Chronic Risk Podcast

Tune in to the NCRMA Chronic Risk Podcast for expertise, updates, and resources from leaders in the cannabis industry.

Chronic Risk Episode 1: Risk Protection with Alex Hearding


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The National Cannabis Risk Management Association (NCRMA) has appointed Alex Hearding, a scientist and cannabis industry veteran, as its first Chief Risk Management Officer. Hearding’s role will include the introduction of a cannabis risk protection model and the development of a suite of educational offerings exclusively for NCRMA members. The first phase of this comprehensive syllabus will include training and certifications in the areas of cannabis occupational health and safety, becoming an internal risk manager, cannabis business failure modes and effects analysis and disaster planning. NCRMA provides a rapidly growing membership with pioneering and innovative risk management and insurance solutions through its expansive list of high-value service partners and offerings. Founded in 2018, the not-for-profit has established itself as the leader in providing cost-effective and comprehensive non-traditional risk management solutions to the non-traditional cannabis market.


Chronic Risk Episode 2: Transform The Expertise And Understanding of The Cannabis Industry with Jessica Velazquez


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Transform the expertise and understanding of the cannabis industry with Jessica Velazquez, President of Indiva Advisors. Indiva’s mission is to transform the expertise and understanding of the evolving cannabis industry into innovative, value-added solutions for their clients, their business partners, and their community. Indiva assisted business owners and c-suite executives in achieving their goals by providing guidance on tax and general business matters. They’ve worked with closely held businesses, as well as publicly-traded multinationals across a variety of industries, including gaming, retail, and manufacturing. Jessica Velazquez is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in Illinois & Nevada and Managing Partner of Indiva Advisors LLP. Jessica assists business owners to navigate through unique accounting, tax, and financial industry challenges. She guides c-suite executives to achieve their goals by providing guidance on tax and general business matters. She brings with her a wide array of experience, working with closely-held businesses as well as publicly-traded multinationals, across a variety of industries such as gaming, retail, and manufacturing. Jessica hails from traditional business, having worked for public accounting firms PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young, as well as In 2013, Jessica started her own practice with an emphasis on income tax planning and strategic business consulting for closely held companies. After identifying a gap for qualified professionals in the cannabis industry, she sought advice from state and federal oversight boards and realized that her past experiences gave her the ability to understand the needs of both large and small, and decided to take the leap. Jessica is Indiva Advisors’ main authority in 280E and general tax matters for individuals, partnerships, and corporations. She is responsible for representing clients in federal audit and collection cases and has a wealth of experience with state and local tax matters. She enjoys problem-solving and working with clients to achieve their tax and business goals.


Chronic Risk Episode 3: The Insurance Solution For The Cannabis Industry with David Kennedy

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The Insurance solution for the cannabis industry with David M. Kennedy, Esq. from Purple Risk Insurance Services. Purple Risk’s mission is to provide superior insurance and risk management solutions to current and prospective clients in the legal cannabis industry by coupling tailored seed to sale insurance coverage and risk mitigation services while maintaining enduring relationships with our insurance industry markets. David M. Kennedy, Esq., is an insurance broker and attorney with over fifteen years of experience working with clients in risk management, coverage analysis, litigation, product development, and claims consulting. Passionate about innovation, insurance, and the plant, he launched Purple Risk to bring custom risk solutions to the cannabis industry. Their team of advisors is comprised of a diverse group of innovators with a broad depth of knowledge and experience in risk management, insurance, and legal and compliance counseling to highly-regulated industries including the cannabis industry. The name of the company is inspired by carefully cultivated cannabis with a deep purple hue that is affectionately called “purps”. Renowned for high quality, potent yields known to help a myriad of health conditions from anxiety to insomnia to pain relief, the purple cannabis family includes Indica dominant varieties such as Purple Urkle, GDP, and Purple Kush. Purple Risk is dedicated to cultivating best-in-class cannabis insurance coverage and risk management services for our clients’ unique business needs to help relieve the anxiety of, and exposure to, risks associated with the rapidly growing cannabis industry.

Chronic Risk Episode 4: The Next Generation Of Cannabis-Related Businesses with Troy Dayton


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The next generation of cannabis-related businesses with Troy Dayton of The Arcview Group. At The Arcview Group, they believe that business is the most powerful platform for political change and that the development of a responsible, profitable, and politically-engaged legal cannabis industry will be the single biggest factor in hastening the day when not a single adult in the world is punished for this plant. With deep industry experience, The Arcview Group has ushered in the next generation of cannabis-related businesses with The Arcview Investor Network, Arcview Market Research, Canopy, Cannasure Insurance Services, and other ground-breaking ventures. Cannabis is the next great industry.

Chronic Risk Episode 5: Risk Management in Cannabis

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Risk Management in Cannabis with Brenda Powell Wells. Brenda holds both a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Ph.D. in Risk Management and Insurance from the University of Georgia. She also holds the Charter Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and Accredited Advisor of Insurance (AAI) designations. Brenda completed her Ph.D. in 1992 and spent 17 years teaching risk management and insurance in Texas. In 2009 she moved to East Carolina University (ECU) to build new risk management and insurance program. She presently serves as the director of that program and is the Robert F. Bird Distinguished Professor of Risk and Insurance. During her career, she has taught Principles of Insurance, Risk Management, Commercial Liability Insurance, Commercial Property Insurance, Insurance Company operations, Employee Benefits and Retirement Planning, and Senior Topics in Finance. She has also supervised countless internships and independent study projects.

Chronic Risk Episode 6: Standardization of Cannabinoid Medicine

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Standardization of Cannabinoid Medicine with Brad Hunt, President of ADVENT Academy. Along with cannabis legalization have come anxious and eager patients looking to healthcare experts for answers to all their cannabis-related questions. Any healthcare practitioner knows how uncomfortable it is to not have scientifically-backed and medically focused answers for patients. The overarching issue is that patient access to cannabis medicine has preceded the education of healthcare professionals in the field. The solution is to train healthcare professionals in cannabis and cannabinoid medicine so that patients continue to have access to knowledgeable and trustworthy providers. The AC Clinics, putting patients first in legal medical cannabis markets means providing them with experts who can support them. Medical cannabis laws vary from country to country worldwide, and from state to state in the US.

Chronic Risk Episode 7: Brand Development in Cannabis

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Brand development in cannabis Meghan Lynch, CEO of Six-Point Creative. Six-Point Creative is a brand development agency with a special focus on working with second-stage companies. Their Solve for why the program is designed to help companies navigate the very specific demands of the “second stage” in their business’s life cycle — and achieve a next-stage vision. Six-Point’s process starts with deep listening and strategy, includes methods of employee education and engagement to increase buy-in and success, and then follows with a proven creative process that builds authentic brand identities informed by our clients’ values, personality, and aspirations.

Chronic Risk Episode 8: Branch Benefits Consultants 

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Branch Benefits Consultants with Rachel Rizzi, VP Sales and Marketing and Rena Trodick, Cannabis Insurance Sales Executive. Like many independent insurance agencies, the story of Branch Benefits Consultants begins with a seed planted generations before its current stature. In the wake of his father’s passing, Aubrey Branch discovered first-hand the impact that proper life insurance, or lack thereof, can have on a family when it is needed most, particularly in the African American community. He spent the next decade dedicated to helping as many families as possible to ensure their protection through the placement of life insurance.

Chronic Risk Episode 9: Scalable Living Soil 

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Scalable Living Soil with Cassandra Maffey of Force Of Nature LTD. Recently named one of the Top 50 Women in Cannabis by HighTimes Magazine, Cassandra Maffey has over 20 years of cultivation leadership experience within regulated cannabis markets across the United States and Europe. She pioneered the Scalable Living Soil Cultivation system, which produces award-winning cannabis in commercial-scale gardens worldwide.

Chronic Risk Episode 10: The Effective Combination of Captive Insurance and Risk Management 

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The Effective Combination of Captive Insurance and Risk Management for the Cannabis Industry with Ian Stewart. Today we are joined by someone who can provide us insight into the legalization of cannabis and risk management. Our guest is Ian Stewart, a partner with the Wilson Elser law firm. Ian has defended complex litigation in state and federal courts for more than 20 years with a focus on product liability, complex general casualty, cannabis law, transportation and marine claims, data privacy and security, and intellectual property litigation. Ian is co-chair of the firm’s Cannabis Law practice.

"There is no more neutrality in the world. You either need to be part of the solution or you will be part of the problem." - Eldridge Cleaver

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