Venturing into the cannabis


Several months ago someone I know and trust discussed an opportunity they had in the legalized cannabis industry. Up to that point, I haven’t given it much thought. My understanding and experience with cannabis was elementary at best, but I was intrigued with what I had heard, and being the perpetual beta that I am, I needed to quickly learn much more about it.

Firstly it’s important for my readers to understand that I barely drink wine–although that’s actually not true (my wife will expose that BS pretty quick.) I am far from being known as someone who drinks though. If I abuse anything, it’s peanut butter. I can eat it by the jar, but that’s ok because I only eat natural PB without sugar! The point is I am obsessed with being in control of myself and my body at all times. I don’t drink past happy. There is nothing worse in my mind then a hangover. I am however, someone that loves to learn. And that is why I am here. I have quickly found that legalized cannabis, its potential, and its deep regulations are highly complex (no pun intended)–everything I love to get my head around.

In the past several months, I’ve gone from an elementary school education on cannabis to perhaps that of an inept high-schooler. What I’ve learned is there’s much to be learned, but what I’m learning is exciting. When my head isn’t exploding from researching the science and chemistry of cannabis or learning the different techniques and technologies to grow the plant along with how to distribute product according to highly regulated laws that are unique and evolving by state, I’m looking for and really excited about meeting the true experts and people in the industry to hear what makes them excited, how they approach their craft, and what they think will help the industry thrive and change people’s lives in a good and useful way.

It’s the love and advocacy of the people entrenched in the industry that I find remarkable. I like meeting the artists that blow glass and the lawyers who advocate for legalization. So far, everyone I’ve met has been really excited to share their insights and ideas. It’s been refreshing to see an industry and people so excited and eager to share. There’s a lot of curiosity and innovation. Coming from my past industry, I find this startling–almost uncomfortable. It’s refreshing to find and become part of such welcoming and open-minded people. The cannabis industry is said to be advancing more than 25% a year–more than all industries except a few. Surely it is in large part due to the passion and curiosity of the people who have known its potential all along.

One thing you’ll notice is that I use the term cannabis instead of marijauna. I’ve researched that too. There’s lots of words used for the product besides marijuana including weed, pot, Mary Jane, and ganja of course. Cannabis however, looks to be the rapidly growing term used by the modern advocate. If you want to be modern, say cannabis. Otherwise all the other terms are well known and perfectly acceptable. No one will correct you cause it’s all good.

So as someone who constantly experiments with nutrition and exercise, not to mention meditation, reading, and learning; I’ve quickly found that cannabis has tremendous healing powers and it’s well beyond the “stoner” phenomenon, it’s religion. There’s an endless amount of strains that can be produced to create vast amounts of effects to every different user that can also be unique depending upon how its consumed. You can smoke it, vape it, eat it, wear it, drink it, and more. You quickly learn that cannabis is no different than wine. Wine has different varietals produced different ways in different soils and in different lands for different times that can be combined and produced in different ways to create endless possibilities. The effects are different for different people. We taste it differently and react to it differently. Same is true with cannabis. It’s way beyond getting high. That’s like saying I’m gonna get drunk. That’s not what we’re talking about here. Like I said, I don’t drink wine to get drunk (I wouldn’t condone that, of course), but rather to enjoy it. Same goes for craft beers, and vodka or Mezcal.

This is a new journey that I’m excited about. I have a ton to learn and my hope is to document my efforts and learnings along the way. As much as people think the industry has progressed, I’ve quickly learned it is perhaps only a few hundred feet into its marathon of potential. As much as I learn to catch-up, I likewise realize that most people are yet still far behind me. It’s one thing to enjoy cannabis. It’s another to thing to understand it. For those who just want to get high, carry on. My interest is really to learn and construct, to understand the science and people as much as the present and potential.

My goal is to start a podcast so everyone can listen and perhaps learn from the interesting and passionate people I meet and learn from along the way. That being said, I suppose this will be a good time for me to learn how to create a podcast. If anyone has any ideas, be sure to pass them along. As I am doing this, my hope is to be able to share the knowledge and experience I’ve gained during my life working with some great brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Kate Spade, to help artists and entrepreneurs looking to contribute to the legalized cannabis industry and build a business they can be proud of. To be honest I have no idea where this journey will lead, but I do know that I’m a good listener, a quick learner, a deep thinker, and a good problem solver. I think this will be fun and I look forward to sharing.

Wisdom from Phil Knight, creator of Nike


“Supply and demand is always the root problem in business. It’s been true since Phoenician traders raced to bring Rome the coveted purple dye that colored the clothing of royals and rich people; there was never enough purple to go around. It’s hard enough to invent and manufacture and market a product, but then the logistics, the mechanics, the hydraulics of getting it to the people who want it, when they want it—this is how companies die, how ulcers are born.”

— from Phil Knight, “Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike”

Be sure to read this memoir by Phil Knight of Nike. It’s a great look into what it takes to create and build a world-class brand like Nike. Anyone interested in starting a business will quickly appreciate that luck, drive, grit, and determination all played a major role in the birth and growth of Nike. You’ll need all of those to build your business too. And for anyone in the fashion or consumer industry, the above quote is gold. The “HOW MUCH, WHEN, AND WHERE” is equally as important as the “WHAT”. It’s doesn’t matter how much data you read, it’s what you do with it that counts.

photo: Simon & Schuster