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The chemical brothers: Colorado family makes good in medical pot business

Editor’s Note: Jesse and Joel Stanley, along with three of their brothers, began growing marijuana as a family business in 2008, when Colorado passed its medical-marijuana law. With a focus on cancer treatment and pain management, the Stanley brothers now own greenhouses, dispensaries and labs across the state. They also started Realm of Caring, a nonprofit aimed at educating the public about medicinal marijuana and increasing access for patients across the country.

Realm of Caring’s most high-profile work is making Charlotte’s Web, a cannabis-based oil named after a girl with severe epilepsy whose seizures stopped after she began taking it. On this week’s “TechKnow,” contributor and molecular neurologist Crystal Dilworth talks to parents whose children have similarly responded to medical marijuana, goes inside the Stanley brothers’ labs and hears from scientists conducting the first clinical trials of a similar compound in the U.S.

The following was adapted from an interview with “TechKnow.” It has been edited for length and clarity.

JOEL STANLEY: About five years ago I was living in Texas, working in the oil field. My older brother Josh called and said that he (had) started a dispensary in Denver. To be honest, I laughed. I thought it was a joke.

JESSE STANLEY: I laughed. And then (Josh) said, “No, I’m serious.” There’s 11 children in my family. Coming from where we come from — I went to a Christian school my whole life — the first thing you gotta do is talk to your mom about it. She says, oh, “Well, let me get a little more research on it,” and then once she had done that, it was kind of approved with everybody. (They) trusted what we were doing.

JOEL: We’re actually a relatively conservative family. People wouldn’t have guessed that we would be in this. I graduated from a Christian school just a few miles away. But the truth is, we grow plants for sick people. What’s un-Christian about that? What’s liberal or not conservative about that? I think there’s a big misconception about what type of people are in this industry. We’re just normal people who want to help people. We’re really lucky. We get to help a lot of people and make a living doing it. Not many people can say that.

JESSE: The first cancer patient was my cousin Ron. He asked us if we knew anything about hash oil and treating (for) cancer. We did our research and learned that it did help with nausea (as an) appetite stimulant and sleep, which he had a lot of problems with. Once word got out that we were helping with him, a lot of our friends had relatives that had cancer.

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JOEL: You sit with someone who’s going through chemotherapy and they tell you, “I wasn’t eating, I wasn’t able to sleep and I wasn’t able to hold my food down, but now I’m surviving my chemotherapy treatment because I smoked pot and got the munchies.” Once you see it in that light and see that value of it, it begins to change your mind. Our first 30 patients were cancer patients. We pooled our money together and built two little groves — in basements. We were just caregivers then, didn’t have any stores. It was done legally according to Colorado. We sold to local dispensaries wholesale, and that funded the medicine for (our) cancer patients. Out of that, we ended up with stores and big greenhouses and, you know — here we are, five years later.

JESSE: We started from cancer, (and the business) turned into multiple sclerosis. It turned into diabetes. It turned into severe pain. It turned into a lot of different people. We did research on our own to learn (about) CBD (cannabidiol). Nobody had it, at least high levels of it. We had a plant that was already fairly high, so we decided, why don’t we try to make it higher? The studies that we had read (said that CBD) helped stopped the metastasizing of cancer, which is really important for us.

JOEL: We didn’t start this with a ton of money, and we’ve never thought of this like a traditional capitalistic business.

JESSE: When we first started, it wasn’t about making money, because nobody would buy CBD. They call it the “hippie’s disappointment” — you could smoke it all day and you wouldn’t get high. But we still grew it, so much so that it actually hurt our other crops. It wasn’t ever about turning a profit — it was about a specific goal to help people that have cancer. And now it’s about helping children, specifically children with epilepsy.

It wasn’t until Paige Figi came along (that) we learned that it was helping stop the progression of seizures. Paige found us through another friend that was in our program already. She came to us and said, “Hey, my daughter has Gervais syndrome.” We didn’t know what that was. Once we knew, we knew the severe implications of it.

At the time (Paige’s daughter) Charlotte was 5 years old. Joel said, “Hey, there’s this woman who wants to treat her daughter with cannabis.” I said, “You’re crazy. That’s just going to end us right up in jail. Like, we’re already walking that line. This is just gonna push us over the edge, get us all in orange jumpsuits and we’ll be eating slop for the rest of our lives.” But he said, “There’s something to this, and it would be (using) CBD.” Once we started (Charlotte on the CBD treatment) — first day, no seizures. A week went by, still no seizures. So then we knew we were onto something. All that time and preparation into CBD meant that we technically could start treating more epileptic cases.

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SPO Networks, Inc. (SPOI) Acquires Its First Recreational Marijuana Dispensary In Trinidad Colorado

FARMINGTON, AR / ACCESSWIRE / July 14, 2021 / SPO Networks, Inc. (OTC PINK:SPOI) ("SPOI" or the "Company"), a publicly-traded company that is actively exploring potential acquisitions and opportunities in diversified industries, including an established revenue generating waste/recycling subsidiary plus a newly launched medical and recreational cannabis and genetic seed operations entity with the expectation of rapid expansion in the cannabis industry utilizing a proprietary vertical market from cultivation facilities, to wholesale and retail dispensaries, today announced that it has acquired its first recreational marijuana dispensary. The acquisition completes the Company's vertical cultivation & marketing chain of operations.

The Company already owned cultivation sites and has recently entered into a pre-order agreement to deliver of its proprietary strain of certified cannabis seeds to a chain of 10 third party dispensaries in Colorado. Now the Company will be going Direct To Consumer (DTC) via it first wholly owned retail dispensary, to sell its proprietary brands.

Tom Smith, the Company's CEO & Founder, said: "This is an exciting move forward to roll out our "hub and spoke" plan in Colorado. Having our genetic seed operation kicking off and our first dispensary under contract with two more dispensaries, one medical the other recreational in que along with two additional cultivation operations, we are executing our plan on schedule.

This acquisition is only our first of more to come as we plan to continue to increase our share of the U.S. legal recreational cannabis market which is expected to reach $42 billion by 2026.[1] Industry reports show that the number of cannabis consumers is… expected to grow in the United States so that by 2025 the country is projected to have close to 50 million cannabis consumers… and we will take all steps to maximize our ability to reach those consumers."

He continued: "The acquisition of the dispensary in Trinidad, Colorado, requires us to submit the change of ownership applications to the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division for the Trinidad CO dispensary, which we have targeted to do by the end of July. We are looking forward to sharing the details of the purchase after the state confirms the change of ownership."

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SPO Networks, Inc.

SPO Networks, Inc. is actively exploring potential acquisitions and opportunities in diversified industries, including solid waste, scrap metal recycling and demolition with special waste remediation. Additionally, SPO maintains the belief that patients and customers have a right to high quality, economical, and clinically-validated cannabis products. Towards this, SPO aims at medical and recreational cannabis and genetic seed operations with the expectation of rapid expansion in the cannabis industry. SPO is developing its cultivation facilities for extraction operations, wholesaling of cannabis and cannabis extracts in Colorado to licensed retailers and wholesalers. Eventually, the goal is to expand to retail product manufacturing and dispensary operations in several states, allowing SPO to offer a pricing strategy that will be attractive to consumers large and small.

For more information, please go to: https://www.spoinow.com.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS:

This press release contains forward-looking statements as defined within Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These statements relate to future events, including our ability to raise capital, or to our future financial performance, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance, or achievements to be materially different from any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements since they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which are, in some cases, beyond our control and which could, and likely will, materially affect actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. Any forward-looking statement reflects our current views with respect to future events and is subject to these and other risks, uncertainties and assumptions relating to our operations, results of operations, growth strategy and liquidity. We assume no obligation to publicly update or revise these forward-looking statements for any reason, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future.

Bloomberg

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