CMA Member Spotlight: Beth Waterfall
President, Beth Waterfall Creative; Executive Director of ELEVATE Northeast Events and Education, Inc.
Today, we turn the spotlight on Cannabis Marketing Association member, Beth Waterfall. Waterfall is the President of her own Beth Waterfall Creatives. She also serves as the Executive Director of ELEVATE Northeast Events and Education, Inc.
What is the nature of your day-to-day job at Beth Waterfall Creatives and ELEVATE?
My day job is all about changing perceptions and breaking the stigma against the cannabis plant and the people who consume and/or work with it. I do this for and through my advisory work with cannabis industry clients and as founder and executive director of a cannabis education and events nonprofit.
What brought you to the cannabis industry?
I was initially lured to the cannabis industry as a consumer with fifteen years of professional services marketing experience looking to apply my skills to help businesses that were inspiring and otherwise more interesting to me than the financial services and law firms that I’d “grown up” in.
That initial desire to capitalize on the nascent industry’s need for sophisticated marketing support turned into a dedication to advocacy and restorative justice after I attended my first cannabis convention, which opened my eyes to the reasons and people behind prohibition and introduced me to some of the professional women leaders creating businesses and innovations in cannabis.
The more I learned, the more motivated I was to use my marketing and public relations skills to support Massachusetts’s 2016 Yes on 4 campaign, and to use my privileges to educate the public and business communities from which I came about cannabis science and the opportunities coming to people of all walks of life, whether as consumers, professionals, or community members where cannabis businesses exist.
What do you bring to the cannabis marketing industry?
A reminder that as we position products and businesses for success, so too must we put into practice a commitment to restorative justice. As marketers, we can position ideas and initiatives that our employers or clients may not have otherwise thought of, and support our ideas with history and science to increase financial performance while improving the communities in which our businesses operate.
What do you want your peers to know about you?
I want to do good work with good people and good businesses. If that sounds like you, and you need support or are looking for a compliant and industry-immersed marketing resource in Massachusetts, please get in touch!
Tell us a bit about your personal relationship with cannabis. How do you use it?
I’m a joker, I’m a smoker, and I’m a midnight toker. I love weed and use it daily, generally starting off the day with a bowl or vaping some CBD flower sprinkled with a little limonene-rich cultivar, and then move onto something a little more “rewarding” in the evening, followed by some heavy OG Kush or lavender strains before bed. A dab will do every now then, too, and oh how I miss sharing joints and cannagars with friends!
How has your job changed since cannabis was deemed essential? What does cannabis being deemed essential mean to you?
Society has spoken and the majority wants unencumbered access to cannabis for patients and non-registered patients alike.
For my business development consulting agency, which only serves the cannabis industry, cannabis being deemed essential brought a comforting feeling of stability that consultants in other industries like hospitality, education, or retail fashion may never experience again. The essential designation is a motivation, responsibility, and opportunity to do well and set positive examples for other industries.
Beth, why did you join CMA?
Professional networking is essential not just for me to teach and preach to my clients and peers, but to practice for my own business’s success. Being a member of CMA keeps me connected to peers who share my goals, fears, and challenges, and keeps me connected to the emerging and innovative ideas and information I need to do my job well and in full legal compliance.
What is your favorite part of being a CMA member?
When I first started marketing in the cannabis industry I was met with comments from family like, “Oh so you’re a drug dealer now?” or “Why did you bother going to college if you’re just going to sell drugs now?”
Being a member of CMA means that I am not alone or (too) crazy to be getting paid to, at the end of the day, convince the world to buy more weed. It is a professional organization that teaches and connects its members, and I believe its very existence is a demonstration of stigma-breaking.
CMA’s mission is to bring a positive perception to, and authentic understanding of, cannabis and its consumers around the world. How are you working to bring a positive perception to cannabis and its consumers?
I started a 501c3 nonprofit organization that creates educational events and materials intended to break the stigma against cannabis and the people who work with it. ELEVATE Northeast Events and Education, Inc. is at its core a public relations campaign designed to break the stigma and open doors by proactively educating the communities in which cannabis businesses operate.
Often these businesses are so focused on their build-out and opening day, but do not have the resources or perspective to connect with their community members. Ignorance is fear, and we are working to create a more hospitable environment for cannabis businesses, patients, and consumers.
Connect with Beth Waterfall and many others in the cannabis marketing industry by becoming a CMA member today!