Michael Miller is an International lawyer, journalist, and cannabis thought leader. He is also the co-founder of Medicanna, a global medical cannabis consultancy that has advised numerous companies, lawmakers and government officials on how to scale or strategically grow their investments. Driven by philanthropy and collaboration, Michael strives to inspire others and make this world a better place. Michael joins Maynard on this episode of DANK Discussions to talk about how he is helping governments implement cannabis legislation that is good for the industry and the consumers it serves.
From Stigma to Advocate
First, Michael shares his journey into the cannabis space. As a result of a near fatal car accident, he was on opiates for 20 years. During that time, he went through the entire catalogue of opiate products. In 2015, Michael was rear-ended by someone who was texting and driving. The crash brought back all of his prior his injuries and he felt like he had no alternative healing method other than pills. A friend of his ended up bringing up cannabis and educating Michael about its multiple healing properties.
Up until that time, Mike had no education about cannabis and admit to being very stigmatized. He was raised believing that smoking was bad and weed was only for stoners. He admits to being so against substances that if he had friends in high school that were smokers or drinkers, he would push them away. He also tells me that he never associated with drugs or drinking in college either. After trying cannabis for the first time, Michael became so emotional that he cried. It was the first time he had felt no pain whatsoever in 25 years. After that point, he flushed all of his pills and has been a passionate advocate and lobbyist for cannabis ever since.
When Does the Hippocratic Oath Become the Hypocritical Oath?
Michael began his advocacy journey by helping his parents and their friends at their nursing home get off pretty powerful narcotics. People who are 80 or 90 years old have lived through the worst prohibition as well as the Marijuana Tax Act. These memories are powerful because in their minds, cannabis is associated with heroin and other drugs. Once these people have a degree of knowledge that this is not harmful, they are willing to try. Frankly, many of them are at the point of just wanting to improve their quality of life.
During his 25 years of opiate use, he wishes that a doctor had told him there was an alternative. Most doctors are still not willing to have the “cannabis conversation” with their patients. They won’t want to talk about the synergy between phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids. After Rafael Mechoulam’s discovery of synthesizing the compounds of THC, we now sit on decades of research and doctors no longer have the excuse of saying there have not been enough studies. Michael wonders where this denial turns into negligence.
Medicanna’s Mission to Help Governments Implement Cannabis Legislation
As a lawyer, strategic advisor, and finance overseer, Michael advises companies and governments alike. He consults them on different investments and directs them to implement laws that are beneficial to the industry and consumers. He also advises companies on scaling and strategic growth. In the overly regulated cannabis industry, there has never been greater value than a consultant that can help jump through the multiple hoops of cannabis compliancy. Because of this, lawyers are among the most respected in the industry. With respect to countries, there are almost 50 countries where cannabis is medically legal. Many countries that do not have cannabis legislation in place still need to be educated. Recently, Michael assisted a joint coalition of Colombian lawmakers to amend the Colombian Constitution and draft proposed modified cannabis legislation.
3 DANK Points
- How 25 years on opiates led to a life as a cannabis advocate
- Why legalization would take away power from the black market
- Helping governments implement laws that help the industry and consumers alike