Working in the cannabis industry is a dream for many. The good news is as legalization continues, more opportunities are opening up to help make this dream a reality. Cura Cannabis Solutions (Cura), one of the largest cannabis companies in the world, is hiring. And they have just announced that they have just announced a company-wide minimum wage increase.
Cura, the makers of the Select Oil and Select CBD brands, has seen unprecedented growth since its launch in 2015. Subsequently, they need more people to join their team in Oregon, California, Arizona and Nevada.
They are currently hiring for senior management and executive level positions across all departments, including marketing, finance, sales and more. The majority of these positions will be based in their Portland, Oregon headquarters.
President and Chief Executive Officer Cameron Forni credits the company’s success on their carefully curated team.
“One of the most exciting elements of Cura is that we continue to hire the most incredible people,” said Forni. “It is those incredible people from diverse backgrounds, genders, and ethnicities that are helping the Select brand establish itself as an integral part of the future of cannabis.”
As with most industries, some companies are better to work for than others. Recently named as one of Oregon Business Magazine’s Top 100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon, Cura offers employees benefits like comprehensive healthcare and generous vacation policy.
Additionally, from November 1, Cura increased their minimum wage to $14/hr — almost twice the federal minimum wage, and 30 percent higher than the minimum wage in Oregon.
The increases in wages has been a huge hit with the Cura employees. “We’ve had a great response at every level,” said Forni. “It feels good for our managers to be able to hire new employees at higher wages, and our staff have also responded well to the increase in pay.”
The company’s key motivator for increasing wages was to focus on building up and supporting their team. “We’ve grown quickly and scaled fast, and none of that would be possible without the support of more than 500 people and growing, all who have worked incredibly hard and made big sacrifices at the early stages of this industry,” said Forni.
Cura’s intention is to help raise standards in the cannabis industry, and Forni believes employer standards are a huge part of that.
“If you want the best people, you have to take care of them and show them that you know that they’re the best,” said Forni. “The world’s leading brands weren’t built by one person, they were built by a team of incredible thinkers.
Cura celebrates diversity of thought, race, gender and background, acknowledging the need for the cannabis industry to raise and exceed conditions for all workers.
“Right now, the cannabis industry is at a critical point where we truly need the world’s greatest thinkers working together to find solutions to problems that have never been solved before,” said Forni.
“We hope that this decision signifies to the entire industry that now is the time to raise standards of employment across the board. That means health insurance, benefits, higher wages, better working conditions and values-based environments.
“We’re incredibly proud of everything that we’re working on in these areas.”
If you’re interested in applying, visit their website.
Where Does Cannabis Sit Along the Design Spectrum?
In the midst of legalization with new money and companies coming to the playing field, a new problem is arising: tensions of the cannabis design spectrum.
We all know what a spectrum is. Two ends, two opposite sides, a whole bunch of juicy middle stuff. When looking at weed design, we currently have two clear endpoints on the design spectrum.
On one end, we have the heritage market. This — you now know — is not inherently bad. It has its place and is important not only for the largest group of consumers but also for the rich history of cannabis culture in America.
All the way on the other side, we have the “elevated market”. The “elevated market” is the current trend in cannabis. You can see it in the Apple-like packaging and high-end dispensaries that have popped up all over the place. It’s a Whole Foods-style experience, but does everyone want or need that? Elevated brands are important; they were needed to raise up perception, they were needed to be able to do things like raise VC funding, and they were needed to be able to change legislation.
But what happens to the middle?
I’d like to take a moment here to look at what is happening in our country right now. Right now, the United States of America is so polarized that people literally delete friends off their Facebooks for having differing views. But believe it or not, there is one thing that is actually uniting people and politicians, and it’s weed. We have both red and blue government officials siding with green because they recognize that it will bring them more tax dollars, less crime, and ultimately more votes. (And let’s be real, that’s what a lot of them care about.)
So when we have more public figures coming out and supporting cannabis, it is our job as designers, innovators, and forward thinkers to have an environment ready where everyone feels welcome. When someone looks to join a community, the first thing they ask is “are these people like me?” If there isn’t a brand, a product, a dispensary that suits their needs, then we have failed. Design needs to be for all, but design can very easily be alienating.
Design is about empathy. Empathy, contrary to popular belief, isn’t just putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, because then you are still thinking about what you would do if you were in their position. True empathy is really learning and understanding what that person wants, from their own perspective.
I’m about to be controversial, but Steve Jobs ruined designers. Jobs said, don’t ask the customer what they want, tell them what they want. It’s very easy to design for yourself, or your friends. What’s difficult, is to design for everyone. What this industry needs now are brands that are for all.
I am not by any means endorsing soda, but strong brands like Coca-Cola do a great job being for everybody. It’s inviting, it’s familiar. At first, you might think well that’s somewhat generic, that’s not very cool Libby. But that’s what cannabis needs right now, it needs more brands that fill out the middle of the spectrum. A brand that you can bring to that Florida Thanksgiving for your uncle and show off to your whole family.*
There’s overwhelming support for weed now. Hemp CBD is everywhere you look including internationally, people are sporting leaf pattern apparel, and working in the cannabis industry is a hot topic. As cannabis greets the world, we have to realize that it’s not just a product or a plant, it’s an idea. Real and lasting impact can come from that idea, but only if we do it the right way.
There’s so much potential in the future, and we’ve barely scratched the surface. Got any predictions of what’s to come?
*Disclaimer! I am not telling you to fly with weed. Don’t cross state lines with cannabis.
Mariah Hagenbach: Cannabis and the Art of Visual Storytelling
What does it take to have a fire Instagram? Oregon-based photographer, Mariah Hagenbach, shares the inspirations behind her cannabis journey.
Starting her photography journey capturing the breathtaking natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, Oregon-based Mariah Hagenbach transports her 50,000 Instagram followers to an atmospheric world of moody landscapes, confident women enjoying the pleasure of the herb, and, of course, stunning cannabis shots. Cannabis Aficionado spoke exclusively to Hagenbach about visual storytelling and cannabis in her home state.
Cannabis Aficionado: How did you get started as a photographer?
Mariah Hagenbach: I bought my first “big kid” camera when I was twenty to take on all my hikes and adventures. I was really interested in capturing long exposure waterfall shots when I first began shooting, just kind of as a hobby. That is really what started it all though.
What connected cannabis and photography for you?
I helped open a dispensary back in 2014 where I worked a bud tender, social media manager and photographer. It all kind of stemmed from taking nug photos for our Leafly menu and social media platforms. I was inspired to combine cannabis and humans a few years ago when I saw Jennifer Thomas doing it. I loved the way she was capturing the beauty of the plant and person without sexualizing either.
What do you look at for inspiration of your unique style?
I get inspired by everything; other photographers, nature, songs, memories. I try my best to make my audience feel something when they look at my images. Sometimes they tell a story, but other times they are just meant to make you feel.
Your Instagram account is beautiful. What’s the importance of social media for you?
We are living in a time of exponential growth and change and having the ability to reach tens of thousands of people is so incredible. I’ve been using my platform to not only post my art but to spread knowledge. I love being part of this cannabis prohibition movement.
I’m hoping what I do is helping normalize the cannabis industry while ending the stigma associated with cannabis and the people who consume it.
Do you have any favorite cannabis photographers?
So many! The list keeps growing as other states continue to legalize cannabis and the cannabis photography world grows. Morgan Leigh English is one of the main people who inspired me to go this direction with my photography. I’ve had the opportunity to shoot with Oleg Zharsky a few times now and I just love his style/uniqueness. I feel like Bess Byers kind of started it all. She paved the way for a lot of us.
What are your go-to strains and why?
I love all things kush! Sativa strains make me a little anxious/paranoid so I tend to stick with indicas and indica dominant strains. My preferred method of consumption will always be smoking out of my bong but if that’s not available, or I’m traveling, I love joints.
Do you have a favorite strain to photograph?
Anything colorful really. I love the purple strains.
Do you have favorite strains from specific growers?
Resin Ranchers flower is always incredible, I don’t think I could pick just one from them.
Do you have a favorite ever shot?
That’s so hard. Every time I try something new, I end up with a new all-time favorite. I think that’s my favorite thing about photography though, I’m constantly growing and changing my look. I love that there are no rules with art.
Nature plays a key role in your Instagram. Where are your favorite places to get away from it all?
I love hiking in the forests around Oregon. I’m absolutely obsessed with the moss and the fog we have here.
How do you rate Oregon cannabis to that of other states?
Since I live in Oregon I may be biased/haven’t tried every states cannabis. With that being said, Oregon has the strictest testing laws and a sincere commitment to craft and sustainable growing. I’m proud to support these farmers and their terpene-rich strains. Also, our laws allow us to choose the nugs we like! This promotes a more dedicated trim and cure which brings out the full potential of our varieties.
Any thoughts on the reported saturation of cannabis in the state?
It’s great for consumers who are looking for some of the best cannabis in the world for the lowest price, but it’s unfortunate for farmers who are barely able to make it by, especially the ones who have been in the industry since the beginning.
Any advice for budding photographers?
Photograph what you’re passionate about-. Find your own niche. Make sure you’re doing it for you and not a following on a social platform.
What do you never leave the house without?
My phone, my planner, and my weed.
See more of Hagenbach’s work in her curated gallery above. Want more? Follow her at @muh_riah.
Berner Opens New Cookies SF Clothing Store in LA
There were queues around the block with people waiting to get their hands on Cookies SF merch at Berner’s third clothing store.
You could say Cookies SF is a Venn diagram of cannabis culture. First appearing in Berner’s 2011 “Yoko” music video, featuring Chris Brown, Wiz Khalifa and Big Krit, Cookies SF combines fashion, cannabis, sports, and music and is arguably of the most successful and aspirational brands in the cannabis industry.
On the 6th of January, rapper-turned–cannabis entrepreneur Berner opened his third Cookies SF store, joining the San Fransisco flagship and Seattle family. Fans queued around the block to make sure they were among the first to get their hands on the iconic merch that includes exclusive LA Lakers and LA Rams inspired gear and the hot collab with the superstar rapper, Logic.
According to a source, Berner’s favorite new item at the store is the brand new Cookies Glow Tray; an LED light up rolling tray that you can use in the dark when rolling up.
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Ever the visionary, Berner bought three neighboring Los Angeles storefronts in Melrose to house his empire. The largest is Cookies dispensary, the second will be a non-cannabis Cookie bakery that will be selling non-medicated gourmet Cookies, and the Cookies SF clothing store takes the third.
The store will only sell Cookies SF clothing and accessories no cannabis. Due to legal and health laws, each store is separate and sells its goods independently
The #1 item from the extensive Cookies SF line — that includes outerwear, hoodies, crewnecks, message t-shirts, caps, beanies, socks, and belts — is the Original Thin Mint Black Tee.
Peep more pics from the Cookies SF store opening in the gallery below. Photos courtesy of G Pen.
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