As a full service marketing agency we have worked with 150+ businesses in the last two years. We’ve seen it all from mom and pop businesses, companies run on mommy and daddies money, brands that have come up from nothing, and the large scale culture vultures themselves. We have seen the inside workings and practices of brands of all sizes and what we have learned is that corporate cannabis is using what we like to call, “The Fyre Fest Model”.
The same start up model used in the tech boom, but it has evolved into something much more. A world where businesses market more towards investors than the consumer they sought out to help in the first place. These companies focus on RAISING money and have completely forgotten or in some cases have never learned how to MAKE money. In this article we are going to give you the play by play on how some of these Con-nabis Artists work and how to get an investor to give you that bank roll you’ve always wanted to play with!
- Think of an edgy name, maybe it is a word associated with smoking weed. Purposely misspelling the word will really show that you live the lifestyle and you are a part of the counter kulture. Puns are also an effective way to a boomers heart and check book. Anything that “breaks the stigma” and makes you feel superior to traditional stoners means you’re heading in the right direction.
- Change all social media profile titles to CEO.
- Start recruiting: Sell the idea to friends that have worked for large name corporations regardless of their title or experience. Remember, the bigger the name of chain the more interested the investor will be. “Ooooooh Target? Kraft Macaroni and Cheese?. Dicks Sporting Goods? we hit the jackpot!!” Dig around for people with no real world experience, straight out of college with degrees, degrees sit well with investors. Bonus points if they have completely no cannabis knowledge and have never consumed.
Here is where you might actually have to do some work. You can either do this yourself or you can pay an agency. Time to create a sales deck. Fill this illustrious deck with graphs and charts, green arrows going up, statistics, quotes and photos. Make sure to include buzz words like “the largest, the first, self sustained, MJ Bizcon, game changing, break the stigma, innovative technology, "___________”. Fluff that bitch up, we’re talking 40 plus pages, real thicc.
- Put out the investor bat signal and find yourself an over-eager Boomer with cash to blow. Tell everyone you are starting a cannabis brand and listen to them say “Geez you’re so smart, you’re getting in early”, let them lead you to believe you are smarter than everyone and a spioneer in an already existing industry. Post to linkedin and claim your new cannabis investor, it shouldn’t take long
- Now that you got the bag, go blazer shopping, book flights to Vegas for MJ Bizcon and start spending that shit with blatant disregard. Remember, now that someone else has given you money, it should be much easier now to get more money from other boomers while you blow through the first round. All you need to do is maintain the appearance of growth to your investors with more fake decks while you spend his/her money on pointless expenses and your comfortable salary. Similar to bullshitting your parents and professors while you partied your whole college tenure.
- Make sure you and your college buddy with no experience start with $150k salaries.
- Hire in-laws and friends with no experience who don’t smoke weed as marketing and creative directors, do this at scale AND with speed, make sure you have no supply chain or way of sustaining sales to support your staff.
- Host a $20,000 dinner party for 20 people. Make sure to take your guests phones so that no one will ever know you spent tens of thousands of dollars. Host two of these a week for 25 consecutive weeks.
- Outsource for content. Upon receiving finished content, run it by every person in your company for criticism. After paying and having a dozen meetings, don’t use the content you spent 3 months on and paid for.
- Give ambassador contracts to d-list celebs and washed up former professional athletes. They will have zero influence on the culture but the investor will recognize the name and praise you.
- Find the most expensive office you can, bonus points if it lies above an exotic car dealership.
- Order 33,000 lanyards with company name printed on them
When the funds dry up blame the black market and taxes.
A lot of articles float around about the state of the industry. Headlines and click bait with thought provoking ideas flood the feed. Everyone is trying to figure out why big cannabis is failing. Investigations and finger pointing look for external circumstance while our experiences are seeing the problems stemming from internal. It is an age old tale that continues to play on. The ones who build from scratch understand the inner workings and details of how to build something. One who receives a sum will be ignorant to the organic growth and eventually burn it down. In the cannabis space race the resourceful will win.