Interview: Warren Bobrow Fears For Cannabis Under Trump

By Kyle Swartz

April 10, 2017

Warren Bobrow is concerned for legal cannabis under President Trump. And Bobrow knows a thing or two about pot. A globally recognized mixologist, he wrote the book on cannabis cocktails.

Bobrow is an influencer at the forefront of the cannabis movement. While his opinions may reflect cynicism towards legalization common to the east coast where he grew up — compared to the typical optimism of west-coast cannabis experts — Bobrow has plenty of reason to fear, and also plenty of insight to share about the industry overall. We recently caught up with him:

Cannabis Regulator: You’re not particularly hopeful for cannabis under President Trump and Attorney General Sessions.
Warren Bobrow: Because of Sessions I think the cannabis industry is noticeably concerned. And I think for good reason. There’s been so little info out there from Sessions. There’s been no dialogue, no conversation, no intellectual approach.

And there’s been no news leaks from the Trump administration about cannabis. I’m the son of a lawyer, and I know that when there’s silence, that’s how you know something’s brewing.

CR: So how should cannabis professionals proceed?
WB: If you haven’t already, start building risk into your business. Hedge your bets. I would think twice about being so out in the open. Personally, I fear that the party’s over. And it’s sad, because I thought we were finally becoming a progressive nation with cannabis.

CB: You don’t think that Trump as a businessman will hesitate to damage a multibillion-dollar industry?
WB: But he’s not a businessman in the political arena. And I don’t think he’ll lay off. I think he and his administration will stay concerned with weed because they see it only as a drug and ‘drugs are bad’.

Honestly, I think this attitude is about wholesale racism. It’s about keeping down whole groups of people, blacks and Hispanics. That’s why Sessions will only refer it as ‘marijuana’. The moment they call it ‘cannabis’ then it’s a more-accepting word.

You have to remember that ‘marijuana’ is a pejorative from the 1940s. It’s a bastardization of words for ‘undesirable Mexicans’, who first brought cannabis into the U.S., and another term for ‘inner city’. The term is meant to convey an illicit quality, rather than the healing quality that cannabis is intended for.

CB: Why are prices plummeting in the legal cannabis market?
WB: It’s wholesale market pressures. I expect prices to drop even lower. There’s so much more out there now, and so much more competition.

What could help the market level off will be the greater diversity of strains under legalization. Look at the non-legal states. There might be only two strains in all of New Jersey. As the industry grows up, it’s going to lean on the diversity of its strains.

CR: You wrote the cannabis cocktail book. Regulators are concerned about people consuming alcohol and cannabis at the same time. What’s your advice on that?
WB: With cannabis cocktails I recommend that people start with really low doses. And then, if they chose, build up from there. Work within your tolerance. Anything else is irresponsible.

If you are mixing cannabis with alcohol then I absolutely recommend having a blueprint or exact idea of what strain you’re using. Hopefully it’s something that’s been tested. If you bought it from a legal dispensary, then it has been tested. Otherwise, you’re really on your own.

I always tell people that the best remedy for getting too high is to consume sugar or lemon juice. Both will bring you down real fast to a responsible level of being high.

Anyone can get high. I do and I love to. But that’s not what my book is about. I broke down all the cocktails and strains and matched them with different ailments and cures. You have to remember that from the 1800s to the 1940s, cannabis was used as a curative.

Mixing cannabis and alcohol is an adulteration and it’s very serious thing. I certainly don’t want anyone to get sick. I didn’t write the book to obliterate people. I want to help people heal. That’s the original use.

Kyle Swartz is editor of Cannabis Regulator. Reach him at kswartz@epgmediallc.com or on Twitter @kswartzz. Read his recent piece 8 States That Could Legalize Cannabis In 2017.

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