Cannabis Trailblazer Andrew DeAngelo: From the Early Days to Harborside (Pt. 1)

Episode Description

In this 2 part series we dive into Andrew DeAngelo’s 35-year journey as a cannabis industry trailblazer. He has spent most of his life advocating for legalization and helping cannabis businesses launch, grow, and scale.

In part one of this interview, Andrew shares his insights of smoking his first joint with his brother Steve DeAngelo and the early days of cannabis. To building Harborside, the largest vertically integrated cannabis company in California.

Andrew DeAngelo, Global Cannabis Consultant & Strategic Advisor / Executive Coach

Founder of Andrew DeAngelo Consulting

Andrew DeAngelo is a visionary leader with a proven track record of enacting systemic social change and developing best practices in cannabis. Andrew lends his vast cannabis business and political expertise as a consultant for hire to the global cannabis community at large, including several strategic partnerships with the world's leading cannabis-centric service firms. Over two decades as an activist, Andrew worked on a variety of voter initiatives which legalized medical and adult-use cannabis in San Francisco, Washington D.C, and the State of California.

As a co-founder of Harborside, Andrew has pioneered legal cannabis business processes and provided groundbreaking political engagement and thought leadership to the cannabis community — leading the design and development of gold-standard cannabis retail by innovating many “firsts” for the industry. This includes:

  • Introducing CBD medicines to heal severely epileptic children
  • Implementing the first lab-testing program in the history of cannabis dispensing
  • Creating child-resistant packaging for edibles
  • Standardizing inventory tracking
  • Initiating senior outreach
  • Successfully preventing the federal government from seizing Harborside in forfeiture actions against the company in 2012.

Andrew is co-founder and Chairperson of the Board for the non-profit Last Prisoner Project (LPP) and a founding Board of Directors member of the California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA) where he served from 2013 to 2020.

Find out more about Andrew DeAngelo and his organizations:

#cannabisindustry #trailblazer #harborside #lastprisonerproject #consulting #criminaljusticereform #socialjustice

Receive new episodes in your inbox.

Episode Transcript

Tom Mulhern: In every single industry, there are names that are just synonymous with quality, with trailblazing, with, with innovation. When you think of the computer industry and the, the birthplace of personal computers, obviously you think of Bill Gates and you think of Steve Jobs. When you think of electric vehicles, you think of those trailblazers like Elon Musk who have really made such an impact on the industry that they're synonymous with whatever industry they're working in.

Today I have an interview with one of the trailblazers of the cannabis industry. Andrew DeAngelo and his brother Steve have been a part of the cannabis industries for the past 35 years. They've been pivotal in really shaping what we have today. They brought in some of the industry first through their dispensary that they built in Oakland, California called Harborside.

They work to reverse the negative effects of the war on drugs, especially with black and brown communities, through their work with the Last Prisoner Project. And Andrew has taken his wealth of experience and knowledge and has created a consulting company that helps cannabis retail businesses really zag instead of zig.

And he dives into that and explains that in our conversation and how your business can stand out and be unique. And, you know, this conversation was so amazing. I am so grateful for the opportunity to speak to someone who has been doing this for so long and just has such a breath of knowledge because the conversation went uh, so well.

We're actually gonna break this interview up into two parts. The first part, we're gonna focus on Andrew's experience in kind of shaping cannabis culture as it is today. He talks about growing up in Washington DC and taking trips to California and really how he got started from his brother, the influence of his brother Steve.

So we talk about cannabis culture and what that really means for the industry and, and where things have grown and where we've come from.

And then we dive into the origins of Harborside, the dispensary that has become the largest vertically integrated cannabis company in California. And he talks through, you know, the challenges they went through in building this company and, and building what they have today and where he feels most proud of the things he's done.

During the second part of the interview, we're gonna talk about his work in creating the Last Prisoner Project with Steve, his brother, and how they're really working to promote social justice and criminal justice reform when it comes to drug policy and cannabis charges.

They help to bring people out of prison, get them back, and restore their life that was stolen through this cannabis crime. And then he goes from there to talk about his consulting company and how companies can grow, how dispensaries can really stand out and be unique in the industry.

And so we're just gonna dive right into this first part, and then we're gonna encourage you to stick around for the second part because really it's, it's so amazing to hear all of his stories and all of his experience.

So let's jump right into the show

Tom Mulhern: Andrew DeAngelo is a visionary leader with a proven track record of enacting systematic social change and developing best practices in cannabis. Andrew lends his vast cannabis business and political expertise as a consultant for hire to the global cannabis community at large, including several strategic partnerships with the world's leading cannabis centric service firms.

Over two decades. As an activist, Andrew worked on a variety of voter initiatives, which legalized medical and adult use cannabis in San Francisco, Washington, DC, and the state of California. As a co-founder of Harborside, Andrew has pioneered legal cannabis business processes and provided groundbreaking political engagement and thought leadership to the cannabis community leading the design and development of gold standard cannabis retail by innovating many first for the industry.

This includes introducing CBD medicine to heal severely epileptic children, implementing the first lab testing program in the history of cannabis dispensing, creating child resistant packaging for edibles, standardizing inventory tracking, initiating senior outreach, and successfully preventing the federal government from seizing Harborside in actions against the company in 2012.

Andrew began his political career as an activist, while studying for his MFA in acting at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. He starred in several films and runs an entertainment production company. DeAngelo Brothers Productions with his brother Steve. Andrew is the co-founder and chairperson of the board for the nonprofit Last Prisoner Project, and a founding board of directors, member of the California Cannabis Industry Association, where he served from 2013 to 2020. Andrew, thank you so much for coming on this show. You've got quite a, quite a history and we're gonna dive right into it, but hey, it's great to have you on the podcast.

Andrew DeAngelo: Well, thank you for having me. I really enjoy talking about cannabis retail, so I'm really looking forward to the conversation.

Tom Mulhern: Yeah, man. Well, and and where you, where you calling in from today?

Andrew DeAngelo: I'm in my home office in Oakland, California. I love Oakland. It's a great little progressive town. Of course, we have lots of problems here like any town does, but I've, you know, Harborside started in Oakland. It's very close to my heart.

Tom Mulhern: Is that where you grew up in Oakland, California.

Andrew DeAngelo: No, my brother and I grew up in the Washington DC area. Our dad worked for the federal government for many years, and he also worked for Amtrak. So both of those are live in Washington DC So that's where we grew up.

I'm one of these people. I did not like the place I grew up. I loved my family, of course, and I, I had a lot of, good experiences in the Washington DC area, but I didn't really like living there. And I, when I was a little kid, my dad for a year, got a job in California when I was like 10 or 11 years old, and I got to visit him.

And there was just something in the air in California that made me feel like anything was possible and that there were a lot of people more like me there then people in Washington DC and yeah, you know, I was adventurous and I wanted to, you know, see different things in the world and be in a different place and certainly get away from the harsh winters.

Tom Mulhern: And so, you know, looking at your background is where did you get your start in cannabis? Like was that in California going out there, or what? What's kind of your background and how'd you get started in this?

Andrew DeAngelo: Well, my older brother, Steve, turned me on to cannabis. He's 10 years older than. Older brothers and cousins and are oftentimes our guides to, to cannabis. So that, that's how it was for me. And I was, I was an athlete as a high school student and, and then I got hurt and I was in a lot of physical and spiritual emotional pain cuz I, I thought I was gonna be a professional athlete.

That dream was quickly destroyed by an injury. And, you know, I was so miserable. My brother handed me a joint one day in, in my mom's kitchen and said, you might wanna try this finally, cuz he had been trying to turn me on weed for a while.

And I took that cannabis and pretty much immediately changed my life. You know, I, I realized, oh wow, my brother's right. I'm feeling so much better physically. I'm not depressed anymore. I'm starting to think about new things I can do that are exciting to me, new dreams I can dream. And I don't think I would've been able to pull myself out of that darkness that I was experiencing at that time without the help of the medicine.

So, and my older brother is already heavily involved as an activist and a cannabis trader at that time. And so I just kind of joined the family business and have not looked back ever since.

Tom Mulhern: Now have you seen, you know, from, from back in the day, how has the kind of the cannabis culture changed over the last 35 years? Like, you know, you've been in it, you've been an activist as well, alongside your brother, like you must have seen massive changes in the culture itself.

Andrew DeAngelo: You know, when I was in high schools in the 1980s, early 1980s, I graduated in 1985, It was very underground. I mean, you could not even wear a weed leaf on your shirt or your backpack or anything at school. They'd send you home. They suspend you, if not expel you. And they would certainly search your bag in your locker.

If you had just like a pin of a weed leaf. Well, now everybody walks around with weed leafs all over the place, right? It's in your medicine cabinet, it's on your clothing. This I'm wearing, this is 100% hemp I'm wearing right now. Doesn't have a weed leaf, but it's made out of a weed. We were deeply underground.

It was a really risky thing to be a stoner. You are ostracized from everything. Not just mainstream society, but like the only kids that I could relate to in high school were the theater kids. So I, that's how I got into acting in theater was cuz I became a stoner in high school and all the jocks were like against me,

I was like, Hey man, just try this. And they're like, what? You're crazy man. I'm gonna call the cops on you.

And so I became friends with all the kids in the theater and that's sort of the group that I, in my last year or two in high school, I, I went from being a jock, to trying to be an, an actor and an artist, but really just kind of finding myself as a stoner and trying to find those people that.

We could hide and smoke with, right? You had to hide and smoke. We'd go out into the woods and, and smoke weed together. And that's how we did it. And then when we emerged from the underground, we had our codes, right?

To kind of wink at each other a little bit and say, Hey, I'm a stoner. You're a stoner.

So it was deeply underground. It was really risky. A lot of stigma and, you know, you couldn't go into your job and talk positively about cannabis. You would lose your job. like, I was a young actor and I was pretty loud and proud about what I was doing with weed. And I thought, you know, the theater would be a safe space for me.

But it really hurt my career, you know, as an actor because the people who signed the paychecks didn't trust I could do it, right. Um, didn't trust I would know my lines or show up on time or all those other stereotypes and, it's changed so much now, you know, most everybody is a supporter in the United States.

Almost everybody, huge majority of people support cannabis. We've built a lot of momentum in the last, since 2012, really last 10 years. We have our shops, and we have our patients and our customers, and we have display cases and beautiful facilities. You've got celebrities like Woody Harrelson owning and operating dispensaries now, never would've happened even five years ago.

You know, those of us who know Woody have been banging on his door for decades trying to get him to do something like that. And now he felt safe enough to do it right. Woody Harrelson's, a guy that's got a lot to lose. So, you know, he wanted to be careful about how he did things. And so, but now he owns and operates the woods in West Hollywood.

Beautiful dispensary, beautiful consumption lounge, and we're really coming outta the shadows into the light.

Tom Mulhern: Well, and even, I know you were at MjBizCon, there's 35,000 people that have made this, their business, their goal, their career, and it feels like a party. Like it feels so normal and there's so many different aspects of the business, but there's still a long ways, like what are some ways that we can, you know, kind of help people to normalize?

Cuz I, I, I still think there is that stigma that's hanging in the air whenever you, whenever, whenever you say, oh yeah, I work in cannabis. Like what can we do to normalize that even

Andrew DeAngelo: Well, we just gotta keep doing what we've been doing. The issue is we've got a hundred years of prohibition, propaganda, stigma, stereotyping, racial aspects thrown in there too. Locking up all the black and brown people doing war against these communities and those communities got hurt a lot.

And, and yeah, there are a lot of people in those communities that also have stigma because the grandmothers and the preachers and the, and, and the wives and the kids did not like seeing their brothers and, and husbands and fathers go to prison. Right. And they did go to prison. And so that, that community became divided and, and, and has a lot of stigma in it too.

We have to show up. We have to do a good job. We have to be transparent. We have to show that we are responsible members of the community. We have to tell the stories of the patients and the kids with epilepsy and put the right people in front of the camera. Name a celebrity, they probably have a cannabis brand name an athlete or ex-athlete. They probably have a cannabis brand.

Well, that's, that's pretty mainstream, right? We just gotta keep doing what we're doing. I, I, you know, the polling's pretty clear, 90% support medical, I think it's almost 70% support adult use. The only people who don't believe in this are the people who make the laws and the politicians that uh, you know, somehow they still are stigmatized to the point that they actually believe that it will hurt them to embrace cannabis, even though they're seeing the same polling that all of us are seen.

It's like this prohibition is in the muscle memory, you know, of society and, and, and politicians and law enforcement and people in positions of power have that muscle memory even more than perhaps the populist does. And clearly they do or else we have this over the finish line by now. Coming out of the closet is really the most po powerful thing that any of us can do because once you have a cousin or an aunt or an uncle or a grandmother or a grandchild that's benefiting from the medicine or cannabis, or is in the industry, or is working in the industry or has a good job in the industry, that's how you lower the stigma, right?

You tell those stories around the Thanksgiving dinner table, you tell that stories when you're visiting with each other. So I think, you know, it's an, it's an opportunity for us to experience unity together. Is, is bringing cannabis even further into the light.

Tom Mulhern: Well, and you've been on the cutting edge of policy, and we'll get into that with the Last Prisoner Project. Everybody that I talk to businesses, everyone, I ask them, you know, what nonprofits do you support? And they always say, last prisoner, were partners with them. Like, so it's always so good to hear about that.

But I want to go into Harborside. So Harborside is a, a dispensary that you started with your brother Steve. So how did you create that and where did you, where did that idea come from?

Andrew DeAngelo: My brother and I have been wanting to get legal our whole lives. And so the dream for having a shop that you can sell cannabis in was one that we'd harbored for a long time, since really that first joint I smoked with them in my mom's kitchen. After that joint was done, we went upstairs and smoked a whole bunch more joints and started talking about this, you know, what is the dream?

Eventually, after decades and decades of work, the opportunity came for us to apply for this license. The very first license regimen for retail cannabis happened under the medical program in California, in the city of Oakland. It took 'em about a year to get the application rules and everything together.

And so we applied and, and we found a building with a landlord. There's only two buildings in the whole town at that time that had a landlord that'd be willing to rent to us. That was also in the zoning that the city had designated for dispensary. And we got the license and we sold my mom's house on the east coast, moved her out here with us.

And on October 3rd, 2006, we launched and we opened it was also interestingly enough, on that same day, the DEA was raiding a dispensary in Hayward, California, which is the town just south of Oakland on the highway just south of Oakland.

And we, you know, we had a meeting before we opened saying the DEA is raiding them. Are they gonna raid us? Do you guys still wanna open today? And everyone was like, yeah, let's open. And so we did and by the grace of God, we didn't get busted that day.

Tom Mulhern: Obviously you were uniquely positioned being in Oakland, but you grew to be the largest vertically integrated cannabis company in California. Like what was that growth like? And I mean, you even were featured on a docu-series, right? For a Discovery Channel. Like what went from, you know, that initial selling your mom's house to growing to this massive company that you guys built.

Andrew DeAngelo: My brother knew that Harborside Oakland was gonna be pretty big. And we had been in the California market for a few years at that point, growing and making hash and selling to the dispensaries. So we kind of learned everything that was wrong with dispensaries and we figured if we took all those lessons and solved all those problems for people with our business model, we might be able to attract a whole bunch of people.

The other thing we did was we created a community nonprofit kind of center so that people could come and do different things, not just get cannabis. You could take a free yoga class. You could be in a support group if you were a veteran. You could write a letter to a prisoner or write a letter to a politician and get free weed in exchange.

If you were poor and you were, you know, on unemployment or section nine housing, you could get a free gram and a half of weed every week from us. So all those things really allowed us to plant roots very widely. And the community and the community knew that we cared about 'em.

We showed that if you bring something into a tough neighborhood that people want, that will become a destination then you can certainly revitalize the neighborhood with things that serve the neighborhood. And that's kind of what's happened down there in Oakland where we are. And the same thing happens all over this country because most municipalities zone cannabis dispensaries in really hard industrial areas or not so good neighborhoods.

They often are filled with homeless people, tent cities, things like that. Because the politicians, that's safe for them, right? They're not gonna have somebody get up at a co council meeting, say, my child walked by a dispensary and it was terrible. If you're down underneath the highway and there's nothing there but warehouses and there's a dispensary sitting there amongst all the warehouses, that's probably not gonna happen, right?

One of the great things about cannabis retail that's happened all across the country, I'm doing it right now with my clients in Ohio and other places, is we're revitalizing these communities and we are revitalizing these neighborhoods and we're bringing life back into them.

And that's something we don't get a lot of credit for, or if any, if any, credit for, but our industry is doing that. Our industry does not have a great reputation with the public. But this is one thing that folks should know about, right? We are revitalizing these neighborhoods. You go into these areas now and you see what's happened and you'll be blown away because it really is economic revitalization at work.

Tom Mulhern: Well, and there's so much security and like, like you're saying, revitalizing neighborhoods because you go into a dispensary and it's not like walking into like some drug dealer's house. It's like walking into this beautiful like Apple store or like these experiences that these architects, I've talked to so many architects and you know, Mike Wilson from Tameka Group that's building these amazing experiences that people are walking into.

So that comes into a town and then or an area and it really can have that process of revitalization.

You know, running Harborside. What were the biggest challenges that you guys kept on hitting, hitting the same wall?

Andrew DeAngelo: Well, the government's always your biggest challenge. Right? But putting that aside, whenever a business grows as fast as Harborside did, you have to hire a lot of people very quickly. You have to train them very quickly. , you have to try to keep the, the, the magic that attracted that growth in the first place going. And it's extremely hard to do. In the early days of Harborside, we didn't get our second shop until, I think two years into our, our first shop.

We went from. I don't know, 20, 40, 50 people a day to over a thousand. And that is tremendous. And so it's a real challenge to keep up with and to make sure the experience is as good or better than it always was, and to make sure the weed that you're selling. One of the things that people loved about Harborside in the beginning was we had a giant selection of products.

We knew we had to compete with the underground market, and that was very hard. One way we could do that was having a very wide selection of products and we trained our staff on all of 'em. And even in those early days, if you worked for Harborside at the end of the year shift, you'd get a free gram of weed.

And that was designed to get people. Know the inventory. You could not take the same gram of weed every time you had to take a different gram of weed. But it was something we tried to do to get people closer to the inventory. You know, I did a tweet the other day where I said, I think it's important that people who work in our industry consume the product or have some kind of relationship to the product man, even if it's just rub it on your sore elbow, I don't care.

But you have to, I mean, my opinion, you're gonna be better and more successful in this industry if you have a relationship with a product. Woo, man. A lot of people feel much differently about that . And then there are some people who simply can't consume cannabis. They're allergic to it, they have some kind of reaction to it.

And you know, my feed just blew up when I posted that. And, you know, there's exceptions to every rule. And, and, and there are human beings, I guess. There are people that can become Sommelier who don't drink wine. Or I guess there are swimming teachers who can teach people to swim if they don't know how to swim themselves.

I mean, I guess that exists out there in the world. But do you wanna learn how to swim from somebody who doesn't know how to swim? Or do you wanna buy a bottle of wine from a Sommelier? He doesn't drink wine. I mean.

Tom Mulhern: You've gotta have those experiences positive and negative. Especially a dispensary owner who's not using their own product, how can they have any sort of insight into, yeah, this is the best weed you need for.

Andrew DeAngelo: I think it's really hard to do. I mean, some folks just look at it as another widget. and so, we'll, I'm really good at selling widgets. It's just another widget. So I'll move from selling these widgets over here to selling this widget. And you know, there are some very smart people who perhaps can do that.

My personal opinion, um, is that having a relationship with the plant makes you a better dispensary owner and it gives you more insight and knowledge to the customer that you're serving and the product that you're offering. So that's all. It really just comes down to that.

Tom Mulhern: Looking back again at Harborside, what are you most proud of? Like you had all of these industry first, like we, I went through that list, but what's the thing that stands out as like, oh, that was the best there.

Andrew DeAngelo: Well, the two things that stand out the most to me is just, we helped a lot of people. And when, when someone comes up to you that you don't know, you know, you're walking through the floor of your dispensary and you're just walking through the floor, you're going to your office, you're going into the back, you're, you're doing something.

If you run a dispensary or a series of dispensaries like I do, you basically live there, right? You're spending 60 to a hundred hours a week at the dispensary. So you walk through the dispensary a lot and someone will stop you and they'll say, Mr. DeAngelo I gotta tell you something. I'll, I'll stop. And of course, always stop and talk to a customer or patient of course.

So, and they'll say, thank you for saving my life, or Thank you for saving my wife's life. Or thank you for providing something so accessible to us that we were able to help our kid or help ourselves. And when someone tells you that, for me anyway, that's the best of the best cuz you know that you had an impact.

Right? The other place we have a lot of impact as dispensary owners is not just with the community that we serve, but there's two other important stakeholders. There's the supply chain vendors that are coming, very important relationships there that, that are super critical. And when you have, it's another area that can be very gratifying.

When you have the best supply chain in town and the best products in town and you know it and people are telling you that, it's extremely gratifying. And your vendors. Will also feel that and understand that because they'll be selling their products faster. So that's another important group that I've found is very gratifying to be in relationship with.

And then the staff, you know, I've got people that work for me that are running cannabis companies now that own and operate their own cannabis companies now that are out there in the world being leaders and thought leaders and speakers in our industry. And it's extremely gratifying to know that the time that those employees and staff, and managers, and leaders, and directors and all of them spent at Harborside helped them in their career, made them in some cases, made their career.

In other cases, just gave them more skills or more opportunity. Most of the people that worked for Harborside, especially in the early days, these are not college graduates. These are not people from Ivy League schools. These are not people with pedigree that you're seeing in the industry nowadays. Right?

Where, you know, all the big companies are run by people from Harvard and Yale and big business schools and blah, blah, blah. But most of the people actually work, actually do the work. They're either in college trying to get their degree or they don't have a degree and they're working, they're working class people.

And when those folks get opportunity to move up into management and into leadership, like I have a situation right now in Ohio where we had someone apply for a job. As a manager for, for this dispensaries that we're building. We gotta open 'em up soon. And they were working for a big MSO in the same market in Ohio, and they couldn't move up because the MSO had a rule that said you had to have a bachelor degree to get into management.

Well, I, you know what? You need to get into management. You need to be a good manager. That's what you need to get in the good in the management. And you need to show that you can, you can, you at least have the potential to be a good manager. And if you show that potential, you ought to be given a shot. And so that's what we provided at Harborside.

We didn't have rules like that, right? Certainly someone who might have a degree might compete for the job in a different way than someone who doesn't. But the person who doesn't oftentimes got the job with us. Because of one reason or another. So seeing folks get opportunities that they never would've gotten because they were working for you instead of somebody else is extremely gratifying.

And to see people who work for you go out into the world and make big things happen and get epic stuff done, so gratifying. You know, so gratifying. It's like I, I'll see work that people use for work for us do right now. You know, there's a guy who work for us, he owns this little company called Oakland Extract, and like, I really enjoy smoking his extract and he's killing it.

You know? Is he, is he the biggest thing in the world right now? No. Is he struggling just like everyone else in California is right now? Absolutely. But he's doing it right and this is a person of color and you know, sometimes we'll run into each other and he'll almost always say, If it wasn't for Harborside, I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing right now.

So that's super gratifying. And so those are the three things, right? The customers, the suppliers, and your staff.

That's where you're gonna get your gratitude from. And if you do well, I, I, I'd like to tell your listeners that you'll get a lot of gratitude with all the money that you're stacking right now, but cannabis retail isn't about making money right now because you're essentially working for the IRS until code 280e goes away.

It has to be about other things or something else. If you're lucky enough to have the resources to have more than one dispensary, you may be able to put. You know, you, the overall enterprise might be worth quite a bit, but the individual units probably are struggling or probably are just getting by or probably are sending most of their money to the tax authorities that is left over.

Right. Or investors between the tax man and the investors. Not a lot left right now for owners and operators of dispensaries until we change 280e until some of the regulatory and tax burdens that we're all carrying right now get lighter.

Tom Mulhern: The impact that you can have that must be so rewarding. Looking back over that and, and running into those people years later and they're like, man, Harborside really pushed me in this career when they were just like, you know, a college student that was just kind of not sure what they wanted to do.

And then they were given this path and these careers didn't exist, you know, 20 years ago when I was in school. Like, now they do, and now there is this path for people that are passionate about cannabis. So it's, it must be so cool to see having that legacy, being able to look back at that.

Andrew DeAngelo: Oh, it's great. I mean, I, I'm very blessed you know, to be in this stage of my career because when you get to be 50 in your fifties, like me, There's a, your resume's gonna be long. The stuff that you've done in your life is going to long, even if you spent five years on Phish Tour , you'll still have a whole lot of stuff you've gotten done, including those five years on Phish tour.

They're, they're not invaluable. That's one of the great things about middle age is, is you get to look back and say, wow, look at all the stuff I did in my life. And, and in many ways you feel like you're just getting started because you get the hang of it.

Right. Once you. You know, 20 years or more into your career life, you know, and you get into your forties and fifties, you just, you've seen the situation so many times. You've dealt with all kinds of different people at that point. You've learned how to do that. You've learned what you're good at and what you're not good at.

You've learned what you love to do and what you don't love to do. You've learned when you need help and when you don't need help. And so it makes navigating career and life more easy and enjoyable because um, you know, you've played the video game a lot, so it's a great time. The bummer about this time in life is, is your body starts to , do things that um, you know, I had this like rotator cuff injury this year and I was like, God, hell, what the heck's going on?

But it's a great time of being in, in, in, in life. And so, you know, when Harborside finished and we, I started, you know, we exited Harborside, that's a whole nother story in of itself.

But the next project I worked on after that was Last Prisoner Project. And every time you start an organization after you've finished one, the next one's a lot better because you, you, you, you take what you learned as an entrepreneur or as a, you know, Last Prisoner Project's a nonprofit. Nonprofits not a, a business, but you learn and you apply those lessons to the next thing and the next thing usually is better.

Cause of that um, also, you know, more people. And so you get them involved in the next thing. People, you know, that can deliver the goods. Right. And so, and so the, that's also a really nice part of being in, in this stage of my career is I, I have the knowledge and the experience and the confidence really to know that, okay, this next thing I'm gonna do is gonna work.

Tom Mulhern: So stick around for the next episode of the Kaya Cast podcast, my interview with Andrew DeAngelo as we dive into the Last Prisoner Project and his work as a consultant, and really these golden nuggets of advice of how cannabis companies can really stand out in the market. So stay tuned for the next episode and we'll see you back then.

Latest episodes

Browse Episodes

Subscribe Now

Listen on Apple Podcast logo
Listen on Spotify logo
Listen on Google Podcast logo
Listen on Amazon Music logo
Watch it on Youtube logo
Listen on Stitcher logo
Listen on Castbox logo
Listen on Anchor logo