Tag: tips

6 Ways to Save Money by Making Your Cannabis Last Longer

Every time I get to the bottom of my cannabis jar, I find myself thinking, “Damn, I already smoked all of that?!” Don’t be like me—there are ways to make your cannabis purchases last longer between dispensary visits, and as long as you have some self-discipline to make minor adjustments to your consumption habits, your wallet will stay a little bit fatter.

Here are a few pointers on how to ration your green, both cash and cannabis, and still get high.

Buy in Bulk and Distribute It Evenly Across How Many Days You Want It to Last

I purchase halves (half an ounce, or 14 grams) because they come with the biggest price break. In a perfect world, I’d be able to make that last 14 days, but joke’s on me, I usually make it about eight. However, if I were smart about it, like you should be, I’d take that 14 grams, break up the nugs into 1-gram quantities, and store them in one of those S-M-T-W-T-F-S pill boxes that your great-great-grandma uses to keep track of what pills she should take and on which days.

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If you want to conserve your cannabis and make it stretch, that’s what you should do. Set the standard. Be my role model.

Skip the Wake ‘n Bake

We all love a good wake ‘n bake because you get that special kind of high that rides with you throughout the whole morning, and sometimes even the whole day, but there’s still no better time to smoke than at the end of a long day when all of your responsibilities have been taken care of.

Instead of using your cannabis for the wake up/bake up, stash it away for the late night roll-up and thank yourself later.

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Scoop Up a One-Hitter/Chillum

I have, and will always, be an advocate for the one-hitter. I don’t know the science behind it, but a couple hits sometimes get me just as high as a few tokes off a blunt. $10 for a couple one-hitters per month to make your cannabis stretch for a few extra weeks is a very worthwhile purchase.

Browse Chillum Products

The same goes for a chillum, which is just a one-hitter that lifts weights twice a day. A one-hitter will give you a couple hits then be cashed out, but a chillum bowl will push out four or five, maybe even more if you corner the bowl just right. Either, you’ll definitely be where you need to be.

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Glassware Is Your Friend

Glassware is one of your best friends when it comes to conserving cannabis. A bowl a day keeps the empty jars away, ya know? If you’re trying to save money, pick up a little pipe for $15. They’re a lot easier to clean and rejuvenate than one-hitters, and you’ll use less cannabis than you would in a joint or blunt.

Pick Up a Pipe

Speaking of which…

Smoke Fewer Joints/Blunts

The average joint/blunt will cost you about half a gram at the bare minimum. My roll-ups usually hit for at least .75 grams a pop. If I smoke 2-3 times a day, then that’s *does the math* way too much green wasted in a day. Like, yeah, I got stupid high enough to kiss Mars on the lips, but I could’ve done it in a more efficient manner.

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Don’t make my mistakes. If you’re trying to make your green stretch, maybe only smoke blunts/joints on the weekend. Or only once a night. It really all depends on how often you smoke, but if you’re an everyday smoker who’s trying to be more efficient with how much you’re buying, slow down on the joints and blunts.

Cut Off the Mooches

I know sharing is caring and the whole mission of the culture is to bring people together, but you can’t let everyone be Moochie Norris out there just because they’re your homies. There’s no one worse than that friend who always pops up with empty hands and empty pockets when it’s time to smoke. Cannabis gets pricey, and if you’re trying to make it last then using less in more strategic manners is key.

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You’ll never be using less if every time you plan on loading a personal bowl, it turns into you having to load multiple bowls or twisting up a bunch of blunts/joints because your friends keep scavenging your stash. You wouldn’t let someone just eat all of your food without ever contributing a dollar or at least a slice of pizza to the cause. Treat your bud with the same respect.

How to Negotiate a Better Salary Before You Take the Job

Before I began my work in the cannabis industry I worked briefly in corporate tax law, where I had a great salary but not a lot of personal fulfillment. This story is familiar to a lot of people—only about half of all Americans are satisfied with their jobs. Many of us labor at jobs that may pay us well, but there’s something lacking if we’re not passionate about the path we’re on. It didn’t take me long to realize that working in marijuana legalization was my calling, so I made a career change to focus on drug policy.

I found a position that was a perfect start in the right direction. The listed salary was a significant pay cut for me, but I figured that was the price of fulfillment. It never occurred to me to negotiate a higher pay rate, until one day somebody accidentally sent an all-staff email containing everyone’s salaries. That was the day I learned a hard lesson about negotiation. Because I hadn’t negotiated, I was being paid significantly less than my equally or less qualified male colleagues.

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I decided the most productive use of my feelings of betrayal was to learn everything I could about how people, men in particular, negotiate and promote themselves.

As a woman of color, I sit on a distinct intersection of race and gender, and this comes into play when we look at how the wage gap operates in America. I didn’t realize that I could negotiate my salary. I thought that whatever salary was listed was the final line.

Today, as a recruiter and co-founder of THC Staffing Group, I’ve learned that knowing how and when to negotiate is paramount to getting the salary you want. Here are a few tips that we tell our job candidates:

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1) Arrive Armed with Data

The first step to effectively negotiate is to have data. People who are negotiating need to be armed with information about comparable wages and salaries in order to accurately calculate what they can contribute to a company.

There’s very little hard data available about wages and salary in cannabis, though. To remedy this, THC Staffing Group has launched a salary survey for people in the industry. Taking our cannabis employment survey will help us gather this essential data and push forward a more inclusive, equitable cannabis industry. We expect to publish the results of our survey in the coming months.

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2) Never Name a Number First

In the cannabis industry, this is important because employers can be as in the dark as you are. We usually recommend to our employer clients that they do whatever research they can and list a salary range in the job description, so that they and their potential hires don’t waste each other’s time. If you are asked to divulge your current salary, you don’t have to answer. In some states, like Massachusetts, it’s illegal to ask that question. Look this up for your own state. If it’s illegal, it’s entirely likely that the employer doesn’t know that.

3) Don’t Negotiate Until You’ve Been Offered the Job

If you’re asked about salary expectations beforehand, you can stall with an answer like, “I’ll consider any reasonable offer.” Once you know they want you, you can begin negotiating your salary.

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4) Practice the Exact Words You Want to Use

If it’s your first time negotiating, it won’t come naturally. Talking confidently about the value you bring, or the salary range you’re expecting, can be hard for many people. Look up scripts, or write one yourself, and practice saying them in the bathroom mirror until they feel natural. Try recording yourself and playing it back to bring your speech up to a strong cadence and rhythm.

5) Understand the Employer’s Constraints

Particularly in the license application or pre-opening phase, people who start cannabis businesses are exhausted and stretched thin. They’re often not being paid themselves. Be confident and know your worth, but also have compassion. If working in the industry is your passion, try to see the commonality between you and your potential employer. Empathy is the key to successful negotiation.

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Please take our salary survey and send it to your friends and co-workers. If you want to see a more fair and equitable cannabis industry, and if you could use more information on salaries yourself, help us take the first step to collect the data.

Advice for First-Time Cannabis Smokers: 10 Tips to Keep in Mind

Congratulations, you’ve decided that you’re finally ready to take that leap towards trying cannabis. Perfect. Beautiful. Let me be the first to welcome you to the family. But before you take that first toke, I’d like to offer you a few pieces of advice so you know what you’re getting into.

Be Prepared to Not Get High

(franckreporter/iStock)(franckreporter/iStock)

The first time I smoked, I didn’t get high. Maybe I didn’t do it right. Maybe I was all wrong. But I didn’t. And I’ve heard this as the case for so many people, so just know it’s a possibility. But don’t let it deter you from getting to where you’re going. If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again. Yes, I did just quote Aaliyah.

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Inhale

You can’t get high if you aren’t inhaling. I still remember the first time I properly did it. Ooooohweeee. My eyes got low, lights got bright, and my soul left my body. It was epic—no, scratch that—it was euphoric. Everything and everyone made me soooo happy and my body felt soooo good.

If you don’t feel like you’re getting high, maybe you just aren’t inhaling properly. Let that smoke fill your lungs and carry you to infinity and beyond.

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Hydrate Like an Athlete

(ljubaphoto/iStock)(ljubaphoto/iStock)

If I had a nickel for every morning I woke up completely dehydrated from getting stoned out of my mind the night before, well, I’d have a lot of nickels. Probably enough to buy 17 gallons of water, which is the exact amount you’ll need after a solid smoke sesh unless you want to end up looking like Spongebob when he visited Sandy’s house for the first time. If you’re going to indulge in the arts of cannabis, make sure to chug a bunch of water before the occasion like you’re about to play in a high school state championship game.

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Choose Your Piece Wisely

I’ve been smoking blunts since Day One so that’s just how I get down. But if it’s your first time, I suggest easing into it. You don’t run a marathon without first doing a one mile test, and the same principle applies to smoking. Don’t jump into heavy bong rips, dabs, and things of that nature until you take a few baby steps.

I suggest starting with a little bowl and working your way up that ladder until you’re ready to take on more advanced consumption methods like the dab rip, also known as the M. Bison of the cannabis world. Also: beware of the gravity bong. They’re little, but boyyyy do they pack a punch. My first time hitting one resulted in hours of paranoia and discomfort. Don’t do that. You’ve been warned.

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Download a Food Courier App

(BalkansCat/iStock)(BalkansCat/iStock)

The worst thing possible when high is having to go somewhere and do something, even if the task is just getting food. When I delivered food for Postmates, 95% of the houses I delivered to reeked of cannabis. Coincidence? I think not. It’s because those people were smart enough to make the experience convenient for them. You are, too. Make sure to download your preferred courier app (Postmates, DoorDash, Favor, etc.) beforehand so you won’t entertain the possibility of going out and driving under the influence (or wandering around outside when you’re not feeling particularly social or comfortable).

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Clear Your Schedule

If you’re about to get high for the first time, you’ll probably pass out at some point. Don’t even say “No I won’t,” because you’ll be forced to come apologize to me once you wake up eight hours after taking your first bong hit. It’s like a rollercoaster: you go alllll the way to the top just to drop alllll the way to the bottom.

Even if you don’t fall asleep (which you probably will), you may end up feeling heavy-bodied, so if you’re about to smoke for the first time, make sure you’re in a comfortable environment that encourages absolute relaxation. I suggest a living room with a 65” flat screen and a sectional couch (the crease of the L is the sweet spot).

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Never Smoke With Sketchy People

(pixelfit/iStock)(pixelfit/iStock)

This pretty much applies to anything in life, but especially when it comes to cannabis consumption. If you’re smoking for the first time, it should be with some friends you trust. But on the off chance that it’s with some sketchy-ass strangers, make sure to abide by Rule #1 of the Bruh, I’m Just Tryna Get High code of conduct: If you didn’t see it rolled or packed, don’t smoke it. You do not want to get hit with a case of the shenanigans around people you don’t know in an unfamiliar environment.

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Know (or Learn) Your Limits

If you’re stoned out of your mind after one hit, feel free to pass on the joint in rotation. Your mission was to get high for the first time, not melt your entire face off. Know your limits and act accordingly.

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Develop a Tribe

(Rawpixel/iStock)(Rawpixel/iStock)

Once you start smoking, you’ll want to have a group of friends that you can smoke with. I like to call this my tribe. These are the people that you hit up for a group sesh. You also want to have a tribe because, if I can keep it funky, smoking solo can get extremely boring. But when you have friends, who knows what type of adventures y’all might get high enough to go on? Or even if it’s not an adventure, you might end up having a dope/deep-ass conversation, which may turn out to be a therapeutic experience. So make sure to find friends who enjoy the same activity then build with them.

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Be Prepared to Fall in Love

For me, cannabis was love at first pipe. When I took that first hit and felt that buzz in my eyelids I instantly knew that I was smitten. You might be, too. Prepare to embark on a new, groundbreaking relationship. (But much like any relationship, things can get expensive. So before you go into this, just know this love may leave your pockets taxed.)

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How to Not Smell Like Cannabis After Smoking: 5 Items to Have On-Hand

I’ve never been the type of person to broadcast my high in public, either due to the fact that I look high or because I smell strongly of cannabis. That’s not because I’m ashamed of it, I just don’t want to deal with the silent judgments of strangers I encounter in the wild. It’s my biggest pet peeve in the world.

To protect myself from having to deal with awkward stares whenever I venture out, I make sure to keep a few key items on deck that’ll allow me to flourish in disguise and move amongst the non-stoned like a red eye- and odor-free ninja. And since I love you, I’m going to share that list below. A wise man once said, “If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready.” (That wise man was me. Just now. You’re welcome.)

Eye Drops and Contact Lens Solution

Eye drops
Off-top the most important thing to keep on deck are eye drops. I don’t know about you, but my eyes get so damn red when I’m high. All it takes is one hit of the good stuff and my eyes instantly flame up like fingertips in Hot Cheeto dust. It bothers the hell of out me, so I keep a bottle of eye drops in my car, in my backpack, and also around the house.

As for which brand to reach for, my suggestion is Clear Eyes. They’re the cheapest, come in reasonably-priced small and large-size bottles for the budget-friendly shoppers, and will keep your eyes on Code White for at least three hours. For the rich people with abundant disposable income, I suggest Rohto. MAKE SURE TO GET THE GREEN BOX. I don’t know why, but those are the only ones that work for me. I once smoked before dinner with parents, used a bottle of the silver Rohto, then got to the restaurant and my eyes were still on Cyclops. You don’t want to be in that situation.

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In addition to eye drops, if you wear contacts, make sure to keep solution on you as well. Just because your eyes aren’t red doesn’t mean they aren’t dry as hell. Even with “moisturizing” eye drops, your lenses might still slide into an ultra-dehydrated state. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve used eye drops and my contacts still dried up into glass spheres of death. Rule of thumb: If your mouth is dry, so are your eyes. Protect yourself, my friends.

Hand Sanitizer and Lotion

Hand lotion
I smoke blunts so my fingers always smell like cannabis and hard work. It’s a part of the game that I’ve learned to accept. Sometimes in life you have to take the good with the bad, and if my fingers have to stink for me to float above the clouds, that’s a price I’m willing to pay.

But that doesn’t mean I have to let it linger. Neither do you. Always keep some hand sanitizer on deck because your fingers are definitely green from pulling apart the nugs and your fingers definitely smell like your last session. The hand sanitizer is the first phase of the On-The-Go cleaning kit. Throw a little bit on your palms, toss a little bit on your fingertips and rub it all around until you’re no longer DJ Green Thumbs.

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The only problem is hand sanitizer dries your hands out tremendously and you’ll be let with the ashiest mitts possible. Yes, even you, white people. That’s when lotion comes into play. Your mitts are dry and you don’t want to run the risk of starting a fire with your bare hands. You aren’t a boy scout. You aren’t Havok or El Diablo. You don’t need to be out here placing lives at risk because you didn’t lather up, so make sure to keep lotion on hand. (As always, pun intended.)

Wet Wipes/Facial Cleansing Pads

Wet wipes
You ever been so high that you had to splash some cold water in your face to wake up? If not, it’s time to get a better strain and take yourself to infinity and beyond. If so, then bring it in, let’s hug it out; we’re family. Sometimes I get so high that the only way I can bring myself back to life is to head to the bathroom and slap myself with a fistful of puddle.

But what do you do when you don’t have a fistful of H2O on hand? You don’t fret, that’s what. Because you’ve got wet wipes or facial cleansing pads handy. These two items are more than sufficient for the aforementioned purpose. For the facial pads, I suggest Clearasil pads. Not because they’re special, but mainly because at first glance “Clearasil” looks like “Clarissa,” which reminds me of Clarissa Explains It All, the most un-talked about great show of my childhood.

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For wet wipes, I suggest barbecue for dinner. Not only will you get a delicious meal, but you can ask for as many wet wipes as you need without question or judgment. Load the fuck up. You paid for the food, you get the wet wipes. That’s a little something I like to call killing two birds with one debit card swipe.

Cologne/Body Spray

Cologne
One of my biggest pet peeves is when people reek of cannabis. I know that sounds a little get-off-my-lawnish, but that’s how I feel. When people hotbox their cars, then walk around in public pretending they have no clue why everyone is staring at them, it annoys the shit out of me. Mostly because it’s inconsiderate of others. You can’t just go around throwing canna-smells into strangers’ faces without their permission.

That’s exactly why you should keep some real cologne or body spray on deck at all times. It’ll minimize your aroma while also minimizing unwanted attention. I very rarely smell like smoke, but when I do, a couple sprays of that Polo Red and I’m good money. If I don’t have cologne, it’s whatever body spray I have in my gym bag. Usually it’s Axe, but I suggest you go with Old Spice because it’s stronger and fights odor for longer.

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Note: If you hotboxed your car then neither cologne nor body spray can help you. You reek of cannabis now, you’ll reek of cannabis later, and this will remain your truth for the entirety of the day until you shower and change clothes. Please crack a window or tilt the sunroof next time. I’m not saying that out of judgment, I just want you to live your best life. Because I respect you as an individual.

Gum/Mints/Mouthwash

Chewing gum
Let’s be honest, if you smoked then your breath stinks. I don’t care what flavors you tasted on the inhale, I promise the exhale was not as pleasant. There are very few things in this world that are worse than having a conversation with a bad-breath individual. One of those things is being that individual with bad breath. Even the coolest human can’t pull off stinky tonsils, and that’s why you should have some kind of breath-freshening device on hand.

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This item is almost as important as eyedrops. In fact, they’re 1A and 1B; they go hand in hand. Whether it’s gum, mints, mouthwash, or my preferred Listerine strips, just make sure you keep these ready to rock at all times. Hell, even if you didn’t smoke, chances are you need fresher breath. I mean, you brushed your teeth at 7:00 a.m. and it’s almost 3 o’clock now. Think about it.

Which Cannabis Conferences Are Beneficial to Your Business?

The business of legal cannabis is booming, and as interest in the cannabis industry continues to grow, it’s no wonder that a wide range of cannabis conferences are popping up like weeds. Whether you’re a small business looking to expand your reach to more customers, an entrepreneur seeking new opportunities, or a firmly established organization making your presence known, cannabis conferences are a great way to network among like-minded individuals and find new business opportunities.

However, with an industry that is rapidly becoming saturated with cannabis conferences, all of which require significant costs to attend and participate in, it can be difficult to know where to put your priorities and which conferences will be worth a financial investment. It creates a kind of redundancy–many of these conferences feature the same brands and products, creating overlap and repetition.

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For smaller businesses on a tighter budget, it may be tempting to attend every convention, conference, or trade show in an effort to get more eyes on your brand, but it may be a better investment in the long term to choose three or four conferences per year to maximize your budget and your presence.

Kayla Cook, Director of Events for Privateer Holdings (Leafly’s parent company), lent us her expertise on the subject. “The cannabis conference space is a very saturated sector of the industry,” Cook acknowledged. “It’s difficult to decide which conference to attend and which one will give you the best bang for your buck.”

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Cannabis trade shows are often broad and unfocused, leaving much room for improvement and opportunities. For example, at each larger conference, you can find any number of investors, growers, light manufacturers, extract makers, marketing agencies, production companies, and more. With so many specializations within the industry, some companies may benefit significantly from a conference where another may see return on investment.

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“I’d suggest defining what your business goals are prior to buying your conference pass,” Cook encouraged. “Many conferences have different focuses and specialize in different topics within the industry, so doing a little research before you commit will be well worth it.”

With interest in cannabis rising in mainstream society, there are more conferences popping up in states without medical or adult-use cannabis markets, raising the question, once again, if it’s worth the investment to attend a conference, particularly one in a state where there’s no chance of expanding your business.

Gavin Newsom speaking at a cannabis conferenceLieutenant Governor of California Gavin Newsom speaks at a cannabis conference. (Courtesy of Matt Emrich Photography)

When asked if there’s any value to attending cannabis conferences in states without medical or adult use legalization markets, Leafly’s Event Production Assistant, Bennett Kaplan, offered some advice. “It’s good because there is brand exposure to a new audience,” Kaplan explained, “but be wary: There’s not much to be earned.”

He pointed to the recent example of Leafly as the first and only cannabis brand to officially sponsor the popular SXSW festival in Texas, a state with a limited CBD law and no access to any form of cannabis. The presence of multiple cannabis companies served to offer information about safe, legal cannabis consumption in a state that still carries major penalties for cannabis. “The culture is moving forward without the laws moving forward,” Kaplan observed.

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At the conference, Hugh Forrest, Chief Programming Officer of SXSW, also recognized the positive impact of having a cannabis company in sponsorship. “We’ve definitely had cannabis-related panels and presentations at SXSW in previous years, but probably never as much as we have on the 2017 schedule,” he said. “I think the increase in sessions reflects the overall growth of this industry—and the fact that more and more so-called mainstream entrepreneurs are seeing the kinds of opportunities that cannabis presents.”

“The culture is moving forward without the laws moving forward.”

Bennett Kaplan, Leafly Event Production Assistant

As for the smaller, lower cost conferences, it may seem like the better choice, but that’s not always the case. Low-cost events can attract lower-quality vendors and participants, so even though it may be tempting to take part in every event, it’s important to recognize which events will be the most valuable for your business.

Here are some of the conferences that we have found to be valuable:

MJBiz Conference in Las Vegas

The MJBiz Conference is the premier B2B event in the cannabis industry. It is one of the more expensive conferences, but it has an incredibly large attendance of high-quality vendors, and many would consider it to be the forefront cannabis industry trade show. The company hosts an annual conference in November, but recently started offering a spring conference as well.

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NCIA Cannabis Business Summit

The NCIA Cannabis Business Summit is considered of the most influential cannabis shows in the United States, hosted in Oakland, California, and featuring more than 4,500 cannabis industry attendees. This one of the longest-standing B2B conferences, and aside from the annual Business Summit, the organization also hosts quarterly caucus events for industry networking.

International Cannabis Business Conference

This is one of the first and best international cannabis business conferences, and the event will be exhibiting Europe’s first B2B cannabis conference hosted in Berlin, Germany this April 2017.

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New West Summit

New West Summit is one of the first cannabis conferences to specifically focus on technology, investment, and media in the cannabis space, making it a more unique cannabis trade show experience.

DispensaryNext

DispensaryNext is a two-day conference & expo focused on the next generation of products, services, and strategies for cannabis dispensaries. It is specifically designed for cannabis dispensary owners, managers, marketing directors, and those in the process of building dispensaries in emerging markets.

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Lift Cannabis Expo

Lift is Canada’s largest and most forward-thinking event in the cannabis industry, and it’s attracted attendees from across the world for events in two major Canadian cities, Vancouver and Toronto.

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What Is Influencer Marketing and How Can It Help Cannabis Businesses?

Leafly is the first ever cannabis company to sponsor SXSW, and as we gear up for this year’s festival, we decided to take a look at one of the most crucial pieces of any successful brand: influencer marketing. With cannabis restricted by the federal government, many standard marketing platforms are off-limits. Because traditional marketing efforts off the table, cannabis brands have to be incredibly creative to ensure their campaigns are successful.

We spoke with Dominick Damico, the founder of Adspire, the world’s fastest growing influencer marketing agency dedicated to cannabis, to see how cannabis businesses can make the most of their brand by using outside influencers to boost their audience and maximize their marketing impact.

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Leafly: What is influencer marketing?

Dominick Damico: Influencer marketing is the usage of people and platforms to drive a brand’s message to a target market. The influencer can be a person, a website, or a social media page. Essentially, any person or platform that has influence over an audience can be considered an influencer.

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What are some examples of different types of influencers?

  • Niched: These influencers are typically devoted to a specific market or subject (ex. Cannabis / beauty / sports / etc.)
  • Celebrity: These influencers are traditional celebrity types (artists, athletes, entertainers)
  • Social: These influencers found their fame through social media platforms
  • Micro: These influencers have a small amount of influence, but they can be useful when brands are looking to activate many niches at once
  • Localized: These influencers and their content are typically localized (ex. “Seattle Stoners”)

Influencers can fall under more than one of the categories above. For example, there are localized-micro influencers, and there are social-niched influencers.

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What are some of the challenges of achieving impact through influencer marketing?

The number of followers does not necessarily equal impact. Bigger is not always better. Many brands make the mistake of judging the value of an influencer based on how much influence they possess. Engagement rate is the holy grail of measuring influencer value. This is because a 100k influencer with a 50% engagement rate gets five times more action than a 1 million influencer with a 1% engagement rate. I’ve seen pages with millions of followers that get less engagement than pages 1/10th their size.

Your content and ads will not do well just because they’re going out to a lot of people. There is a misconception that influencers have the magical allure of getting their fans to do what they want. Just because you post your products, content, and ads on influencer platforms in the same industry, doesn’t mean you will get results. They need to be aligned with your content style, focused on value-add, and consist of a well thought out advertisement or post. It’s no different than any other advertising methods. Bad ads and content will always perform badly.

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When do you think paid digital marketing channels may be available to cannabis brands? What about print/traditional marketing?

Hard to say. I’d imagine even if Google, Facebook, etc. does want to get on board, their legal team will give them the thumbs down due to the current federal standing of cannabis. I would guess 3-6 years for USA advertising only, or whenever cannabis is no longer a federally illicit substance in America. As for the rest of the world, I have no clue.

I do believe that print advertising at a local level is easier to access. This is because local print works within the jurisdiction of state lines, where cannabis is legal. It’s different for these digital companies that have an international presence and have much more pressure to abide by federal law compared to the local print companies complying within their jurisdictions.

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Do you have any tips to run a successful influencer marketing campaign?

  • Keep up with social rules and algorithms: Social media platforms are always changing the rules of the game. Companies that don’t stay nimble and up to date on the latest rules can miss out on changes required to maximize success.
  • Keep up with the latest marketing trends: Take some time out of each day to go through Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and platforms of interest. This will help you recognize what is working well for other pages and companies. It helps you to identify successful and unsuccessful marketing strategies without having to spend your own money to find out.
  • Follow page patterns: If an account only does direct photo posts, try to format your marketing campaign so that specific influencer drives your goal with a direct photo post.
  • Be good to the influencers you work with: At the end of the day this is a relationships game. Everyone knows everyone and if you screw over an influencer, other influencers will find out about it and won’t want to work with your company. These influencers get plenty of opportunity. At the end of the day, they are going to want to work with people they like who treat them fairly.
  • If you aren’t sure how to do all of this, outsource it to Adspire: I’ve watched new companies waste thousands of dollars on influencers and campaigns that absolutely bombed due to their lack of expertise. We’ve got the knowledge and experience to make your influencer marketing campaign a success.

You can hear more about influencer marketing at the SXSW Conference. Leafly will be sponsoring a three-part track of cannabis programming, including one keynote speaker and two panels, on March 14, 2017.

Learn how Leafly can grow your business

What Budtender Qualities Make You Turn Away From a Shop?

Budtender etiquette can easily make or break a visit for a customer or patient. As a recreational adult consumer, a bad experience with staff often means losing a customer and in an industry where every sale counts, losing a repeat customer means losing a valuable source of revenue. For those who rely on cannabis as medicine, to have inexperienced or ineffective staff is beyond a simple annoyance; it undermines the importance of their visit and being recommended the wrong product can have serious consequences.

We asked you what budtender qualities make you turn away from a dispensary and Leafly readers had a lot to say.

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“Not knowing the attributes of strains to give advice for therapeutic purposes. Get poor recommendations frequently.”

Whether the cannabis is being purchased for therapeutic or recreational purposes, budtenders should be knowledgeable about the different types of cannabis and their effects. Budtenders can also avoid making a poor recommendation by asking questions of the consumer, making it easier to find the right product for the right person. If they are looking for a sleep aid, don’t recommend a high-energy sativa. If they’re looking for a boost in productivity, don’t recommend a heavy indica.

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“Uncaring people who can care less that you’re there because you’re in pain or haven’t slept well because of illness. All they’re interested in is squeezing every penny they can get out of you.”

A little bit of compassion can go a long way, especially for a patient who truly relies on cannabis to treat their symptoms. Yes, revenue is important for those who are trying to make ends meet in a tricky industry, but keep in mind why these patients are in your store to begin with. For a medical cannabis patient, having access to proper medicine is about much more than money. It’s about their personal well-being.

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“Condescending budtenders. Or the ones who show low effort towards minor sales. I’ll take my stuff right out of there and go somewhere else.”

Don’t underestimate the importance of quality customer service. Every customer, whether buying an ounce or a gram, should be treated with the same respect reserved for any patient or customer. In the same way that a condescending waiter can sour a dining experience, feeling disrespected during a dispensary visit is more than enough for a customer to take their business elsewhere. Remember, even small sales can add up to big sales over a long period of time. Invest in your customers and they’ll keep coming back.

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“Basic lack of education about what strain is best for what. And I gotta say, it would be very comforting to see one who is older than 20-something and has experience. Many if not most actual patients are older.”

There’s no reason for age discrimination when hiring (except, of course, for making sure to hire employees of legal age to be handling cannabis products), but no matter the age of your employees, keep your clientele in mind. In this new era of breaking the stigma behind cannabis consumption, there is a new generation of canna-curious baby boomers. When catering to older clientele, be mindful that they may have tons or no experience with cannabis and, once again, this is where tactful questions can come in handy. Some boomers have been smoking for decades, while others are just dipping their toe into the waters since legalization.

It’s also important to note here that medical patients may be sensitive about their ailments. When asking questions to discern their needs in a strain or product, be cognizant of that sensitivity. If they offer up information, use it to help them find the right product, but don’t pry into their background. This is not only uncomfortable for patients, it can be seen as rude, insensitive, and even insulting. Tread lightly when it comes to medical issues.

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“Forgetting my exact change, forgetting to pack the actual medicine in the bag before I leave the place, acting stupid. I get that you’re running a dispensary, but at least your budtenders can be at least somewhat responsive when I’m purchasing my meds. Judging by more than a few times this happened, at many different dispensaries.”

Is this a no-brainer or not? Cannabis consumption during work hours is clearly up to the discretion of the company, but if it’s affecting performance and leading to bad experiences with customers, maybe it’s time to reconsider your policies. This is no longer an era of “anything goes” like it once was in the past days of unregulated cannabis, and unprofessional behavior can be a huge turn-off for customers.

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When it comes to proper budtender etiquette, generally it’s safe to say you should trust your instincts. Be polite and unassuming and make your customer as comfortable as possible. We’re working in a new and unique industry, and, as you guide your customers through uncharted waters, you can help break the stigma. Your influence has the potential to make or break a customer’s cannabis experience. Take your responsibility seriously and treat every consumer with respect and sincerity.

Plan for (and Enjoy) the Ultimate Wake and Bake with These Tips

Lazy Sunday mornings set aside to indulge in the timeless act of a much anticipated ‘wake and bake’ have been a staple in cannabis culture almost as long as consuming the plant itself. Sleeping in late, rolling up a relaxing strain, diving into a rich (possibly infused) breakfast with nothing planned for the day ahead but peace, time, and maybe a Netflix marathon or two – who couldn’t ask for a better way to pause before a work-filled week ahead?

The secret to the perfect wake and bake lies in the preparation leading up to that lazy Sunday morning, so we’ve outlined a few tips and tricks to make your next session the best it can be.

Prepare the Night Before

Bedroom at night

Triple check your schedule for the day ahead to make sure you’re not having to do anything pressing, plan your breakfast and gather all ingredients, lay out a comfortable outfit. Preparing for a wake and bake the night before your session will cut out a bunch of unnecessary to-dos that won’t muscle their way into your early routine.

Cue Up a Super Chill Playlist

closeup iphone and earpods device on table

Nothing beats a comfortable, quiet morning than an overlay of relaxing tunes to ease your mood. This ultimate carefree day deserves to be punctuated by the sweet sounds of music. We recommend these playlists by Odesza and Tycho for all your chill music needs.

Eat a Hearty Breakfast

Pancakes for breakfast

One of the greatest enjoyments that come out of a wake and bake session is indulging in a breakfast you didn’t have time to make any other day of the week. Think smoky slices of bacon, buttery biscuits, fluffy pancakes, milk and eggs, and fresh muffins baked with mounds of tart fruit. If you get easily distracted after consuming cannabis, prepare your breakfast beforehand, enjoy your strain, then head back to the table to take in the scents and tastes of a full, satiating spread.

Keep Your Meals Quick and Easy

Pink deliciousness

No matter how large or elaborate you choose to go about making your best breakfast, it’s always nice taking it easy the rest of the day. So, gather up some simple dishes you can pop into the microwave, oven, or put together on the fly! We’re thinking pizza rolls, fresh smoothies, grilled cheese sandwiches, an assortment of your favorite snacks – anything that’s simple yet satisfying enough to let you lounge around the house without the need to pop by the nearest grocery store.

Clear Your Schedule

Though some enjoy a morning toke of buzzy strains to tackle a busy day, others prefer to consume when they know they don’t have to worry about running around, meeting deadlines, or generally having anything to do. Depending on your strain of choice, you could be left a little sleepy through the hours after a good wake and bake and it could be the best option to ride out those relaxed feelings with no outside pressures to get things done (or the need to be anywhere at any particular time).

Keep Hydrated

Filling up a glass with drinking water from kitchen tap

As we all know, cannabis tends to leave a bit of dry mouth and dry eyes that can be incredibly dehydrating. Remember to always drink water, juice, or other hydrating liquids before, during, and after your session in order to feel your best throughout the day and night. Drinking plenty of water is a great habit to form and will leave you less groggy once your high diminishes regardless when it is consumed.

Have your own wake and bake rituals? Let us know in the comments below!

What are the Best Ways to Mask Cannabis Odor in Your House?

Cannabis, as we’re well aware, is a flower. One of the primary functions of flowers is to create terpenes, odoriferous chemicals designed by nature to attract pollinators and ward off predators. These pungent compounds can be one of the best and worst parts of enjoying cannabis. The rich smell of fresh, sticky bud can be as intoxicating as the perfume of a long-lost lover.

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Unfortunately, this odor can also be a dead giveaway that alerts others to your preferably private ritual. And while cannabis may be consumed for medicinal and adult-use purposes throughout the country, federal prohibition continues to govern public perception, which can still trend negative. If you want to be mindful of your neighbors or simply want your cannabis habits to stay under the radar, respect and privacy can be preserved with a few handy tricks to mask the smell of cannabis on your person or in your home.

The Classic Approach: Sai Baba, Satya, Nag Champa, Agarbatti Incense

Nag Champa is an incense commonly burnt in ashrams. The scent is neither masculine or feminine and usually contains a mixture of the following ingredients:

  • Champa flower
  • Benzoin resinoid (Styrax tonkinensis)
  • Henna (Lawsonia inermis)
  • Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)
  • Indian sandalwood (Santalum album)
  • Vanilla
  • Honey

The classic aroma was transplanted in the west at the end of the hippie trail and has remained a welcome scent for practitioners of yoga, meditation, and cannabis consumption.

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The Hippie Approach: Patchouli Oil

This aromatic oil is a hippie hallmark. Made from the small pink and white flowers of the patchouli plant, this oil is known for its pleasant, lasting scent and supposed antidepressant and aphrodisiac qualities. Certainly makes sense to me: enjoy a doobie, dab some patchouli behind the ears, smell nice, and make love, not war.

The Homemaker Approach: Febreeze

A household staple for many Americans living with gassy pets and gassier spouses or roommates, Febreeze is a trigger-action odor eliminator. This is not the end-all, be-all of cannabis smell reduction, but for a fresh scent in a pinch, it’s a solid option.

The Toilet Bowl Approach: Matches with the Bathroom Fan On

One of the sneakier moves on the list, the toilet bowl is an act of desperation at its core. You can’t go outside but you can’t consume inside; it’s a risky move no matter how you slice it. But if you must, bring along stick matches (preferably) and flip the switch on the fan. The combusting sulfur and wood smoke of the stick matches should cover a hit or two and the fan should take care of the rest.

The Last Resort: Burnt Popcorn

The smell of burning popcorn could make a house fire just smell like another movie night gone wrong. In my experience, few smells mask other odors better and linger in the air longer than an accidentally burnt bag of microwavable popcorn.

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But beware! Respect the very delicate balance between burnt for effect and just burning the hell out of it. While the room may no longer smell of cannabis, the fire alarm is literally the loudest signal of domestic failure known to man, and that’s not the perception cannabis needs, either.

Other Suggestions

Air-tight containers are not hard to come by. A good Tupperware, Mason jar, or, if you’re in a pinch, a Ziploc bag inside another Ziploc bag, can really go the distance. There are also other vacuum-sealed containers on the market, like OXO food storage containers, that will work extremely well for storing your pungent cannabis. If you can, get a UV protective airtight container and/or keep all cannabis plant matter out of direct/indirect sunlight to preserve quality over time.

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Paper towel/toilet paper roll + rubber band + dryer sheet. It’s that simple—get a toilet paper or paper towel roll, place a fabric softener sheet at the end, and strap it to the roll with a rubber band. The idea is to fill the volume of the roll, so exhale slowly as not to shoot the smoke directly out the other end. Know that smoke will escape either way, but if done correctly, much of the odor will be diffused.

Buy a smoke filter. Manufactured smoke filters are starting to hit the market. You can try Sploofy—this portable carbon filter is an excellent choice for travelers and cannabis consumers that need to conceal their presence. The Sploofy’s replaceable filter system and nearly magical ability to swallow up enormous clouds of smoke make for potent camouflage on the go or in the home.

Alternatively, you can try making your own “Sploof.”

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Just go outside. Trust me, it’s good for you.

What are your go-to cannabis camo techniques? We’ll try out the best suggestions and highlight them in a follow-up!

Top Cannabis Education Centers: Where to Go When You Want To Know

Many Americans are looking to join the cannabis industry, but growing up in the era of “Just Say No” means that even experienced cannabis consumers may have grown up with a lot of misinformation. To properly prepare to join the cannabis space, as with new professional venture, education is key.

We’ve compiled a list of the top cannabis education programs available in the United States, and how you can access them. Start training today and you’ll be ready for legalization tomorrow!

Top honors for one of the most prestigious cannabis educational outlets goes to Oaksterdam University, one of America’s first cannabis-focused educational institutions. Oaksterdam was founded in 2007 by Richard Lee, who also founded the Hemp Research Company and the Oakland Civil Liberties Alliance. The faculty and staff contains an impressive array of instructors, including the famous advocate Dale Sky Jones and the highly respected horticulturist Ed Rosenthal. Oaksterdam also features classes taught by an extensive number of lawyers specializing in cannabis law. For those seeking to enter or expand in the cannabis industry, as the University puts it, “our legal professors not only teach you about the law, they helped write the law.”

HERE: Typical courses offered: Indoor & Outdoor Horticulture

Price per classic semester: $37/hour or $1295;

Length of courses: 14 Weeks – $1295, 2 Days: $545 – 845

Go here if you are: Fully committed to pursuing a career in the cannabis industry. Oaksterdam’s classes require a commitment of a $100 application fee.

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Cannabis Career Institute was founded by Robert Calkin, an instructor at Oaksterdam University, who specializes in the specifics of starting a delivery service. The training center is specifically focused on providing support and guidance for those seeking to enter the medical marijuana industry, particularly in relation to maintaining compliance with laws and regulations. Classes are held daily at the affordable cost of $349 for the semester, offering certificates in cultivation, business management, edibles operation, budtending and dispensary management. Cannabis Career Institute holds regular seminars in cities across the country, but has no permanent campus. Events are often held in up-and-coming cities with newly passed cannabis laws, such as Little Rock, Arkansas and Orlando, Florida.

HERE: Typical courses offered: Cultivation, Business, Edibles, Budtending, Dispensary Management

Price per event: $349 or $499 for VIP Tickets

Length of courses: 1 day, 10:00am – 7:00pm

Go here if you are: Looking for a crash course in how to start your own cannabis business. The classes require tuition be paid as part of reserving a spot in the class.

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THC University is a great option for those who are on the go, but still interested in joining the cannabis industry. Offering online classes with 24 hours support, THC University has seven certification courses: Horticulture Specialist, Budtender Certification, Cannabis Business, Safety and Regulations (Colorado), Safety and Regulations (Washington), and Cannabis Products Course. Master horticulturist Jorge Cervantes leads the instruction and students are required to pass courses with at least 90 percent, all but guaranteeing you will get your money’s worth.

HERE: Typical courses offered: Horticulture, Budtender Certification, Safety Regulations

Price per class:$49 per month, up to $449 per course

Length of courses: Most students complete the course within 3 – 6 months

Go here if you are: a self-motivated learner who needs a flexible schedule. Learn on your own time with 24-hour online support.

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Cannabis Training University offers online courses and once enrolled, students have a full year of access to courses, videos, and ebooks. This is a great option for students with limited time, or unusual hours to devote to learning more about the cannabis industry, and students are encouraged to learn at their own pace, from any device, including laptops, tablets, and cell phones. CTU was founded in 2009 in San Francisco as a platform for live seminars that covered as many aspects of the cannabis industry as possible in a 2-day span. The university was expanded in 2011 after successful, but limited seminars, to offer more hours of curricula to students worldwide at an affordable rate. Ed Rosenthal’s texts comprise much of the ebooks available, but courses from a number of other scientists, chefs, attorneys, horticulturists, and noted MagicalButter CEO, Garyn Angel, are also included.

HERE: Typical courses offered: Growing, Cooking, Budtending, Laws & Regulations, How to Open a Dispensary & Delivery Service

Price per year: $347

Length of courses: Students are provided access to course materials for one year.

Go here if you are: Limited on available time to learn, but interested in earning certifications to enter the cannabis industry.

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The Trichome Institute offers online training for sales and budtending, but their specialty involves a process known as “interpening,” in which students are taught to identify and understand the various cannabis strains by interpreting the plant’s terpene profile and flower structure. The interpening training course is comparable to a class for a wine sommelier, for students to be able to detect subtle and unique features of different cannabis strains through the use of guidebooks, infographics, and certification courses. The Terpening Training courses have two levels, both of which require a one-day training course held at the Colorado Free University, complete with an exam for Level 2 students. Trichome Institute also offers a Responsible Vendor course, licensed by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Marijuana Enforcement Division, which can greatly benefit marijuana businesses in Colorado. The Responsible Vendor course is taught in conjunction with Hemp Temps, a staffing agency for the cannabis industry, guaranteeing you an extra level of expertise.

HERE: Typical courses offered: Products & Sales Training for Budtenders, Manufacture & Application Safety, Responsible Vendor courses, Interpening Training (Level 1&2)

Price per class: $125 – 249

Length of courses: Courses are 3-4 hours long, held once a month, or available online.

Go here if you are: Serious about entering the cannabis industry full compliant with a focus on expertise and product safety.

Now go forth and learn!