73 | Antonio Frazier, CannaSafe

“When we first started doing this, a lot of stuff was quote, unquote, dirty. You know, people don’t realize it, but the industry adjusted really quickly. The good players have really got their stuff really clean, it’s really dialed in.”

— Antonio Frazier

How do you know your cannabis is safe to consume? Consistency in production is key. So you could look for the CannaSafe logo —, 73 | Antonio Frazier, CannaSafe they help cannabis and CBD companies assure consistent quality of their products through lab testing. As the industry innovates, their work is expanding. CannaSafe president Antonio Frazier talks about how:

  • Some vape cartridge producers took shortcuts that ended up making vapers sick
  • Solvents and pesticides, when undetected, can contaminate cannabis products
  • As decriminalization approaches, we can take steps to insure social equity
  • His background as a Division 1 football player prepared him for his current role
  • Consumers can protect themselves by buying legal products that have been tested and proven safe.

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Visit the CannaSafe website

Transcript of podcast episode with Antonio Frazier, President, CannaSafe
Copyright 2021 © Kannaboom

Kannaboom 0:00

Cannabis is like oregano. It's an herb that grows in the ground, then you harvest it and consume it, right? Well, that much is true, but you don't process oregano into an aerosol that you inhale, and you shouldn't buy oregano anywhere but the supermarket, where you buy the other groceries that are inspected and regulated. Okay, before we strain this metaphor any further, let me mention that in this episode of the podcast, we speak with Antonio Frazier, president of CannaSafe, a Los Angeles-based firm that provides extensive testing services to the cannabis industry. We do ramble a bit, but mainly we talk about the importance of quality testing, and about the social equity piece of this emerging market, and also how Antonio's experience as a Division One football player at Furman University helped him prepare for his current role. It may be unglamorous work, but it is absolutely essential to consumer confidence in cannabis. And if the quality of your cannabis is important to you, you'll want to listen to this episode. If you like the podcast, please subscribe at Apple podcasts or Stitcher or your other favorite podcast player. Please leave a review so other people can find the show. Thanks to our producer Danny in Milwaukee. And here's my interview with Antonio Frazier. Cannabis is booming, and Kannaboom is on it. Welcome to the Kannaboom podcast where we interview experts on the changing story of humans, health and health from San Diego. Here's your host, Tom Stacey. Hey, it's Tom back with the Kannaboom podcast. This week we have Antonio Frazier of CannaSafe. How are you doing Antonio?

Antonio Frazier 1:19

I'm doing well, Tom and yourself?

Kannaboom 1:21

Very good, thank you. I'm in San Diego, you're up in LA and enjoying the California weather.

Antonio Frazier 1:26

Yeah, no, it's not. It's not too bad. Of course, it's a little chilly at night. But you know, that's why I moved out here. But it's gorgeous. Why there's no it's just like a little hoodie. And not like when I was in Baltimore when I was in like parkas and boots and whatnot. I don't really have to deal with that anymore.

Kannaboom 1:40

Really, I understand. I'm from Michigan, and this time of year, I'm like, wow, it's amazing to be out here.

Antonio Frazier 1:45

Exactly.

Kannaboom 1:46

Tell us about your role at CannaSafe and how you came there.

Antonio Frazier 1:51

Yeah, so uh, I'm currently our president of CannaSafe started as the lab manager about four years ago now. And those sounds are crazy. You know, transition. And that's really what it was. The business itself was founded back in 2011. Founded by a family down in Marietta, California, one of my ex-football teammates, and now CEO of CannaSafe, got back in the cannabis after a what we call our early pre licensee in South Carolina, you know, he tried to be a distributor before it was legal, gotten a little bit of trouble finishing up schools elsewhere. And then he wanted to re enter the market and knew that I was running an aerospace laboratory. So long story short, after about two years of recruiting — that's a whole different podcast, probably — but after two years of recruiting me and my wife, we moved out to LA, and we joined CannaSafe, you know, just seeing that, that the that the company itself was based on consumer safety and that everyone here had the patient in mind. So for me, it was an opportunity to come out and really forge data and provide data. That's something that a lot of people don't really think about, you know, you've been smoking weed for a long time, California has been at this huge market for decades and generations, but no one's willing to put data behind it about you know, what is it? Is it safe for you know, what are you getting into consistent, you know, and what really makes good? What puts data behind good marijuana?

Kannaboom 3:16

We'll circle back to the data. But you said a couple interesting things there that I think the audience will be interested in. You played football and you were in aerospace?

Antonio Frazier 3:25

Yeah. Oh, okay. Yeah. So play college football all the way through, like playing from, I guess, middle school with through college. The big thing for me was a scholarship. You know, I actually, it was between Harvard and Furman University is a pretty interesting combination. But Ivy League, they don't do, they don't do scholarships, or like fun. They only do financial scholarships. And my father, my mother, like the first college, you know, graduates, Father, families and generation and my dad just couldn't get over. He said, he felt punished, you know, for doing so well for himself that he couldn't, that could not get a scholarship there. So we went with the southern version of it and played football there. Really, like I said, I've always been a big sports person. But for me, I've always wanted to be an engineer. My mom was an engineer before she passed away. So with that being said, when I got my dual degree from Furman and Clemson because Furman doesn't have an engineering program, so all that being crazy enough, I went to a school knowing I would have to get a second degree in the middle of it all. So that's another story and then graduated and got my first job in nuclear engineering. So I was doing construction for Tennessee Valley Authority, there was a Watts Barr nuclear project there the only one commission at the time was pretty much the model. I had to testify in front of the US NRC pretty much daily about our actions, you know, if you sign if you walked into a room, got to sign your name and a test of being there. So you know, always really heavy regulatory based and then I took a job in Baltimore like four years after that, and I ran an aerospace lab. I came in as the manager and quickly progressed to take over the founder and some other departments and got a really early kind of baptism and the leadership because there was a union shop plus you know, I had my salaried lab employees so really has some trial by fire type training between the two schools I juggled and the point progression into management and somehow ended up in California we left so here we are.

Kannaboom 5:24

Yeah, that's the story of your sort of a Renaissance man, an athlete and a scholar and an engineer. Yeah, like that. Right.

Antonio Frazier 5:31

That's how I sold my wife on it. But she'll tell you it's a it's a, it was all a hoax.

Kannaboom 5:38

So a lot of people think of cannabis as this organic substance you grow it in, you could grow it in your backyard. And you know, we people have used it for, I don't know, 10s of 1000s of years. But what you guys do is you look at the data, you quantify all sorts of things about it, right?

Antonio Frazier 5:54

Yeah, all sorts of things where they'd be, you know, everyone was focused on cannabinoids for the longest and, and obviously, terpenes are important and really would have been kind of lost in a conversation and something we should come back to. But then beyond that, just like you said, it is supposed to be organic, but maybe not, you know, if your soil in California is a pretty mineral rich state. So you know, the Gold Rush was here for a reason. So there's minerals, there's heavy metals that are in the soil here. And also there's pesticides that are safe to use in wine and other industries. That maybe if the, you know, that we know for a fact was pushed, you know, there's the whole you know, Boogeyman of Eagle 20 you know, as Myclobutanil was the active ingredient in it, and when you heat it to a certain degree, it turns into hydrogen cyanide. And that was really one of the main pesticides used in cannabis for decades until data prove that that you know, was potentially dangerous. And of course, I don't think people were using it to a point where they were really introducing we know heavy amounts of it, but just a potential level was there because of the miss you know, just kind of misunderstanding that it you know, when you ingest it for wine, yeah, that's okay. But if you light something on fire, you know, those chemicals break down, they change. There's something that industry addressed super quick. So one thing that's really important to acknowledge is that yeah, when we first started doing this, a lot of stuff was quote, unquote, dirty. You know, people don't realize it, but the industry adjusted really quick. The good players have really got their stuff really clean, it's really dialed in. And now we can certify that it was truly safer than organic. I mean, like there's no there's nothing else in the consumer market tested besides pharmaceuticals and things like food is not tested nearly to the rigors of your cannabis. So if you really want to eat clean, you know, you should go eat edibles.

Kannaboom 7:31

We all remember a year ago before this whole COVID mess hit. We're sort of in the throes of a vaping crisis where people thought vaping was safe. They had been doing it for 10 years or so. And then people were getting sick all of a sudden some people died. Is vaping safe?

Antonio Frazier 7:47

Um, I mean, sorry, excuse my, I'm there. What I would say is that anything can be dangerous, done the wrong way. So vaping what we dealt with last year, like you said people had done it for decades, I had no issues. What happened is that the market had transformed into an illicit one, you know, one where people were trying to add shortcuts and cutting agents to things to stretch product. And they introduced this product called vitamin E acetate, there's a natural version and lower amounts that can be good. But when you use the cheaper version, the synthetic version that became rampant. And you know, it looks like THC oil, it doesn't have a smell, you know, it's just a really good cutting agent. And we have to realize that we're talking about people playing alchemists here, you know. So just like other drugs that can be processed, you know, when you go away from the plant, and you start processing this stuff, you can introduce dangerous things into it. Just like with solvents and other things. And pesticides, when you start processing this plant, you most certainly can bring out some of the bad, human or you introduce some of the human fallacies and some of the human mistakes that make this product dangerous. So I'm not going to say all vaping is safe because like I said, you can get a product where the temperature gets too high, someone has cutting agents in there too much flavoring or artificial flavoring. But if you buy illegal stuff, and that's what we were able to help differentiate last year that stuff in the legal market doesn't have those types of additives and whatnot. You know, like, the legal market isn't trying to give you bs because you wouldn't, you know, as a consumer as a cannabis consumer you wouldn't tolerate, you know, that low quality of product anyway.

Kannaboom 9:20

So vitamin E acetate was definitely one of the culprits. Hmm. You know, I looked into it a little and you know, no other cutting agents, there's MCT oils and stuff. And they're concerned about lipid pneumonia. You know, your lungs aren't really designed to process fats.

Antonio Frazier 9:36

No, I mean, no, there's all kinds of things out there. Yeah, there's PEG, PG, there's a lot of kinds of agents out there. Vitamin E seems to be the number one perpetrator for what we were experiencing. But you have to realize that those MCT oils and PG oils, those are the main carriers of tobacco fluids. And that's why they were used simply because of that. Yeah. So yeah, this stuff is pretty rampant. A lot of the E cigs are a lot of problems too, because they're heavy in flavor. I mean this, this is how we see it here and how I mean, I see it as a true person. Cannabis isn't like cannabis isn't supposed to taste like strawberry bubblegum, you shouldn't have to put a bunch of artificial things in there to make it taste like that. And Lord knows, we know, we don't want to bring the kids into their argument. But that's just not happening in cannabis. I mean, there's so many rules that, you know, discourage that, you know, you can have any of this stuff just can't be targeted for kids and nor should it be, you know, although, you know, kids should be allowed to dose with the proper care. But that's a totally different conversation. And yeah, that's the misconception, you know, is that, you know, there's a e-cig push, there's illicit cannabis, but when you really focus on the legal cannabis market, which is who we work with, the you see that there are better options, and you know, you're never going to have a pulmonologist, a doctor say anything, but put air into your lungs, you know, so it's very hard to save, save, when, you know, the safest thing is to put nothing but you know, the true vitamin, I mean, that's why eventually stuff will become like an inhaler. You know, there's a reason why inhaler is such an important delivery device for people with with asthmatic issues because of the effectiveness, the rapid onset of it all, they've just been able to research it and produce it in a manner to where you can deliver it and not bring a bunch of other nasty byproducts with it, right? That'll eventually happen. And cannabis is just unfortunately, we haven't had any money spent on it. There hasn't been billions of dollars or researching universities doing things for all this time to put it in some kind of ideal format for the vulnerable patients that really need it.

Kannaboom 11:35

Do you see that dynamic changing as markets open up? Will there be more research from universities and the government?

Antonio Frazier 11:42

Absolutely on what's happening now in California, there's some grants state level and federal level already for CBD research. That's really where it's going to break ground. Right? It kind of started CBD. And then it'll trickle into cannabis from there. And hopefully, there's also a research bill that's going to allow the universities to research products from dispensaries, and not from the Ole Miss the Ole Miss 7% THC farm over there. So no offense to the growers at Ole Miss or the federal workers over there, but not really representative of what we're smoking.

Kannaboom 12:16

Right? Yeah, that's kind of been a joke for a while. And that's really good news that we'll be able to study actual stuff that people are consuming, hopefully.

Antonio Frazier 12:26

Hopefully, right? I mean, and that's what we got to really start activating people to understand, hey, like, you can vote for these things. And you can push people into getting this stuff done for us, you just have to be aware of and and be a little bit more active. I mean, I know our [inaudible] system isn't the prettiest right now. But I mean, there's an opportunity to influence this right now. This is a hot topic. You know, you know, I hate to see cannabis kind of being pandered as it is now. I mean, not everyone's excited about what's going on in the House. But with the Senate we currently have, you know, it just doesn't seem you know that we're going to get too too far with it. But we'll see. We know. But that's what we can actually drive, we can actually make them make decisions about it. If enough people you know, demand it.

Kannaboom 13:06

When I look at your website, just look under the Services tab. And there's a long list of services that you guys provide. I mean, there's a lot of science to this measuring different things. And as you mentioned, there's metals in the ground. And a lot of people don't realize hemp or cannabis is a bio accumulator. Right? It kind of sucks things out of the ground. Yeah, yeah.

Antonio Frazier 13:25

And then, as you also mentioned, solvents, pesticides, herbicides, all that stuff in the processing. So there's a lot of checking, you have to do to make sure that it's clean. Correct. It's a very expensive process to get a product to market. You know, to insure it, with all the testing points, you really need to have to be sure, obviously, people get a process down and they peel back on testing. But yeah, when you first set your process up, you really do want to have a bunch of these control points after you introduce certain adulterants into it, you know, are different things that process so you want to make sure you don't leave them in there. And they're not at certain levels.

Kannaboom 14:00

Are there certain things that consumers should look for? A) they shouldn't probably buy it off the legacy market? They should go to a dispensary? You know, I know there's certificates of analysis. Are there other things that consumers should look for to protect themselves when they buy cannabis?

Antonio Frazier 14:16

Yeah, I mean, obviously buying legal is always ideal. You can always ask your budtender for this and for the COA, just like you stated, you know, just to make sure that they're keeping up and making sure that documentation is available for you. Um, I would also advise them if you have a homegrown me the things aren't dangerous is just, you know, do your research, talk to people. There's a bunch of organizations out there that are trying to help people get access because unfortunately, it is expensive at a legal dispensary. So, um, you know, you don't want to cut patients off from things like you said, the traditional market is still there, and it's still strong. You know, so for us. We've even seen an interesting push in the traditional market to deliver clean medicine, which is, you know, a good thing and the idea of it, but there's just an traceability, no follow up, no insurance, you know, there's just that lack of complete, you know, you may have a moonshine guy, but you never know if that moonshine guy, you know, decides to change up its products one day, you know, there's nothing really guarantee you guarantee and you know, so that's unfortunately, the same risk you're placing on yourself, obviously, needs to be a better market available for a for for everyone is not ideal right now.

Kannaboom 15:25

That's a bigger conversation, too. I mean, the politics of it in taxation. I know here in California, it's tempting for people to go on Weedmaps and find a traditional provider, because it's cheaper. It's, like 35%, cheaper, a lot.

Antonio Frazier 15:41

Yeah, it's a lot cheaper. And that's really all you can do. That's enough to make you say there needs to be a conversation about it. You know, I don't want to go into comparing another two, I will say the legal market does have the assurance of being tested, you know, whether the traditional market is saying otherwise, you know, I don't, I don't like that conversation. It is nice. It is part of the conversation, though, of well, you know, if these clean products are available, but yeah, by legal is really what needs to be and then talk to your regulators about making them more accessible. That's what our mission should be.

Kannaboom 16:13

Have you seen people from the legacy market to the traditional market come in for testing? Are they testing the products?

Antonio Frazier 16:20

Yeah, we're seeing it online a lot. You know, we try our best to service patients. But obviously, we try not to be conflicted with illicit market, you know, activity, but we most certainly will have people that have homegrown or you know, are making small batch edibles and whatnot for patients that do come in and get tested. And that's when the conversation is happening. And we're looking for better insight from our regulators, because we want everyone to get tested, right? Like, we don't want to deny testing to anyone. But obviously, you know, if we're going to be associated or potentially held liable for any other kind of activity, that's where we want to just protect ourselves as a business, but we really would love to offer it to anyone, you know, who was interested in ensuring that the products that they're either administering to others or themselves are safe, you know, that would, that would be ideal, right? Like there's like everyone has a chance to, but you just don't know, if someone's gonna come in, get one vape cart test and then go sell 20 million vape carts, claiming they all were tested the same way. That's the problem. That's the difference. You know, there's no batch control in the illicit mark or the traditional market, whereas there is in the legal.

Kannaboom 17:24

What's a bigger part of your business? Is it THC or CBD?

Antonio Frazier 17:28

It's THC for now, for sure, just because California is such a large market. I mean, we're in LA, you know, we are the consumer safety brand. So almost certainly, [inaudible] it is larger right now, but I do believe the hemp market is going to just absolutely, I mean, once the products actually are regulated properly, people realize right now the products are all technically federally illegal, still used, okay? I think only like hemp seed oil, and something else is actually legal for consumption, but all the actual products of infusing cosmetics or supplements or whatnot, that's technically still federally illegal. That's just some states that have allowed it. And there's a lot of enforcement. That said, once that's regulated and formalized, it's going to just dwarf the THC market.

Kannaboom 18:11

You guys are gonna have to expand.

Antonio Frazier 18:14

That's part of the conversation that's, that's already in the works. We're already you know, thinking about those next steps and planning them right now.

Kannaboom 18:20

I've heard there's about 3,000 CBD brands and I don't know how many of them are actually verifiably tested. I think it's probably a small handful.

Antonio Frazier 18:30

Um, I mean, it is a smaller percentage than THC but there are some really good CBD companies out there that do test some of them you know, have THC counterpart, so we work with them both with both sides of it. But we haven't but most certainly there are some but the percentage is much lower than you would in obviously going into a legal THC store.

Kannaboom 18:49

You know, everyone's looking forward to federal decriminalization. Is that why you need to expand your factory?

Antonio Frazier 18:56

Well, decriminalization is a step, that's probably where we're gonna end up I think with this administration, the first thing they're gonna do is decriminalize it. But I think there just needs to be I mean, you need you need to regulate it too. I mean, you have to allow access, you can't just say, 'Oh, I won't lock you up and ruin your life anymore.' Now there's patients as people who have found, you know, the opioid crisis as you know, it's pretty, it's pretty ugly, you know, people don't really understand how disruptive these these these drugs, opiates have become to kids and, you know, like the, the, kind of like the crack pandemic, but it's just not talked about, I think there's some racial bias there that we could, that we could probably talk about because who this this pandemic is actually impacting, but it's pretty bad. And that's what people have found so much relief from and so much less addiction and so much better functionality is so much better quality of life is a pain management thing. You know, instead of giving someone a bunch of pills to get by, you know, you really can't have some specially formulated products. Now it's not just, you know, flower in a joint, there's tinctures, there's topicals there's bath bombs, there are so many different ways that you can take this medicine down that people have found relief, and have gotten off both heart medication and pharmaceuticals. I just can't see why that wouldn't be a positive consumer image.

Kannaboom 20:18

Yeah, there's so much that you just talked about there that we could unload. But harm reduction is huge in the social aspect of it. You don't want these white collar guys coming in and getting rich when so many people have been incarcerated over the years. And they need those records to be expunged, people need to be released. And there needs to be a social equity piece. And I know you're involved in that, right?

Antonio Frazier 20:40

Yeah, no, exactly the I think there has to be I think if you really want to balance the tide, if you really want to talk about, you know, always slavery was over was when they'll look at these new mechanisms. The new Jim Crow, like the drug war on drugs has been used as a mechanism or a cousin of slavery for decades, and it's impacted so many communities, and here's a direct opportunity, a new revenue stream that is going to be taxed, and, you know, just needs to go directly to the people impacted. And like you said, you have to expunge records. But that's just just that, just the beginning of justice. You know, that's not even close to being, you know, given these communities, and I'm not the one to say that everything has to come with you know, only cannabis business can be owned by someone who's been to jail. I'm like, 'No, you direct those taxes directly to the communities that have been impacted.' These zip codes are clear as day, LA County has them. We know where these people had been targeted at that. I mean, like it is clear as day so why not allocate the majority of these proceeds that are coming because these stores are being not put in those areas, those stores are being put in North Hollywood, West Hollywood, you know, you got these pretty places in Venice that are all gorgeous, you know, those are where the stores are, people don't want to put a belt stores in these areas have been impacted. And that's where the illicit market continues to thrive. Because all these storefronts are blatantly, are blatantly knowingly, I don't know, people maybe on the east coast of Maine that gather the gravity, the gravity of this, but you know, where, you know, in California, a lot of these traditional stores aren't exactly hidden, you know, there's pretty, you know, it's almost like you wouldn't even know, they were illicit or traditional, honestly, because there's so there's such a storefront of where you want to call it, you know, the central brand behind it.

Kannaboom 22:19

We're veering probably back into politics and policy again, but there are tax dollars to be recovered here. If we do this in the right way in allocating some of those tax dollars into communities that have been hurt by some of these wrongheaded policies in the past. You know, I wish we could have more confidence in our political systems. I mean, we, those need to kind of be more responsive to the actual needs on the ground. But we all vote, and we all have a voice, right? What can listeners do to help on the social equity side of this?

Antonio Frazier 22:51

I think get involved. Like you said, like we all vote, make it a part of the conversation. We're seeing a lot of these counties and cities run to a cannabis policy, trying to force one through the end of this year hoping to recover some tax dollars next year, everyone is running on a deficit due to COVID. And that's the impact that's just such a something everyone already agrees on. So you're saying some people just do it for the financial. But while that process is happening, demand some of this stuff. I mean, we saw New York slow down with these rules last year, I forget the Congress lady that was, I want to say Barbara, I don't want to misspeak. But she made it very clear. 'Hey, I'm for legalizing, but I'm not for you know, not not the money not going back to the right community.' So I hope New Yorkers on that trip, but they were one of the main ones, you know, between stop and frisk historically, you know, so much displacement has happened there. So I'm hoping that, you know, we can get someone that kind of set up, right. And then and then the federal model can, you know, trickle it down when some state does it the right way.

Kannaboom 23:54

Yeah. It's interesting how cannabis lends itself to this kind of activity. For a long time people, it was underground, and you didn't speak of it. And now it's coming out. And as you say, with COVID, and everything, local governments are going to need tax revenues. And I think there might be a tidal wave of towns saying, 'Yeah, we were okay. Now, we need a dispensary because we could have some tax income and we could help begin to address some of these problems with those taxes.'

Antonio Frazier 24:24

Precisely. I mean, that's what you want to be able to do.

Kannaboom 24:26

Among all the products that you've seen come through your factory. Do you have a favorite product or service?

Antonio Frazier 24:32

Oh man, okay. That's a great question. Yeah. Huge fan of one of our brands — Sunderstorm. They are a gummy. They're just like whole, just just wellness and health, just clean product even have a vegan line. They've also ventured into nanotechnology for bioavailability. So the brands I'm really big on are the ones that are health focused on I think it's kind of hard for us to claim to be a cannabis industry. I think we're placing cannabis products and other sectors, whether it be health, whether it be leisure, you know, like this, we haven't really gotten ourselves together to call ourselves an industry quite yet. So when you see these brands do it well, and searching themselves and understanding that target audience is just really, really top notch. There's also a lot of smaller equity brands, I'm a huge fan, a huge fan of Sanctuary Farms, from Nor Cal, but just great outdoor flower, like a lot of these smaller, these smaller operators have some really unique product, you know, because they've been cultivating these certain strains for certain ways for you know, for for generations. And they know, there's some good healing creams as well, that I become such big fans of because I know these people who are creating it, and I know, you know how much it means to them not know about their products in their formulation, that's what's cool about the lab is that a lot of times you get to hear people what they're doing, they're like, 'oh, wow, that's a lot of effort you're putting into your product,' they're like, tell me more, right? And those are normally the ones that when you go try it, you really have that consistent experience, because they've done so much on the formulation and to ensure a consistent experience. So I have kind of a little cheat sheet. so to speak, but but yeah, most certainly there's a lot of them out there. I'm sorry, if I didn't, you know, go into more of our clients. So please don't get me in trouble here. But but but but no, those are the ones that I know I've personally dealt with and just on top of my head. So

Kannaboom 26:20

I love Kanha too. I mention it almost every episode. But if I have trouble sleeping, I like to cut one of those in half and five milligram indica gummy is a magical thing.

Antonio Frazier 26:29

I mean, it's so consistent, you know, and that's what I know. I mean, like so I mean, they're their brand is built by science, I mean, so that's what that's one of the treatments, that's what they're, that's our model, not sure what to call it. But I know that you know, everything they do is based on formulation on consistency, and they do everything they can to provide you with a consistent experience. I think that's really important.

Kannaboom 26:48

That is an important point in that when you have a bud and you buy some flower, there might be more terpenes in the bottom of that bud than in the top or vice versa.

Antonio Frazier 26:58

Preach, preach, there you go Tom. Got to get you on the road man.

Kannaboom 27:06

So that's the business you're in is helping these brands even out their consistency, right. I mean, that's what the consumer wants say you don't walk into a McDonald's and have a different hamburger on on a different coat.

Antonio Frazier 27:18

Yeah I mean, that is what you would think. But I can't say that everyone's focused on that. Um, I mean, I wish I could say that's what everyone's focus was, I wish I could say it's what everyone was doing. But some relationships are simply 'Oh, how high can my THC be,’ and like, well, as high as my instrument says it is but you know, nothing I can do about you know, making a higher than that. So, yeah, ideally, that's what you're trying to do. And that's what you see in the brands that have the most success to brands that have gone from not on the top charts to top three, top five. That's the story that they're telling. And I mean, I could I mean, yeah, that's just based on one free marketing advice that someone should a billion for that. But yeah, I mean, those are the ones that you're really seeing, you know, take hold with the consumer, those are the ones you're saying, you know, you've the lab results, you know, tell the story about science, tell the patient a little bit about what this means for them. And man, I mean, people are just really, really, really, really sticking to that.

Kannaboom 28:14

Obviously, that requires a little more processing, you could make a vape cartridge that's pretty consistent once you dial it in, but your flower you're going to test that for solvents and pesticides and all that but there's still going to be variability within a bud.

Antonio Frazier 28:29

Yeah, a lot a lot of everyone in the bar which is why flower is going to be one of the last things to be you know formally recognized as something like federally administered, you know, that's why you're seeing you know, even the VA when they get money to resources for synthetic marijuana that way is you know, something more controlled, you know, that's the idea behind some of that.

Kannaboom 28:49

In the lab, you see innovations as they come in you mentioned nanotechnology and I just bought some gummies that claim they use live resin and I don't know what difference that will make in a gummy. But I know that processes that's about flash freezing, right?

Antonio Frazier 29:05

Yeah. So when I guess the first part of it, what I would think which I've never tried or really talked to my brother, I think I know with live resin, you're going to leave a lot more the minor cannabinoids and terpenes intact. So potentially if I read it just seems to be a very expensive product. Honestly, it sounds like it must have cost you some more money too. But I would think that that is because you know they're leaving more of those flavonoids more of those things that come in the plant with that, with that lab resin process, like you said, like freezing those things in place, as opposed to like not allowing them to degrade over time. So that's what I would assume you're getting by I'm not sure what they're advertising. With that. I'll have to see if they're talking about terpenes and profiles are what they're really telling you but that would be my assumption.

Kannaboom 29:52

Yeah, well, I wasn't sure if it's a marketing gimmick. I mean, honestly, it was like a Black Friday deal. I got 25% off. I got some gummies I think they were 20 bucks.

Antonio Frazier 30:03

I mean you're you're seeing people challenge what is live resin was not I mean, you're you're actually seeing people you know make claims and certain things or redefining definition? So yeah, I mean that yeah, that that I can tell you because you have to know what their process is exactly right before you can say or agree — what is live resin right, like we don't we haven't agreed as a community what exactly constitutes that we have some strong opinions. Please don't. Please don't come beat me up anybody but there's no formal definition for how the CDPH you know, what required you to label something live resin? That's my point, you know, yeah, regular balance for it.

Kannaboom 30:38

I mean, if it preserves all the terpenes and cannabinoids. Well, the terpenes would be accessible if you're inhaling if you're combusting or vaping. But, you know, again, in a gummy that you have in your mouth for a minute or two, you might taste those terpenes. But is it gonna have a different efficacy? And yeah, like you said...

Antonio Frazier 30:59

I believe it actually will, Tom. So there's two things that you just that you were saying there first. So I believe there's a difference. And because we do know, if you were to like eat an orange, and then smoke, you have a much different effect than it would be if you don't need that on, cause those terpenes open you up, and they do things to your receptors, but they're also in heavy concentrations in orange, and they are in the plant. So as a scientist, I would challenge you other thing about live resin and say like, 'Well, how much do you know you're freezing?' Because the issue is, there's 1000s of other components that we're not quantifying. So do you really know what you're preserving who's live resin process reserves? The most of the unknown that's almost kind of wet live resin alludes to is that I'm getting everything, but it's like, well, what is really everything where we're only measuring like 38% of this thing. Like we there's so many other things that we haven't been measured yet. So how do you really know what you haven't left behind? That is my nerdy arguments that I will give you. So I'm not I'm not trying to challenge everyone that's saying live resin — Lord knows, I do agree with everything. You know what it is, but it's almost like when nano, you know, like, what? Particle size? You know, is small enough? Or when does it not make a difference anymore? You know, that kind of research hasn't been done yet. But it will when we have federal, you know, when we have more federal monies, you know, propping up the researcher, okay?

Kannaboom 32:22

So that's your job is somebody comes to you and says I want to quantify this or that and I imagined you guys have like a cleanroom and processes that you have in place. Do you ever have to like invent processes to find things that aren't?

Antonio Frazier 32:37

Great question. Yes, and it's very expensive, which is what the way you want money for, right. So right now the things that we target are things that we know people are gonna be required to test for, or things that we know are proper enough, right? So we have, you know, a very much larger list of terpenes here simply because we know terpenes will eventually be something that is going to be very pronounced and a bigger part of the process. But other things, some people will come to us like, 'Hey, can you measure this for me?' It's like, well, that's gonna cost me $250,000 to get that process set up, we know how you only want to spend $2,000 for your testing. So it's like, 'Hey, unless you got like, you know, 100 more friends coming behind you, then I'm gonna have to pass on this project.' So, there are a lot of things people ask us to do that we simply like, yeah, we could, but it will cost so much money to set up that testing and to be able to stand behind the data. And we just, you know, the investment isn't there, the return on investment? Isn't there, other labs will just do something, put it together and tell you 'Yeah, I tested this,' but it's like, no, that's not really, you know, like, anyone can tell that data up, you know, and that's why we are hoping to, to see more regulations around vapor testing, something that we've started to do a lot here. But we know at the end of the day that the government's gonna say, 'Well, how do you do vapor testing?' And we're hoping you know, if we were trying to influence them, but at the end of the day, they're gonna declare what data matters. And that's what I'm waiting on is like, hey, cuz I mean, another another trip of the industry is like, so Colorado has declared they're gonna test for heavy metals in vape carts that are going to require the aerosol to be tested from from both devices for heavy metals, so but they have yet to tell anyone how they're gonna do that test.

Kannaboom 34:17

So you guys have to figure that out?

Antonio Frazier 34:19

I mean, that is something, yeah, you could try to figure it out. But then who's to say they don't choose somebody else's mess after you spend, you know, a quarter million dollars on setting something up? So that's kind of the trick is like, do you try to figure it out, which a lot of research labs are? Or do you wait around till they tell you what to do? And then you implement it? So there's just all these things that people you know, may not be considering or you know, thinking about,

Kannaboom 34:42

So you have to go buy an electron microscope or some kind of something?

Antonio Frazier 34:46

Yeah. All those things can be used, you know, all those things are important characteristics, those traditional methodologies that you just referenced there, but yeah, there's always something and then cannabis being such a unique matrix. You always gotta make sure this is actually applicable, like, you know, you're actually looking at it the same way. Because then matrix differences, you know, depending on how you either extract it or how you can prepare the sample that's all dependent on can you use that technology? Or is that technology useful.

Kannaboom 35:12

As well, that's an interesting place to be you're at the technology is advancing this science of you know what to look for? There's a lot of innovation in the space, right?

Antonio Frazier 35:22

Oh, man, it's a ton. And I really don't want I don't want people to feel like you know, we don't know what's going on, you know, there's a very good set of, you know, daily rules and things to protect your health and to give you education right now, but all we're saying is that, you know, all this additional knowledge and you know, data that comes with food or pharma just isn't there yet. And that's why there's so many, well, maybe whatever's cool things like you said, the innovation is wide open, which is also why it's fun to be here. I mean, me being an engineer, out of me coming out here, simply because we get to solve problems every single day. So there's, there's definitely that fulfillment in this position that there's always going to be problems, you know, because no one exactly agrees on how to do it. Right.

Kannaboom 36:05

And you guys are largely in the background. I mean, there's not a like a CannaSafe seal, like a Good Housekeeping Seal that consumers should look for.

Antonio Frazier 36:14

I mean, yeah, you can say that I mean, we're on more packaging than any other brand in the state that's all the brands that we're on are some of the largest so we ended up realizing that we're on more packaging any other company out there are some of our a lot of our brands do use our CannaSafe seal on their packaging, because it's pretty recognizable after the vape crisis and everyone knowing that the day that we were able to provide so most certainly do have that impact. But no, we don't have any products for consumers to directly consume. But we love you know, delivering information with the with our partner should do I mean, we really have targeted to some of the best producers to work with simply because we want to we know their problems gonna be the ones that end up you know, getting approved or, you know, passing the test because of all the work that they put in.

Kannaboom 36:59

Yeah, okay, so we should look for the CannaSafe name like, like on my Kanha package, is there a CannaSafe seal?

Antonio Frazier 37:05

Yeah, yeh, it is.

Kannaboom 37:07

Is it a recognizable seal? I'll have to look for it?

Antonio Frazier 37:11

So check it out, shoot me an email.

Kannaboom 37:13

Okay. I think I just threw away my last package, but I'll stock up and take a picture. Okay. I'll tell people to look for that too. Because that is important. I mean, we're consuming something. And again, for all the reasons that we've talked about what you're putting in your lungs, what you're putting in your body. It's like you make the argument, you wouldn't put lousy gasoline into your car, and this is your body. So it needs to be clean, and proven clean.

Antonio Frazier 37:39

I agree. And that's what you know, we're trying to remind people of what the attentiveness is, you know, that's the that's why I think is if people right now, I mean, that's just everyone's opportunity in front, everyone that makes some money. And of course, that just clouds everyone's judgment. So I think it will settle in and clean itself up. It'll just take some time and a little bit of educating of our regulators to understand what this new market.

Kannaboom 38:02

Antonio, I want to ask you. Is there anything else we haven't covered that we should but I am curious, what position did you play in college football?

Antonio Frazier 38:11

I was an offensive lineman, so I was about 40 pounds heavier. So I was a much bigger guy at the time. So I guess I'm still pretty tall. Aaron and I both — our CEO — are both pretty tall people just like had this idea of us being like up doing push ups in our office. So it's pretty funny. Sometimes people just think we just like, hang out and lift weights. But you know, Aaron was an NBA entrepreneur, he made a million bucks when he was like 22 years old. So I think there's a little bit more what we call numbers on the board to attribute to why we're able to do what we're doing here in this space as well. So yeah, offensive lineman, and I always tell our people, you know, they're the smartest people on the field. I always remind people, you know, when you look at scores, they're all the highest scoring people that we have to understand what everybody's doing. And you only hear our name when we mess up. You know, you don't really like it if you don't know who a lineman is, it's probably better.

Kannaboom 39:02

No, it's right. It's not one of the glamour positions and here you are, kind of in a non glamorous part of cannabis.

Antonio Frazier 39:10

Yeah. Oh. Which is why I feel like I'm supposed to be here. I feel like I'm not looking for glory. I'm not looking, you know, yeah, no, I actually do kind of personally feel, you know, vindicated or justified for being here. You know, I know, that may sound a little, you know, a little a little much for some people, but no, I do feel that way. I do feel like there's something I was kind of made to do. And I've been trained to do just different ways, whether it be an engineer, you know, because you know, being an engineer is actually glamorous, even though you're putting things together. You know, I wasn't the fighter pilot that was fighting these planes I helped build. You know, I wasn't the NCO I would call the NCR, the nuclear person running the plant, you know that I helped build, you know, but I was in the background, making sure that it was safe for the consumers in the public that you know, what experiences so I definitely think this is something that I have spent my whole entire career working towards and, you know, becoming more and more of a marijuana patient after college football. The headaches that ensued. I mean, I can't tell you how many times. I mean, I think I caught the Swine Flu where it was a bird flu that was one of those in 2009 that was going around. It was pretty terrible. Yeah, I can't imagine a COVID similar to this. But I got an IV and a fistful of oxy. And I think I and I played that week, out that I caught it on a Monday. And it was like, and I didn't take it, I was like, [inaudible] wouldn't be playing with smoke in a joint. And that's exactly what I did. And I was like, you know, I feel terrible, I kind of still haven't had a cup of tea and be hydrated with the IV was supposed to help with. But I'll just like, if I've had to do the... I need to like to take it off for a second. You know, I didn't, you know, drinking always feels bad. It's kind of hard to go to drink a bunch of beer and then go play football. But, you know, enjoying something that, you know, people found and that's, and that was wild. I mean, people never want to admit it but a lot of these athletes obviously. Now, I think with the health consciousness of it. It's not there. But I mean, at one point in time, I mean, like, you know, my wife's opinion should tell you in the 80s, you know, people used to smoke cigarettes on the bench, you know, so, you know, like people, obviously, figuring things out. And that's why vape carts are a little bit more amenable. But yeah, people have used this as a medicine or treatment in sports for decades. I mean, you know, there's, every athlete will tell you which drug tests are THC based, and which ones are performance enhancement, as they all know the schedule, because they all are, you know, using something like a regimen.

Kannaboom 41:35

Yeah, as a Division 1 football player, you're, you're well acquainted with pain. You know, I had Kyle Turley on a few episodes back offensive lineman too, famous for throwing his helmet. Right.

Antonio Frazier 41:48

He was a, he was a hard-ass. I mean, I don't know if you know about his football career. But I mean, that guy is a warrior.

Kannaboom 41:54

Well, he had a moment where he threw an opposing player's helmet down the field.

Antonio Frazier 42:03

He was one of the first ones. I remember being disciplined in football. I mean, I'm not saying that behavior is great. But it definitely was memorable as a young football player, especially being a big kid, right being a lineman definitely stood out to me.

Kannaboom 42:17

Well, and he was very outspoken. I mean, I found him to be very articulate and compassionate and passionate about how cannabis saved his life. And he will tell anybody that he had extreme vertigo, light sensitivity, he was ready to have one of his legs amputated, because he had so much neuropathic pain. And he found that cannabis helped us all that stuff.

Antonio Frazier 42:38

Wow. Wow. That's, I mean, that's a better ending than probably a lot of his teammates. So unfortunate man, others demise with these things, especially when you start talking about to those patients and those frustrations that he was dealing with a lot of those people that you see, unfortunately, make decision to take their life and deal with very similar things. It's a very, I mean, it can be I've seen it with these guys, it can be a very sad, lonely life after the league, especially when the glory leads you to and then your body essentially does. Right.

Kannaboom 43:05

Well, as you mentioned, I mean, the opioids, they don't help you know, they, I mean, they might help a little on the front end, but in the long run, I don't think they're healthy for you.

Antonio Frazier 43:15

No, they're not, your body just pretty eventually shuts down. They get used to you having to up the dose. I mean, with cannabis, obviously, you certainly need to, you know, wean yourself on and off or take different kinds of products to keep your receptors class, but yeah, I mean, normally, I mean, at least for myself, I take. I mean, I was lucky enough to really have I guess a tolerance. But you know, I remember in college, you know, you can take two days off, and go run a few times. And then you come back to it. It's just like the first time you know, it's just 'Oh, here we go.' Like, you know, you're not running it up to score trying to keep up with the tolerance. So yeah, I think there's a much safer option. You know, I think it has to, we have to figure out how to responsibly use it, you know, even you know, when it comes to employment and you know, drug test or impairment while driving, I think you have to, you know, consider all those things. Nothing's quite perfect. But I think, you know, like, you know, you have to start figuring out what the next steps are. And this is very clearly being used. It's not a secret. I mean, we know it's used in white suburbia, and then the black and brown in some communities as well. This is something pretty rampant all over the place and we need to get smarter about it as a country.

Kannaboom 44:24

Is there anything else our listeners should know about CannaSafe that we haven't covered?

Antonio Frazier 44:28

Tom? First of all, thanks for having me today. I really enjoyed the conversation. Sorry if we did get too off topic there but I do want to remind everyone you know that the legal market, buy safe products, go see us at CSC labs comm we have a physician's corner. We have all types of education and blogs and different ways for you to interact. We have journal templates for you to use for your dosage. There's a lot more conversation to be had about the patient and helping people find the right plan. So if anyone is curious about that, we call it Canna Cures. If anybody is, you know, we deal with seniors, we deal with parents, we deal with whatever that we can to help people understand what they're doing. We don't have all the answers. But we do believe we can help, you know, be a guidance on your path. You know, that's why we lead you to doctors who are the people who actually can make the decisions. We don't claim to be the one. So yeah, that's what CannaSafe is trying to do and be so you're right. We don't have products, but we most certainly want to be a partner for you, and your cannabis experience. So with that being said, Thanks, Tom. And I hope you got something useful here. I hope I didn't go off the rails for you.

Kannaboom 45:34

No, absolutely great stuff. And good to know that those resources are available. I mean, you mentioned a journal and I tell people all the time, no, you got to track what you're doing. So you know if it's working. So if you guys have templates for that. I'll point that to people that in the show notes and thanks for sharing your time and it was a great episode.

Antonio Frazier 45:53

Likewise Tom, thank you for your time and have a great weekend.

Kannaboom 45:56

You've been listening to the Kannaboom podcast with host Tom Stacey. If you like the show and want to know more, please check us out at Kannaboom with a k.com. And please leave us a review on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen. See you next week.

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