After’s Amazon’s announcements of the week before last, we asked a few questions of some business leaders in cannabis about their thoughts on the company’s statement(s).
Here we speak with….
Dr. Stuart Titus the CEO of Medical Marijuana, Inc a Wall Street veteran, where he was a bond trader for 11 years has been involved in the development and investment of several industry-leading cannabis and industrial hemp businesses during his most recent career.
“We were the first to create a U.S. pipeline of hemp-based CBD products to Brazil, Mexico and other countries, and we’ve had tremendous demand for our products. As we expand this pipeline in the coming years, we really believe we’ll see economic improvement not just in the United States, but all over the world.”
He has worked with several cannabis companies, including HempMeds, KannaLife Sciences Inc, and Kannaway, LLC.
A graduate of Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, Titus majored in economics and minored in business administration. He got his start on Wall Street where he worked as a bond trader for eleven years, managing a trading and underwriting department as a V.P. for CS First Boston Corp. Titus then went on to earn his PhD from Open International University, an educational organization affiliated with the World Health Organization.
Dr. Titus holds a Fellowship with the American Academy of Pain Management and clinical association with the American Association of Integrative Medicine. He practiced as a British Physiotherapist for over fifteen years, running clinics that specialized in integrative pain management and injury rehabilitation, treating over 40,000 patients.
His first-hand experience with therapeutic hemp oil products as nutritional supplements led him to Medical Marijuana Inc. and drives him to continue to support the emerging cannabis medical marijuana and industrial hemp industries in the United States and abroad.
There appears to be a lot of excitement about Amazon saying they will no longer test their workers for THC. In the main because they can’t find the workers they need! But the announcement seems to have set off fireworks on a range of issues with regard to Amazon getting into the cannabis sector in the US post Federal legislation as and when that happens.
Amazon Have Said They Will Stop Testing Their Workers For THC… do you think that this is a smart move for a company so reliant on operations, systems, repetitive jobs ?
Do you think it may leave them open to worker employment accident claims in the future?
“We believe that this is a significant event for overall cannabis legalization. Many people use a full spectrum hemp-based CBD oil for health and wellness but the usage here may ping a typical drug screening.
Others use cannabis, THC, for recreational use. Amazon seems to believe that cannabis may be safer and a better alternative to alcohol and will likely now attract a new class of enterprising entrepreneurial workers.
I do not believe that the potential use of cannabis will create any additional employment accident claims and this move may also boost overall morale while creating a longer-lasting employment relationship with their workers.”
On the announcement last week cannabis shares shot up in the short term.
What does that tell you about the maturity of the cannabis sector?
“This move tells me that we as a country are ready to embrace overall cannabis legalization and that we are ready to stop drug screening for cannabis.”
Do you see stocks reacting in this way as a positive or negative?
“I see the reaction of the market to be a major positive for the emerging cannabis industry. “
Most seem to extrapolate from the Amazon announcement that this is their first tentative step into the world of regulated cannabis. Do you agree?
“We are moving toward a world of regulated cannabis and major US Corporations are taking the lead by not necessarily waiting for FDA or Congress to act – they are taking into consideration the overwhelming popularity among the American public.”
If & when Amazon enter the sector, do you think it will be via M&A or just re-purposing their existing systems?
“I believe that Amazon is entirely capable of both avenues of entry into this market sector and will likely use a combination of both approaches.”
Some in the cannabis world argue that Amazon entering the sector will be a major disturbance for the existing retail environment from the few mom & pop stores, the new cannabis retail chains and of course the online delivery services.
Others say to look at the alcohol sector and Amazon’s thus far failure to upend that world.
Where do you sit?
“There is a tremendous market presence already established in the cannabis arena. It is not surprising to see major US Corporations wanting a piece of the overall cannabis pie – there remains plenty of growth and market segment targeting ahead. Already many MSOs are well funded – and Amazon would potentially rival but not upset any existing cannabis markets.”
What changes would you expect to see?
“Banking would be a huge plus for the industry and the entry of Amazon would almost assure us of that victory. Delivery of cannabis would be greatly enhanced to prospective consumers and likely the cannabis market arena would double in size given Amazon’s entry.”
Do you think existing retail should be worried?
“Sometimes the best thing for a Chiropractor is to have another Chiropractor move in up the street, as it raises the overall level of consciousness and awareness. I believe that the entry of Amazon into cannabis would create a rising tide that lifts all ships.”
What about regulators in each state who are generating great revenue for their states via licensing fees, sales taxes and so on. What are your views on Amazon upsetting the existing applecart and how hard do you think regulators might push back on Amazon entry into the market?
“I believe Amazon would similarly be taxed and regulated – likely this will double the overall market size and thus double the tax revenues.”
What other thoughts do you have about the possibility of Amazon entering the world of regulated cannabis?
“This would be a fantastic development for the industry. Likely the overall level of industry professionalism would rise, the ease of getting cannabis into consumers hands would increase and banking would be allowed within our federal system. I applaud Amazon for being so progressive and for potentially diversifying their business into the cannabis industry. In my view, this rising tide will definitely take all ships and be quite beneficial for the emerging cannabis industry.”
We thank Dr Titus for taking the time to answer our questions