• Sequencing the cannabis genome
• The process of submitting a project for funding from the Dash DAO
• The banking crisis in the cannabis industry
• Medical marijuana and CBD oil
• Obstacles posed to the cannabis industry by the US government
• Will the Trump administration legalize cannabis?
• How blockchain can become part of popular culture
• Reclaiming the mainstream narrative of bitcoin and blockchain technology
• The recent Facebook purge and alternative social media platforms
We’re moving to a new audio format! While I enjoy seeing the lovely faces of all my guests, we are trying some new things for The Tatiana Show. Audio-only enables me to work with less bandwidth while I’m recording shows on the road, and makes for easier editing. This means listeners will get more regular, top quality episodes!
Kevin Mckernan kicks off this episode and treats us to his extraordinary range of knowledge and experiences from the cannabis and cryptocurrency spaces. Kevin has spent his career researching and developing various DNA sequencing technologies in both the research and clinical industries. He is the CSO and Founder of Medicinal Genomics.
Kevin explains how he obtained funding for his cannabis genome sequencing project from the Dash DAO. For people who don’t know, Dash is a cryptocurrency that not only uses its fees to pay miners, like Bitcoin does, but also puts tokens from its fees into a treasury. People can then propose projects to Dash stakeholders and receive money from that fund.
The Patent and Trade Office (PTO) has posed various obstacles to the cannabis industry, particularly through a controversial and overly broad patent issued in 2015, which Kevin helped to oppose. We also discuss the banking crisis in cannabis and in general how governments have stifled cannabis research and innovation for generations.
Mckernan explains that “through prohibition, everyone started breeding for high THC, and that has come at the cost of all the other cannabinoids not being made” (20:23). There are rarer cannabinoids, with more therapeutic effects. Kevin and his team targeted one of those rarer strains to sequence for their Dash project. We also delve into some examples of diseases and ailments that can be aided by cannabis and CBD oils.
At 24:00, Kevin treats us to a brief world history of cannabis, discussing how different strains originated in different parts of the world. The earliest cannabis was present 20 million years ago in the Hindu Kush mountain range. Ancient people grew hemp for its fibers, which were useful for making sails for their ships.
Do you think the Trump administration will legalize marijuana? We discuss how new cannabis industries have affected the American economy and how Canada’s recent legalization of cannabis could force the Trump administration’s hand in U.S. policy-making (34:00).
Kevin’s event is Cannmed, currently taking place at UCLA this week.
Next we’re joined by Naomi Brockwell (37:30). Naomi is a film and television producer for John Stossel; she also hosts her own Youtube show on blockchain, bitcoin, and technology. Her newest project is a crypto thriller noir series called Hard Fork. She discovered the project through Steemit, where she connected with Doug Karr, an alumni of the Sundance festival, and Christopher James Baker (of the television series, Ozarks) as they were putting together this blockchain sci fi thriller. Like Kevin McKernan, they also received funding from the Dash DAO, and they’ve raised their first million dollars. The show is still in development. They will go into production and are hoping for a release at the end of 2019. Follow Naomi on social media (@NaomiBrockwell) or check out hardforkentertainment.io to stay updated.
Naomi says of the Hard Fork series: “I wanted to get involved because all you hear about with crypto is the negative. ‘Oh it’s a bubble. Everyone in crypto is a loser.’ The mainstream media just talks about the drug dealers and money launderers and how they’re awful. But blockchain is the most empowering technology we’ve seen in the last hundred years. This is a way to decentralize trust. This is a way to completely revolutionize the traditional financial sector. Please do not discount this. Let’s talk about all the ways that this can change lives, how this can give people back more freedom, more financial autonomy. So I think getting in control of that narrative and creating a mainstream-audience-accessible series that actually looks at the way this can be a really empowering tech is what drew me to the project.”
Cheers to that!
Naomi came to cryptocurrency from a background in Austrian economics, in which economists like F.A. Hayek were eerily prescient about cryptocurrency. Speaking of economics, I’ll be seeing Naomi next on the Contra Cruise! Comment below if you’ll be there. Josh is missing out, but he’s helping with the Bitcoin Lightning Network Hack Day in New York.
(56:00) Finally, we discuss Steemit, alternative social media, the recent Facebook purge of many libertarian pages and outlets, and how other activists have struggled with banning on various platforms. Naomi is a big fan of BitChute, an alternative to Youtube. If you’re interested in more on these topics, check out another recent episode of The Tatiana Show, in which I interviewed Bill Ottman of Minds.com and Matt Asher of BeforeTheBan.com.
Thanks so much to my co-host Joshua Scigala, and our awesome guests! We hope you enjoy the episode!
About the Guests:
Kevin has spent his career researching and developing various DNA sequencing technologies in both the research and clinical industries. Additionally, Kevin has had a parallel interest in driving the tools used for personalized medicine into the world of cannabis medicine. Kevin believes the intersection of personalized medicine, genomics, blockchains and cannabis is one of the most exciting growth opportunities in our lifetime.
Kevin is the CSO and Founder of Medicinal Genomics and has pioneered the genomics of cannabis and hemp to build a stronger scientific environment (Kannapedia.net) for the study of cannabis based therapeutics and blockchain technologies for tracking and verifying cannabis genetics. Previously, Kevin was the CSO of Courtagen Life Sciences, Inc., and held the position of Vice President and Director of R&D of Life Technologies where he managed the development of Life Technologies next generation SOLID sequencing technology. Integral to the SOLID R&D process, Kevin oversaw over 100 research collaborations exploring the new biological frontiers with next generation sequencing and saw particular excitement and traction in human tumor sequencing. Kevin initiated an R&D project to investigate chemFET semiconductor based DNA sequencing and spearheaded a process to acquire the DNA sequencing company Ion Torrent for $350M. These collaborations resulted in hundreds of publications and 7 journal covers from Science Translational Medicine to Nature.
Kevin was the President and CSO of Agencourt Personal Genomics, a startup company he co-founded in 2005 to invent revolutionary sequencing technologies that dropped the cost of sequencing a human genome from $300M to $3,000; a 100,000-fold improvement in sequencing speed and cost in a few years. Kevin oversaw the growth and research of APG until it was sold to Applied BioSystems. In 2000, Kevin Co-Founded Agencourt Biosciences Corporation and acted as the CSO until 2005 where it was acquired by Beckman Coulter. From 1996 to 2000 Kevin managed the Research and Development for the Human Genome Project at Whitehead Institute/MIT resulting in several patents for nucleic acid purification. Kevin holds a B.S. in Biology from Emory University with a focus on cloning and expressing Norepinephrine Transporters. When not decoding DNA and unraveling the mysteries of cannabis medicine, Kevin enjoys boating, skiing, and gardening.
Naomi Brockwell is a film and television producer, and host of the show “Bitcoin, Blockchain, and the Technologies of our Future”. She is a producer for Stossel, a producer for the TV series HardFork, and formerly produced for Fox Business Network and Fox News Channel.
Naomi is the co-founder of The Soho Forum, on the Advisory Council at the Mannkal Economic Education Foundation, and in 2017 was awarded Uber’s “Young Libertarian of the Year” at the Friedman Conference.
She has produced numerous award-winning feature films, including the 2015 feature documentary Bitcoin: The End of Money as We Know It (Best International Documentary, Anthem Film Festival; Winner of Special Jury Prize, Amsterdam Film Festival), Audition (Best documentary, Lone Star Film Festival) and the Lionsgate thriller, Subconscious.
Check out her daily videos at Youtube.com/NaomiBrockwellTV
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