As the cannabis industry throws itself into the public spotlight with legalization, it’s easy for branders and marketers alike to feel inspired to join the weed revolution. I know first hand that joining this fast-paced, ever-changing industry was like nothing I had ever experience before. From the beginning, I knew, like many others who pioneered before me, that de-stigmatization was one of my biggest goals. I also knew that if I wanted to be part of the reversal of the war on drugs, the revolution would need to start from the inside.
This realization led me down a path of cultural exploration to figure out what levers could be pulled to change perceptions. Thus, I become an advocate for language, and a key term kept coming up: heritage.
Heritage is defined in two ways: physical possessions such as property inheritance, or valued qualities like cultural traditions. When you dig deeper into that second definition of valued qualities, you find that the synonyms are tradition, history, background, and past.
Now let’s connect that back to weed. What does heritage mean in the legalized market?
Cannabis industry pioneers alongside cannabis aficionados are actively trying to change the way people fundamentally think about weed, for the better. We strive to change ideas that are ingrained in people from early childhood: from their parents, from their teachers, from the government. The word “stoner” has historically been, unfortunately, a dirty word. People have an idea of what a stoner is. On the lighter side of bad, stoners are perceived as lazy, apathetic — they are couch potatoes. On the dark side, stoners thought to be hoodlums, drug addicts, and at worst, criminals.
But here’s the thing… I’m a stoner! Sure, I could explain the many reasons that weed helps my ailments including an autoimmune disease, but the reality is, I enjoy weed. I enjoy weed so much that I consume daily. My privilege of talking, writing, and photographing my consumption openly is that I am a white cis-female and I don’t face the stigmas that others may face who openly smoke.
I love seeing people reclaiming the word stoner. It is not something to shy away from nor is it something that we can afford to be quiet about anymore. It’s important to start conversations, not to mention it can be fun to have someone be surprised that you are still a “fully functioning adult” after the stoner-reveal. However, over the years, I’ve found that the word “stoner” doesn’t always fit when talking more technically about market trends and buying behavior.
I coined the term “heritage market” it’s a way to talk about respecting stoners: stoners’ wants and needs, stoners’ pioneering and courageous history, stoners’ aesthetic. “Heritage market” devotes weed’s rich history, and gives the praise and celebration it deserves. In business settings, heritage market is taken very seriously. To get deeper into the definition, the “heritage market” can also be defined as:
- the consumer base who purchased in the pre-recreationally legal market,
- the industry (and all business) before recreational legalization.
Let me use “heritage market” in a few examples that frequently come up in cannabis business settings:
The heritage market consumer cares about the price to THC ratio.
The heritage market consumer knows their favorite strain and will seek out a specific dispensary for the said strain.
The heritage market is the largest spending group in the market.
That heritage brand has been on the shelves since 2010.*
*It’s a great way to describe brands and companies that have been around for years, giving homage to their perseverance and foresight into getting into the industry before legalization.
To say it’s great to be a stoner is an understatement. Weed brings people together and overall makes people happier, calmer, and more creative. It’s okay to wake and bake, if that’s your jam, eat an edible at lunch, vape outside your office, grow your own plant, you name it, it’s all awesome. Hats off to you, my friend, for contributing to our heritage and keeping the flame alive.
If you have a stoner friend that’s totally heritage, share this article with them. They might get a kick out of it.
Tyson 2.0 Launches New Mike Bites Cannabis Gummies
Nearly 25 years after he was disqualified from the World Boxing Association Heavyweight Championship for biting his opponent’s ears, Mike Tyson’s Tyson 2.0 cannabis brand has just released ear-shaped edibles, Mike Bites.
The new ear-shaped edibles are complete with a missing chunk where Tyson removed a portion of Evander Holyfield’s cartilage in what became known as The Bite Fight. After Tyson bit off a chunk of Holyfield’s ear, the 1997 match resumed. However, after attempting to snack on Holyfield’s second ear, Tyson was disqualified and his boxing licence was withdrawn. The Nevada State Athletic Commission handed Tyson a a $3 million fine for his actions and he didn’t fight again for over a year.
Wiz Khalifa Debuts New Taylor Gang x Stündenglass Collab
Wiz Khalifa and his entertainment company Taylor Gang Ent. have collaborated with Stündenglass, the world’s first gravity-powered infuser, to introduce the iconic gold and black Taylor Gang x Stündenglass.
“I’m honored to have collaborated with long time friend Wiz Khalifa, who is as passionate about this product as I am. Our mutual admiration for Stündenglass made it a natural collaboration,” Stündenglass CEO Chris Folkerts said via a press release.
Taylor Gang x Stündenglass is an authentic collaboration developed after the multi-platinum-selling, Grammy-winning, Golden Globe-nominated Khalifa discovered Stündenglass and began enjoying it regularly as seen on his Instagram.
“I love my Stündenglass, and I’m pumped everyone gets to experience this with me now,” Khalifa.
The infuser features a patented 360-degree gravity system that elicits a powerful and immersive experience. It generates kinetic motion activation via cascading water, opposing airflow technology and the natural force of gravity.
The Taylor Gang gravity bing comes in an exclusive black and gold colorway and features two glass globes on a metal base made of aircraft-grade aluminum, surgical grade stainless steel, and high-quality Teflon seals.
Taylor Gang includes artists Ty Dolla $ign, Juicy J, and Berner among others — the former of which has his own line Stündenglass collab with his Cookies brand.
“We’re very excited to launch the official Taylor Gang x Stündenglass. We use glass in our everyday lives, so it only made sense to team up and create an exclusive Taylor Gang collaboration for the fans,” Taylor Gang said.
No Super Bowl for Brock Ollie
With medicinal marijuana being legal in 37 states and recreational cannabis allowed in 18, we should be seeing commercials for companies, products, and services almost as frequently as commercials for sports betting, which is permitted in 30 states in some form.
However, mainstream cannabis advertising continues to be non-existent, as demonstrated in the recent news that NBC has rejected an ad by cannabis e-commerce and advertising platform Weedmaps from being shown during the Super Bowl LVI event his coming Sunday.
Weedmaps reportedly approached the network late last year about airing a Super Bowl commercial that would be “similar to a PSA,” according to reports. Execs volunteered to present some of their earlier educational-based programming, assuring NBC executives that it would not contain any direct-sell messages, which are still forbidden under federal law.
“The answer was a hard no — they wouldn’t even entertain the conversation,” Weedmaps Chief Operating Officer Juanjo Feijoo told Adweek. “We see ourselves as trying to be trailblazers in the industry and making new inroads where others haven’t gone before in cannabis advertising. So it was disappointing.”
The contentious ad personifies cannabis as Brock Ollie, a head of broccoli, the veggie emoji commonly used as a visual representation of cannabis in marketing. The 30-second ad takes viewers through a day in the life of Brock Ollie, whose superfood identity is in jeopardy as he is repeatedly misidentified as cannabis. The ad offers a lighthearted take on the industry’s issues, such as social media censorship and a lack of clear advertising standards, which limit cannabis-related commercials during nationally televised events like the Super Bowl.
“Despite three quarters of the country having legalized cannabis and the bipartisan enthusiasm we continue to see in support for change at the federal level, the industry continues to face roadblocks that inhibit competition in the legal market and stifle opportunities to educate,” Chris Beals, CEO of Weedmaps said. “There’s an irony in the fact that the biggest night for advertising will feature an array of consumer brands in regulated industries, from beverage alcohol to sports betting, yet legal cannabis retailers, brands and businesses have been boxed out.”
The game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams will be played Sunday in L.A.