Back when Mike Arnold was a lawyer, he advised clients accused of marijuana-related crimes, including unlawful manufacturing (farming/growing) and marijuana DUI (driving under the influence) cases. For the grow cases, he most often defended the cannabis farmers in federal court where their life was on the line.
Once Oregon became legal for recreational commercial cannabis, Mike began advising clients on their cannabis startups, including completing their applications for the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC).
Mike noticed that most of the startups he was assisting with back in the early stage of Oregon cannabis in 2016 were very small scale. He noticed the consumption trends, the increase in numbers of applications, and ran a lot of data analysis. He was convinced by the end of 2016 that the bottom was going to drop out of cannabis by the end of 2017 and scale was the only option. He thought, “What would my grandpa do?” Mike, having grown up watching both sides of his family farm row crops, cattle and hogs at scale in the Midwest, thought that gardening wasn’t the future of cannabis given the trends.
Consequently, he founded a cannabis holdings company in December 2016 and began searching for partners to assist in the development of a grow operation. Quickly his vision foresaw the total market collapse and commoditization of cannabis by October 2017. He took on his first business partner in February 2017 and first outside capital in March. When he exited that company in the fall of 2017 to found his new company, he left behind eight OLCC recreational licenses and the largest farms by number of plants in 2017.
His biggest triumphs of 2017 were going from zero assets with no plants in the ground until June to a autoflower harvest powerhouse by the end of summer. He also designed and oversaw construction of a 50,000 cubic foot drying barn with 80,000 cfm of HVAC, making it one of the largest and most efficient flash drying facilities in the Pacific Northwest at that particular moment in time. It was featured in Rolling Stone Magazine in 2018 (Inside the High-Tech Solution for Smelly, Smelly Weed) and was probably small by California standards less then a few months later. This industry was moving very fast in 2018.
In 2016, while researching THC patents, he discovered the world’s only patent-pending whole-plant THC inhaler. He negotiated the Oregon rights in early 2017, which ultimately led to the worldwide rights (minus Canada and Australia). This became the focus of his first startup, despite the scale and size of the plant operations. When he exited in 2017 the inhaler was in over 100 Oregon stores. Mike is now one of the nation’s experts on pMDI cannabis inhaler tech.
Mike took those skills on the road in 2018 and 2019, leading the first Missouri cannabis seminars. By the summer of 2019 he was consulting on several cannabis applications and what is thought to be one of the largest or the largest and most well capitalized application in the state of Missouri.
However, Mike’s real passion was in a side project he began researching in the spring of 2018: magic mushrooms. Mike foresaw this emerging market and set up his newest venture then: metered-dosing for psychedelics. By the summer of 2019, Mike and his co-inventor Michael Hartman, inventor of the hemp and marijuana inhalers, filed a provisional patent application for metered-dosing solutions for DMT, psilocybin and mescaline. Mike remains CEO of that new startup, Silo Wellness.