Conversations With Sven Gustafson

This is Detroit’s dinner party conversation, with multiple segments with local tastemakers, artists and entrepreneurs. They don’t call it the Paris of the Midwest for nothing! Host Sven Gustafson is a former journalist and bartender, and a fan of tasty food and drink — and Swedish pancakes. He hosts a smart and engaging conversation about Detroit’s fast-changing restaurant, arts and entertainment scene each week with a variety of fascinating guests and quick-hit segments. Join us as we explore the city through a fun and insightful lens.
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Conversations With Sven Gustafson




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Now displaying: January, 2018
Jan 20, 2018

Detroit’s failure to make the list of 20 finalists for Amazon’s $5 billion HQ2 project and its 50,000 jobs has been the talk of the town. Especially after the all-hands-on-deck effort to produce a joint Detroit-Windsor bid that had many people believing the Motor City, once considered strictly a longshot, had a serious chance.

We talk to five local experts from a variety of backgrounds for their perspectives on what the failure says about our region and where we go from here.

  • Justin Robinson, vice president of business attraction with the Detroit Regional Chamber, who was part of the team that helped put together the HQ2 proposal
  • John Mogk, a law professor at Wayne State University and expert on urban policy and economic development
  • Kurt Metzger, a longtime population demographer who is currently mayor of Pleasant Ridge
  • Tom Lawrence, founder and CEO of Lawrence Technology Systems and host of a popular tech vlog and YouTube channel
  • And Nuri Gocay, a co-host of the IT in the D podcast and technology veteran who has worked for companies including Google and Expedia in cities around the world.

Our experts differ on their reactions — Robinson and Mogk were surprised we were left off the list, while Gocay and Lawrence, less so. But they all raised interesting points about Detroit’s image and quality of life, our technology scene, and shortcomings around transit and education.

Jan 11, 2018

Board games are making a big comeback, and they're making a comeback here in Metro Detroit. Especially during the winter season, games with friends at a bar might just be the ticket to have fun without the sun.

Madison Reitzel and Kyle Sweeney are at the front of this changing trend - and board games are much different today than they used to be, moving faster and having more creative ways of playing. 

So this week, Sven Gustafson dives into a neat corner of Detroit's culture.

The Loaded Die has game nights across Metro Detroit and they've been helping foster the board game culture that has also taken hold in other cities across the world.

They also have a retail store in the Rust Belt in Ferndale.


Thanks to Podcast Detroit:

Disclosure: The Loaded Die has been a supporter of Daily Detroit in the past.

Jan 3, 2018

This is a deep dive roundtable discussion into what's going on with medical marijuana in the state of Michigan and the city of Detroit.

Host Sven Gustafson welcomed for the first episode of our second season of the show:

Roberta King, Canna Communication:

Denise Pollicella, Cannabis Attorneys of Michigan and was actively involved in crafting legislation to create a legal medical cannabis industry, now known as PA281, the Medical Marihuana Licensing Facilities Act:

Thomas Lavigne, Attorney at Law who specializes in Cannabis:

Show Notes:

1:00: Outlining the current medical marijuana situation in Michigan and Detroit, as well as the potential of fully legalizing Cannabis.

3:15: A thumbnail understand of the new medical marijuana rules.

5:20: The capitalization requirements are much steeper for medical marijuana facilities than liquor stores and pharmacies.

8:00: What you will need to be licensed in Michigan and how that interacts with your local municipality.

11:42: Are these new rules fair? Will they help the industry?

13:40: How the strict due diligence and high capital requirements put a defacto cap on dispensaries.

18:30: Is a community by community patchwork going to continue? What are the kinds of places that are more receptive to medical marijuana in Michigan?

21:10: If advocates want things to change they’ll have to run for office, sweep away “dinosaurs” on local boards.

22:10: Talking about fears around medical marijuana.

22:55: Hospital systems, their opposition to medical marijuana, and why guests believe they believe that opposition is because they systems it as competition to their pharmacies.

25:30: What’s going on in Detroit? Why is the city of Detroit shutting down dispensaries when voters overwhelmingly support it?

27:30: How the city of Detroit’s administration has been very difficult to work with around medical marijuana and dispensaries.

28:42: Can you zone a city by ballot initiative? It’s unclear.

29:30: Medical marijuana licensing could be frozen in the city of Detroit for a year.

32:00: 70 percent of the residents of the city of Detroit want medical marijuana, why is the city fighting it so hard?

34:20: Neighborhoods feel ignored and lied to by the city over the years, so that breeds skepticism, and it’s true that there’s been a lot of dumping on the city.

36:00: Happy Hour Facebook Group questions - What is the industry doing around marketing and communications? It’s hard to take them seriously with "punny" names along 8 Mile.

39:00: Facebook Group question: Is anyone considering a legal challenge to the capitalization requirements? 40:00: The financial investigation for everyone tied to licensing is very intense, and includes spouses

40:40: Many of the administrative rules may not be supported in the medical marijuana statute, but no one has legally challenged this yet

41:40: The status of the MI Legalize ballot initiative to legalize recreational marijuana in Michigan, and what it contains

45:30: Could Michigan be bigger than Colorado for marijuana tourism? Turns out Michigan has more visitors than Colorado and spend on tourism.

Thanks to Podcast Detroit, our network. Be sure to check them out here: