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John Monopoly Special


About John

John Monopoly is a well-known hip hop talent scout and manager. He is a former member of the old-school Chicago prep-school krewes, “Hilltop” & “The Outcasts”. Monopoly once served as Manager for Time Exposure as well as co-promoting underground hip-hop events with Dave Dred, and Chicago Graf legend Avon under the moniker “WTTW” [Word 2 Tha Wise]. In addition, Monopoly has served as an A&R rep at Violator Management and as an executive at Jive Records, he played a key role in signing rap blue-chip prospect DirtbagMiamiRapper. Monopoly also teamed with DJ Whoo Kid on a joint venture with Koch Entertainment to distribute Rewind DVD Magazine as well as form The Shadyville DJ Coalition.

Monopoly also runs management firm, Hustle Period. Included among Hustle Period’s past and present clients are Kanye West, Shawnna, Naledge, GLC (rapper), Carl Thomas, and producer No I.D. Hustle Period officially began in August 1999 after Monopoly and VP Reno Dinero had been successful throwing house parties in their Navy Pier apartment in Chicago. Hustle Period started between founders, John Monopoly, Datu Faison and Don C, Kanye’s Road manager. John has recently ventured into nightlife by opening Chicago’s newest exclusive member’s club, Boutique, etc.

John Monopoly Special | Hempire

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Pete 0:00
We’re back at another episode of hempire Pete Bahrenburg. Again, I’m here with Nick DeFrancesco, CEO and host of pure Well, I’m also here, Nick, what a couple of special people how you doing today?

Nick 0:12
I’m good, I’m good. Of course you’re gonna tell me we got a loaded Jonas, let me go, we got, oh,

Pete 0:18
we actually are dealing with the bonafide hustler himself, John monopoly. And he’s here along with two pioneers, not just to the industry, but entrepreneurs themselves in the cannabis field. We’re talking about me and M one one half Dead Prez. How’re you guys doing today?

Umi 0:33
Yeah, super.

M-1 & Umi 0:36
Thank you for having us. Thank you guys.

Pete 0:39
Thank you guys for making the time. We appreciate it.

Umi 0:42
salutely That’s what we do.

Nick 0:43
So let’s just kind of get into a John. I mean, obviously, you’ve worked with some of the biggest rappers out there. Kanye West, Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliott, now you’re in the cannabis space to create something that supports those people who have been targeted and convicted of their use of cannabis. Of course, it’s near and dear to our hearts. Tell me more about how you came to this project and how you m one and Oume are in this together.

John Monopoly 1:07
So I met him some years ago, maybe I don’t know three or four years ago when I was working with Kanye and was brought on by Kanye to consult on his presidential election and we just became friends because you know we were rocking together and you know working together and you know when you’re in close quarters you know you get a mutual respect for somebody based on their skill set. I think he respected my skill set and vice versa. I saw how he was adding value to my brother’s business and you know, always wanted to do something with them. So you know when he came at me years later, and you know, it was like yo to work on something together I jumped at the opportunity based on our relationship and based on me always wanting to do continued work together. And yeah, that’s how we connected and I’ve been with them I got on this year and it’s been amazing

Nick 2:04
I’m gonna Rome is a big supporter of the welding project that is working to get cannabis prisoners pardon. You match to 30,000 pledge the mission green of course cannabis race. Cannabis radio listeners know all about when when Weldon Angeles How do you? How did urban aroma and Weldon project get together?

M-1 & Umi 2:25
To add on to your last question? John is a fine connoisseur of cannabis. So yes, we worked together with Kanye West, but more so we have a mutual understanding of what cannabis is as a phenomenon. The same way hip hop music and culture phenomenon. Cannabis is phenomenal and and John more than understood that space. I knew his connections in that space. And I knew that they would be invaluable bringing the type of light and energy from the community that celebrates cannabis and has all through culture and put it in the right light. So I just wanted to give you know him kind of like you know that back as that is the mutual respect that I have for Mr. John monopolies on to Weldon Angelo’s. We were introduced to Weldon because of our work urban aroma not only being a place for culture, and cannabis, but activism. We, me and myself, I’ve been all over the world for 20 some odd years trying to age myself but closely trying to change people’s opinion about how we see the world about rights and about just how we feel about each other. And we know that cannabis has been the thing in the room, that tide binds with a lot of good and important people, you know, a lot of important connections have been made over a joint. And that’s true. And with that being said, we recognize Weldon as a mover and shaker in that space. He is you know, creating Michigan green came out of his personal experience that you said, you know, well then, you know he was incarcerated behind cannabis, you know that the where he stands is pushing the envelope, especially in the political space. He’s confronting politicians and people in office to put exactly their money where their mouth is and do what they said they will do Biden and wish he’s he went to meet with Biden recently. You know what I mean? On behalf of us, I think people need to know, he’s that kind of champion, and that’s why we want to be involved with them and do that kind of work. So yeah, I don’t know.

Umi 4:44
No, I mean, and it doesn’t it doesn’t stop there either. Right. I think when you talk about just us being in the position to be changemakers I think that’s what we kind of gravitated towards doing music, trying to put out I’m here to the street and, and activate people. And so I think that the mission green is something that you can touch and see, right. But I mean, we’re on the street daily. And what we try to do is give back, I think when you talk about cannabis instead of right, you know, you have a culture is a community there, and then there’s politics. So, surrounding the planet, I think when you look at it in a three dimensional light, is the proper way to look at it. So urban aroma wants to kind of forge this new way to look at it, and stop and stop just making it a capitalistic moment. That’s what that’s what the government is really trying to do. So I think together, and with John’s, you know, awesome leadership, you know, I think we, we can forge this voice, and speak on behalf of a whole lot of people, you know,

Pete 5:52
that has to be done, for sure. Because unfortunately, you know, everybody’s a little too quiet about it. And the situation has gotten way out of hand now. And we got to really start, like, you know, in the community start that local kind of grassroots, and that’s how you’re going to kind of expand outwards, you’re never going to start from the top down, you got to go inside out.

Nick 6:10
And you know, and again, this is why we’re doing the show, because there’s so many people don’t even understand that they don’t understand the fight and the struggle that’s going through from the streets all the way up to the top. And And again, this is what we’re here to do educate and understand the trials and tribulations of not just your aches and pains, but why people are trying to get this legalized, we’re trying to get people pardoned, that it’s not that big of a deal for certain, you know, it’s just, it’s insane what’s going on right now. And that’s why we’re so excited to have you guys on here to talk about it to be honest with you, because we’re getting it from a different point of view. And, you know, okay, so let’s talk about, you know, let’s talk about some Biden, let’s talk about a couple of things. And one, you signed a letter along with 150 artists to s President Biden, to pardon all of those in jail for marijuana offenses. And when you said you wanted to see how far Biden would go on this promise, this is a test. Let’s see what happens. Now. Nothing happened. So what’s the next step?

M-1 & Umi 7:13
If you put all your eggs in the Democratic Democratic Party’s basket, that’s that is upsetting? I’d have not I’m proud, pardon me, I’m still the same one from deadpans that I was as a revolutionary. I don’t support the Democratic Party, I do understand the tool of using the democratic process. So I didn’t think that Biden was going to do jack shit, but more than more than me, well then got a little baby. He got Drake, he got Lou Gotti he got um, come on, like that itself to get like the mainstream artists to speak on that, that in itself that mattered more than than them talking to Biden, because I don’t think little babies invested in the Democratic Party either. So Sean, you know, the people, but I could be wrong, he might run for president.

Pete 8:14
One interesting campaign. That’s

Nick 8:19
why you know, and I think it’s true, though, getting that awareness out. I meant to say it’s frustrating because we hear time and time and time I say it every single time. It’s falling on deaf ears, I say this narrative every single show we have, but it’s the fact that you think Democrat, Republican, that’s not really, it’s, you know, all the same. It’s all really the same, let’s be real. It’s just the fact of the something happening, right? Something changing whatever side you’re on. And the fact of you’re talking about a plant that helps so many people out in this world, no deaths that are related to it on just, you know, from athletes, to a housewife to an older person, to a child. I mean, everybody brings Well, actually, it’s kind of funny what you said, cannabis brings a lot of people together from a lot of different life spaces, right? different demographics, different races, different, it doesn’t matter. I mean, a lot can be done over a joint, right? No, but no, but it’s true. There’s so many people you can connect with on cannabis and really have no other you know, similarities to that person, you know, and just say, you know, we can both agree or we can all agree that cannabis is should be the future of a lot of medical conditions of a lot of different ways without side effects, but also that it helps Oregon embraces the idea of social equity driven cannabis. What is the end goal when you talk the talk about being social equity driven? What would you take it for this project to compete? That mission?

Umi 9:57
Let me do it. Let me throw this at you real quick. And this is like a real passionate thing of ours because, you know, coming up, me and him were avid smokers Right? And, and me legacy operated from day 119 96 Or something like that’s, that’s real talk. So, and I mean, I was forced to use the plant to advocate to economically put myself in position to eat, because of basically I was not going to slave for for $1. And what they want us to do as black men is crazy. So because of our define the, quote unquote, law at that time, we were harassed. I mean, I can’t tell you smoking a joint in the hood in 19, from 1992, to about 2012. It was all bad. They were using it as a vise to lock up black men, especially to just throw us in this system. And to use that later to come up with this three strike shit. So even when we talk about releasing prisoners, that’s on cannabis, you got to go further than just that one. Crime. If you got two or three strikes, and there were two strikes, that was cannabis, cannabis oriented, that third strike, you should be retracted, you should come home. And like it’s a whole bunch of shit going on that this is so personal to us. And so when you talk community that’s been manipulated, and then ostracized based on the plant that they’re now trying to say it’s legal, and it’s all good. Fuck that. This is not the right that’s not the right step. And you’re and you’re belittling all of these, these people that you put through chaos. And so now, because we have a platform we’re shining with. And when you say what’s the next step, the next step is to keep stepping. Like, that’s all we can do. Like we’re not make no a lot of smack, gotta make noise. That’s it. We have to make noise, but we do it in a real organized way. And we also do it in a way that goes back to the community. Everything that we do is for some, for somebody that’s bigger than us. It’s not for us, per se, but shit, maybe it’s for my daughter that’s coming, you know what I’m saying? And if I can put the proper perspective out there about what cannabis really is about plant medicine wise, then we have to now start looking at why the government is doing what they’re doing as it relates to regulation. Cannabis should be like aspirin, it should be open. It really shouldn’t be I

Nick 12:29
mean, yeah, I’m agreeing with you. 100% agreeing with you.

Umi 12:33
Right, so So I mean, so the passion is, I mean, you know, we say urban aroma, because it’s a directory that we’re trying to put the proper perspectives on the plant medicine, but at the same time, this is something that’s internally in our heart, because we suffered from this shit, like, you know, I’m saying, I can’t tell you how many times this dude went to jail, because we were smoking in the fucking car. You know, I

M-1 & Umi 12:56
mean, I want to just add on to this and throw this to John because, you know, social equity and all these cold words that have developed for cannabis, which used to be called weed and

M-1 & Umi 13:13
but it’s about turning the system right side up, you know what I mean? I think it’s an upside down system that’s being turned right side up to what that does is give the legacy operators and the people who slaved and paid the price for the ability to be the owners and controllers of our own destiny and fate and re wire all this political madness that untangles the whole thing. So, you know, you know, again, there’s so many examples of how that can happen. But I think you know, what’s happening in New York City, what Mayor Eric Adams sees, and the statements that he makes, which are contrary to what’s going on in higher government because he knows look, local government in New York City benefits like a motherfucker from cannabis. And will I’m not talking about

Nick 13:58
a lot of places.

M-1 & Umi 14:01
Exactly. So you know, social equity has, you know, some of these really bright spots like the pack that John is wearing is from our Harrington brand, Viola when the biggest one of the biggest black cannabis brands and you know, who is spreading out the idea about cannabis not just having to be a grower or having to be a seller but so many places in the economy in between and Allah has been leading that space and and I don’t know John, maybe you want to speak to kind of like how you see out or that relationship as social equity you know, if they I hope I’m not putting you on the spot with that.

John Monopoly 14:38
I mean, I was company Highland den parent who had this grand battle so continues old as the largest black owned cannabis brand cannabis company. And what they’re doing is amazing, and what how we’re working with them, and kind of connecting us as a crew or union of people of color in the cannabis Ace is important, so that we can grow together and learn from one another and benefit one another’s businesses and support one another. And yeah, I mean, they have a lot going on, that’s amazing in the space, just like open enrollment does. And happy to be working with the company. You know, these brothers, only an M, are so respected in the culture, that it’s just, you know, it’s perfect to align myself with, with somebody like them. And it’s really, it’s really an honor to be down. We’re tying it all together.

M-1 & Umi 15:39
And that’s what we need.

Pete 15:41
Well, yeah, like you said, it is, it is definitely a learning process. Because as, as people know, certain specific skills or maybe certain, I don’t know, maybe categories of the plant, or different applications for it, you’re not going to learn these ideas until you kind of sit around and kind of share and, you know, maybe smoke something here or there too, while you’re doing it. But yeah, you’re going to learn from each other. And that’s going to help, you know, create a better narrative for, you know, getting this out there on a broader scale.

Umi 16:09

Nick 16:10
You know, it’s funny, we’ve been trying to, you know, obviously, we’ve got this podcast empire, pure wealth has been around for him. And I’ve been in cannabis for a long time. I mean, obviously, partaking, but being part of business for about 10 years, have our own farms out in Pueblo in California that we grow. Now, I’m always on the other side of the among the hemp side, because a lot of the problems that were were having with cannabis, I could sell into all 50 states, I could worry about banking, I could do all these things. But it was really the education of understanding why this plant was beneficial. And it wasn’t just about, listen, there’s nothing wrong about smoking weed, I’m just saying, but when we’re trying to get it to work up to a mainstream level, we got to bring something else. So we always push forward with education or the benefits of the plant or trying to get the right people behind it. And it doesn’t matter black, white, orange, purple, blue, it doesn’t really matter. Again, that green brings everybody together. But it’s the it’s the narrative of every different direction we’re trying to go. I mean, look at the way you’re trying to do it from back in the day, the way we’re trying to do it the way the athletes are trying to do it. The way the pilots I mean, it’s just it’s just crazy. And everybody’s trying to push for the same narrative. We’re coming at it from so many different directions.

M-1 & Umi 17:25
I want to add on because I don’t want you to miss I want to the point that you’re making it’s so incredible. When you talk about athletes, we made a connection with the incredible Isaiah Thomas and don’t know the work that he’s with one world pharma and CBD and hemp so like he’s you know, the biggest grow of hemp and south and South America. And so yet it’s like not just to see this only as plant medicine. He’s forming machine parts with hemp to replace parts in vehicles. I mean, there’s so many ways to go with this the congress this is

Pete 18:07
totally wild.

Nick 18:08
And you’re worried about smoking weed on the street? You’re like

Nick 18:18
how do we get them in there? No, this is gonna be making parts on a call one day give me some shit for smoking some weed. Like

Umi 18:28
not Not to mention that if you grow hexameter of of hemp you clean the air Yeah, like it’s it’s a certain amount of hexameter it’s a certain amount of square miles but you clear the air I mean, like it’s so many so many things. I mean, talking about gonna take over plastic talking about you know, we can make clothes is so much this may be the most important plant on the earth.

Pete 18:56
All the shit that I talk about, they want to fix one thing down, they can do. I mean, you know,

Nick 19:05
you know, and it was funny. We’re talking about New York and of course, former Governor Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo signed the bill to get cannabis legalized in New York State on the way out now. Chuck Schumer is pushing hard to get federal legalization passed. Why is that New York Mayor Eric Aaron Adams just connected with the leaders in Albany MDC. I mean that’s what we’re seeing a lot of a lot of disconnection state statewide city wide. Obviously federal wide.

Umi 19:36
Yeah, Mayor Adams he real slippery. First of all, let’s start there. He’s He’s, he’s a salamander. He lives slippery. So like he wants to be in every room and he wants to be liked by everyone. I had lunch with Mayor Adams and I’m gonna tell you when he was with me, he was a criminal. You know what I’m saying? So he told me

Pete 20:04
To change real quick.

Umi 20:07
So, so depending on the room that he’s in, he’s going to change his disposition and His politics. And he, I mean, it’s weird because he’s saying exactly the opposite of what the state is saying. And, and I think, I think is strategic on his part. Right. But it’s very confusing for, you know, anybody in this space. And I think that’s, you know, that’s, you know, that’s his, that’s his style, like, three. But don’t take him serious, man, don’t take him serious.

M-1 & Umi 20:36
I gotta say this about the federal government. You know, that’d be rockin, he may never understand how to juice cannabis correctly. But the cities, the states are overwhelmed with the benefits of what cannabis can bring to the community. Yeah. So on a federal level, they haven’t figured out how to make the fruit in the juice. And on a local level, we already Jewson is good over a year. So. So you know, I think it behooves us to have this United solid voice, the power to the people of the people to change the tune of people going up with and again, it’s hard to come up because these guys don’t hear very well. But with a united voice, that we begin to say, what matters, and how are we going to act about it no matter what. And even if that means civil, civil disobedience, which already we’ve been doing, I mean, that’s why we are Lego legacy operators, because we operate in in a time when we were criminalized, but lo and behold, this is a heroic project. Right? This is right, just as mighty. Van. So we it’s on us to unite our voice as legacy operator. And, you know, that’s what urban aroma is doing, creating a kind of platform that can engage people, and do that in that kind of way. You know what I mean? Like, okay, yes, unite this works. Let’s make it make sense. You know what I mean? So I don’t really know what to say about the federal government, most of the time I say,

Pete 22:06
I was gonna say, welcome as well. So

Nick 22:10
when you say when it’s a close quarter market, that’s just how it’s always been. So when the government six years figuring it, they got to be recognized, they have to be recognized that first, I’m not hearing enough about the culture. I’m not hearing about a lot about what people really started to do this Amerock again, it brings all different types of people together for a lot of different reasons. But is it? Is it really harming anybody? I mean, is it okay that maybe somebody shouldn’t be prosecuted as much as they were? Because of marijuana? I mean, is it okay that people want to use it because they’ve been, you know, been in a car accident, have degenerative diseases have some type of anxiety, or, you know, epilepsy or all these types of things, or maybe they just want to chill out because gas prices are out of fucking control. And country is in mass hysteria, and they just want to chill out with their friends and their family or just by themselves. So it’s just, it’s insane. What we’re going through to have to, to have to do this, and

Pete 23:09
your body and take care of your mindset or your life well being. I mean, yeah, it’s really a bit fucking ridiculous. I agree.

Nick 23:15
I’m gonna look at the complex we’re talking about for someone that just doesn’t want to be on something that has side effects. It doesn’t want to be on someone that you know, I mean, seriously. I mean, you know, we’re talking a lot of athletes. And we’ve talked to a lot of different people on the show. And all of them are saying, it’s nice, the NFL is changing their tune. NHL kind of turns the other way. Even they’re testing positive. You know, you want to see, of course, we just talked to somebody from UFC. And again, it’s the same thing with it’s really the same thing. Everybody’s saying, I found this out myself, because nobody really told me or I was in cannabis before. And you know, we said cannabis, you’re right, we said we, the reason why we say cannabis now is because there’s so many different arms to it. And because there is a hemp side, there is a marijuana side, there is an industrial side. And cannabis is kind of like the big cat, you have lions and you got tigers, but people need to understand that there’s a difference between hemp and marijuana, or why we use hemp for industrial reasons. And, and it’s not just like, what people think we’re selling on the streets or in dispensaries. You know, people are using them for clothes and ropes and things like this. So cannabis is the clinical term. And I think that’s why it’s migrated to kind of give it a little bit more respect. But I mean, I hear you of course, we always say we

M-1 & Umi 24:35
think Big Pharma ought to give it that much respect. If anybody is going to give it the respect. It’s going to be Big Pharma. They’re the people with the lobbyists in DC. Trying to keep that thing on lock. So we don’t see this as plant medicine. So don’t be legitimately legitimately on the shelves like aspirin. So you know, I just got to put that out there. Like, we get lobbyists as big as Big Pharma. We might not never see cannabis As a schedule a so called job when I’m saying

Pete 25:05
all this you’re scared of it they know the power what it can do so they gotta keep it at bay

Umi 25:12
either they’re not even putting the property like America’s the research capital of the world like everything is about going in these labs and figuring out some shit they haven’t even properly spent the money to research the plant medicine to really really talk about it you get these this bullshit talking about you know driving and while smoking like they treat it like it’s liquor all of a sudden it’s like first of all some some marijuana actually activates your sense. It actually makes you more cute you know some some marijuana actually, those of you that and like, you know, there’s different levels to this shit. And then everybody THC was consumed differently based on math based on weight based off, there’s a whole lot of shit and they’re not even.

Nick 25:57
Oh, I like that. That’s exactly right. That’s exactly right.

Umi 26:03
So we take offense to it, man, we take offense to they just pass these laws in New York about how you can actually sell crime. And the shit is ridiculous. Like they at first they came with a stop sign, it was like a red stop sign. warning symbol. Luckily, we had some people that was voting, you know, in that in that committee, and they voted that down. But this still is ridiculous. Like they just putting shit on the package based on what they feel right what they think and not and not what they know. And so it was problematic or trying

M-1 & Umi 26:37
to regulate packaging, based off legs, not consulting with the legacy market. You know, we know what works. We know how to deliver the cannabis to the people, we might know in four years time, you know what I mean? Don’t try to tell us how this should look and feel and be. I mean, you know, of course, we’re open to ideas. But again, we meaning the people on this call should be leading these conversations.

Nick 27:02
And then I’ll tell you what you say so well, let me get back to one point because I just want to let you guys know, and I’m sure you guys already know, big pharma I came from pharmaceuticals. Now not Big Pharma. I was a natural pharmaceutical company. So very different. But they Big Pharma spends 10 times more lobbying money just to keep cannabis down, just for the things you just talked about. So obviously, when I got out of cat, when I got out of pharmaceuticals, I was in the medical space again, I was in natural. So it wasn’t, I wasn’t, again, I would never work for the Pfizer’s of the world and all that it was never me. But I’m just saying I wasn’t a natural pharmaceutical. And when I started to be introduced to the fact that we could mix cannabis with natural molecules to make it even better, I jumped on the opportunity to to start that with pure oil and everything like that. And that’s kind of why pure oil came to where we are now. But it’s just funny, because some of the things that we’re talking about, of why shouldn’t it be a certain way, or it’s because it’s being kept down. And, and it’s, I mean, studies been going on in Israel since 1960. And we have tons of information on studies. But, you know, you said something about the packaging, I will talk about the packaging, one thing, the packaging on the fact of how to take it dosing. There’s a lot of people that even come on this show that said, I didn’t know how to dose it. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to say it. So there are a lot of people that are doing that. But I liked the part of the packaging. Now again, this is different cannabis and in my side of hand, but what’s in the products, like we’re not talking about that I’m talking about regulation, like making sure that the product is pesticide free, or it has what it says it has in it or, you know, certified organic or whatever, whatever the you know, the thing is, is that I do agree with what what you’re talking about is ridiculous. I’m not your time. I mean, what you’re saying how they’re labeling. So I do I’m always just trying to play devil’s advocate. I’m not you know,

Umi 29:01
you’re right, you’re right, you know, we have some spaces that you know that we’ve been able to bless with and and we’ve you know, we have edibles and I think it’s so important that you have the ingredients listed that you have that you have the proper information that’s needed. I mean, and like you said there’s is a lot of newbies, this has become this now legal right so now people who have who have doubted the plant and people that felt this, you know, extremely uncomfortable because it was coded legal, illegal. Now they’re trying to get into it. So yeah, I do think there has to be directions and instructions, of course, but we just have to do it right. You know, and we have to do the research so that we know how to do it, you know,

M-1 & Umi 29:44
no, no only said the advent of the cannabis testing labs. And the rise of that is we are on the precipice of that. Next you will see us being able to test in a uniform way, the product that’s being delivered to us so we can give the right ingredients and dosing on the packaging and not 100% agree with you around all of that I’m 100% United, but I do know that what’s next and implanting this in the brain of the next entrepreneurs out there is that we need laboratories, United laboratories on behalf of the people, not government controlled labs, that can give us results that can be

Nick 30:22
uniform, some of the things that we do like personally, because we do we, we go directly to doctors and healthcare professionals. That’s how like, that’s where pure welds mission is. And we do custom formulation. So we literally have to pound down the doors of doctors to do little studies in their, in their offices have to see results. Now we can’t do federal stuff. But what we can do is have these doctors do these little mini case studies in their office or anecdotal research or what their patients are saying, because the bottom line is, is that there are so many, there are ton of Neues, there’s so many people that doubt the plant. And what it does is again, it’s just weed, it’s gonna get you high, I can’t see the benefits because there’s a CBD store on every street corner. And there’s cannabis on every and everybody wants their medical marijuana cards. And I never went to school for this. So I don’t know how to dose it and all this stuff. And, and the truth is, is that so we have to do that. And we’re going into doctors every single day. And we’re saying, look, what do you want to do? Do you really want to help your patients of why you became a doctor? Or are you giving them a pharmaceutical that gives them side effects that we have to create another pharmaceutical to give you to get rid of that second side effect that you just gave him what the first one, you could have just gave them cannabis and 459 different modalities that we have on record, it’s going to help them. And you know, we’re not going to talk about the big words, we’re not going to talk about all the things that we don’t really want to say. But yeah, there’s things about cancer in there. There are things about, you know, a lot of different major problems that people have. So why are we trying to criminalize something or criminalize the people about just because they want to feel better now again, just just just smoking, it’s fine to again, it’s still mental health, it’s still relaxing, I mean, it’s still getting through with your day or, or after your day, I should say, or whatever. And feeling better of whatever you’re going on. But there are a lot of benefits. And again, I just I do want to go back to something because I did ask you, you made a quote that said this is this is a close quarters market, that it’s just how it’s always been. So when the government sticks their fingers in it, they gotta recognize that first, I’m not hearing enough about the culture that’s behind the actual plant. So I wanted to touch a little bit more about that. And I don’t know who wants to speak on that. But it’s it’s a

Umi 32:48
powerful quote. Yeah, man, that’s literally talking about the whole thing. Right, like, right. I mean, you know, I think when you talk about the bottom line of, you know, you know, why are we doing, why are we doing this, right? We have, luckily, we have forged our whole career on moving and shaping the community. I think a lot of that is just because where we live is just full of holes, it’s full of gaps in the shaping is so many obstacles that’s placed in our particular communities purposefully. And so, you know, kind of moving forward, we wanted to, we wanted to kind of switch our voice because we can older rappers, a young man sport, you know what I mean? Except, except for Jay Z. Exactly. I mean, so as we talk about being we were there, in the, in the 90s, when when music mattered, right, when hip hop mattered, right? When we actually, when we brought we broke, like, we drove and was able to breathe life into this thing that everybody disrespected, right? They said that I’m, like, my parents leaving like that should turn this noise, right. No support. I mean, it’s just real, right? It was no support for us. And we stayed at it. We believed in it because it was us. It represented our culture. It was what we really, really live is a lifestyle hip hop, right. And so once we got it, we did it, we provided it. And then it got taken from us. It got it got it got taken by serums. It got to take them like Coca Cola, it got taken by a whole bunch of platforms, and then we no longer control anything in hip hop, the people that created it, like we don’t, we don’t control none of it. And so here we go, even a message not even a fucking message, right? Not even a message, the content is controlled,

Pete 34:47
something else has to take over.

Umi 34:51
That’s right. So now we’ll be moving forward trying to position ourselves in yet another industry, right that we started right that we popularized We put forth all the extra work to make this show because they were saying, Oh, it’s not only is it a taboo, but is illegal, right. And we were able to breathe this life into this into this industry. And now what they want to do is take it from us again. And they want to disregard all of the culture that’s behind it. And that’s and that’s what the capitalistic way is in America. So I’m not shitting on the policies, either. I’m not shitting on the regulations, to a degree, I do understand what you said. And I and I say that, you know, from some fashions, I understand them wanting to regulate the process, right. But you have to do it the right way. And you have to deal with the people that created the industry, you have to look towards us. If not, it’s not going to have no culture in it. It’s going to be it’s going to be absent culture, and it’s going to be all capital capital. And it’s not going to work at that point. And then we’re going to take over, we don’t do what we’re doing. We always did what we do you know what I mean? So I don’t know, I think I think when I talk about a lack of culture, it just starts with the community and the ability for us to kind of pressure for it. You know what I mean?

M-1 & Umi 36:02
I don’t know. I want to add on what when we said, I think, you know, 40 years ago, you know, they were down pressing this plant, to the point that I think, you know, it was so taboo to smoke weed, like we were hiding behind corners. And looking through this paranoia, you understand what I’m saying? Like.

M-1 & Umi 36:28
And this is culture though. The popular without culture, we would definitely not be as popular as I’m not just talking about Peter Tosh and legalize it, but I’m talking about Cypress Hills, and all our homies who put their fucking life on my who kept this thing viable. And so, you know, they we all are big, that plays a huge part in this, we can’t, you can’t negate it, you can’t take it away. Just like when we said it’s close quarters is the fabric of what this means. So therefore, if you’re going to talk about how this goes forward, you have to be able to immerse yourself in that in that part of it. I don’t want to overdo it, or we talk we say what, let me say it because he’s hit it right on the head. But that’s I just have to say that,

Umi 37:13
right? It’s a lifestyle, baby.

M-1 & Umi 37:15
Yeah. Okay.

Nick 37:16
I mean, you couldn’t have said it any better. Jobs being real quiet. He’s, he’s over here. We haven’t really heard too much about from John. So alright, so let me forward this to John. So we’re reading a lot of stories about how legacy cannabis operators see roadblocks and opportunities in New York recreational market. Is there something that urban aroma has on its radar, to not only give opportunities to everyday people, but to those who sold weed in the neighborhoods that want to go legit.

John Monopoly 37:48
I think we want to figure out how to involve any and everybody specifically people of color, but but any and everybody who wants to get involved with the culture. I think we’re open arms. I don’t know if I said that. Right. Oh, man, but that’s

Nick 38:05
perfect. Perfect. And, and that’s the thing is, is that again, I don’t know if everybody really sees it from all different parts of life. And that’s what we’re here to expose, you know, everybody sees everything on a surface level, right? Like, if it’s not in their own eyesight and how they live their life or what they see on a daily basis. Not everybody looks around to see how everybody else is living their life. You know, I mean, that goes with a lot of different things. So I love the fact is, but it is true. I mean, is it is because, for example, down here in Florida, if you want to have a farm, if you want to have a dispensary if you want to have all these things, and let’s say that I mean we live we live in South Florida. We live in Miami, there’s some there’s some there’s some stuff that goes on in Miami on it on a daily Right. So there’s definitely some people who have been in the game a long time. Not not necessarily legit, right? So and so that they have a lot of trash, same color. Exactly. So, but my point is, is that the got the cash, they got everything they did, they got a lot of experience, but there was a lot of things where and they maybe they want to go legit. I mean, there’s people in hemp that I know that have gone from not legit too legit being in hemp. So, but they really blocked it for cannabis. And they made it that, let’s say like, they did hit the money requirements. They just did but fine, or, but they they made it so that people really couldn’t be legit. If they weren’t legit on how they got their money. Like show us where you got your money. Give us a little background. I mean, now let’s be honest, if you’re legit, you’re not really going to the bank around your cash and I mean, so. So what seed bank statements let’s see Eat, where you, you know, just where this has come from, and should have blocked a lot of the market out when I do feel like people really did want to go legit. They didn’t want to do this stuff on the streets anymore. Like they were legitimately looking to say, look, let me have this opportunity in cannabis that, you know, I, I don’t want to do this anymore.

M-1 & Umi 40:21
Yeah, I want to say, you know, we’ve been working with kind of as pioneer, Steve DeAngelo. And there’s an organization called unlock, you know, it’s a unified network of legacy operators, cannabis that’s unlocked. And, you know, which, you know, I think is important, because we’d have to establish how we legitimacy legitimately get into the market. And you’re right, those things become a problem. Nobody wants to come forward and say, I’ve been doing all this criminal activity, and then the government goes, get locked up. Now. You know what I mean? So there has to be an amnesty. That’s actually the first one of the first tenants of understanding what the legacy operators are about. So we can’t go to the government say, look, we got a boatload of cash. Yeah, we’ve been doing this, you know, I’m saying we shouldn’t have to show you where it came from. Because I’m telling you, we’ve been doing this, but we want to bring our money to the bank. Here. We ready to get legit, you can tax this money. We’re letting you know. I mean, this is right. So, you know, we have to be able to have an agreement with the, you know, what the structure is that’s being built that says, Look, we come we come in? Well, we come and trust and saying, You’re not going to criminalize just because we did crammed, didn’t we? Okay, so we dealt with that. So we’re gonna bring our money. And this has to be a way that we can have amnesty for all the things that happened in the past. And we’re gonna start, this is day one, and we move forward. And if we ain’t talking like that, we’re never gonna have a legitimate market. And as a matter of fact, the legacy operators will run right over. That’s right. Whatever is being built. Look at

Umi 41:58
California, this is happening right now. 80% 80% of the market is legacy. 20% is legal, like in terms of revenue, that’s it. And it’s and it’s still making a lot of money at 10% as big but come on, man. Like, we don’t make the same mistakes that they make, like, we don’t have to do that we don’t have those. And I gotta tell you guys, we do have a new take off this year.

M-1 & Umi 42:21
I was gonna say, sorry.

Nick 42:23
Actually, I was gonna say how can listeners get involved with you guys are doing? How can they do that?

M-1 & Umi 42:28
Well look, urban aroma, urban You can find this even at Instagram, if you so socially, you know, connected, urban aroma underscore, under urban or urban aroma underscore. We are connecting, we’re connecting fine purveyors of cannabis, people wanting to be involved in culture. We’re talking to the movers and shakers in cannabis to talk about exactly what the next steps are forward. And that is the platform by which we want to move people toward us. And so urban aroma is that is that it’s more than a directory, you know, with respect to like weed maps, you know, which is a huge behemoth of, you know, can in the cannabis world, you know, we want to also be able to build a component that, of course, injects activism and moves the needle forward. So that’s what urban aroma is about, again, urban That’s how you can find this.

Nick 43:28
Perfect. Absolutely. I’ll definitely get connect, connect with you guys later, see if we could work on something together, you know, you know, I feel like we got a lot in common that we can, you know, get this together. So and that’s what we always like to do. We’re out of time. I would like to hear more about chat and a ton of questions about Kanye and all kinds of stuff. But we got to go. Pete, why don’t you take us out?

M-1 & Umi 43:49
But can we do part two? Maybe, maybe? I don’t know. Let’s go try to

Pete 43:53
that sounds good. Absolutely. We do appreciate your time. Thanks for everything. You can find everything that we’re doing on either Spotify, Amazon, I heart, cannabis And any other place you’d like to watch the podcast, so just make sure you like, subscribe, tell us with anything else. We’re gonna ask any of the guys next time we join them but we do appreciate everything you guys do. And you know, go support movement over at Urban And thanks again, guys. Thank you. Thank you. Yes, stay tuned.

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Frank started training in 1994 with his adoptive brother Ken in “submission fighting”, who was well known as a mixed martial artist. Frank competed throughout the 90’s, being named “Fighter of the Year“ three times, “fighter of the decade” by Wrestling Observer, amassed several titles throughout UFC, Pancrase, WCE, and Strikeforce. 

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