Marketing weed is hard. And it may cost you a friend or two.
So you guys just sit around and get high and think of stuff to post on Instagram, right?
I wouldn’t blame you for thinking that, but the job is a little trickier. Ok a lot trickier. All we need to do is keep our loyal Jetty customers and fans happy and informed. And reach a whole new world of rec users who want to get some weed, but don’t know how to get started. Without seeming like we’re selling out. Plus support our network of dispensaries. With a tiny staff and budget, while not getting in trouble with regulators. All without the benefit of buying ads on Instagram or Facebook or Google, since they won’t fucking take our “weed money.” Not that we have much to spend even if they did. Yeah, it’s complicated.
The bad news: It’s a super stressful, competitive industry. The good news: The samples I bring home are pretty great stress relievers.
Then there’s the moral police. The stigma. Not feeling like a monster for being in the weed business as it transitions to prime time. It starts with the conversations with other parents at my kids’ schools or swim practice. They get interesting when the topic inevitably turns to “what do you do?” I tell them, then wait for it…will I get “the look” and that instant moral judgement? I guess I shouldn’t be surprised anymore but, happily, most of the time their reaction is to share a story about a friend or parent who manages pain or some other ailment with cannabis. Sometimes it’s even that rock star moment, “oh cool, I love Jetty!”
But I did lose one longtime friend over “my lifestyle.” We were headed for a guy trip to Vegas. Between families, jobs…our group doesn’t connect that regularly, so Vegas is our time to reunite. The conversation started with details about how we’re getting to the airport the next day, then turned to who’s bringing the stuff. Given what I do for a living, naturally I volunteered. One friend wasn’t happy. He didn’t feel comfortable. Dude, no problem. You don’t have to be around it—it’s totally fine. Nobody’s going to pin you down and make you smoke with us. Nope, not happy that we’d even partake at all, apparently; he bailed on the trip the night before. We’re going to Vegas to drink, gamble and bet on football. But smoking weed—in a state where it also happens to be legal—is too far I guess.
We haven’t talked since, but it’s hard to understand this seemingly arbitrary moral line and how it is that some of us have crossed it. Even after knowing each other for 30+ years. He knows my values, my family, my sterling history as a pee wee soccer coach! But ok—I’m sure he has a perspective that I’m not seeing.
So now it’s personal. I’m proud to help make Jetty the big, world-class brand it’s destined to be. But I also want to do my part to “normalize” cannabis. It’s still a weird in-between world. I’ll drink a beer in front of the kids, but still feel uneasy about vaping in front of them. And now that I have a freshman in high school, I’m banking on if my parents do it, it can’t be cool to keep him from experimenting. That and talking about it. And having a really good lock box for all my work samples.