Show cover of The Green Repeal - A Guide to Cannabis Marketing & Advertising

The Green Repeal - A Guide to Cannabis Marketing & Advertising

Today’s Cannabis marketers are facing the same challenges faced by the alcohol industry in 1933 when prohibition was reversed — how do you successfully market a product and navigate an industry that is on the verge of becoming legalized on a federal level? Join alcohol beverage marketing experts and founders of SoHo Experiential, Rick Kiley and Jeff Boedges, as they interview economists, historians, entrepreneurs, legal experts, and more! Listen in as they track the path to a “Green Repeal”, through the lens of alcohol beverage professionals familiar with the trials and tribulations of marketing a “sin-dustry.” Through the podcast, listeners will get an excellent understanding of the Cannabis industry, how it will be governed, and how to successfully navigate the challenges of marketing a successful product in a heavily restricted industry.

Tracks

060: Making Large Cannabis Events Accessible to Local Businesses with NECANN’s Marc Shepard
Running a successful event of any kind isn’t easy. And running a successful event in the cannabis space isn’t any easier. But that’s exactly what Marc Shepard is doing, and he’s helping local communities and industries to thrive and grow. Marc is the founder of NECANN–the world’s largest B2B cannabis convention–as well as a member of the MassCann/NORML and Mass Grower Advocacy Council. Over the course of 20 years, he’s produced and executed cannabis events all over New England, advocated tirelessly for cannabis legalization across a ton of outlets, and is a massive Silver Age Marvel nerd. In fact, he’s also the owner and founder of the Salty Comics Corp. In this conversation, you’ll hear the inside story of how NECANN started and how it’s expanded across a number of states and markets. You’ll also hear all about NECANN’s upcoming High LifeStyle Show, which will be their first-ever consumer event, and how you can make plans to attend. KEY TAKEAWAYS What NECANN’s mission is and how they became an alternative to a showcase of major brands by helping local businesses. Why making the events affordable for businesses and attendees is such a high priority. The reasons why NECANN isn’t trying to compete with the largest conferences, and instead focuses on doing what those events can’t do. How the NECANN Cup, which celebrates local growers, is judged and how they select their judges. What Marc has planned for the NECANN High LifeStyle show coming up on Oct 7-9th. Why social justice and expungement has become a touchy topic on the way to legalization–and what needs to happen to get the best results in the long-term. Show Notes For complete show notes, including transcripts, takeaways, and links to all the resources mentioned, visit SoHoExp.com/60 To learn more about the podcast and get access to all episodes, visit: SoHoExp.com/GreenRepeal
61:14 10/04/2022
059: How Malek’s Flavor-First Approach Cultivates the Finest Flower with Katherine Wolf
While some cultivators might focus on yield or volume, Malek’s Premium Cannabis is all about passion over profit with a flavor-first approach. And joining us today to explain why is Malek’s CMO and Head of Marketing Katherine Wolf. Katherine is a self-confessed branding nerd and a published writer with a passion for helping cannabis companies grow and thrive. She advocates for women in cannabis leadership and safe access to cannabis education and products. She has been published in media outlets such as the Northwest Leaf, MJ Brand Insights, and Skunk Magazine. In our conversation, you’ll learn how Malek’s Premium is always pheno-hunting to create new strains and how sticking to limited runs, and small batches helps cultivate the finest flower. You’ll also hear how they use NFTs in their marketing strategy with the community they’ve built and how they generate a buzz with new strains using social media. KEY TAKEAWAYS Why Malek’s Premium Cannabis focuses on small batch cannabis products with limited runs of 8 to 10 lights per strain. The sense of community that Malek’s has created and how they generate excitement using customer feedback when selecting the strains for new batch consumption. How Malek’s interest in seed breeding became the foundation of their flavor-first guiding philosophy. The obstacles that still exist when using social media or Instagram as a marketing tool to push customers to your website. How Malek’s uses NFTs in their marketing strategy and as a loyalty reward tool. Why Katherine believes destigmatizing cannabis needs to happen before federal legalization.  Show Notes For complete show notes, including transcripts, takeaways, and links to all the resources mentioned, visit SoHoExp.com/59 To learn more about the podcast and get access to all episodes, visit: SoHoExp.com/GreenRepeal
67:56 09/21/2022
058: The Path to Federal Legalization with Jarrod Loadholt
If you’ve been following the podcast for a while, you’ve undoubtedly heard us ask our guests: “When do you think we’ll see full federal legalization?” We’ve gotten all kinds of answers, but most of us are making educated guesses at best. To get more of an insider’s perspective, we’re thrilled to be talking to Jarrod Loadholt. He’s a partner at Ice Miller LLP’s cannabis group, where he specializes in cannabis law. Previously, he was the head of Credit Karma’s Washington D.C. office, and before that, he co-founded a full-service public affairs firm with a focus on government relations, public affairs, strategic communications, and electoral campaigns. This makes him more than qualified to discuss this episode’s topic: federal cannabis legalization in the United States. In our conversation, we dig into why cannabis isn’t a huge legislative priority at the federal level right now despite massive support, the incremental changes that could help the industry right now, and what the SAFE Act is–and how you can help get it passed. KEY TAKEAWAYS Why the coming midterms will give us a much clearer picture of what’s to come for cannabis. What makes the cannabis industry so bad at advocating for itself in Washington. Why the SAFE Act has taken way too long to pass–and why the Cannabis Administration Opportunity Act (CAOA) is not happening. Why the Biden administration has yet to embrace mass clemency. How crypto can play a role in cannabis banking despite being a highly speculative, high-risk field. Show Notes For complete show notes, including transcripts, takeaways, and links to all the resources mentioned, visit SoHoExp.com/58 To learn more about the podcast and get access to all episodes, visit: SoHoExp.com/GreenRepeal
74:19 09/07/2022
057: The Recipe for Success in Cannabis Edibles with Jeff Koz
Every brand has a story, but few have a combination of family recipe, story, and legacy quite like Dr. Norm’s. Dr. Norm was a real person–a well respected M.D. His wife, Audrey, was a professional pharmacist and beloved baker. Their children started a traditional cookie company to honor their mother, and it’s since become one of California’s best selling cannabis cookie and brownie brands. Today’s guest is none other than one of Dr. Norm’s son and a co-founder of the company, Jeff Koz. We met at MJ Unpacked, and we’re thrilled to have him on the podcast to share the story of his brand and his unique experiences. In this episode, you’ll find out how Jeff and his sister broke into the cannabis industry, how Jeff and his sister Roberta honed their product and scaled their business, and the innovations shaping the future of the edibles space. KEY TAKEAWAYS How Dr. Norm’s kids launched a traditional baking company to honor their parents–and what led them to take a leap into cannabis edibles. How Jeff and his sister Roberta learned how to get their flavors and dosages just right with their edibles. The challenges of expanding cannabis brands across state lines. What Dr. Norm’s is doing to tell an authentic story with their brand while exploring activations, lifestyle marketing, and other outlets. Why Jeff thinks we’re still three years away from federal legalization. Show Notes For complete show notes, including transcripts, takeaways, and links to all the resources mentioned, visit SoHoExp.com/57 To learn more about the podcast and get access to all episodes, visit: SoHoExp.com/GreenRepeal
73:33 08/02/2022
056: From Craft to Cannabis, A Soda Story with Bohb Blair
We’ve spoken to many entrepreneurs and business leaders in the cannabis industry, and we’ve noticed one overarching theme: everyone is very new and still figuring it out as they go. Even in the most mature markets, things are constantly changing, and new categories are emerging all the time. Today’s guest, Bohb Blair, is relatively new to the industry but has a proven knack for reinvention. He’s the Chief Marketing Officer at Jones Soda–one of the very first craft soda brands to make a splash over two decades ago. These days, Jones is making a name for themselves with Mary Jones Cannabis, their new cannabis-infused beverage and edibles brand, and Bohb is their Chief Brand Officer. Before joining Jones Soda, he spent over 20 years at marketing agencies, including Starcom, and he’s won countless awards for clients, including Pringles, Budweiser, and Airbnb–to name just a few. In this conversation, Bohb shares how he’s launched new products and brands while reinventing himself along the way, what he’s doing to help take Jones into a new category while retaining brand loyalty, and the unique opportunities that bigger brands have right now to enter this industry. KEY TAKEAWAYS Why Jones Soda decided to expand into the cannabis beverage and edibles spaces. The two things that have so many people excited about the cannabis beverage space right now. What Mary Jones Cannabis is doing to build a new, savvy, and age-appropriate community around the brand. How federal legalization, if and when it happens, will change the legality of products across states and require brands to rethink their portfolios. Show Notes For complete show notes, including transcripts, takeaways, and links to all the resources mentioned, visit SoHoExp.com/56 To learn more about the podcast and get access to all episodes, visit: SoHoExp.com/GreenRepeal
55:36 07/19/2022
055: Solving the Licensing and Regulatory Challenges for Canna-Businesses with Dr. Sherry Boodram
With so many new markets coming online in the next few years, there are more people than ever before looking for help with permitting, licensing, and everything else that comes with launching a business in a highly regulated industry. When they need that help, they turn to people like today’s guest, Dr. Sherry Boodram. She’s the CEO and co-founder of CannDelta–a regulatory and scientific consulting company that helps clients navigate both the cannabis and psychedelic industries. Dr. Boodram and her team provide regulatory compliance advice to operate in the legal Canadian markets, and they also provide support to international jurisdictions, including the U.S.  Before launching CannDelta, she was actually a part of the Canadian federal government, serving as Health Canada’s Medical Cannabis and Controlled Substances Programs’ Senior Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement Officer. She holds a Ph.D in Chemistry, an honorary B.S. in Biological Chemistry, and certificates in Cannabis Law and Regulation as well as Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs and Quality Operations. In this conversation, Sherry walks us through the hoops and hurdles facing people looking to break into the cannabis and psychedelics industries, the mistakes so many people make while trying to ensure that they’re operating legally, and the key differences between the established Canadian and emerging American markets.  KEY TAKEAWAYS The most common mistakes that people make when trying to get cannabis licenses. Why Shelly transitioned out of government to launch CannDelta–and what she’s focused on now. The unique benefits of working with someone who knows Canada’s industry so well for anyone planning a launch in a state like New York or New Jersey. Why medical approvals for psilocybin in a number of states are more likely to happen now than ever before. Why social equity has to be such a big part of the American cannabis story–and how Canada failed to integrate First Nations peoples into its legalization.  Show Notes For complete show notes, including transcripts, takeaways, and links to all the resources mentioned, visit SoHoExp.com/55 To learn more about the podcast and get access to all episodes, visit: SoHoExp.com/GreenRepeal
66:08 07/05/2022
054: Bringing Dope Cannabis People Together with On The Revel’s Lulu Tsui
With New York coming online as a major player in our industry, things are changing fast. New players are looking to enter the field at a rapid pace, and the decisions we make along the way could easily have lasting repercussions for operators and consumers nationwide. But as this industry grows, how do we make it the best it can be? Today, we’re talking to Lulu Tsui. She’s the Co-Founder and Chief Experience Officer at On The Revel, a company working to create curated educational and networking experiences for people breaking into the legal cannabis industry. At her company’s Revelry events and through the Dope People mentorship program, she’s working to help make the cannabis industry more inclusive, more collaborative, and more diverse. Lulu is a designer with over 15 years of experience creating amazing technology, and she’s the president of the Cannabis Media Council, where she works to destigmatize and normalize cannabis use in traditional media. In this episode, Lulu talks about the parallels between tech and cannabis, why she thinks New York has the power to transform the global industry in ways California never will, and the amazing things that can happen when you get like minded people together in the same room. KEY TAKEAWAYS The unique challenges facing the cannabis industry when it comes to data and standardization. Why Lulu is betting big on New York to shape what the cannabis industry of the future will look like. How On the Revel is rethinking their conferences and events to inspire connection and create opportunities for innovators and entrepreneurs. How a COVID pivot led Lulu to create the Dope People series. The logistics of getting a retail license in New York State right now. Show Notes For complete show notes, including transcripts, takeaways, and links to all the resources mentioned, visit SoHoExp.com/54 To learn more about the podcast and get access to all episodes, visit: SoHoExp.com/GreenRepeal
66:58 06/21/2022
053: MJ Unpacked Recap & A Chat with Old Pal CEO, Rusty Wilenkin
Today, Rick and Jeff “unpack” their experience at the MJ Unpacked conference at the Hilton Hotel in Midtown Manhattan as they share their thoughts, highlights, and the sights and sounds from the event. At this high-energy event, they saw more deals get done than ever before, tons of new brands working to enter the space, and a huge number of opportunities taking shape as New York and New Jersey grow into the gigantic markets they’re inevitably going to become. While they were there, they caught up with Rusty Wilenkin, CEO of Old Pal. In his words, Old Pal is aiming to create the “Bud Light of weed”–a cannabis product for the everyman that’s accessible, affordable, and simple, reminiscent of the era when weed was weed. In this episode, you’ll hear more from MJ Unpacked and learn about a ton of exciting brands we discovered at the conference. Then, in our interview with Rusty, we get into how he transitioned out of the legacy market and invented a category, how he’s building a cannabis brand at a massive national scale, and his long game for growing Old Pal’s portfolio in a fast-moving industry. KEY TAKEAWAYS Why the cannabis industry is maturing so rapidly, attracting more capital than ever before, and on track to skyrocket with legalization on the East Coast. How Rusty defines the “core user” in the world of cannabis–and why so many brands aren’t reaching those people. Why great brands often fail to achieve success at scale–and how Rusty learned from the critical mistakes he made in the first year of Old Pal. What Old Pal is doing to get themselves into emerging markets as they open up. What it means to launch the “Four Loko” of cannabis products–and why Rusty is so excited about it. Show Notes For complete show notes, including transcripts, takeaways, and links to all the resources mentioned, visit SoHoExp.com/53 To learn more about the podcast and get access to all episodes, visit: SoHoExp.com/GreenRepeal
37:14 06/07/2022
052: MJ Unpacked: A Conversation with the Entrepreneurs Behind HiBnb and Fruit Slabs
This week, we’re reporting from the floor of the MJ Unpacked Conference here in New York City. Over the course of three days, we had the opportunity to learn firsthand about the latest innovations in the industry and connect with a number of power players doing fascinating things. First up is Elizabeth Becker. After working in film in LA, Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal, Elizabeth launched HiBnb–a fully compliant marketplace that offers cannabis-friendly accommodations and activities to enthusiasts while giving producers and retailers access to amazing marketing opportunities. In our interview with Elizabeth, you’ll learn why she never assumes that cannabis consumers are dirty or might burn the house down, how her startup fosters community, and the unique challenges she’s facing as an entrepreneur in this fast-moving, fast-growing space. Next, we’re joined by Brandon Dorsky and Maggie Wilson, CEO and CMO of Fruit Slabs which is an award-winning and kosher-friendly edible brand. Brandon has over a dozen years of experience as an attorney working to build businesses and create intellectual property, and Maggie is an expert-level cannabis sommelier–and became the first Black female to hold that title in 2018. We had the chance to talk with them about how their business has changed since launching in 2015, the ins and outs of getting federal patents for cannabis products, and where to market in a world that’s so quick to punish cannabis brands that aren’t doing anything wrong. KEY TAKEAWAYS How HiBnb uniquely provides support to cannabis tourists, brands, and products. Why so many “cannapreneurs” can outsource so few of their operations to other companies–and why they often struggle to find funding. What makes California such a difficult place to build and grow a cannabusiness right now. How Fruit Slabs is connecting with customers while offering a better product at a higher price point. Why Maggie recommends that any business that loses access to Instagram move their operations over to Pinterest. Show Notes For complete show notes, including transcripts, takeaways, and links to all the resources mentioned, visit SoHoExp.com/52 To learn more about the podcast and get access to all episodes, visit: SoHoExp.com/GreenRepeal
47:51 05/25/2022
051: How Cannabis Entrepreneurs Can Leverage Virtual Assistants with Tajanna Mallory
Over the last half-decade, there’s been an explosion in interest in virtual assistants. Entrepreneurs of all kinds have hired remote support staff to do all sorts of tasks: making travel arrangements, managing calendars, briefing team members before conferences or engagements, and even assisting with content creation and social media. This is as true of cannabis as it is with other industries, but it comes with its own hurdles and challenges. To learn more, we’re talking to Tajanna Mallory, Founder, and CEO at CannAssistants. CannAssistants is a virtual assistant agency that provides administrative support to mid-size cannabis companies, founders, and business executives. She has over a decade of experience providing administrative support, H.R., and talent recruiting services for large teams and C-level executives in the for-profit and not-for-profit space. She’s worked with Fortune 500 companies, including Deloitte & Touche, the NFL, Pfizer, Comcast, Chick-Fil-A, and Oliver Wyman, to name just a few. In this episode, Tajanna shares the story of her journey from corporate America to the cannabis industry, how she helps entrepreneurs take administrative tasks off their plate, and how CannAssistants empowers virtual assistants as business owners themselves. KEY TAKEAWAYS Why virtual assistants are a versatile and affordable way to scale a company. The unique issues facing cannabis entrepreneurs (and the virtual assistants working with them) as they grow their businesses. How Tajanna finds the right assistants for her clients and creates opportunities for them to convert to full-time when an employer is interested. How Tajanna sees diversity in the cannabis industry and within her own businesses. What makes the career trajectory for assistants so unique–and how Tajanna helps her assistants achieve their goals just as much as her entrepreneurs’. Why Tajanna doesn’t think full federal legalization will happen in the next four years. Show Notes For complete show notes, including transcripts, takeaways, and links to all the resources mentioned, visit SoHoExp.com/51 To learn more about the podcast and get access to all episodes, visit: SoHoExp.com/GreenRepeal
58:03 05/10/2022
050: The 420 Extravaganja with Stump the Budtender Trivia
For obvious reasons, today is a very special episode. Happy 420, everyone! Instead of our usual interview format, we’re speaking to three budtenders in the world of cannabis. We ask each of them a handful of questions before jumping into Stump the Budtender–a game that’s exactly what it sounds like. So, who are our contestants? First up is Jessica Waldeck from Rebelle Dispensary. Focused on the intersection of wellness and cannabis, she began her career in this industry as a marketing coordinator at an infused yoga studio. Since then, she’s run two marathons, a sprint triathlon, and a 100-mile bike course, all aided and enhanced with cannabis. Second, you’ll meet Nate Frim of Theory Wellness. He’s a pioneer in medical cannabis, working to understand how the human mind works and how he can help people use cannabis to overcome their challenges. Finally, we’re joined by AK, who knows the legacy and legal markets equally well. Originally from Montclair, AK launched a delivery service in New Jersey called VibesAK, a not-for-profit dedicated to providing food and security for children in the state. In this episode, you’ll learn the day-to-day of three very different people ostensibly doing the same job in our industry and how they got there. You’ll also hear us dive deep into the science behind a number of strains, and you’ll discover some of the latest innovations in cannabis products. And last but certainly not least, get ready to play Stump the Budtender in the second part of our very special 420 “Extravaganja” episode. Enjoy! KEY TAKEAWAYS What actually happens in dispensaries–both recreational and medical–each and every business day. Why Nate doesn’t say “weed” when he talks about cannabis. The critical difference between mixologists in the alcohol industry and budtenders. How cannabis education works for consumers, given that it’s impossible to taste and spit like wine. Show Notes For complete show notes, including transcripts, takeaways, and links to all the resources mentioned, visit SoHoExp.com/50 To learn more about the podcast and get access to all episodes, visit: SoHoExp.com/GreenRepeal
62:12 04/20/2022
049: Empowering Minority Cannabis Entrepreneurs with Jesce Horton
The War on Drugs in America disproportionately affected people of color. So many potential entrepreneurs and their families have had their lives ruined by drug laws and racial profiling. Meanwhile, white male entrepreneurs have had no trouble reaping massive profits from the legal cannabis industry. Today’s guest, Jesce Horton, knows this well. He left the world of industrial engineering to join the cannabis industry and co-founded LOWD in 2019. He works to produce some of Oregon’s most sought-after craft flower and reclaim economic opportunities for communities devastated by the War on Drugs.  He’s an active leader in the cannabis industry and serves as part of the Minority Cannabis Business Association and Nu Project, which have given $1 million in grants and 0% interest loans to minority cannabis entrepreneurs. In this episode, you’ll learn how Jesce used his skills as an industrial engineer to pivot into cannabis, how he’s helping to create opportunities for people like himself, and the unique challenges that Black entrepreneurs face as they break into the world of legal cannabis. KEY TAKEAWAYS How Jesce started growing cannabis after he moved to Portland–and how this eventually led him into the industry. What happened when Jesce was arrested for possession of a single seed. Why so many of the best growers, and especially growers of color, struggle to find success in the legal market. How LOWD develops strains to meet their consumers’ specific needs. Why Jesce thinks we could see full federal legalization 3-5 years from now. Show Notes For complete show notes, including transcripts, takeaways, and links to all the resources mentioned, visit SoHoExp.com/49 To learn more about the podcast and get access to all episodes, visit: SoHoExp.com/GreenRepeal
65:43 04/12/2022
048: The Future of Sustainable Cannabis Farming with Jesus Burrola
What does the future of cannabis farming look like? In an industry where energy consumption is always an issue, supply chains may be in permanent disarray, and regulation can destroy efficiency, producers may seem like they’re always struggling to sustainably create great products.  However, that doesn’t mean that innovation is impossible. Today, we’re talking to Jesus Burrola, CEO of POSIBL–the cannabis farm of the future–to find out why. His company uses smart greenhouses and best-in-class climate control to reduce water consumption and increase energy efficiency, vastly outperforming indoor growers.  In this episode, Jesus joins us to discuss the unique challenges to this industry, the methods and tools POSIBL uses to create consistent cannabis products sustainably and efficiently, and the work he’s doing to create meaningful opportunities and representation for Latinos in this fast-growing field. KEY TAKEAWAYS What it really means when POSIBL calls itself “the cannabis farm of the future.” How Jesus has created an environment that gives his plants the benefits of both indoor and outdoor growing. How Jesus defines “craft cannabis.” Why there’s so little minority representation in cannabis–and what Jesus is doing to change that. Why consumer education in cannabis is so important–and why Jesus thinks we’ve gone backwards in the last several years. Show Notes For complete show notes, including transcripts, takeaways, and links to all the resources mentioned, visit SoHoExp.com/48 To learn more about the podcast and get access to all episodes, visit: SoHoExp.com/GreenRepeal
64:24 04/05/2022
047: Building Cannabis Brands that Connect with Music Fans with Kieve Huffman
There’s always been a connection between cannabis and music, but how do legal cannabis brands authentically connect with music lovers? To answer that question, we’re talking to Kieve Huffman. Kieve is the founder and CEO of Engager Brands–a portfolio of cannabis lifestyle brands focused on reaching under-marketed music audiences. He builds authentic awareness for brands like Heavy Grass and Neon Roots by meeting people at concerts and music festivals. Before launching Engager, Kieve worked with some of the world’s biggest brands, including Apple. Microsoft, MTV, Warner, Universal, and Sony. Today, Kieve joins the podcast to talk about how he jumped from the worlds of music and entertainment into cannabis branding, what he’s doing to connect with influencers and reach audiences beyond reggae and jam bands, and his vision for a world in which cannabis consumption can happen safely and legally at shows. KEY TAKEAWAYS How “stoner dude culture” and terrible branding inspired Kieve to launch a more mainstream cannabis media company. The unique challenges of running national marketing campaigns for cannabis and CBD products–and the difference between promoting brand awareness instead of products. The elements that make for a successful brand activation. Why on-premise cannabis sales and consumption at music events is Kieve’s “holy grail”–and what some people are doing to make this a reality right now. Why Kieve thinks we’re still at least one presidency away from full legalization. Show Notes For complete show notes, including transcripts, takeaways, and links to all the resources mentioned, visit SoHoExp.com/47 To learn more about the podcast and get access to all episodes, visit: SoHoExp.com/GreenRepeal
64:35 03/29/2022
046: How Rebelle is Elevating the Cannabis Experience
The nascent cannabis industry still has a long way to grow. In many ways, it hasn’t successfully given back to the people hurt the most from the war on drugs, empowered marginalized entrepreneurs, or created opportunities for more than a small number of people–many of whom are men–with access to capital. Today, we’re talking to Charlotte Hanna and Geraldine Hessler. They’re the founder and CMO of Rebelle, one of a small handful of women and minority-owned vertically integrated cannabis and lifestyle companies in Massachusetts. Their mission is to empower people who have been marginalized by the criminalization of cannabis while championing its benefits as part of a healthy, positive lifestyle. In this episode, you’ll learn how they created a unique brand that filled a clear void in the marketplace, the challenges facing women in this field, and how changing cannabis laws in New York will affect other parts of the country.  KEY TAKEAWAYS What led Charlotte and Geraldine to develop and launch the Rebelle brand. How Rebelle cultivated its concepts and visual identity–and why branding consultants are probably too worried about pissing off men when trying to appeal to women. How Rebelle is working to do business in the most equitable and just way possible–and how they’re creating jobs and careers for people coming out of jail. How Charlotte and Geraldine talk to their kids about their work–and how schools are starting to discuss cannabis. Why Geraldine believes it’s going to be a while before we see cannabis menus alongside wine lists at restaurants. Show Notes For complete show notes, including transcripts, takeaways, and links to all the resources mentioned, visit SoHoExp.com/46 To learn more about the podcast and get access to all episodes, visit: SoHoExp.com/GreenRepeal
58:21 03/08/2022
045: Serving Up Cannabis Culinary Education with Rachel Burkons
For hospitality professionals, wine and spirits are a lifelong education. You can spend a lifetime learning about grape varietals, terroir, fermentation, and so much more. And in the world of cannabis, we’re just scratching the surface in many ways. You might ask yourself, what does the future of the culinary and hospitality cannabis industries look like? And what are the best ways to teach professionals and customers alike?   To answer these questions, we’re talking to Rachel Burkons. She’s the co-owner of Altered Plates, a cannabis hospitality group focused on onsite consumption. She specializes in CBD/cannabis-related culinary education, events, content creation, brand and product development, and culinary brand activations. She’s also the Executive Director for Crop to Kitchen, a trade organization serving the industry. In this episode, Rachel shares her insight into how this fast-moving industry is rapidly developing, the challenges and innovations that are facing cannabis businesses as the industry continues to grow, and how the “Cali sober” movement is poised to transform substance use in the years to come.  KEY TAKEAWAYS The similarities between wine and spirits education and learning about cannabis–and why both are lifelong journeys. Why a lack of legal, on-premise consumption creates a huge difference between beverage categories and cannabis. How Altered Plates introduces cannabis to customers through meals with cannabis pairings–and why cannabis-infused food is not the company’s focus. Why it’s not yet possible to legally take advantage of the possibilities in pairing cannabis with wine or beer. What on-site business operators will need to be aware of in order to keep their consumers safe. Recent developments in the nascent cannabis beverage segment–and why you’re unlikely to see these products at your local bodega anytime soon. The unique challenges of getting cannabis-infused fresh foods approved for sale. Show Notes For complete show notes, including transcripts, takeaways, and links to all the resources mentioned, visit SoHoExp.com/45 To learn more about the podcast and get access to all episodes, visit: SoHoExp.com/GreenRepeal
62:05 02/15/2022
044: Imagining the Future of On-Premises Cannabis Consumption with Rick Kiley and Jeff Boedges
In this new year, there’s one thing we’ve been thinking about more than almost anything else: what is on-premises consumption of cannabis going to look like in America? When will it happen, and how will marketing and branding change when it does? In the alcohol industry, on-premises consumption builds brands while the off-trade grows volume. It brands an aura and creates opportunities to legally put your products in the hands of consumers. When cannabis companies can do the same thing, it will inevitably transform the business–and create incredible opportunities for great products and savvy marketers. In today’s conversation, Rick and Jeff dig into the history of on-premises consumption in alcohol and tobacco (and how it relates to cannabis). They also discuss the laws and regulations that are likely to create unique issues with cannabis and the many different types of Cannabusinesses we could see opening up in the months to come. KEY TAKEAWAYS How DISCUS, the Distilled Spirits Council, self-polices the alcohol business. Why the cannabis industry is inevitably going to run up against smoke-free laws and how this conflict could possibly resolve itself. How marijuana tourism and social cannabis events exist legally in a small number of states. What operators of cannabis consumption lounges and other venues are most concerned about. Why Amsterdam has become less tolerant of cannabis tourism than it used to be. Show Notes For complete show notes, including transcripts, takeaways, and links to all the resources mentioned, visit SoHoExp.com/44 To learn more about the podcast and get access to all episodes, visit: SoHoExp.com/GreenRepeal
37:26 02/02/2022
043: The Natural Healing Powers of CBD with Pet Wellness Expert Angela Ardolino
The potential health benefits of cannabis are not strictly limited to humans. In fact, animals of all kinds have seen positive results from all sorts of different kinds of cannabis use, including dogs, pigs, and other species as well. Few people know this as well as holistic pet and medical cannabis expert Angela Ardolino. She’s the founder of CBD Dog Health and host of the It’s a Dog’s Life Podcast. She’s also the co-owner of Beautify the Beast, a pet grooming and boarding house, and the CEO of House of Alchemy, where she’s working to cultivate and process the purest medical cannabis products with the lowest environmental impact. Today, Angela joins the podcast to share the story of how she entered the world of medical cannabis. She dispels some of the common myths around giving animals THC, shares some of the stories from her breakthrough work, and when you might be able to get her products from vets in the future. KEY TAKEAWAYS How Angela became an advocate for using cannabis as a form of cancer treatment for dogs. Why THC isn’t actually toxic or unsafe for dogs and other animals–but they are much more sensitive to it than humans. Why people don’t understand the difference between CBD extracted from hemp and marijuana plants–and why this is more important than it may initially seem. What makes the pet industry so crazy when it comes to quality products and regulation. Show Notes For complete show notes, including transcripts, takeaways, and links to all the resources mentioned, visit SoHoExp.com/43 To learn more about the podcast and get access to all episodes, visit: SoHoExp.com/GreenRepeal
52:51 12/22/2021
042: The Uplifting Powers of Craft Cannabis with Christina DiPaci
If you bought cannabis products in the mid-2010s, you probably remember just how profoundly bro-y all of the emerging brands were–design was lowbrow and often covered in naked girls and aggressive guys. This is why when Christina DiPaci launched her brand, she did things differently. She’s the founder and CEO of Paradiso Gardens–one of California’s largest, independent, and women-owned craft cannabis farms. With over 10 years of experience in the industry, Christina brings a wealth of knowledge in compliance and finance, as well as the art of strain selection, package design, and brand development. Today, Christina joins the podcast to talk about her journey into the cannabis industry, how she created a brand that celebrates vacations and fun, and why she thinks we won’t be sending cannabis via FedEx for at least another 30 years. Before we get into the interview with Christina, Jeff and I dig into an article titled “The Top Seven Cannabis Industry Marketing Challenges” and share our thoughts on some of the top challenges, namely the issues with advertising and marketing restrictions on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. Enjoy! KEY TAKEAWAYS How Christina created a brand that clearly differentiates itself–and why her packaging and branding is so colorful without being “stoner-ish.” What Paradiso Gardens is doing to make their operations as sustainable as possible. The importance of having non-cannabis merchandise to help build a cannabis brand. The one thing Christina legally can’t do now that she wishes she could. How Christina learned to grow her own plants. Show Notes For complete show notes, including transcripts, takeaways, and links to all the resources mentioned, visit SoHoExp.com/42 To learn more about the podcast and get access to all episodes, visit: SoHoExp.com/GreenRepeal
63:47 12/07/2021
041: Advocating for Social Equity in Cannabis with Rabbi James Kahn
What does social equity look like in the cannabis industry? How can companies work to repair damage caused by the war on drugs and address challenges pertaining to diversity, education, community, and sustainability? Rabbi James Kahn is the executive director of Liberty Cannabis Cares. LCC is the social impact and corporate responsibility team at Holistic Industries, which is currently the largest privately-held cannabis company in the United States. He joined the company in 2017 and helped them open their first dispensary, Liberty Cannabis, in Rockville, MD, and then served as their National Director of Community Outreach. We saw him speak at the MJ Unpacked Conference last month, and his presentation was by far the one that left us most inspired. Today, Rabbi James joins the podcast to share the remarkable story of how his family became cannabis advocates, why cannabis is a justice issue in religious communities, and the pillars of social justice that inform the transformative work that he’s doing. KEY TAKEAWAYS How Rabbi James’s grandfather’s MS diagnosis exposed him to medicinal cannabis at an early age, transformed his parents’ perception of cannabis, and led him to his current career. The rules surrounding kosher cannabis consumption–and the history of cannabis in religious rituals. What Rabbi James’s work looks like in practice–and the importance of raising up communities. The organizations LCC is partnering with to create opportunities and careers for people hurt most by the war on drugs. How Rabbi James is talking to his kids about sex and drugs, why these are two separate conversations, and why he’s a fan of an organization called Weed Can Wait. Show Notes For complete show notes, including transcripts, takeaways, and links to all the resources mentioned, visit SoHoExp.com/41 To learn more about the podcast and get access to all episodes, visit: SoHoExp.com/GreenRepeal
82:43 11/23/2021
040: MJ Unpacked Part 2 – Featuring Carrie Mapes and Patty Papas from Hello Again
Welcome to part two of our MJ Unpacked experience! In this episode, we take some time to reflect and share some final thoughts on our trip to the MJ Unpacked conference. We’ll discuss our biggest takeaways and highlight some of our favorite moments and products. We also have another special interview for you. Our guests today are Carrie Mapes and Patty Papas, founders of Hello Again. They have created a cannabis-powered vaginal suppository with soothing botanicals to provide relief from the physical and emotional symptoms that come with menopause. It’s a highly innovative product for women who can’t get relief in other ways, and it’s given them the opportunity to share their wisdom and support women like never before. For those that have never experienced menopause, imagine having your hormones change while going through puberty, but dealing with those symptoms for a period of time that can be three times as long. Increased anxiety, sweatiness, lack of sleep, body pain, headaches and memory loss, these are all symptoms that women struggle with and why this product is so unique. In today’s episode, Carrie and Patty talk about how they created a product with the medicinal benefits from cannabis, how the THC aspect works without making you feel high, and why they’re focused on helping other women continue to live vibrant lives. KEY TAKEAWAYS How Carrie and Patty first became interested in creating their cannabis product. The potential use cases for cannabis suppositories. The symptoms that they are trying to help alleviate for women. Why some women might not even realize they’re in menopause, and why there is a lack of awareness on this topic. How Hello Again is spreading awareness of their product. Show Notes For complete show notes, including transcripts, takeaways, and links to all the resources mentioned, visit SoHoExp.com/40 To learn more about the podcast and get access to all episodes, visit: SoHoExp.com/GreenRepeal
49:02 11/09/2021
039: MJ Unpacked Part 1 – Featuring Theory Wellness’ Thomas Winstanley
Welcome to our recap of the MJ Unpacked Conference from Las Vegas. MJ Unpacked is the first cannabis event connecting retailers, THC CPG brands, and investors with opportunities to connect, collaborate, and get access to capital.  We spent our time walking the floor and attending a wide array of seminars. We learned what a number of cannabis business owners are doing as ambassadors and educators facing a myriad of challenges. We also got a deeper understanding of what is and isn’t working across the industry, and found new inspiration along the way. In the first part of this episode, we dig into everything MJ Unpacked: the good, the not-so-good, and what has us most excited for the future. After that, we’re talking to Thomas Winstanley, VP of Marketing at Theory Wellness, to explore the differences between the cannabis, alcohol, and pharmaceutical industries. KEY TAKEAWAYS Why the cannabis industry still simply doesn’t feel as mature as other fields we’ve worked in. The insurmountable gap that makes a cannabis trade show different from any other. Why marketing laws regarding cannabis are so difficult to work with (and around). Why Thomas believes e-commerce and delivery systems for the cannabis industry are lagging behind. Show Notes For complete show notes, including transcripts, takeaways, and links to all the resources mentioned, visit SoHoExp.com/39 To learn more about the podcast and get access to all episodes, visit: SoHoExp.com/GreenRepeal
45:11 11/01/2021
038: How Backbone is Streamlining the Cannabis Supply Chain with Peter Huson
These days, everyone’s talking about supply chains and the challenges they’re facing when it comes to sending and receiving virtually anything from one part of the world to another. As you might expect, since cannabis is still federally illegal, it comes with its own set of challenges, and relies on complex networks that aren’t easy to untangle. Fortunately, there’s people like Peter Huson. A former rocket scientist, Peter is Chief of Operations at Backbone–a fully customizable supply chain management platform that tracks production compliance, cost of goods sold, yields, and audit reporting data in real-time. He provides producers with data-driven insights that help them scale their businesses and grow their teams. Prior to joining Backbone, he co-founded the Northern Nights Music Festival, which was the first music festival with legal cannabis sales. He is also the co-founder and COO at One Log Cannabis Business Park and Compliance Officer at Mesh Ventures, as well as a holder of over 50 cannabis licenses across the supply chain. Today, Peter joins the podcast to talk about creating new systems to solve age-old problems, the intersection between cannabis and tech, and how everything in this business can be tied back to the Grateful Dead. KEY TAKEAWAYS The key problems unique to cannabis supply chains across states and in different countries. What Backbone is doing for cannabis that Oracle and SAP are doing for other industries. Why the cannabis industry is all but guaranteed to get simpler and tighter over time–and how cannabis plants’ uniqueness challenges standardization. How Peter launched a music event with legal cannabis sales. How he foresees the cannabis industry developing in the years to come. Show Notes For complete show notes, including transcripts, takeaways, and links to all the resources mentioned, visit SoHoExp.com/38 To learn more about the podcast and get access to all episodes, visit: SoHoExp.com/GreenRepeal
55:25 10/19/2021
037: How 'Other People’s Pot' is Thriving in the Canadian Cannabis Industry with Amy Weinstein
Today, we’re talking to Amy Weinstein, co-founder of Other People’s Pot–a Canadian sales agency where cannabis lovers and industry vets put pot products in the hands of other people. They equip cannabis brands with the knowledge, tools, and strategy to build a better industry. Before co-founding Other People’s Pot, Amy worked in sales and marketing, where she pushed to end the stigma around cannabis while creating space for women in the industry. And now, Amy and her team of women have created a company that is making a difference in the cannabis industry. In this conversation, Amy shares the story of her journey into the cannabis space, how she has helped build an almost all-woman-run business in a very male-dominated field, and what OPP is doing right now to create a better industry ten years from now. KEY TAKEAWAYS The major differences between America and Canada’s legal cannabis industries. How Amy works with brands to bring great product into stores, get budtenders excited to sell, and make cannabis available to consumers. What OPP is looking for in a prospective client. Where major opportunities currently lie in Canadian cannabis–and what Amy foresees coming in the next few years. How Amy shares important information with retailers and consumers about products in OPP’s portfolio. Amy’s advice for anyone thinking about launching or scaling a cannabis business. Show Notes For complete show notes, including transcripts, takeaways, and links to all the resources mentioned, visit SoHoExp.com/37 To learn more about the podcast and get access to all episodes, visit: SoHoExp.com/GreenRepeal
64:45 10/05/2021
036: Inside the World of Cannabis Journalism with Mary Jane Gibson
Media companies are finally changing their tune when it comes to cannabis. After decades of reporting from all sorts of outlets about cannabis as a problematic drug, the New York Times changed the conversation by calling for the legalization of cannabis in 2014—and one of the people to have a real conversation with the head of their editorial board about the changing times was Mary Jane Gibson. Mary Jane (her real name!) is an actress, writer, and a former lifestyle entertainment and culture editor at High Times. She’s spent years tracking the legalization of cannabis, and her work has been seen in Rolling Stone and Playboy, as well as on PBS. Complex has called her one of the 15 most powerful women in the weed industry, and she’s also the host of the Weed + Grub podcast with comedian Mike Glazer. In our conversation today, Mary Jane joins us to talk about her journey into cannabis culture, and how journalists are now writing about long-standing issues that have needed to be addressed for decades, including social justice, social equity, and how to right the wrongs of the war on drugs—among many other topics. KEY TAKEAWAYS Why so many publications are so bad at writing about cannabis. The biggest issues cannabis journalists are grappling with in 2021. The remarkable work being done by the Last Prisoner Project, Mission Green, and 40 Tons. How nanotechnology is improving the edible experience. What Mary Jane does on the Weed + Grub podcast—and how cannabis-infused cooking has changed in the last decade. How cannabis cups, dinners, and other events work—and why it’s entirely possible to try twelve different strains in one sitting without getting too stoned. Show Notes For complete show notes, including transcripts, takeaways, and links to all the resources mentioned, visit SoHoExp.com/36 To learn more about the podcast and get access to all episodes, visit: SoHoExp.com/GreenRepeal
55:49 09/21/2021
035: Sustainable Cannabis Growth with Julia Jacobson
When Julia Jacobson developed chronic migraines in her 20’s, with the advice of an E.R. doctor, she started treating her migraines with cannabis, and it completely changed her life. Having been freed from the cocktails of medications that never worked, she’s turned her focus to the cannabis industry. Julia is the CEO and co-founder of Aster Farms, a sustainable cannabis company dedicated to organic growing and transparent practices. With her expertise in marketing, entrepreneurship and supply chain management, she has helped build a company that is creating craft cannabis the way it should be, outdoors. The truth of the matter is, very few cannabis companies actually grow their own product. In fact, many brands simply sell white labeled product from mass producers, and never tell their customers. With the help of three generations of cannabis knowledge, her company is driven to create a clean product that helps others live a healthy and active lifestyle with responsible farming methods. Today, Julia joins the podcast to share the story of how her own health challenges led her to the cannabis space, how Aster Farms is differentiating itself from many other brands emerging in this industry, and what makes cannabis supply chains so uniquely complicated. KEY TAKEAWAYS How Julia’s family grew cannabis over the course of three generations and survived the many challenges along the way. How cannabis cultivation has changed over the last half-century. Why it takes so long to expand a cannabis brand across multiple states. The changing role of retail cannabis salespeople. Why Julia thinks interstate commerce laws will happen before full federal legalization. Show Notes For complete show notes, including transcripts, takeaways, and links to all the resources mentioned, visit SoHoExp.com/35 To learn more about the podcast and get access to all episodes, visit: SoHoExp.com/GreenRepeal
63:53 07/20/2021
034: Building Professional Cannabis Communities with George Jage
The cannabis industry feels like an unstoppable locomotive right now. Business is growing and scaling all over the country, and there are extraordinary opportunities to build businesses within the industry. But when a cannabis brand needs help, who can they turn to for resources and guidance? Meet George Jage. He’s a leading cannabis executive with over two decades experience launching, building, and leading media companies at Jage Media. He leads summits like MJ Unpacked, where he helps cannabis brands and retail executives foster community and thrive. Today, George joins the podcast to share how he’s successfully developed his unique events and the role they play as the industry continues to gain momentum. KEY TAKEAWAYS How George entered the trade show space in anticipation of the cannabis industry’s massive growth. What early cannabis trade shows looked like. What George sees cannabis brands needing right now. Why George started Jage Media and what he’s doing to make his next event so unique. How George is working to make structural change to criminal justice. Why George thinks we could see federal legalization as soon as 2022. Show Notes For complete show notes, including transcripts, takeaways, and links to all the resources mentioned, visit SoHoExp.com/34 To learn more about the podcast and get access to all episodes, visit: SoHoExp.com/GreenRepeal
58:12 06/29/2021
033: Enlightened Digital Marketing for Cannabis Businesses with Sam Hollander
If you want to use digital marketing to grow your business, there’s a pretty good chance your plan involves buying ads on Google and Facebook. But what happens when not just those platforms, but almost every major advertising platform, won’t take your money? Sam Hollander is determined to solve this issue. He’s the Chief Data Officer, Head of Ad Sales at Enlighten–the largest cannabis retail and marketing platform. Enlighten connects brands with cannabis and CBD consumers, and Sam brings over 12 years of experience in strategy, content development, and ad tech to his role. In today’s conversation, we talk to Sam about his unique journey into the cannabis industry, how he helps brands and retailers reach their ideal customer, and how he expects to see cannabis marketing change in the years to come. KEY TAKEAWAYS How Enlighten grew from a digital signage and kiosk business into a powerful advertising platform. Why cannabis advertising is still largely prohibited in the world of streaming media. The tools cannabis brands can use to target and acquire customers–and how this is changing in the wake of Apple’s push for privacy. How cannabis marketing works on the medical side. How brands can showcase products and even occasionally sell them at conventions, music festivals, and other events. Why Sam doesn’t expect to see federal legalization this year–but does expect to see cannabis companies finally get the ability to work with big banks and major marketers soon. Show Notes For complete show notes, including transcripts, takeaways, and links to all the resources mentioned, visit SoHoExp.com/33 To learn more about the podcast and get access to all episodes, visit: SoHoExp.com/GreenRepeal
61:03 06/15/2021
032: Demystifying the CBD Space with Andrea Wightwick
For the uninitiated, CBD can be a confounding product category. It can’t simply be labeled fat-free or sugar-free, called natural or organic, and isn’t reliably or consistently dosed from product to product. Andrea Wightwick is working to change this. She’s the Founder and CEO of Hapsy–a CBD brand that puts power back in the hands of the consumer. Andrea has a long, storied career working with brands you probably use daily, and she used her experience to create a CBD brand that’s pure, discreet, true, and transparent. Today, Andrea joins the podcast to share the story of how she discovered CBD, created a unique brand that rethought the positioning and ideas behind CBD products, and what she’s doing to educate and empower her customers. P.S. Andrea is running a promotion until July 31, 2021. Please use the Promo Code “HEYHAPSY20” and enjoy a 20% discount on the wonderful products she has available over at Hapsy. KEY TAKEAWAYS What Andrea learned from 15 years of brand development with Coca-Cola and other major companies creating packaged goods. How the COVID pandemic derailed Andrea’s launch–and why this proved to be a blessing in disguise. What makes Hapsy’s CBD products different from others–and, more generally, how to shop for CBD products for your unique needs. Why so many CBD products are inconsistent in dosage or performance. The common myths about CBD and its effects. Why Andrea thinks we’ll see full federal legalization in 2025. Show Notes For complete show notes, including transcripts, takeaways, and links to all the resources mentioned, visit SoHoExp.com/32 To learn more about the podcast and get access to all episodes, visit: SoHoExp.com/GreenRepeal
64:53 06/01/2021
031: Crossing Over from Corporate to Cannabis with Dasheeda Dawson
How does one cross over from working in the corporate world to the cannabis industry? What does that journey look like, and what are the common challenges along the way? And how can you identify opportunities to lend your skills and transform a fast-growing but still nascent industry?  Dasheeda Dawson is a global cannabis advocate, award-winning executive strategist, and the author of How to Succeed in the Cannabis Industry, which is now in its third edition. At The WeedHead & Co., she’s parlayed two decades of experience in business development, strategic management, and marketing to educate and empower people who aspire to work in the cannabis industry.  She’s also the host of She Blaze, an award-winning cannabis news and culture podcast, the co-founder of the Cannabis Education Advocacy Symposium and Expo, the founding chair of the Cannabis Regulators of Color Coalition, and was most recently named as the cannabis program supervisor for the city of Portland, Oregon. Today, Dasheeda joins the podcast to share the story of how she became a patient, an advocate, and a leader, what she learned from her years as a consultant in the cannabis space, and the work that needs to be done to address the lasting and systemic damage created by decades of harmful drug policy. KEY TAKEAWAYS How Dasheeda went from working on the corporate side at Target to becoming a consultant within the cannabis industry. Why Dasheeda uses stigmatized language in the names of her blog and her podcast–and the marketing trick she’s using to eliminate that stigma through her work. Why it’s so important to integrate the legacy cannabis market–and what needs to be done to make this happen. How New York’s cannabis law sets a new gold standard that Dasheeda would like to see rolled out across other states. What it means to be a cannabis czar, and some of Dasheeda’s policy recommendations in this position for Portland. Why Dasheeda thinks federal legalization could happen by 2023. Show Notes For complete show notes, including transcripts, takeaways, and links to all the resources mentioned, visit SoHoExp.com/31 To learn more about the podcast and get access to all episodes, visit: SoHoExp.com/GreenRepeal
60:37 05/18/2021