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This week, Eddie Celaya, a reporter with the Arizona Daily Star and host of the Here Weed Go! podcast, joins the Cannabis Equipment News podcast to discuss the state of Arizona's cannabis industry, including how the recreational business is looking good while things are cratering in the medical program.
Eddie Celaya has blazed an entirely new beat as a cannabis reporter in Arizona, but it didn't come easy. He had to build a network, attend industry events and earn the trust of individuals who weren't quick to share their stories on the record.
Many folks were shocked to see a legacy newspaper like the Arizona Daily Star covering the industry, but Celaya persisted and continued to receive tips and story ideas from the locals.
Celaya describes the cannabis industry in Arizona as "positively fragile." While the recreational side of the business is trending towards growth in sales and tax revenue, he says the medical program has cratered, and there are a number of theories about why it happened.
In this episode of the podcast, we talk about:
- The state of Arizona's expungement program. (6:40)
- Why Celaya started the Here Weed Go! podcast. (9:30)
- Notable episodes with Lilach Mazor of the Giving Tree Wellness Center in Mesa and Pro-Wrestler Ric Flair. (12:41)
- His personal relationship with the plant. (17:15)
- Interactions with the cannacurious in his personal and professional networks. (20:30)
- The state of the cannabis industry in Arizona. (23:10)
- Dispensaries walking away from medical programs to focus on recreational customers. (27:14)
- The state's lingering black market. (29:20)
- What Arizona can do to shore up the state's industry. (31:12)
- Problems with lab shopping. (35:52)
- Why states should have their own boards of cannabis controls. (38:35)
- Upstart cannabis cafes and lounges in Arizona that operate as private clubs. (46:00)
Please make sure to like, subscribe and share the podcast. You could also help us out by giving the podcast a positive review. Finally, to email the podcast or suggest a potential guest, you can reach David Mantey at [email protected].