Mastering Cannabis Financing Frontier with Sundie Seefried from Safe Harbor Financial

Join us for an insightful discussion with Sundie Seefried, the visionary leader behind Safe Harbor Financial, a pioneering banking solution for the cannabis industry.

In this episode, Sundie shares her journey into the cannabis space, shedding light on the challenges and innovations that have shaped Safe Harbor’s role as a financial trailblazer.

From dealing with compliance hurdles to the complexities of banking in a cash-intensive industry, Sunniva provides a candid and informed perspective. Discover the exciting developments in Safe Harbor’s lending program and gain insights into the future of cannabis banking, with a focus on compliance, risk mitigation, and the potential impact of legislative changes.

Whether you’re a cannabis enthusiast, industry professional, or curious about the financial intricacies of the evolving cannabis landscape, this podcast offers a unique glimpse into the world of cannabis banking and the visionary leadership steering its course.

Transcript:

00:01 Eric:

This is the Roots to Risk Podcast hosted by Eric Schneider, alongside Isaac Bach. Roots To Risk brings you insights, the latest stories, and long form discussions about the cannabis industry. You’ll hear interviews with industry leaders and their perspective on current and future trends, how they’ve built success and what challenges they have faced. Our goal is to facilitate candid conversations and provide informative content for the cannabis community at large. Let’s go. Hey, Isaac. What’s going on, man?

00:31 Eric:

How are we feeling today?

00:33 Isaac:

I’m good, man. That’s a, that’s a warm welcome this morning. You must be

00:37 Eric:

Feeling good. I know, I know. It’s great to see you smile. It’s great to see your teeth.

00:42 Isaac:

Uh, you know, I have to smile every once in a while.

00:45 Eric:

<laugh>, uh, well, exciting one on deck. We got another episode of Roots to Risk. Uh, really interesting, uh, one on deck with the c e o of Safe Harbor Financial Sundie Siegfried, um, based in Denver, or right outside Denver. Right in your backyard, Isaac. Um, she’s Save

01:06 Isaac:

Me. Me moving here. Good thing

01:09 Eric:

That’s true. Well, you’re not as close to me anymore, which is a, a, a thing that I’m upset about for business. I know, I know. You’re less upset, but Understood. Um, but so digging into to Sundie’s background and her experience, um, you know, forgive me in advance of the length, but she is a, an incredible pedigree. Sundie’s a a 38 year veteran of banking, and with all that experience, she ventured into solving the lack of banking for the cannabis industry back in 2015, uh, almost nine years ago, successfully launching a national platform under Safe Harbor.

01:45 Eric:

Once she had a successful banking program in place, she spent many hours training financial institution, professors, regulators, and state officials on how banking the cannabis industry can be safely done without jeopardizing the safety and soundness of the financial system. She set cannabis banking standards still in practice, and considered the norm for other financial institutions entering the market to provide financial services.

02:09 Eric:

She literally wrote the book on cannabis banking titled Navigating Safe Harbor with her leadership in the banking industry. She opened the door for other financial institutions to enter the market and provide more banking options for the industry. She has since launched Safe Harbor outta the parent organization, Colorado Credit Union, and took the company public on the NASDAQ in 2022. Uh, she truly is a pioneer in her vertical and, and really excited to hear about how she got into the cannabis space.

02:42 Eric:

Um, you know, what her experience has been over the past nine years and what she’s most excited about for the next year or so.

02:50 Isaac:

Yeah, no, I mean, I’m definitely looking forward to hearing her perspective and, uh, given what Safe Harbor does, I think she’s gonna have a lot greater insight, especially with, with all the news that’s going out right now and what’s, you know, actually important for the industry from a banking and compliance standpoint. So, excited to get her thoughts and, uh, you know, learn a little bit about what she’s learned doing all of this over the last nine years.

03:12 Eric:

Absolutely. Well, let’s bring her in. Hey, Sundie, how you doing today? Thanks for joining us on the Roots to Risk Podcast.

03:20 Sundie:

Oh, it’s great to be here. Thanks for having me.

03:23 Eric:

Absolutely. And you know, obviously, you know, very familiar with Safe Harbor Financial and, and what you guys are doing in the space, uh, being a, a banking solution, uh, to the cannabis industry and really pioneers, uh, would love to, you know, get a sense a little bit more about the ins and outs of the business and, you know, your role and, and how you came into the cannabis industry.

03:46 Sundie:

Wow. Yeah. I haven’t heard that word pioneer in a long time, <laugh>, but Oh gosh. You are, you’ve got that straight, you know, I, when I first went into it, and it was really difficult because you had to make things up constantly. So I’d use all my years of experience and say, this is how I would do it if there were regulations surrounding what I was doing. And, and I remember people would say, well, they, they really aren’t you putting the cart before the horse here, you know, because we’re always testing and we’re always trying, and we’re always going back to doing things.

04:16 Sundie:

And I would always say, well, you know, in this era of pioneering, I, I really don’t care what the horse and cart are doing back there. I’m up front with a machete and I’m probably gonna have to go backwards 10 steps and find another path so the horse and cart can figure that out while I find a pay off.

04:32 Sundie:

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So, yeah, we’ve, um, we’ve now been in business nine years since 2015, processed over $20 billion in cannabis related funds into the financial system, which is the biggest part about banking cannabis is getting the money into the system safely. And that really falls under the Bank Secrecy Act to make sure that you block out any illicit money coming into the system. And, uh, we’ve got, uh, now 41 states in which we are taking cash from at this point in time, and we have a national platform and over a thousand clients that we’re serving.

05:05 Sundie:

So we are just launching since we went public last September, uh, a a a more broad based national platform.

05:13 Isaac:

That’s awesome. Um, I mean, I know it’s, uh, kind of a never ending issue within the cannabis space dealing with kind of the illicit and gray markets, but how has that process been on your guys’ end from a compliance standpoint, trying to vet out where, where the good money’s coming from versus where that that black market money’s coming?

05:31 Sundie:

Yeah, you know, that’s very interesting because when I first went into it, law enforcement wasn’t really in favor of us opening banking. In fact, they stood right in front of us and said, if you’re going to, you know, the d e A said, if you’re going to bank, you know, marijuana, you’re gonna go into cocaine, you’re gonna go into all, all this other stuff. That’s how they looked at us. And, and so I took the approach of starting to work with attorneys generals and law enforcement, and I, I had to prove to them the value of banking to find that illicit money to block them out.

06:05 Sundie:

And at one point in time, I even met with the D O J right after the, uh, Cole Memo was rescinded. And I, you know, we spent two hours with them, and I was concerned, obviously, about the prosecution risk of myself and my board and what we were doing.

06:18 Sundie:

And, and he had, uh, told me that, uh, the prosecutor, he had said that, you know, at first they were not happy. And then when I had written the book and told him exactly how we were doing it, and we were protecting the financial system, he says, I don’t think anyone can deny that, that the value you bring to law enforcement banking is that factor that will actually sort out that illicit money. Now, does it mean that we don’t get illicit money coming in? Yeah. A good bank secrecy program will actually find illicit money.

06:49 Sundie:

And that’s when we end up, you know, going to the Attorney general and that state in which the, the fraud or the, the crime is being committed. And we say, look, we have this account, it’s in your state. Do you want us to keep the account open or do you want us to close this account? Because normally law enforcement would like to follow that a little further. Right. So they started seeing the real value that banking brought to them to help them do their job, to fight crime.

07:17 Eric:

Yeah, and I mean, also too, just not having as much cash on hand just Oh yeah. Reduces risk as well. Right. Um, and, and we’ve even seen it with like property claims and theft claims on our side, you know, being reduced, uh, as, you know, cash deposits on hand are reduced because of, you know, compliant banking solutions that operators have, have much more access to. Um, so that’s super interesting. And for, like, from your perspective, you know, there’s a lot of different, I feel like, types of federal reform that are being, you know, contemplated, whether it’s safe banking yesterday, the news coming out that, you know, they put in a memo to potentially, you know, reschedule cannabis into a Schedule three instead of schedule one, which, you know, would obviously have, you know, tremendous impact on the industry with certain things like two 80 E.

08:13 Eric:

Like how would a safe banking or rescheduling affect what you guys are doing? I, is that, is that positive for you or negative because you’ve created this moat of having the ability to jump through the hoops of, of cannabis? Like, I guess, you know, what is your perspective on those?

08:32 Sundie:

You know, it’s a, it’s a question I get from investors all the time. So I’m, I’m constantly evaluating this myself, and what I usually come to is that it’s pretty neutral for us. And, and here’s why. When I first started talking to you, I started talking to you immediately about Bank Secrecy Safe and rescheduling does nothing to remove the, the regulation of bank secrecy that’s been around decades. And Bank Secrecy says that you can’t let the illicit money come into the system. Well, how much black market activity do we have out there in this industry?

09:06 Sundie:

A lot. So until the black market is minimized and, and, and the states have strong enforcement and, and knocking them out of the system altogether, it’s going to have to fall to bank secrecy. And legislation won’t change that. So what we are, are compliance specialists. We know what we’re looking at when we look at these companies.

09:28 Sundie:

We know that, you know, if somebody pushes back on us in, in the process of due diligence, if they don’t wanna give us certain documentation or ownership documentation, whatever, we don’t want them as clients because they’re sending up red flags every time we turn around. So to open up and normalize banking in, say, a, a Bank of America or Wells Fargo with a thousand branches plus across the country, how do you keep your eyes on that money and how do you keep your, your B SS A practices?

09:59 Sundie:

We’ve kind of centralized it with clients all over the country, so we already know how to do it and, and watch the money. But even if legalization comes to be, you’re still going to have that central need for compliance. And the other thing to remember is, you know, banks don’t necessarily wanna mix in a cannabis sector into their portfolio because of the high risk nature. And you can look at money service businesses, gas stations, grocery stores, casinos, cash heavy businesses, right.

10:33 Sundie:

Banks, they don’t wanna take that on unless they have a specialized function to do nothing but bank that industry. Cannabis is always going to find itself in the same position.

10:43 Isaac:

Yeah, and it’s funny you brought that up because that’s actually, you know, what we’ve kind of noticed in some conversations with larger insurance carriers, uh, it’s very similar, their, their view on it currently. Like they’re gonna need to become experts in it before they can even consider it. So I think similar to you, there’s a long way before, um, you know, some larger brand names might, might get involved from our perspective as well.

11:06 Sundie:

And you, you both have seen the way they structure their businesses <laugh>,

11:11 Isaac:

Right? Yes.

11:11 Sundie:

It’s complicated. That’s,

11:14 Eric:

That’s one of the more complicated aspects of what we do, honestly, with working with larger clients. It’s, it’s figuring out the, uh, the organizational structure and making sure everything is contemplated and accounted for.

11:25 Sundie:

Yeah. It’s, and so try to watch the money between all those entities, right? Yeah. It’s difficult.

11:31 Eric:

Are most of the businesses that you’re working with, would you say, like, in terms of your, um, you know, your product offering, is it for early stage companies, middle market enterprise, you know, everything in between, you know, what, what’s safe harbor’s core competency and, and the operators that you’re looking to partner with

11:52 Sundie:

All across the board, all from mom and pop to ancillary to multi-state operators. And I think we have a really good opportunity since we went public and since we started putting money into business development and we landed this other bank relationship that’s going to allow us to grow the portfolio a billion dollars, that’s huge for us because now we can go after those multi-state operators and we can get all of their accounts. Some of them have accounts like in 13 different states and, and 10 different banks.

12:23 Sundie:

And we’re saying, come just with us, consolidate all your accounts, get some savings there because we can household this and have a relationship pricing with you and get access to interest-bearing accounts and lines of credits and real estate loans with us. But we wanna see your whole business again for the sake of bank secrecy and for the sake of, you know, understanding the customer to whom you’re lending and with whom you’re doing business.

12:48 Isaac:

No, and that all makes sense from your perspective, because you kind of touched on it a little bit, you know, how has the education process been over the course of safe harbor’s, you know, path, and how has it gotten much better? Is it still a lot of the same challenges you ran into early days with getting companies operating in the space, kind of onboarding and understanding the, the great, you know, value proposition you all have?

13:11 Sundie:

We, you know, what I found most interesting is, first of all, everybody was under the radar when we started banking, right? <laugh>, we had no idea what we were getting into. It was a huge learning curve. And I actually onboarded all the clients for the first two years so I could learn the industry. And so I could mitigate every risk on behalf of the credit union so that none of us would get prosecuted doing your best. Right? And when I, when I do the interview with them coming in, I’d say, look, they, they were skeptical coming in.

13:41 Sundie:

Nobody stays in banking. They all say they’re gonna keep us banked. And then they, they get in, they get out ’cause it’s too complicated. And, and I said, well, we’re going to only talk about one word compliance. That’s it, <laugh>, you have to give me some room to figure out what compliance looks like and do whatever I ask you in terms of compliance. And they would say back at me, we understand compliance <laugh>, right? They understood compliance, they got it. So I think that that gave them a good deal of relief, knowing I wasn’t going in for any other reason to make sure other than to make sure we were compliant to maintain continuity of services, which we have been able to do.

14:22 Isaac:

Yeah. And I feel like that’s been a big struggle for a lot of these, you know, cannabis businesses in general is maintaining continuity across their own supply chain from their, um, service providers. So that’s great that you’ve been able to solve at least one aspect of it for them, <laugh>.

14:37 Sundie:

Yeah. And they’re, they were grateful. I, I have to say that I met, I have met great people in the cannabis industry, and I have met some not so great people in the industry, right? <laugh>, those, when you have an emerging market, you get the best of both worlds. You get some of the greatest people coming in and innovating, and then you get some real crux, right? Yeah. Not necessarily licensees, but people who wanna go in and, and create this like, gold mine. And coming from the credit union perspective, we were a not-for-profit organization, so we faced it like a not-for-profit.

15:10 Sundie:

We wanted to do the right thing for the community. So I think that really helped the process along too.

15:16 Isaac:

No, for sure. And I think, you know, we’ve seen it on our end, um, a lot of the C-suites early on from larger, you know, companies are operating, um, one about it in a different way than how the industry’s being built now. So I’m sure you, you’ve had your own, uh, somewhat horrifying experiences from the early days of it as well.

15:35 Sundie:

Yeah. But how interesting has it been, I mean, for nine years I feel like I’ve had a front row seat to an emerging market and, and I was supposed to retire in 2014, and, and I’m, I’m so curious, right? I can’t stop <laugh>.

15:50 Eric:

That’s awesome. What, what drove you to get into the cannabis space? Was it just you saw like, you know, a, an opportunity where there was an unmet need or, you know, passion for the plant? Little bit of both. Like, I guess what, what was your main driver for, you know, getting into Safe Harbor?

16:09 Sundie:

Somebody had to do it. That ran through my head a million times, right? Somebody has to do this, I love it. But the main driver is you can’t unlearn something that you learn. And I think that what really got me is when I met with the first cannabis client, and they were young, young, young, I say kids, but I’m, you know, 62, so forgive me, but they were, they were, they were like maybe early thirties, and they had young children, they had children in car seats, and they would told me the story. I’m like, how are you getting this money into the bank right now? I said, well, at two o’clock in the morning, we wake the kids up, we bundled them up, we put ’em in their car seat.

16:43 Sundie:

My wife and I get in the car and we take $30,000 fine, three ATMs and put no more than $9,000 in each at t m.

16:51 Sundie:

And I’m like, whoa, you, you, right. So safety, you can’t unlearn that this is how they’re doing business. I’ve had people sit in the boardroom and burst out in tears because they have to take their kids and they have to pick up $20,000 in cash in order to get paid for their product. And, and they got nothing else to do. And so you can’t unlearn that. And I, and I said, this is so unsafe. And then when you talk about running into a company, and people would ask me how I would prioritize it, and, you know, there’d be a company who’d come in and say, I’m paying my employees all 400 of them in cash.

17:26 Sundie:

So not only is the business at risk, but all the employees beca became at risk as well. So those, it just is, you know, and I, I was faithful and loyal to Colorado and said, we gotta fix this, you know, and we live here and these were our members across the state. And I said, we’re gonna fix it. It just happened that our members started going national and getting other licenses, and that’s how we, we built that national platform following our Colorado licensees across the country.

17:56 Isaac:

That’s awesome.

17:58 Eric:

Very cool. And, and it’s scary. Yeah. What, what are you most excited about over the next 12 months, whether it’s with the industry or, or at Safe Harbor, you know, what are you guys most excited about? I’m sure there’s, you know, we’re entering into, uh, Q four of 2023, which is absolutely insane, uh, how fast this year has gone, but I’m sure you guys are entering, you know, 2024 planning. You know, what, what are some things that you’re most excited about or eager about over the next 12 months?

18:29 Sundie:

Well, I think our lending program’s been one of the most exciting things that we’ve done. And, and here’s the reasons. It’s like when we went into banking, just depository services, they couldn’t get normal services, they couldn’t get normal anything. And we’re trying to normalize, um, lending at this point in time. So we, we just have launched a line of credit because, you know, it’s difficult when they’re taxed as high as they are. Money comes in, money goes out, they’re always down to the last nine. So lines of credits have always been important to the industry. So I think launching those and giving them a little relief on, on their own income and profit, a loss on a monthly basis without worrying about the last dime in their accounts, really going to help the industry.

19:08 Sundie:

And then the real estate, you know, we, we have lending committee at least once or twice a week where we’re looking at loans and, and refinancing loans that are like 18 or 19%, and we’re refinancing them down to 10%, 11%.

19:23 Sundie:

That kind of savings is huge for them. And then not putting a lot of hidden costs in there, I think there’s always going to be a premium because again, of bank secrecy and knowing your customer, knowing where that money’s coming from to pay the loan and, and the whole business that there isn’t any illicit activity. And, and I think that, so lending’s been probably one of the most exciting things. I think we’ll get into, you know, we’ll really solidify that arm of the business in the next year and, uh, be able to really bring some, some good lending to the industry at reasonable rates.

19:54 Sundie:

And then I think we’re going to be looking at how to move the money and payments, right? How do you get, if you can’t have the credit cards and if Safe Banking or Descheduling gets credit cards, you know, even then you have to be able to mitigate the risk on behalf of the major credit cards and the payment processing systems that are out there. You can’t just pass money through the system without a real good compliance program behind it. So I think that’s pretty exciting, is what, when we are able to launch merchant processing, and I think we, you know, with pending legislation and descheduling that might be a reality.

20:29 Eric:

Are, are you guys doing a lot of like, not necessarily like lobbying or like speaking with governmental officials on a daily basis, and I’m sure like providing a, a lot of education. Is that you yourself personally, do you have a team, you know, that is working with folks in Washington? Like, like what does that look like? Like

20:48 Sundie:

I used to, so I was used, I used to be very heavily involved. In fact, I helped Senator Krall’s office at one point in time write, uh, part of the Safe Banking app when he was in charge of that. So I used to be somebody who would, who would do a lot of the education, and I still do with the attorneys generals, but since, you know, the market is open in terms of banking, they’ve got so many professionals out there that they can get a lot of different opinions. So I never feel slighted because at one time I was on the road a hundred times in sight of two years and never wanna relive that again.

21:22 Sundie:

But we were the only one, we were like a market leader in the banking ex, you know, banking arena. And when you’re the only one in that risk pool on a regulated basis, right?

21:33 Sundie:

Banks are regulated and credit unions are too. And we went through 16 state and federal examinations. You’re the only one they’re looking at. So I did write that book. I did go out and educate. I’m like, don’t leave me in this pool alone. And then, then I could tell the writer, go look at them. And <laugh>, you know, and, and it’s funny because, you know, some of the early adapters would go through these. And then finally other people started launching programs. And I would say to the CEOs with whom I spoke, I said, well, they don’t know what good looks like until they see bad.

22:04 Sundie:

So <laugh>, you know, you have to have a comparative measure between even what regulators are looking at.

22:12 Isaac:

No, for sure. I mean, have you noticed, you know, across the board, have there been any state regulators or states in general that have been easier to work with and others have been more difficult? You know, obviously every market, um, for the operators themselves has posed very different challenges. But on, on your end, has there been, you know, major differences from state to state?

22:32 Sundie:

You know, I think it’s a matter of what you asked earlier, which is the education and learning curve. You know, when, when we went to the NASDAQ and, and got put on the nasdaq, I remember talking with them and educating and, and really kind of going into the business model and what we were doing for compliance and that type of thing. And, and one of the fellows from NASDAQ said, you know, Sundie you told us it took 16 state and federal examinations to get your regulators comfortable with what you’re doing. We need to be educated too.

23:03 Sundie:

So if you go into a state that’s just newly legalized, those regulators have to learn with the financial institutions. So we try to go in in advance, and, uh, we do, I have, I do have like Tyler who can speak to state officials, so he does a lot of education. We now, since we went public, have all of, we have over 50 years of, uh, cannabis management experience on our senior team. So I don’t have to do it all alone anymore. We go in, we educate, we let them know we’re available to assist with anything they need and get them comfortable with Safe Harbor and, and what we do.

23:40 Eric:

How has, uh, and, and we used to work with the, the folks over at abca, um, and I know that, that you guys were, uh, acquired them, uh, last year. How’s that acquisition been and, and what that’s added to the, the Safe Harbor product offering?

23:55 Sundie:

Well, you, you know, Dan wrote it then, right? Yes, absolutely. And I’ll tell you, he’s killing it on lending right now. I dunno if he knew he had a talent for it, but boy, he has dug in and is just, he’s doing a great job in terms of getting the lending out there. So, and John Foley, who worked for him, the two of them make a great team in terms of getting these loans originated and documented and through committee. So we’ve been pretty excited about, you know, having picked that, uh, extra talent up on the team. And, and I think that things are going really well.

24:27 Sundie:

And of course, the integration is always a difficult period of time, but the integration of software is really going to be beneficial. It was either we go out and build that FinTech platform or acquire that FinTech platform. So it was a, a perfect fit for us. We didn’t have a technology department or an IT department, and they brought all that to the table.

24:48 Eric:

That’s great. Seems like a, a really nice natural, natural fit, which is awesome. Um, is there anything else, sun, that, that we’d like to touch on before we wrap things up? Uh, Isaac just has a few, uh, quick hitter fun questions, not, uh, not business related, but wanted to give you the floor and see if there was anything else to touch on, uh, before we wrap things up.

25:11 Sundie:

Yeah, I think the, the thing that I would say is because I do believe the industry thinks that if there’s descheduling or there’s, uh, safe banking, that it’s gonna be completely normal. But they, you know, liquor stores, liquor has been <laugh> out of prohibition for how long, and nobody wants to bank liquor stores. You’ve got to understand that it’s the bank secrecy, it’s the cash intensive nature of the business. It’s always going to be difficult as long as it’s cash intensive and not everybody wants to move out of cash.

25:44 Sundie:

When I ask my husband to go buy me wine, he’s, he’s in a, a little older than me, but he still pulls out cash. He doesn’t want it on his credit card. He doesn’t want it as a, on any statement, right? And people are going to be that way with cannabis too, right? They, they’re used to doing it in cash.

25:59 Sundie:

I think until the younger generation goes in there and just kind of takes over electronic payments, you’re going to see a cash intensive business. And until that black market is minimized again, you know, until we get some of those illness players out and how are they going to find it? Law enforcement’s going to say, why don’t you have a bank account? Why do you keep getting kicked out of a bank? Because those reports they get looked at, and that’s going to help sort out the illicit market from the legal market, I think, and make life easier.

26:31 Eric:

<affirmative>. Yeah, no, I think, uh, I think sometimes we’re obviously, you know, in, in this period, I think just looking for some, some positive, um, you know, some positive news like within the industry, right? Um, and some sort of reform. But to your point, I, you know, I, I don’t think it’s gonna be an overnight thing, um, or forever for that matter, right? Uh, to your point, there’s just a lot of different nuances that I, I think people don’t contemplate. Just like you mentioned, honestly, like I didn’t know that off the bat that liquor stores have a really, really challenging time getting banking because of the cash based nature, which, you know, as you mentioned, prohibitions have been around for, for over a century.

27:14 Eric:

So that’s a really, really great insight and um, appreciate you sharing that.

27:20 Sundie:

You’re welcome.

27:22 Isaac:

Awesome. Well, like Eric said, have a few fun non, non-work related questions, <laugh>, but, uh, you know, what’s at the, uh, the top of the playlist, if you have a, a workout or, you know, you gotta get ready for one of those state regulator calls. Gets you in the, gets you in the zone

27:37 Sundie:

Staying alive,

27:39 Isaac:

<laugh>.

27:42 Sundie:

Alright. I love that. Every night the regulators would leave my office. I would blare out staying alive. <laugh>.

27:50 Isaac:

That’s amazing.

27:51 Sundie:

Otherwise, you know, it’s, I’ll never give up. Would

27:54 Eric:

You give, would you give a little dance to it too? Or is it just listening, you know, what you do with, you know?

27:59 Sundie:

No, no, that’s getting a little too personal. <laugh>. I wouldn’t share my dance. That’s awesome.

28:06 Isaac:

That’s amazing. Um, you know, I know you’re an author yourself, but, um, has there been one book that you’ve found extremely helpful that you would recommend everyone read, or one that you’ve turned back to a few times throughout your career? Um, from an advice perspective,

28:21 Sundie:

You know, and this is really gonna age me, but I read way back in my early, early days, pulling your own strings. And when I went through this program, you know, when I started it, I had a lot of people against me. They just weren’t supportive. And they’d say negative things and you’re gonna blow it and you’re gonna get in trouble, you’re gonna go to jail. And I’m like, don’t let ’em pull your strings. You just keep doing what you think you need to do. And I have gone back to that book so many times in my life when times, times get difficult and people always try to manipulate what you’re doing different than what you want.

28:57 Sundie:

And that’s, leadership isn’t about that. Right? I think opportunity exists where everybody else doesn’t wanna go and they’re, they’re gonna fault you for going there.

29:07 Isaac:

No, a hundred percent. I think you kind of hit the nail on the head earlier on when you said someone has to do it. I mean, that’s one of the reasons why Eric and I started doing what we did, like there, someone needed to do it. Um, but no, I think that’s great advice and definitely a book that people should look into. Um, last one, and I know we talked, uh, you know, before we jumped on that we’re both in the Colorado area. Uh, what’s, what’s the go-to restaurant? What’s your favorite restaurant around here? I I’m, I’m new being back here, so could use some recommendations.

29:36 Sundie:

Well, I, I really like sushi and, um, smoke and Fin’s has got a couple restaurants around here. Really good. Sushi.

29:44 Isaac:

Good. I, that’s one thing I will definitely miss from New York is sushi. Uh, I know mats is like around the corner from me, but definitely needs something, uh, a little bit easier, uh, on the wallet from time to time. <laugh>.

29:56 Sundie:

Yeah. Well I, you know, Colorado’s probably gonna be easier on the wallet, <laugh>

30:02 Isaac:

For sure. There’s no doubt. Awesome.

30:06 Eric:

Um, well we really appreciate your time. So this has been, you know, uh, tremendously valuable. Really the goal of when Isaac and I started Roots to Risk is to bring in leaders within the industry from all different areas, right? Whether it’s venture capital, whether it’s actual operators, banking attorneys, to really get their perspective and, and, you know, a, a sneak peek into what they’re doing on a daily basis, what their organization’s doing, and, um, how they got into the cannabis industry and what they’re most excited about.

30:38 Eric:

So we really appreciate your time. This has been tremendously valuable and, uh, you know, we’re, we’re excited to see what, uh, the next 12 months holds for Safe Harbor.

30:48 Sundie:

Well, thank you. And by the way, I really love the name Roots to Risk. That’s great.

30:52 Eric:

I appreciate it. We can’t take credit. We actually did, uh, an internal

30:58 Isaac:

Crowdsourcing survey

30:59 Eric:

Crowdsourcing, and, and one of our team members did it. Um, and, and got it. So it was, uh, a group decision. So

31:06 Sundie:

Pretty cool.

31:08 Isaac:

Well, thank you again, suny.

31:10 Eric:

Thank you. Have a great rest your day.

31:11 Sundie:

Enjoyed it.

31:12 Eric:

Another one in the books I’d be, and, and, uh, I really learned a lot, honestly, I think there is this perception around safe banking reform and also just rescheduling and, and what the impacts of that are gonna be, obviously across a multitude of different issues within the cannabis industry. But banking, you know, we, we all, or maybe just myself, thought that that was gonna really help that issue, but it seems like it’s also an issue in other, you know, cash heavy industries that she had mentioned in just like high risk industries more so than anything.

31:50 Eric:

So, um, it, it was really interesting to get her perspective on what change would really occur if, if and when those do go through, um, and what her and Safe Harbor stance is just in general on the regulation.

32:06 Isaac:

Yeah, for sure. And I mean, I think from, you know, their perspective and she mentioned that, uh, during the interview, you know, it’s not gonna change much from their perspective ’cause they’re so entrenched as experts in the industry, especially from a compliance standpoint. And, um, you know, intuitively the comparison to the liquor market makes a ton of sense. And, um, you know, liquor stores equating to dispensaries in some ways, um, makes a ton of sense once it’s, you know, apples to apples from a, a scheduling and a legality standpoint.

32:37 Isaac:

But, um, no, I mean, I think, you know, people always look for a silver bullet for a lot of issues that go on in the industry. So, um, it is kind of refreshing to hear, you know, true opinion of like, it might not change everything that quickly and for a long time, you know, or a hundred years into post prohibition and, you know, the alcohol industry still has its problems too. So, um, it’s good kind of insight, but I think normalization will still help, um, you know, as we push that forward.

33:05 Eric:

I love when she was saying, you know, putting the cart in front of the horse and she was like, push the cart away. I have a machete going through the jungle and I may go the wrong way.

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