A federal ban on certain vaping products would just drive consumers to the black market and end up undermining the public health crisis, the pioneering cannabis executive Bruce Linton told Cheddar on Tuesday.
Linton, the former co-CEO of the Canadian cannabis producer Canopy Growth, who was fired by Canopy’s board in July, said the vaping crackdown currently being discussed by the FDA and in a growing number of states, “will be great for criminals” that operate illicit underground markets for other products that have drawn the ire of government. A policy of “regulate, educate, monetize” that follows the Canadian model for cannabis legalization is far more beneficial than an outright ban of vaping products, according to Linton.
Linton spoke to Cheddar the day it was announced he was taking on new advisory roles in a handful of small cannabis companies. The outspoken former Canopy executive who has become among the most high-profile faces of the still-nascent cannabis industry, will become the executive chairman of Michigan-based Gage Cannabis and take on advisory positions with Better Choice and Mind Medicine. The former is a producer of cannabinoid products for animals, and the latter is working on FDA trials for psychedelics. Linton will also become an active investor in Slang Worldwide and OG DNA Genetics, he said, announcing his new gigs via a custom T-shirt he wore to the New York Stock Exchange.
“The commonality is that I want to see where regulations are going, I want to see around the world, and I want to see how to help mammals ー full stop.” He noted that being an advisor to Better Choice is a bet on the theory that cannabis still has a huge potential to affect the well-being of both pets and livestock like pigs and cows. Pigs can become stressed in the often horrid conditions they are subject to in factory farms, and those stress levels can keep the animals from reaching their ideal weight for slaughter.
“What if CBD became really cheap and you could give them that and it would be a reasonably accepted food product,” he said. “And all of a sudden, they gained weight faster?”
Similarly, hemp could be a source of protein for dairy cows, who need it to produce milk, he said. And some pet owners are already beginning to see how CBD can improve end-of-life car for their dogs.
All of the new positions were based on Linton “digging through hundreds of companies” over the summer, an attempt to find those that were entrepreneur-driven and could benefit from the business acumen of an established cannabis executive, he said.