On a daily basis, I focus on the Colorado Cannabis industry writing articles for Grass.co and updating our site with new information about Colorado dispensaries and products.
What brought you to the cannabis industry?
When the country of Colombia came out with their top-level domain .CO in 2010, I looked at it as not only an extension for the country of Colombia but the state of Colorado. With the initial release, I was fortunate to acquire over 50 Colorado city names with the extension of .CO as well as some other names, including Grass.co, that I thought I could build businesses around in the future. I wanted to do something with a Grass.co site at the right time and when the state legalized licensed recreational sales in 2014, I knew it was time to get into this exciting industry by offering a listing directory of dispensaries located only in Colorado. Around this time, Ross Odegaard had just finished designing a website for my wife Barb, who is an artist. I really liked what he had done for Barb’s site. With his vast technology and business experience which included designs for Target, Starbucks, Wolfgang Puck, Caribou Coffee, and others, I knew he had that entrepreneurial drive and would be a great fit for this project. We decided to become partners and launch the Grass.co dispensary directory.
What do you bring to the cannabis marketing community?
Having graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Business Administration – Marketing, I’ve been an entrepreneur most of my career enjoying the marketing side of business. In 1986, I started, along with my brother Dan, the first Fantasy Football Magazine in the country, Grogan’s Fantasy Football. In 1990, we started one of the first sports websites on the internet. We distributed our magazines on a national level for over 25 years and eventually sold the company to a larger publisher. I have been involved in grassroots-level marketing for many years.
What do you want your peers to know about you?
Having worked with advertisers in our Fantasy Football Magazine, I pay very close attention to expectations, content, and return on investment making it a winning combination for those who list with us on Grass.co. Our team at Grass.co wants to assure each dispensary that lists with us will experience a favorable ROI and I will work hard to ensure they do.
Tell us a bit about your personal relationship with cannabis. How do you use it?
As an occasional recreational user, I have enjoyed the benefits of THC/CBD creams for sore muscles after a good workout. I love music and playing the guitar. It provides inspiration for songs and just relaxing downtime.
How has your job changed since cannabis was deemed essential? What does cannabis being deemed essential mean to you?
With cannabis designated as essential, we have focused more on a dispensary’s local exposure within smaller geographic areas. It is important for a dispensary to have that local connection. With COVID, most people are not driving long distances. Consumers are looking for dispensaries that are closer to their location and carry the type of products they like. Finding that “neighborhood dispensary” has become very important. The online searches for dispensaries have increased. With the large number of medical cannabis patients, it is very important that medical dispensaries can be located, the closer and less commuting, the better. With the number of dispensaries expected to increase, especially in Denver, and with the constraints on dispensary advertising, standing out from the competition is very important.
Why did you join CMA?
I joined the CMA to associate with people who have like marketing interests. With this industry being so new and growing, it’s an exciting time to be here in Colorado. I find it very interesting; how the cannabis industry in Colorado markets to four different demographics; Millennials, Gen X, Baby Boomers, and even the Silent Gen to a degree.
What is your favorite part of being a CMA member?
I do enjoy the CMA events, specifically the webinars. I really like the topics as well as the knowledge and experience of the panelists. I also like the fact that the webinars are recorded and available on the CMA dashboard for future reference.
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?
One of the ways we present cannabis, specifically dispensaries, in a positive light is to showcase on their listing the social causes they support. We want consumers to see dispensaries as more than a store to pick up cannabis. Many in the cannabis industry support social and environmental causes and we feel it is important to get the word out. It is becoming a bigger and bigger part of our society and for many consumers, it makes a difference in where they shop.