MetroFocus: May 4, 2021

According to recent reporting by New York Times, a Lenox Hill hospital in Greenwich village, has been billing patients over $3,000 for COVID tests, without their knowledge. That’s about thirty times the typical cost. Sadly, unforeseen or unadvertised charges, are not new to the medical industry. For years, patients have had to deal with the burden of unexpected medical bills. But, there is now reason to believe that is about to change. New regulations are now requiring hospitals to publish their prices for all services and procedures online, and artist and activist Shepard Fairey wants to make sure all patients are aware of this change. Tonight, the artists- who is perhaps best known for his hope campaign portrait of President Barack Obama painted in red, white and blue- joins us to discuss his new campaign, called “Power To The Patients.”

Two special reports on minorities who are using cannabis to carve out a piece of the “American Dream”. First, WXXI Rochester reports on how marijuana legalization may bring parity for Blacks as it relates to the criminal justice system while helping some achieve their “American dream.” Then, Metrofocus takes you to meet the mother and daughter cannabis pioneers who are hoping their harvest will also reap good fortune.

TRANSCRIPT

♪♪

> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAEL P. ROMAN, JACK FORD AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND.

BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION AND BY -- JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER, JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD, CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN FAMILY, JUDY AND JOSH WESTON, AND THE DR. ROBERT C.

AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION, THE ♪♪

> HI.

I'M JENNA FLANAGAN.

ACCORDING TO RECENT REPORTING BY THE 'NEW YORK TIMES,' LENOX HILL HOSPITAL IN GREENWICH VILLAGE HAS BEEN BILLING PATIENTS OVER $3,000 FOR COVID TESTS WITHOUT THEIR KNOWLEDGE.

THAT'S ABOUT 30 TIMES THE TYPICAL COST.

UNFORTUNATELY, UNFORESEEN OR UNADVERTISED CHARGES ARE NOT NEW TO THE MEDICAL INDUSTRY.

FOR YEARS, PATIENTS HAVE HAD TO DEAL WITH THE BURDEN OF UNEXPECTED MEDICAL BILLS.

BUT THERE IS NOW REASON TO BELIEVE THAT THAT IS ALL ABOUT TO CHANGE.

NEW REGULATIONS ARE NOW REQUIRING HOSPITALS TO PUBLISH THEIR PRICES FOR ALL SERVICES AND PROCEDURES ONLINE.

AND A NEW CAMPAIGN CALLED 'POWER TO THE PATIENTS' HAS BEEN LAUNCHED TO ENSURE THAT ALL PATIENTS ARE AWARE OF THIS CHANGE.

TAKE A LOOK.

I'M SHEPARD FAIREY AND I'M AN ARTIST AND ACTIVIST.

I'M PARTICIPATING IN THE POWER TO THE PATIENTS MOVEMENT BECAUSE I'M A TYPE ONE DDIABETIC, MY WIFE HAS MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS.

WHEN PEOPLE NEED CARE, THEY'RE NOT PROVIDED WITH THE PRICES OF THAT CARE UP FRONT.

THIS CAN EITHER LEAVE PEOPLE WITH TREMENDOUS BILLS OR BE A DETERRENT TO THEM GETTING THE CARE THAT THEY NEED.

THERE ARE LAWS ON THE BOOKS THAT MEAN THAT PRICES ARE NOW A PATIENT'S RIGHT.

BUT PROVIDERS CONTINUE TO GET AWAY WITH A LACK OF TRANSPARENCY, PRICING THAT IS NOT CONSISTENT.

WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW HOW MUCH OUR HEALTH CARE COSTS UP FRONT.

IT'S OUR HEALTH.

IT'S OUR MONEY.

POWER TO THE PATIENTS.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS CAMPAIGN GO TO POWERTOTHEPATIENTS.ORG.

JOINING ME NOW TO DISCUSS THE POWER TO THE PATIENTS CAMPAIGN IS ARTIST AND ACTIVIST SHEPARD FAIREY.

SHEPARD THANKS FOR JOINING US.

THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

I FEEL MOST PEOPLE ARE FAMILIAR WITH YOUR WORK ALTHOUGH THEY MIGHT NOT KNOW YOUR NAME.

YOU FAMOUSLY CREATED THE OBAMA HOPE POSTER.

I'M WONDERING WHAT WAS IT ABOUT THIS PARTICULAR CAMPAIGN THAT DREW YOU TO CREATE ART FOR?

I THINK THAT HEALTH CARE IS SUCH AN IMPORTANT ISSUE.

AND SO MANY PEOPLE DON'T REALLY THINK ABOUT HIDDEN COSTS UNTIL THEY'RE HIT WITH THEM.

SO THIS CAMPAIGN IS MAKING PEOPLE AWARE THEY HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW WHAT COSTS GO INTO THEIR HEALTH CARE BEFORE THEY CHOOSE THE PROCEDURES AND SERVICES AND FACILITIES.

IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT BECAUSE TO HAVE THE STRESS OF POTENTIAL BANKRUPTCY FROM THE HIGH COST OF HEALTH CARE ADDED TO THE NEED FOR HEALTH CARE, A SERIOUS PROCEDURE, IT'S JUST A HUGE WEIGHT FOR ANYONE TO HAVE TO DEAL WITH.

PLUS, I THINK THAT TRANSPARENCY INCREASES COMPETITION AND, THEREFORE, MAKES THE PRICING WORK WITH THE MARKETPLACE BETTER AND GIVE PEOPLE A-B COMPARISONS AND BETTER PRICING IN GENERAL.

I JUST WANT DO SEE LESS SUFFERING IN THE WORLD.

WHETHER THAT'S FINANCIAL OR PHYSICAL SUFFERING, ALL OF THAT CAN BE PART OF HEALTH CARE.

COST REALLY HAS A LONG-TERM IMPACT FOR PEOPLE.

WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT THESE HIDDEN COSTS, I THINK MOST AMERICANS ARE FAMILIAR WITH HAVING WHAT YOU MIGHT CONSIDER TO BE A SIMPLE PROCEDURE AND GETTING A SURPRISE BILL IN THE MAIL.

WHAT EXACTLY IS THE HOSPITAL PRICE TRANSPARENCY REGULATION SUPPOSED TO DO?

THE REGULATION WHICH STARTED IN JANUARY 2021 IS SUPPOSED TO MAKE IT SO THAT A HOSPITAL HAS A PRICE LIST THAT'S ACCESSIBLE IN DIGITAL FORM OR PRINTED FORM THAT ANY PATIENT CAN ACCESS AND THAT THEY CAN DECIDE WHAT THEY'RE GOING TO DO, WHETHER THEY'RE GOING TO HUZ THAT LOCATION, THAT HOSPITAL BASED ON KNOWING WHAT THE PRICES ARE.

THERE ARE ALSO DIFFERENT PRICES FOR WHETHER YOU PAY CASH OR WHETHER YOU USE YOUR INSURANCE AND WHETHER YOU HAVE INSURANCE AND WHAT THE DEDUCTIBLE IS.

THERE ARE A LOT OF VARIABLES THAT PEOPLE, YOU KNOW, IF THEY'RE INFORMED, CAN TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION AND MAKE BETTER DECISIONS BY KNOWING THESE THINGS.

I WOULD SAY SO.

THERE WAS A PRICE FOR CASH AND A PRICE FOR HEALTH INSURANCE.

THAT'S NOT PARTICULARLY COMFORTING.

SO THEN I GUESS THIS SEEMS LIKE SOMETHING THAT COULD ALSO BE COMPLICATED TO IMPLEMENT.

BECAUSE AS IT IS, THERE'S SO MUCH BURDEN OR RESPONSIBILITY THAT FALLS ON PATIENTS TO ADVOCATE FOR YOURSELF, TO MAKE SURE YOU'RE GETTING THE RIGHT KIND OF CARE.

AND TO NOW ADD ON THE ADDITIONAL BURDEN OF PRICE SHOPPING, IS THAT SOMETHING THAT THERE'S BEEN PUSHBACK FROM THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY LIKE, NO, IF I'M A DOCTOR AND THIS IS THE BEST PERSON TO PERFORM X, Y AND Z AND THIS IS THE BEST DRUG TO HAVE, YOU DON'T PRICE SHOP IT.

PEOPLE WHO TEND TO PROFIT FROM THIS VERSUS THE DOCTORS WHO THEN WILL BE PAID THE SAME AMOUNT MOST LIKELY EITHER WAY.

MY FATHER IS A DOCTOR.

WHAT HE'S FRUSTRATED BY IS ALL THE DIFFERENT AREAS THAT HE HAS NO CONTROL OVER THAT HE FEELS EMPATHY FOR HIS PATIENTS.

THE TRANSPARENCY IS GOING TO HELP THE PATIENTS AND I DON'T THINK IT'S GOING TO COMPROMISE THE DOCTORS.

WHERE THE REAL IMPACT IS FOR HEALTH CARE IS ALL ON THE PLUS SIDE, I THINK, FOR THE PATIENTS.

ONE MORE QUESTION JUST ABOUT THIS REGULATION.

THAT IS WE'RE SEEING SO FAR THAT SOME OF THE NATION'S LARGEST HOSPITALS, I BELIEVE A STUDY FOUND THAT 65 OF THEM AREN'T COMPLYING.

DOES THIS REGULATION INCLUDE ANY SORT OF TEETH OR CONSEQUENCES, OR WHAT IS IT THAT PATIENTS CAN DO IF THEIR HOSPITAL IS SAYING OUR PRICES ARE NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS?

YEAH.

THEY CAN FACE CONSEQUENCES.

THEY CAN FACE CITATION AND OTHER PENALTIES.

I THINK THIS CAMPAIGN, THE POWER TO THE PATIENTS CAMPAIGN IS REALLY ABOUT RAISING ENOUGH AWARENESS SO THAT PEOPLE DO COMPLAIN IF THE HOSPITALS ARE NOT COMPLIANT.

A LOT OF TIMES WHEN YOU LOOK AT WHAT THE PUBLIC DEMANDS, THEY HAVE TO KNOW THAT THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO DEMAND IT FIRST.

I THINK THAT TRANSPARENCY IN ALL AREAS BECAUSE HEALTH CARE IS SOMETHING THAT PEOPLE ONLY THINK ABOUT WHEN THEY'RE IN THE MIDDLE OF A CRISIS AND THEY'RE SICK.

THEIR RIGHT TO PLAN AHEAD IS SOMETHING THEY AREN'T ALWAYS CONSIDERING.

THIS CAMPAIGN IS REALLY ABOUT LETTING PEOPLE KNOW WHETHER THEY'RE PLANNING AHEAD OR WHETHER THEY'RE IN THE MOMENT, THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON WITH THE PRICING.

AND IF THE TRANSPARENCY ISN'T THERE, THEY SHOULD DEMAND IT AND THEY SHOULD ALERT THE GOVERNMENT, BECAUSE THIS IS A GOVERNMENT MANDATE.

OF COURSE.

I WANTED TO GO BACK TO THE CAMPAIGN A LITTLE BIT.

EVERYTHING THAT WE'VE TALKED ABOUT SO FAR HAS BEEN SOMEWHAT TECHNICAL, PERHAPS A LITTLE GETTING INTO MEDICAL BILLING AND STUFF.

HOW DOES THAT TRANSLATE INTO A PUBLIC AWARENESS CAMPAIGN THROUGH ART?

WHAT IS IT THAT PEOPLE CAN EXPECT TO START SEEING?

WELL, THE IMAGE THAT I MADE FOR THE POWER TO THE PATIENTS CAMPAIGN IS A RAISED FIST HOLDING THE MEDICAL SIGN WITH SOME SORT OF RAYS COMING OUT.

IT SAYS POWER TO THE PATIENTS.

I TREATED IT LIKE A PATRIOTIC ACTIVIST POSTER THAT WAS MEANT TO EMPOWER THE PATIENT.

IT LITERALLY SAYS POWER TO THE PATIENTS ON IT.

I THINK IT'S AN IMAGE THAT WOULD GRAB THE ATTENTION OF THE VIEWER AND MAKE THEM CURIOUS WHAT IT'S ABOUT.

I BELIEVE THAT A LOT OF IMPORTANT MOVEMENTS ARE GRASSROOTS MOVEMENTS THAT COME FROM THE BOTTOM UP.

THIS HAS A FEELING OF ONE OF THOSE CAMPAIGNS.

THIS HAS BEEN IMPORTANT TO ME THROUGHOUT MY WHOLE CAREER, HOW DO I EMPOWER PEOPLE TO PARTICIPATE IN DEMOCRACY, IN SOCIETY?

HEALTH CARE IS A PLACE WHERE PEOPLE OFTEN FEEL LIKE THEY'RE AT THE MERCY OF A SYSTEM, THEY ARE POWERLESS.

THE IDEA THAT THEY CAN BE EMPOWERED IN SOMETHING THAT'S OFTEN FRUSTRATING AND CHALLENGING IS REALLY IMPORTANT TO ME.

HOPEFULLY WHEN PEOPLE SEE THE IMAGE THEY GO TO THE WEBSITE POWERTOTHEPATIENTS.ORG AND THEY DO SOME RESEARCH, THEY SHARE IT WITH FRIENDS.

I STILL BELIEVE IN THE WATER COOLER CONVERSATION WHETHER IT'S LITERALLY AT THE WATER COOLER OR WHETHER IT'S ONLINE, I THINK THAT PEOPLE SHARING GOOD IDEAS IS HOW OUR SOCIETY EVOLVES.

SO I UNDERSTAND THAT WHEN IT COMES TO SEEING THESE, IT COULD BE PERHAPS IN THE FORM OF A POSTER, BUT THERE'S ALSO A SERIES OF MURALS GOING UP, CORRECT?

THAT IS CORRECT.

THE AMAZING TEAM BEHIND THIS CAMPAIGN, WHICH I'M JUST ONE ARTIST IN A GROUP OF GREAT PEOPLE, THEY BASED ON SOME OF MY RECOMMENDATIONS AND SOME OF THEIR OWN RESEARCH HAVE FOUND MURALISTS AND GRAFFITI ARTISTS IN CITIES ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY, SOME THAT I KNOW LIKE THE CREW OUT OF NEW YORK CITY.

MY FRIEND JAKE IN ALBUQUERQUE.

AND THEN A NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN INDIANAPOLIS, ALL SORTS OF PLACES, CHICAGO, PLACES THAT I DON'T NECESSARILY HAVE CONTACTS, BUT THESE ARTISTS ARE RECREATING THE WORK THAT I MADE IN VARIOUS PLACES IN THESE CITIES.

I THINK WHEN SOMEONE ENCOUNTERS A MURAL, THERE'S A POWER TO THAT.

IT FEELS BASED ON THE SCALE HOW IT CHANGES THE LANDSCAPE LIKE SOMETHING IMPORTANT IS HAPPENING.

LIKE IT'S A MEANINGFUL TRANSFORMATION OF THE LANDSCAPE.

I THINK THAT METAPHORICALLY WHEN PEOPLE SEE THAT HAPPEN IN PUBLIC SPACE, IT MAKES THEM FEEL LIKE THEY SHOULD BE ACTIVE IN TRANSFORMING WHATEVER THEY CARE ABOUT.

I THINK IT'S AN INFECTIOUS FEELING.

OBVIOUSLY I'M QUITE BIASSED TOWARDS THAT KIND OF ART.

IT'S WHAT I'VE BEEN DOING THROUGH MY WHOLE CAREER.

THERE'S AN EXCITEMENT IN THE CAMPAIGN THAT'S REALLY NOT COMING FROM CORPORATIONS, IT'S COMING FROM PEOPLE.

I'D JUST LIKE TO GET YOUR TAKE OR YOUR OPINION.

I MENTIONED EARLIER IN OUR CONVERSATION THAT YOU, OF COURSE, ARE THE ARTIST BEHIND THE NOW INFAMOUS OBAMA HOPE POSTER.

I'M JUST WONDERING NOW SO MANY YEARS LATER WHAT YOUR THOUGHTS ARE ON WHERE THE COUNTRY IS, WHO WE ARE AND IF YOU COULD POSSIBLY CHOOSE A WORD FOR WHERE WE ARE IN 2021.

WELL, I THINK THAT THE LAST FIVE YEARS DID A LOT OF DAMAGE IN TERMS OF NATIONAL UNITY AND AN AGREEMENT ON FACTS AND TRUTH.

SO I'M OPTIMISTIC THAT THE NEW ADMINISTRATION IS GOING TO HELP REPAIR SOME OF THE DAMAGE AND MAKE PEOPLE REALIZE THAT TRIBALISM IS NOT THE WAY FORWARD FOR THE OVERALL BENEFIT OF SOCIETY.

I WOULD SAY THAT THE ONE WORD I WOULD CHOOSE WOULD BE FRACTURED, BUT I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO ADD TO THAT THAT WE ARE -- LEADERSHIP MATTERS AND I THINK THAT THE RIGHT LEADERSHIP IS IN PLACE TO REMIND PEOPLE WHAT THE VALUES OF THE COUNTRY ARE, WHAT WE CAN AGREE ON AND, POLITICAL NUANCES ASIDE, THAT MANY OF THE PRINCIPLES OF THIS COUNTRY FOR YEARS AND YEARS AND YEARS ARE THINGS THAT WE SHOULD ASPIRE TO.

I'M REALLY HAPPY TO SEE A LOT OF MOVEMENT ON RACIAL JUSTICE, ON GENDER EQUALITY, RIGHTS FOR THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY.

I AM OPTIMISTIC IN MANY WAYS.

WE'RE DIGGING OURSELVES OUT OF THE HOLE RATHER THAN DIGGING THE HOLE DEEPER, BUT WE HAVE A LOT OF WORK TO DO.

AND I AM FOREVER VIGILANT BECAUSE PERFECTION ISN'T POSSIBLE, BUT I WILL BE PURSUING IT ALWAYS IN THE WORK I'M DOING.

UNFORTUNATELY, WE HAVE TO LEAVE IT THERE.

SHEPARD FAIREY, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR JOINING US.

OF COURSE, WE CAN TELL PEOPLE TO LOOK FORWARD TO THIS CAMPAIGN, POWER TO THE PATIENTS.

I THINK BETTER HEALTH CARE IS SOMETHING ALL AMERICANS CAN AGREE ON.

THAT SHOULD BE COMFORTING.

THANK YOU.

> ONE IT COMES TO MARIJUANA SENTENCING, THERE HAS BEEN GREAT RACIAL DISPARITY WITH MORE PEOPLE OF COLOR BEING ARRESTED AND CONVICTED FOR MARIJUANA POSSESSION.

NOW THE PROSPECT OF POT BECOMING LEGAL IN NEW YORK STATE, WE TAKE A LOOK AT MINORITY ENTREPRENEURS HOPING TO BREAK INTO THE MARIJUANA INDUSTRY AND IN DOING SO CREATING FINANCIAL EQUALITY WITH THEIR WHITE PEERS.

OUR FRIENDS AT WXXI IN ROCHESTER HAVE THE STORY.

> ON A SATURDAY AFTERNOON IN ROCHESTER, NEW YORK, A QUAINT FOURTH FLOOR APARTMENT CONVERTS TO A YOGA STUDIO.

PARTNERS AND YOGA INSTRUCTORS OPEN THEIR HOME TO FRIENDS WHO ON A BUSY WEEKEND NEED A MOMENT TO BREATHE.

DRIFT AWAY.

SOME BACK TO THE SENSATION OF BREATH.

FOLD FORWARD OVER YOUR LEGS.

THE TWO YOGIS ARE MAKING A NAME FOR THEMSELVES IN THE ROCHESTER YOGA SCENE.

THAT'S MY LOVELY PARTNER MARTISSA AND SHE'LL BE TAKING OVER.

IF MARIJUANA LEGISLATION IS PASSED IN NEW YORK, THEY SEE AN OPPORTUNITY TO LAUNCH A BUSINESS.

AN HOUR AND A HALF AFTER CONSUMPTION OF AN EDIBLE, WE'D BE IN MEDITATION SO PEOPLE WOULD START FEELING THE EFFECTS OF IT.

IF CANNABIS GETS LEGALIZED OUR PLAN IS TO START A PROGRAM CALLED WEED IN YOGA WHERE WE WOULD HAVE YOGA CLASSES THAT ARE INFUSED THE CANNABIS, WE WOULD HAVE RETREATS CENTERED AROUND CANNABIS AND YOGA.

ONE OF THE AWESOME THINGS ABOUT MARIJUANA IS IT CAN REALLY BRING YOU IN TOUCH WITH PHYSICAL AND MENTAL.

I THINK THAT PHYSICAL ASPECT IS REALLY AWESOME, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO YOGA.

YOUR PHYSICAL STATE BECOMES SO MUCH MORE SENSITIVE AND YOU'RE IN A POSTURE THAT'S CHALLENGING, YOU CAN MORE READILY REALIZE WHEN TO BACK OFF OR WHEN YOU CAN GO A LITTLE FURTHER IN THAT POSE.

THE YOGIS SAY THEY HAVE ENDLESS IDEAS FOR THEIR BUSINESS, BUT ADMIT THEY'RE LIMITED BY THE UNKNOWN.

GETTING LICENSING EVEN IF IT'S JUST LIKE AUXILIARY BUSINESSES, HOW WOULD THE BILL BE WRITTEN NOW?

WHILE GROUPS SERVE AS A RESOURCE FOR THOSE LIKE WILLIAMS AND COLEMAN, THERE ARE MAJOR QUESTIONS ABOUT REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS, LICENSES AND MORE AND BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR OF COLOR ADDS ANOTHER LAYER OF COMPLEXITY.

I'M SOMEONE THAT RUNS A HUE HUGE RISK.

THIS WAR ON DRUGS AND THE MASS INCARCERATION ATTACHED TO IT HAS DECIMATED COMMUNITIES OF COLOR ACROSS THE STATE.

CRYSTAL PEOPLES STOKES SAYS LEGALIZING ADULT USE OF CANNABIS MUST INVOLVE INVESTING IN DISENFRANCHISED COMMUNITIES IMPACTED BY THE WAR ON DRUGS.

SHE'S CALLING FOR RESOURCES TO SUPPORT ENTREPRENEURS EAGER TO LAUNCH A LEGAL MARIJUANA BUSINESS.

I THINK HOW THE LANGUAGE GETS STRUCTURED SO THAT THERE WILL BE A CERTAIN NUMBER OF PEOPLE OF COLOR OR MINORITIES OR WOMEN OR HOWEVER YOU WANT TO CALL IT THAT IT REFLECTS PEOPLE HAVING ACCESS TO BUSINESS BESIDES WHITE PEOPLE.

ONE OF OUR GOALS IS WE WANT PEOPLE TO START BUSINESSES.

WE WANT TO HELP THEM.

BOB DUFFY IS PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE ROCHESTER CHAMBER OF COMMERCE.

HE'S ALSO THE FORMER LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR UNDER ANDREW CUOMO.

HE SAYS THE CHAMBER CAN HELP CANNABIS ENTREPRENEURS OF COLOR NAVIGATE THE UNKNOWN.

I DON'T THINK ANYBODY COULD JUST START A BUSINESS IN THIS AREA.

THERE'S GOING TO BE SOME CONTROLS PUT IN.

WHAT THEY ARE I HAVE NO IDEA.

I'LL GO SO FAR AS TO SAY WE WILL LOOK AT EVEN HAVING CLASSES HERE OR GROUPS AND EVENTS TO HELP PEOPLE SEE THAT PATH FORWARD.

EXHALE, SIGH IT OUT.

WHILE THE PATH FORWARD IS UNCLEAR AT THE MOMENT, WILLIAMS AND COLEMAN CONTINUE TO DEVELOP THEIR BUSINESS IDEAS AND THEY WANT OTHERS TO DO THE SAME.

PEOPLE ARE JUST COMING INTO OUR HOME TO HAVE THIS EXPERIENCE WITH US.

IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT FOR US TO THINK ABOUT WHAT REINVESTMENT LOOKS LIKE.

I THINK THAT WE COULD START BY EMPOWERING BLACK AND BROWN ENTREPRENEURS TO GET INVOLVED.

TO GET THEIR BUSINESSES SET UP, WE KNOW THAT CANNABIS IS GOING TO BE A MONEYMAKER.

IT NEEDS TO BE A MONEYMAKER FOR THOSE THAT HAVE BEEN DISENFRANCHISED BY IT.

> CANNABIS, IT'S A BURGEONING NEW INDUSTRY THAT SOME SAY HAS THE POTENTIAL TO CHANGE THE WAY WE TREAT AILMENTS AND REVOLUTIONIZE THE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY.

BUT WITH NEW BUSINESS COMES NEW PROBLEMS.

WHILE LAWMAKERS IN ALBANY HAGGLE OVER WHETHER OR NOT TO MAKE RECREATIONAL USE OF THE DRUG LEGAL, ONE ORGANIZATION, WOMEN GROW, WANTS TO MAKE SURE THE INDUSTRY DOESN'T BECOME ANOTHER MALE DOMINATED BUSINESS.

THEY'RE PROVIDING SUPPORT TO WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS SO THERE WON'T BE A GLASS CEILING LATER ON.

WE WANT TO SEE MORE WOMEN IN THE FOREFRONT OF THIS INDUSTRY.

WE ARE LOOKING FOR LEADERS TO COME UP WITH THE NEXT ENTREPRENEURIAL SUCCESS IN THE SPACE.

GIA MARROAN THE EXECUTIVE OF WOMEN GROW.

SO HERE WE ARE.

WE HAVE A BRAND NEW INDUSTRY THAT'S JUST MATURING NOW.

WE'RE AT THE INFANCY STAGE.

WHY NOT ADDRESS THE ISSUES WE ALREADY SEE, WHICH IS WE SEE MEN AT THE FOREFRONT.

HONESTLY, WE SEE MORE WHITE MEN AT THE FOREFRONT.

THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT, BUT WE'D LIKE TO SEE WOMEN AT THE FOREFRONT AND WE'D LIKE TO SEE OUR SOCIETY ACROSS THE BOARD BE REFLECTED IN THIS INDUSTRY.

ONE COMPANY THAT EMBODIES FEMALE DRIVE IN THE CANNABIS BUSINESS IS NEW YORK STATE'S ONLY FEMALE-OWNED MEDICAL MARIJUANA LICENSEE.

THE COMPANY HAS DISPENSARIES ACROSS THE STATE AND ITS PRODUCTION FACILITY IS LOCATED IN CHESTERTOWN IN THE SOUTHEASTERN ADIRONDACKS.

IT WAS FOUNDED BY THREE MEMBERS OF THE PECKHAM FAMILY.

I THINK IN THE MEDICAL MARIJUANA INDUSTRY IT'S IMPORTANT TO HAVE FEMALE INDUSTRY.

HILLARY AND HER MOM KNEW IF THEY WERE GOING TO START A COMPANY, THEY WANTED TO KEEP WOMEN AT THE FOREFRONT.

IT SHOULD BE MORE THAN JUST 1 IN 10 IS A WOMEN OWNED COMPANY.

I HOPE THAT MORE WOMEN ARE TRYING TO GET INVOLVED.

IF YOU LOOK BACK TO THE DOTCOM BOOM, IT LOOKED LIKE WOMEN WERE GOING TO GET INVOLVED IN THAT, BUT IT TURNED OUT THAT WASN'T WHERE A LOT OF THE INITIAL SKILL SET OR INVESTMENT COULD COME FOR WOMEN.

SO WOMEN ARE NOT REPRESENTED IN TECH.

NOT ONLY ARE THEY FOCUSED ON THE MEDICAL USE OF CANNABIS, THE COMPANY IS ALSO KEEPING AN EYE ON THE DEVELOPING RECREATIONAL LEGISLATION.

IT DEFINITELY LOOKS LIKE NEW YORK IS AT LEAST CONSIDERING THE POSSIBILITY OF LEGALIZING MARIJUANA USE FOR EVERYONE IN THE STATE.

WE'RE DEFINITELY EXCITED ABOUT THAT OPPORTUNITY.

AS A COMPANY, WE'RE VERY PASSIONATE NO MATTER WHAT DIVISION MEDICAL OR ADULT USE THAT PEOPLE HAVE ACCESS TO SAFE AND HIGH QUALITY CANNABIS AND TO MAKE SURE THAT IT'S REGULATED IN THE WAY THAT THE CONSUMER IS PROTECTED.

ON THIS SIDE THERE'S A MESH FILTER.

WALKING THROUGH THEIR UPSTATE FACILITY, HILLARY SHOWS OFF THEIR NURSERY AND GREENHOUSE.

THESE PLANTS ONLY HAVE ONE LIFE CYCLE.

AT THE END WE HARVEST THEM.

THEY DON'T GROW ANOTHER SEASON.

YOU'LL SEE HERE THE PLANTS AS OPPOSED TO THE ORIGINAL ONES THAT I SHOWED YOU THAT ARE MUCH SMALLER.

TO PRODUCE WHAT PEOPLE KNOW AS BUD, THESE HAVE THE HIGHEST CONTENT OF CANNABINOIDS.

ONCE THE PLANTS REACH THEIR FINAL STAGE, WE HARVEST THEM AND TAKE THE BUD OFF OF THEM AND THAT IS DRIED AND PUT INTO WHAT WE CALL EXTRACTION PACKS.

SO YOU'LL TAKE A SAMPLE HERE AND THIS IS NOT READY YET FOR EXTRACTION, BUT YOU'LL SEE THAT IT'S FILLED WITH BUDS, THAT IT'S COMPLETELY DRIED.

THEN IT'S GROUND AND IT'S MADE INTO THESE EXTRACTION PACKS THAT ALLOW FOR US TO GET MORE MATERIAL INTO OUR MACHINE TO GET ALL OF THE OIL OUT AND START PRODUCE PRODUCTS.

THEY PRODUCE OIL EXTRACTIONS AND VAPORIZER AND OIL STRAY FORMS AND ARRANGED BY THEIR CBD LEVELS.

THE CHIEF COMPLIANCE OFFICER REMEMBERS WHAT IT WAS LIKE AS THEY GOT OFF THE GROUND.

THERE WERE INSTANCES WHERE WE'D WALK INTO A MEETING, A MALE-DOMINATED MEETING AND NO ONE WOULD LOOK AT HILLARY WHILE SPEAKING, THEY WERE SPEAKING WITH ME.

FIRSTHAND I CAN TELL YOU AS A YOUNG WOMAN IT'S BEEN MUCH HARDER, I THINK, FOR ME THAN MALE PEERS TO GAIN RESPECT AND GET JUST INVESTMENT MONEY.

I'LL BE TALKING TO THEM AND THEY'LL SAY THINGS LIKE, OH YOU'RE SO SPUNKY, OH, HAVE YOU TALKED TO JOHN DOE OVER HERE, HE SEEMS LIKE A REAL BUSINESSMAN.

IT'S EXACTLY THE TYPE OF BUSINESS THAT WOMEN GROW WANT TO SEE MORE OF AS MORE STATES MOVE TOWARD MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION.

TO ENSURE MORE WOMEN ARE ABLE TO GET INTO THE BUSINESS, WOMEN GROW INTENTIONALLY ADDRESSES STARTUP ISSUES LIKE LICENSING, LEGAL ADVICE, ADVERTISING AND THE ALL-IMPORTANT STARTUP INGREDIENT CAPITAL.

YOU CAN'T GET A LOAN IN THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY, BECAUSE AS OF RIGHT NOW IT'S STILL FEDERALLY ILLEGAL.

SO THE FUNDING AND THE CAPITAL TO SUPPORT THESE BUSINESSES REALLY HAVE TO COME FROM PRIVATE INVESTMENTS.

THIS IS WHERE WOMEN STRUGGLE.

NEW YORK IS IN A UNIQUE POSITION TO MAKE ITS LEGISLATION FOR LEGALIZATION FAIR AND EQUITABLE FOR ALL.

FOR HILLARY, THAT STARTS WITH EQUAL ACCESS TO CAPITAL AND SUPPORT TO GROW.

AS YOU SEE MORE STANDARDIZED INVESTMENT, I THINK THAT WILL KIND OF CHANGE THE LANDSCAPE TO BE EVEN MORE MALE DOMINATED WHICH IS WHY I THINK IT'S VERY IMPORTANT THAT WOMEN START GETTING INVOLVED NOW BECAUSE THAT WOULD HELP TO MAKE SURE THERE'S A VOICE THAT CARRIES THROUGH.

WE'RE TRYING TO EXPAND NATIONALLY SO WE JUST GOT LICENSED IN CALIFORNIA.

WE'RE HOPING TO KEEP GROWING THE COMPANY AND SETTING THE GOAL OF ALWAYS BEEN WOMEN OWNED AND ALWAYS HAVING WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP.

FOR 'METROFOCUS,' I'M JENNA FLANAGAN.

♪♪

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND.

BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION AND BY -- JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER, JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD, CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN FAMILY, JUDY AND JOSH WESTON, AND THE DR. ROBERT C.

AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION, THE ♪♪ NUANCE KWOIBL QUESTIONABLE

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, The Peter G. Peterson and Joan Ganz Cooney Fund, Bernard and Denise Schwartz, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, The Ambrose Monell Foundation, Janet Prindle Seidler, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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