Updated: Feb 28, 2019
This blog post is coming to you from a new mom and new member to ENJOY Cannabis Company, Brook Schumacher. She was freshly introduced to the Cannabis industry in January 2019.
It was a leap in which I dove head first into the world of weed, and holy cow what a network! From dispensaries to vendors, influencers to distributors, and a new twist on niche marketing, my experience is so new and liberating that I feel compelled to share it. So, with out further ado, these are 3 things that I feel everyone should learn about the Cannabis Industry:
1. Weed Is Complex.
First and foremost, I'd like to begin this segment by addressing a stigma that I've observed is associated with Cannabis. You see, I've been indulging in the cerebral benefits of cannabis since before I was of legal age, (and long before it was legal. Whoops!) It was very early into my use that I realized that Cannabis came with the unfortunate stigma of laziness and simple-mindedness. As a writer, artist and fitness guru, I know that this stigma isn't true, because despite my own use, Cannabis has never truly dampered my compassion or my drive to succeed. Sadly, I still felt the need to hide my consumption from anyone who I felt might pass judgement on me. (Which was at least 70% of my surroundings).
It wasn't until I began working in the industry that this farse assumption truly began to ruffle my feathers. Only two months into the industry, I am blown away by the drive and knowledge that it takes to succeed in the Cannabis industry. Breeding, growing, drying and processing cannabis is a far more intricate process than even I expected. Producing a good crop is not only labor intensive, but introduces an entirely new realm of education. Anybody who lacks a green thumb would be completely in over their heads. In fact, even those with a green thumb would agree that growing cannabis is far more difficult than most crop.
The complexity of cannabis doesn't just end at the farm it was grown. Once harvested and processed, each crop is then tested for a laundry list of cannabinoids and submitted to rigorous pesticide testing that is far more strict than what any organic grocery item has to go through. All requirements must be met or the product can not be sold and, as if things weren't already tricky, cannabis laws and requirements are constantly changing. Business owners in all branches of the industry are perpetually on their toes. Needless to say, this new and budding industry is not for the lazy or light hearted. This is a fast paced business venture that is highly monitored and requires the utmost determination and focus.
2. Weed Is A Community
For two months I've been navigating the world of weed via Instagram and guess what I've found? Cannabis users are everywhere. Cannabis users of all shapes and sizes, all genders and non-genders, cannabis users of all ages. WE. ARE. EVERYWHERE.
Outside of social media influencers, there are even more relationships to be made. The relationship that takes place from vendors to distributors to dispensaries to enthusiasts to consumers and so on is quite remarkable. I've worked in the salon industry, retail, food service and ect, but I've never worked for an industry that is quite as enthusiastic about one another as cannabis. Here is why: Recreational cannabis use is not federally legal, so cannabis companies can not legally sell their product in other states unless they dance around some frustrating and complicated loopholes. This means one of two things: that your favorite cannabis products are grown straight from your home state, and that their marketing tactics are far more limited than any other industry.
Legally, recreational cannabis can not be advertised by forums like Facebook or Instagram. Any form of mass market advertising that is not limited to the confines of the grower's state is a no go! Sounds like a total thorn in our side, right? But, I do see the silver lining in such limitations. These restrictions set a standard for cannabis companies to be very interactive and supportive of each other, and it encourages companies step outside of the box and form real relationships with their local consumers. It is really quite a beautiful thing. Kindness, acceptance and generosity gets you so far in this business.
3. Weed Is Progressive
This is something that I noticed right off the bat, but wasn't able to put it into words until I picked up a magazine at my local grocery store called "Women and Weed" by Centennial Spotlight. I'll start with my company for example. Currently, I have far more freedom as a mother than I would in the same position, but in another industry. I was absolutely floored when my boss told me that my baby comes first, and that work can be scheduled around that! Because the majority of my job entails marketing and design, my employers are kind enough to provide me with the flexibility to stay home with my son, or kid friendly places for us to meet up when projects or issues need to be discussed in person. As a mother with very little options for a full time sitter, it is an absolute blessing that I am encouraged to be a parent both on and off the clock.
Another aspect of the cannabis industry that I quickly noticed (and was later confirmed by "Women and Weed" ) was the amount of women in the industry that I was communicating with on a daily basis. Truthfully, I noticed it with a sense of pride. How cool, I would think, another woman in a high ranking position /influencer /entrepreneur ect.
I later came to learn that 57% of workers claim they work for cannabis companies where 50% or more of the ownership is female. 30% of which women held full ownership! Respectively, I have found that equality and progressiveness is practiced in far more aspects than just women and family, and it seems to be practiced with out the bat of an eye. I simply decided to touch on those two topics because those are the two that I relate most to! This is a new age industry with new age ideals, so why wouldn't the Cannabis Industry be progressive?