In past years it was difficult to market or advertise cannabis in a space safely. With the changes in legalization on the horizon… all that is changing!
It was quaint, a sold-out event held in a private office Downtown Toronto discussing the evolution of media in the cannabis industry. Walking in, I knew I was in a spae of business rather than a cannabis community. But little did I know. I was wrong. I was intrigued by this event based on Higher Mentality’s sole purpose to provide our viewers with education, knowledge and fun videos and articles. What can we do to step up our game? What legalities are there and how are they changing?
The expert panellists were said to discuss how media coverage of the cannabis industry has come a long way in a short amount of time. More importantly, evolving from “classic stoner terms” and stereotypes to a more sophisticated industry.
Hosted by moderator Rob Vanisko from the N6A Cannabis Group. And he was well prepared for interesting questions. Plus, he kept the conversation moving. Not to mention finding the perfect mix of panellists. So, we thank you Rob!
Hadley Ford form INS Capital:
Hadley Ford seemed like your typical businessman- and in some ways he really was, but listening to his points of view were very insightful. Ford comes from a long history of cannabis – even joking it dates back to being in utero. But, behind his jokes and behind his background in money sits a really interesting story. In fact, cannabis may not have been his plan but it was in the cards. His parents had a cannabis grow on the farm which problem led to the career paths of their kids. With his brother being the first medical provider in New Mexico and his sister being a licensed provider, it comes to no surprise that Hadley fell into this industry over a family feud. So the big brother stepped in. With a background in finance – working with Fidelity Investments and Goldman mixed with this cannabis history, iAnthus was created. Now four years later iAnthus owns and operates best-in-class, licensed cannabis facilities throughout the U.S. In addition, it provides investors with diversified industry exposure. They operate within 6 states and are even public within Canada.
Antuanette Gomez – Women Grow Canada
Antuanette is an International Speaker on Sexual Health, Tantra, and Cannabis. She was a panellist representing her role as the Director of the Toronto Woman Grow Market and mentors many startups in the emerging cannabis industry in Canada within the legal framework. This organization is really quite amazing and she speaks so highly of it and the cannabis industry. Probably the most eloquent and beautifully spoken panellist I’ve ever experienced. Her soft voice matched with her five years of backed experience shows her value. Although – 15 start-ups is pretty good. In addition, it shows exactly why Women Grow is in over 35 markets around the world. They find the talent from doctors to law firms to the minorities and women. They highlight female entrepreneurs who would like to enter the cannabis space. Partnering with university and colleges to provide more options for cannabis training. Anruanette is someone to meet and get to know – she is clever, thoughtful and knows how to fit cannabis within the legal framework. As Gomez stated, “I’m very strategic in my thoughts.”
Chrisitina Pelligrini – The Globe and Mail
She may be a baby to the industry but Christina is a leading force in media, writing and said to be a pro at interviews. With a calm demeanor and a background in the capital market, Christina’s presence in media is very strong. I believe Hadley explained she was the first to interview him from a business perspective and with a certain type of professionalism. And that is something we aim for. But Christina was also the first to point out the change and excitement to cannabis. So having that fresh face who knows nothing may be beneficial to an unbias point of view. From either side. Writing for the stock exchange and TMX, Pelligrini kinda fell into the cannabis market after the market blew up in November. Now, she writes on all things cannabis in the new cannabis sector within The Globe an Mail. But as we know, her job is a big one with a new ending feed of new cannabis news, education, entertainment, and finance. And Pelligrini hit it on the nose “the news is relentless!”
The News is Relentless
What is the biggest industry headline?
H: Aquistion: Grow Healthy – largest in the US today. But also, how the White House, Trump, and Sessions have tried to make a blockbuster out of it but that the fight is actually not an issue. it’s about timing – and we are in the best time.
A: Canada is becoming the global powerhouse of cannabis. In fact, the US is doing it smaller in comparison to the industry and hub that is being created here.
C: The stock market from December to January exploding in Canadian stocks. Even companies that people had never heard of. And overall investments continuing into the New Year.
Canada Exports to Other Countries:
Panelists pointed out that Canada is really already ahead. With the grows in Jamaica, medicine, and Europe and then the medical process in South America. And isn’t this true? Not only do we have the capabilities but were have the medical and the passion to back out cannabis. Canada has more options for testing and research than another area.
The Shift in Politics
H: Dollars speak for sure. But with the States, it works differently. If you can make 250 million in tax revenue in New York, you’re not going to let someone cross the border to New Jersey to buy. The city wants to keep the money.
A: It on the debate which means that it has to be a spoken about. The Liberals just put decriminalization up for debate. Which means it is a huge topic.
C: They see the money.
Adjustments are Natural for Some
- Going from Big Companies to small business – how they run their business, occupy different space in the capital market. This means how they raise money, how transactions are run, government structure, the way the board is run.
- Small companies versus veruss IPO. A whole new cast of characters
- The shift for big media – less about the 5 big banks more about the smaller investment banks
- Death of the Small Investment Bank is changing
- New companies every day
- More of “ask anything” spae now.
- Honest conversations are happening – everyone is learning together.
Some of the Stigmas:
- “I still can’t come to your event” – not looking good for your business or your partners
- “Pot” – the word is still being used as a negative outlook.
- “That’s interesting…” – it may seem very normalized but most are surprised at the job choice. Because it becomes a lifestyle change
- “You might go to jail” – the fear of the penalties
- “I can’t believe you are doing this” – people thing like its Cheech and Chong but truly its a business with great margins!
Why Should We Be Excited?
- Municipal Elections: Sara who started up Opioid Safe zone is now running for office.
- We have the people who want to be heard.
- We have the passion and like our jobs.
- It is shaping of perception – how quickly who knows.
- It’s a real business and it is changing the business style and how we conduct.
- Media has less and fewer restrictions.
- Law firms and venture capitals are jumping on board.
- More coverage on our activists.
- Low competition – great market share, great margins, great money.
The pioneers are finally ready to be public. So with people like Gomez whose “bread and butter” is fitting us within the legal framework, this is eventually going to change. Always make sure you keep up with the activists and the more they come out the more you may be surprised how many there are. And while many of us thought we wouldn’t seem legalization in our lifetime, it is coming up sooner than we think. The government is changing their opinion and money talks. So companies like iAnthus are leading the force in supporting those who are trying to start up their business in whatever sector that may be. And if it wasn’t for the clever writers and media sharing all the news we wouldn’t be growing so quickly. So those like The Globe and Mail are now turning over to new projects within the cannabis market.
Trail-BLAZE on and write history ganja lovers.
“We need you!” – Antuanette Gomez