage shelves continues to add new options weekly. While the episode is a quick one, the details are invaluable for entrepreneurs and investors alike as Lisa's veteran cannabis experience is on display throughout the 20+ minute conversation. Join our amazing host for another episode of the I'm with RJ show, live from MJ Unpacked - crowd noise and all - featuring Lisa and Joe from Happi Beverage Co. Connect with RJ:IMwithRJ.comOutspoke IOInstagramTwitter Linkedin - RJLinkedin - ClaireConnect with Lisa, Joe and HappiSite InstagramLinkedin - Company Linkedin - LisaLinkedin - Joe MJ UnpackedSite
Claire and RJ keep the Season 4 joint circle going as they sit down live in Las Vegas for another conversation from MJ Unpacked, this time with Andrew Iwersen, co-owner of Canyon Edibles.If you haven't had the chance to "suck it, lick it, chew it" Canyon-style, Andrew's wife Morgan Iwersen launched Canyon Edibles back when things were strictly medical in Colorado from her mom's kitchen.As demand quickly grew and adult-use came online in Colorado, Canyon kicked things into high gear and has became one of the most recognizable Colorado edibles alongside brands like Wana, Mary's Medicinals and Cheeba Chews. While Colorado has produced some classic cannabis CPG's, Canyon may be the only one that's managed to maintain a family-first focus while finding massive success. The conversation covers everything from the motivation behind Canyon's packaging changes, and a discussion about the quality of data available from BDSA to the importance of keeping things real as Canyon launches in California.  Connect with RJ:IMwithRJ.comOutspoke IOInstagramTwitter Linkedin - RJLinkedin - ClaireConnect with Andrew Iwersen and Canyon EdiblesSite InstagramLinkedin - Company Linkedin - AndrewMJ UnpackedSite
Join RJ & Claire for another stellar conversation and this time the duo are Live from Las Vegas!As part of I'm with RJ's special MJ Unpacked coverage, join us as we get to know Ben Koppel, co-founder of Loos, a California-based beverage company.Born at the beach in Santa Cruz, Ben Koppel and business partner Anthony Bendana  created Loos, a 2 oz  - 100 milligram cannabis shot with the cannabis confident in mind.Now a part of Terry Booth's Audacious, Loos is prepared for some exciting growth in 2022 as the conversation details.  Despite its short run time, the interview also dives into Ben's time at 710Labs and Plus Products, the oversaturation of cannabis gummy market, the need for competition, the value of collaboration and the major marketing mistake most corporate cannabis companies are making right now.  It's fair to say Ben knows a thing or two about cannabis CPGs and the interplay between RJ, Claire and Ben is unmistakable gold.  Join RJ & Claire Live! from Las Vegas as the show says hello to Ben Koppel from Loos Beverages.  Connect with RJ:IMwithRJ.comOutspoke IOInstagramTwitter Linkedin - RJLinkedin - ClaireConnect with Ben Koppel and LoosInstagramLinkedinMJ UnpackedSite
Join RJ & Claire for a conversation that covers more ground than 4Front Ventures itself as the show is joined by Josh Krane, VP of Operations in California for the industry giant.If you don't know, 4Front Ventures is a publicly-traded MSO which delivers 18 brands through facilities in 5 states, including a just-opened, 180k sq. ft. manufacturing facility in the California desert.Josh Krane's career experience is as impressive and diverse as 4Front's edible offerings - prior to launching Field Extracts, Krane's resume includes launching All Games which  was acquired and turned into the video game television channel G4.  Upon many firsts at G4, Josh was the first person to put Twitter on TV.After working at Comcast, Josh launched a web agency and an e-cigarette business before joining his brother Kris Krane in the cannabis industry and has not looked back.The conversation covers hype weed, the importance of repeatable experiences, the human impact of automating cannabis edible production, capturing cannabis consumers, the power of budtenders, building sustainable company culture, the fate of small cannabis retailers, the importance of social equity, managing the cannabis supply chain, federal legalization, the benefits of consolidation and more. Join RJ, Claire and Josh as they discuss everything and the kitchen sink on Episode 4 of Season 4 of the I'm with RJ Show. Connect with RJ:IMwithRJ.comOutspoke IOInstagramTwitter Linkedin - RJLinkedin - ClaireConnect with Josh Krane and 4Front VenturesSiteInstagram4Front LinkedinJosh's Linkedin
Welcome back to another episode of Season 4 of the I’m With RJ podcast! This week, RJ is joined by Marie Montmarquet of MD Numbers along with new co-host, Claire Taylor, for Episode 3.Season 4 is really heating up as we take the gloves off for a no nonsense conversation with Marie focused on revenue generation and the current supply imbalances plaguing California's outdoor and mixed light cultivators along with the realities of cannabis technology and what life is really like for social equity license holders in California. Originally from Nashville, Tennessee, Marie Montmarquet began operating a delivery service in California back in 2015 under the medical laws, aka Pop 215, before expanding into a vertical operation which now includes over 50k sq. ft. of cultivation, a distribution company and a consulting agency.  To say Montmarquet is a mover and shaker is an understatement and the hour long conversation with RJ and Claire reflects that as the group covers cannabis product and market trends, fundraising and borrowing challenges faced by cannabis businesses and the social equity mentoring and consulting work Marie is doing throughout the state and beyond. The conversation also breaks down the challenges that cannabis operators face in building and implementing an efficient, data-driven tech stack and the connection between the federal laws and the lack of progression in the industry. If you're ready for a laugh and a healthy dose of reality, strap in and turn on with episode 3 of the new season of I'm with RJ featuring Marie Montmarquet of MD Numbers, inc. Connect with RJ:IMwithRJ.comInstagramTwitter Linkedin - RJLinkedin - ClaireConnect with Marie Montmarquet:MD NumbersInstagramLinkedin
Welcome back to another episode of Season 4 of the I’m With RJ podcast - this one is a very special episode as we introduce our new co-host, Claire Taylor.Ms. Taylor's resume reads a who's-who of cannabis companies including - Wonderbrett, Cookies, Lemonade,, Canndescent and currently Bhang - with those position comes a myriad of experiences and insight as evident in Claire's conversation with RJ here in Episode 2.Beginning in a  Los Angeles trap shop right after college, Claire's journey provides a real look into the role budtenders play and the lengths that many of California's top brands go to keep budtenders medicated and pushing their gear.Claire recounts the hairraising experience of working during the George Floyd protests and the aftermath of the looting at Cookies Melrose.  We also break down why Claire feels that working at Cookies was "cool until it wasn't" and why that sentiment is so common amongst workers in the cannabis industry.  The episode also features a review of Wonderbrett's flagship retail location along with discussion about the quality of Canndescent products and the concept behind their experience-driven approach. Get ready for a fun yet direct conversation that focuses on CPGs and the Los Angeles and Southern California cannabis retail markets as we roll up and toke Episode 2 of Season 4 of the I'm with RJ show featuring and introducing our Season 4 co-host, Claire Taylor. Connect with RJ:IMwithRJ.comInstagramTwitter Linkedin - RJConnect with Claire Taylor :BhangInstagramLinkedin - Claire
Welcome back to another season of the I’m With RJ podcast! This week, join RJ Falcioni for Episode 1 of Season 4, featuring Sam Nobel of Axiom Hash. On this episode, we’re talking about all things hashish with the founder of Axiom, a Los Angeles-based California cannabis company that recently won top prize at Kushstock 2021. From his roots in Iran and Israel, Sam has brought the Middle Eastern tradition of using hashish and cannabis to celebrate life to California through his extensive career in the medical and adult use markets. Since the passing of California's Adult Use Recreational laws, Nobel has established Axiom as a manufacturer at the forefront of hash product research and development and despite his growing success, Nobel is quick to point out the is a student of the many hash masters including the late Frenchy Cannoli, to whom Nobel gives immense credit and respect throughout the episode. Nobel and his team have launched a number of products ranging from a so-called "Flower Bomb" to the impressive hash wrap which is a preroll that replaces the paper with several grams of potent hashish.RJ and Sam also discuss how Axiom puts a strong emphasis on healthy consumption of cannabis products and the importance of finding new ways of increasing both popularity and accessibility of healthier and more healing-focused sku's. Nobel's approach is unconventional but the success Axiom is finding in the California market is proving Sam's approach is effective and one to take note of. If all this exciting talk about interesting ways to consume cannabis has caught your attention, sit back, relax, take hit from your favorite bong and join us for a captivating and enlightening episode of the I'm with RJ Show featuring our guest Sam Nobel of Axiom Hash!Connect with us:imwithrj.comInstagramTwitter Connect with Sam Nobel:axiomhash.comInstagram
Join RJ Falcioni and Billy McCarthy for the finale of season 3, featuring George Jage, CEO of Jage Media (Jage Media) and MJ Unpacked (MJ Unpacked)George Jage built his career developing ways to improve trade shows in the 90s and 2000s for industries ranging from clothing and apparel to teas and beverages before deciding to utilize his expertise to build the world's most recognized cannabis supply-side show known as MJ Biz Con (MJ Biz Con)In this week’s episode, RJ, Billy, and George discuss many fascinating aspects of the cannabis business ranging from the challenges of networking and brand development to building customer relationships while maintaining brand standards in addition to a deep dive into George's newest trade show venture, the Consumer Packaged Goods-focused MJ Unpacked. Jage also dives into his views on the developments throughout the recent years in the cannabis industry including the impacts of the pandemic and the push for nationwide legalization. For anyone looking to learn more about the cannabis conference scene, looking to market a new or legacy cannabis brand or if you're a consumer interested in the learning more about the latest cannabis product trends, sit back, relax, and join us for the final episode  of season as I'm with RJ is joined by George Jage of Jage Media and MJ Unpacked!Connect with us:imwithrj.comInstagramTwitter Connect with George Jage:Jage MediaMJ UnpackedMJ Brand Insights
Join RJ and Billy as the connect with former creative director at Fossil Kaspar Heinrici.Since leaving Fossil, Heinrici has helped launch SeaWeed Co., a Portland-Maine based vertical cannabis company which includes 2 retail locations.Seaweed Co. was one of the first retailers opened in Maine and keeps its eye on craft products, whether produced in house or its suppliers, including Gele ( a previous guest of the I'm with RJ Podcast ( the plant, Seaweed Co. keeps it craft and local as much as possible, something we discuss with Kaspar Heinrici during the episode.If you're into design, great cannabis, sustainability, watches, New England, all things Maine or if you're simply ready to sit back and learn something new - this is the episode for you.
Join RJ Falcioni and Billy McCarthy for Episode 12 of Season 3, as Andrew DeAngelo of Harborside makes his return to the show!In this week’s episode, Andrew recounts his stories of countless confrontations with government agencies trying to shut down dispensaries and bring down the cannabis industry. Andrew discusses his time at Harborside, trying to educate and inform the public on  cannabis, whilst fighting legal battles to avoid being shut down themselves.Despite being faced with such adversity, both personally and in the industry as a whole, Andrew has fought to enact several programs to benefit the disadvantaged and promote a sense of togetherness within the cannabis community. In addition, he recalls the various innovations and advancements made by him and his associates at Harborside in cannabis retail and medicine.So for anyone looking to learn more about the war on cannabis, or just a fun conversation on cannabis research and development, sit back, relax, and join us for an intriguing episode with Andrew DeAngelo of Harborside!Connect with us:imwithrj.comInstagramTwitter Connect with Andrew DeAngelo:LinkedinLast Prisoner Projectandrewdeangelo.comTwitterInstagram
Join RJ Falcioni and Billy McCarthy for Episode 11 of Season 3, as they discuss the Colorado cannabis market and new developments in cannabis technology with Lawrence Kerr of Mighty Tree.This week’s episode is one for those interested in the science that goes on behind the scenes of the cannabis industry- as RJ and Billy discuss with Lawrence various processes involved in the production of cannabis concentrates, oils, extracts, and so much more! Through extensive research and development, Lawrence and his team have worked to perfect these processes to produce the highest quality of Mighty Tree products.On the business side, Lawrence discusses how these different developments in cannabis science and technology have been  received in the market. In addition, he recalls from his personal experiences the trials and challenges of starting up, maintaining, and expanding a cannabis company in Colorado.So for anyone with a desire to learn about the inner workings of the cannabis industry, sit back, relax, and join us for an enticing and enlightening episode with Lawrence Kerr of Mighty Tree!
Join RJ Falcioni and Billy McCarthy for Episode 10 of Season 3, as they discuss everything from 1980s hip-hop culture to cannabis legalization with Charlie Stettler of Yo Cannabis.In this week’s episode, Charlie discusses his love of promotion, and his rise though the ranks from a nightclub and roller rink promoter, to a key figure in the hip-hop and rap culture of the 1980s. Charlie’s first breakthrough into the industry came when he discovered The Fat Boys through a hip-hop talent contest, and would later go on to work on the production and promotion of films such as Krush Groove, Disorderlies, and Who's the Man?Charlie tells the story of how his journey through the music industry ultimately led to his career intertwining with cannabis, the establishment of his company, Yo Cannabis, and the music festivals, comedy tours, card games, and more that he has since produced from it.Whether you're interested in the hip-hop culture of the 1980s, the business of event production, cannabis marketing, or anything in between, sit back, relax, and join us for a captivating discussion with Charlie Stettler of Yo Cannabis. Connect with us:imwithrj.comInstagramTwitter Connect with Charlie:Yo Cannabis InstagramCharlie Stettler InstagramYo Cannabis
Join RJ Falcioni and Billy McCarthy for this week's episode of "I'm With RJ," featuring Justin Lipchitz from Realistic Consulting. Lipchitz approaches the cannabis industry and consultation from a realistic view, hence the company name Realistic Consulting. The firm helps small and mid-size cannabis companies and dispensaries learn about and stay compliant with the rules and regulations while teaching businesses how to succeed in the ever-growing industry that is domestic cannabis. Stemming from his young passion for cooking and smoking, Lipchitz' career began with dreams of opening a cannabis-based restaurant. Now, he's helping younger generations like himself take the right, realistic steps towards achieving their dreams.Sit back, toke it up, and get ready to get real with Justin Lipchitz!Connect with us:imwithrj.comInstagramTwitter Connect with Justin:Realistic ConsultingJustin Lipchitz LinkedInJustin Lipchitz Instagram
Join RJ and Billy McCarthy for Episode 8 of Season 3 as they celebrate 4/20 with none other than DJ Nikka T of Essential Extracts.Since his first introduction to cannabis at the ripe age of 13, Nikka T has been hooked on the plant.  Well known for formulating some of the best possible THC highs, Nikka's work within #solventless extraction and his popularization of solventless wax are known across the globe. But that's not all! This podcast is chock-full of hilarious anecdotes, such as the first time Nikka T smoked weed along with insightful commentary from our faithful hosts. Buckle up and hold onto your joint— This 4/20 special is bound to take you to wild heights - available now! Connect with us:imwithrj.comInstagramTwitter Connect with Nikka T:Nikka T InstagramEssential ExtractsEssential Extracts Instagram
Join Rj and Billy McCarthy for Episode 7 of Season 3 as they discuss the pitfalls facing California legacy operators and small business in general with Mira Schiff of Big Fish Consulting.Mira has spent the last decade working with California cannabis businesses in several key, back-of-house positions, focused on financial, tax and remediation as well as within human resources and strategy roles.Those experiences lead Schiff to launch her own consulting firm, Big Fish Consulting, where Mira is helping old school heads find sustainability and success in the new industry.The perfect conversation for anyone considering the jump into compliant cannabis and an important one for the investors out there as well.Grab a pen and get ready to take notes - the next I'm with RJ episode featuring Mira Schiff of Big Fish Consulting is now available!Connect with us:imwithrj.comInstagramTwitter Connect with Mira Schiff:Big Fish CannaMira Schiff LinkedInMira Schiff InstagramBig Fish Canna Instagram
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