While covering the Illinois cannabis industry, we at Illinois News Joint have made a concerted effort to collaborate with likeminded folks.
Since legalization, we have collaborated with cultivators, dispensaries, small businesses, large companies, headshops, chefs, artists, entrepreneur, and more.
Earlier in the year when I noticed a podcast called the Chillinois Podcast, I was extremely interested to see what it was all about.
Cole, who produces the Chillinois Podcast (@chillinoispodcast), describes his show as “chill” and “super mellow” with a “professional format” and “plenty of cannabis to go around.”
He credits his co-host, Justine, as the one who truly makes this podcast what it is.
“Her work with CannaKweens is ultimately what inspired me to make this show a platform for anybody and everybody in the industry,” he said.
On his podcast, Cole covers new developments in the cannabis market and features industry insiders. He finds the Illinois cannabis laws to be super interesting and is looking forward to seeing how it all plays out.
“I have always been a big fan of podcasts,” he said. “The idea (for Chillinois Podcast) came from a void that I saw. I help moderate a community on Reddit and Discord called Illinois Trees…We wanted to give a voice to social-equity applicants, licensed cultivators, dispensary owners, and entrepreneurs within this new and rapidly expanding industry.”
Cole started with the podcast in April of this year as a way to directly reach out to the Illinois cannabis community he had started after adult-use cannabis became legalized.
“I felt like it was a watershed moment in the sense that people were starting to come around to the idea that cannabis legalization was not going to lead society into end-times,” Cole said. “I felt comfortable enough to put my voice out there to speak about a substance that has helped me change for the better.”
After adult-use legalized, he finally felt comfortable enough to advocate openly for products derived from the plant.
“At the time, we were also giving away merch for a licensed cannabis cultivator in the state of Illinois,” Cole said. “I felt like it was another way to reach out to the Illinois cannabis community that we had started. So far, I’ve received great feedback.”
To prepare for his podcast guest, he enjoys smoking a joint and researching information about his guest. He starts by researching shows or podcasts in which his guest may have previously appeared. At times, he will go into his interviews with a set of questions ready to go, but he also welcomes a conversational format to spark more discussion.
“I try to ask questions that come up during my independent research,” he said. “Sometimes, we go into a show without pre-written questions depending on the main topic of discussion. As time goes on, we have found ourselves in ‘a groove’ and no longer rely on scripts or prepared questions as much.”
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chillinois Podcast currently does not have a recording studio. Guests and hosts join remotely via different mediums, such as Skype, Zoom, and more.
“We love the idea of having a recording studio, but we have hesitated due to concerns related to the logistics of social distancing,” he said.
The Chillinois Podcast’s first guest was Michael Malcolm (@MikeGDaGod and WeedTravelFood.com). Cole started following Malcolm on Instagram in the early days of the Illinois Medical Cannabis program when Malcolm started reviewing products.
“When I heard that Michael was applying for a cannabis license in Illinois, I felt like he would be our perfect guest,” Cole said. “He has since become a recurring feature on the Chillinois Podcast.”
His second guest, Justine, discussed CannaKweens, a collective of kweens from across the cannabis industry who have come to make an impact and empower women to empower other women.
The podcast has also been joined by licensed physicians, the Illinois Hemp Growers Association, the Pot Brothers at Law (as seen on Tosh.O), Mike Fourcher from GrownIn.com, the MiCannaCast (a cannabis podcast based out of Michigan), Cole Eastman from Justice Grown (a licensed cultivator in the state of Illinois), Cannabis Coach Haley (CBD Dosage Specialists and former cannabis industry professional), Daniel Corral (former industry professional who is working with coworkers to form a union in the Illinois cannabis industry), Jonah Rapino (from NuEra, a licensed cultivator and owner of three dispensaries in the state of Illinois), and more.
“It’s really interesting to learn how the cannabis industry actually works,” he said. “We have had a lot of industry insiders on, and it’s pretty eye-opening, for better or for worse, to see how the gears really turn in this budding industry.”
Cole would love to have an honest conversation with a politician, public figure, or ‘average joe’ that happens to be anti-cannabis.
“I’m not sure why, but the idea of being against cannabis is just fascinating to me,” Cole said. “I find that engaging those types of people in debate can always be informative. Often times, their opinions are based on anecdotes and conjecture that hardly reflect the reality, which is that simple use or possession of cannabis should not be considered a crime.”
Of course, he would also love to host some of the staples of the celebrity cannabis community, such as Cheech, Chong, Willie Nelson, or Woody Harrelson.
“My dreams were made when we were joined by Marc Wasserman from the Pot Brothers at Law,” he said. “I never expected that he would accept the invitation.”
Cole’s ultimate goal would be to make the cannabis movement focus on the idea of sustainability again.
“When I first started learning about the cannabis plant,” he said, “I read about the multiple uses of the plant, including but not limited to bio-fuels, biodegradable plastic made from hemp, paper made from hemp instead of trees, buildings made by hemp, hemp-create, etc. It is disheartening to see the sheer amount of plastic, paper, and other waste that is created by the cannabis market as it stands today.”
Another goal for the Chillinois Podcast is to give people a platform to discuss cannabis and anything else related to Illinois.
“If you are out there reading this right now and you want to come onto the Chillinois Podcast go to Chillinois.net/Podcast and scroll down, click the ‘Be Heard’ button,” he said. “From there, you can write us an email, send us a voicemail, or a text message. We can play the voicemail on the show, or you can come on our show. All we ask is that you reach out, and we will find a time on our calendar that works for us.”
The Chillinois Podcast also can be found on Soundcloud, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, TuneIn Radio, and more.