Modern Cannabis Entrepreneur

The fictional character of the “stoner” has been replaced by the “Legal Cannabis Entrepreneur”: Clean shaved, suit and a tie, speaking in the language of the corporations and appearing always calm and in control.

The prohibition of cannabis is not just a law that prohibits a plant, but an entire marketing campaign aimed to erase the collective societal knowledge accumulated through thousands of years around cannabis. It is also a campaign to install a pre-programmed chip of fear on everybody’s mind.

This marketing campaign has now ran its course and a new narrative is emerging, one based on truth and health, and it marks the of the prohibition and the end of an era of fear and misinformation.

This article addressed the change in the general perception of the public from the “stoner” to the modern cannabis user and entrepreneur.

A PERVERTED DYNAMIC

The prohibition as a “Marketing Campaign” attempted to ban the scientific research around cannabis in order to obscure the truth about its medicinal uses, and also an attempt to create an entire new social narrative around the term “Marijuana”.

A key piece of this marketing campaign was to ingrain in people’s mind the image of the irresponsible marijuana smoker while at the same time negating and deleting from public view those who used it for medicinal purposes. You were either a good person or someone associated with the words Marijuana (Cannabis was not even mentioned).

Cannabis goes to Washington

Cannabis goes to Washington

With these disinformation and misrepresentation tactics, the image of the “stoner” emerged. This is a character portrayed as being generally male, young,  irresponsible, surrounded by a cloud of smoke, who would always be lighting up joint after joint of marijuana and with having no purpose in life whatsoever. It was also surrounded by all that “hippie” paraphernalia of Peace and Love.

The greatest fear of people, beside something that would cause them harm, is to be abandoned or persistently ignored and rejected by their peers. To be associated with a label of “bad behavior” can overtime cause people to become untrustworthy. The image of the “stoner” created by the prohibition attempted to ostracize anyone who would deviate from the script.

For decades those talking about cannabis were actors and singers who one way or another, pretty much fell into the category of the stoner. One of the most well known is Tommy Chong, thanks to the movie “Ching & Chong” where he embodies the “Stoner” stereotype from A to Z.

But as cannabis started to be legalized for medicinal purposes a new kind of person emerged: The Medicinal Patient. Someone who doesn’t choose to use cannabis but who is ill and who needs to use it.

And as the medicinal use extended and it was more widely accepted, a new persona emerged that was neither a stoner, neither a doctor nor a patient.

EMBODY THE CHANGE

Enter The Legal Cannabis Entrepreneur: Clean shaved, suit and a tie, speaking in the language of the corporations and appearing always calm and in control. There is no need to light up a cigarette of cannabis or walk with a plant to make a point. These are business people, many don’t even use cannabis personally but they know truth when they see it and a good deal when it hits their pocket… and they have seen a gold mine in the making.

So much so that they are now coming out of the closet by the hundreds and openly discussing cannabis.

Cannabis was originally prohibited as a tool of social control, allowing the police and the state a huge unchecked power to search and detained large groups of people for such a minor offense as growing a plant.

In an era where the production and flow of information was centralized and tightly controlled by the government, this arrangement worked as a charm.

The twin heads of this policy were the creation of an stereotype completely alien to the good customs and the proper way people should behave, and the complete ban on scientific research and the public conversation around it.

An economic sector that profited from enforcing this policy emerged in the United States and was exported to the world through the UN Conventions on Drug Control. Everything was looking amazingly well for those behind this horrible and misguided policy.

This worked until the most powerful figure ever created in the mind of the human being emerged and took over that narrative: The Cannabis Entrepreneur.

Today the end of the cannabis prohibition comes flying propelled by that powerful engine called “Truth” and the wings of health and an amazing profitable business that operates as part of the formal economy.

From the image of the “Stoner” to that of the responsible user and entrepreneur, we are witnessing the first and greatest revolution of the 21st century: The creation of a legal and highly profitable market for Cannabis and the end of the era of prohibition.

Flying Kick

“If we have been able to take cannabis from the iron hands of the prohibition, for sure we can bring down both the tobacco and alcohol industries with the same flying kick, right?” –Jose L. Gastaldi

The Cannabis Industry in the United States is like a coin with two faces: One side is the medicinal use that has been very well sold, marketed and accepted by the general public to the point that after 19 years since California legalized it, we are seeing that it’s unstoppable.

I am going to call this the “Heads” side of the coin.

Kicking butts and taking names... Just another day in the cannabis industry.

Kicking butts and taking names… Just another day in the cannabis industry.

The other side of this coin is still looking to find its voice and place in society. It has been called “Recreational” according to all the corporate media and the government; and it has also being called “For Adult Use” to quote the ArcView Group Market Research Study and other cannabis publications.

It is also known as the “Non-Medicinal” use of cannabis (I use this term in Argentina because “Recreational Cannabis” carries a pretty big stigma here. More on this later); and it has also being called by more specific uses such as Spiritual, Mind Expansion, Personal Benefit (I think Steve de Angelo coined this term), Creativity and other long list of uses including aphrodisiac of course.

This is the “Tails” side of the Cannabis coin.

As you can see, one leg is stronger than the other, giving us a great opportunity and a challenge to work on strengthening.

As an industry we have been focusing our energy and investments in doing what we do best: Be always more efficient and amazingly profitable. And for now we know that we are going at a million miles per hour and this is only getting started.

But when it comes to the narrative, to the way we sell and market our product to the masses who are still clinging to a cancerous cigarette and a bottle of alcohol, what exactly is it that we are offering them and why should they come to Cannabis?

This is not an easy question and it has lots of answers, but com’n: If we have been able to take cannabis from the iron hands of the prohibition, for sure we can bring down both the tobacco and alcohol industries with the same flying kick, right?

Hell yes, of course we can do it! That is the reason we have to dig deep into our brains and make sure that “Recreational” gets known as the first attempt in that effort, and let’s built new terminology that is both inviting, exciting, safe and irresistible.

These two sides of the same cannabis coin are bringing so much good health, recreation, personal benefit, adult use, spiritual, creativity and so many other things that I think a brand new word should be invented to describe it.

Let’s roll our sleeves joints and get to work on it!