Party Like a Marketer Podcast

Episode 34: From Prison to Brand Ambassador – Fireside Chat With Corvain Cooper

Episode Description

Lisa Buffo, Founder, and CEO of the Cannabis Marketing Association sat down with Corvain Cooper, Brand Ambassador, at 40 Tons, to discuss everything related to Cannabis.

Corvain Cooper is Brand Ambassador at 40 Tons, Black, a Woman-owned premium cannabis, clothing, and accessories brand in Los Angeles, California. Corvain grew up on the east side of South Central Los Angeles.

Drawing from his experience navigating the legacy market, also a background in apparel, fashion, and brand building, Corvain is an avid Public Speaker, activist, and advocate for bringing awareness to 40 Tons and the causes it serves.

For more information, visit

Additionally, here is the info for the 40Tons Careerfair in Trenton, New Jersey on August 13th, visit

Read the Transcript

Lisa Buffo  00:00

Hi, everyone. This week’s podcast episode is special. We’re actually releasing the keynote session from the cannabis marketing Summit. It’s a fireside chat between me and Corvain Cooper. I’m Lisa buffo, the founder and CEO of the cannabis Marketing Association. You can find me on social media at Libuff on Instagram at Libuff 21 on Twitter, and I’m on LinkedIn as well. Please reach out and let me know you’re one of our listeners. This keynote session was very special for me. Corvain is a formerly incarcerated person who was serving a life sentence without the chance of parole for cannabis charges. Corvain was released on clemency in 2021 by former President Donald Trump. And since his release last year, corvain has been working as the brand ambassador at 40 tons of black women owned premium cannabis clothing and accessories brand in Los Angeles, California. Corvain grew up on the east side of South Central LA drawing from his experience navigating the legacy market. He also has a background in apparel, fashion and brand building. Quervain is an avid public speaker, activist and advocate bringing awareness to 40 tons and the causes that it serves. Please take a note and listen to this keynote. We have the video of it on our YouTube channel as well. Please connect with corevain and follow his brand. 40 tons. This was a really special conversation and I’m really looking forward to you listening to it today. Thank you all and we’ll see you next week. Okay, good morning, everybody. How is everybody today? Did everybody have fun at Tetra lounge last night. I almost lost my voice. But I haven’t. So I’m really glad. Okay, thank you all for being here bright and early. I am admittedly the most excited about this session. It is very special to me. I’m going to try to keep it cool on stage. But if you haven’t met him already, this is Corvain Cooper, my dear friend, the Chief Brand Ambassador of 40 tons who I met in 2020. So middle of 2020, cannabis Marketing Association partnered with last prisoner project did a series of letter writing campaigns. So I met Mary Bailey last prisoner projects executive director. And again, this was like peak pandemic. So we did a series of zoom calls with our members. Some of you may have been in them. And we just sat on Zoom and wrote letters to those who are currently incarcerated for cannabis. And Mary made a point specifically to tell me about core vein, and to have me right to core vein and connect with him. At the time, Quervain was serving a life sentence without without the chance for parole in a prison in Louisiana. And he’s not anymore. He’s here on stage. So this is like literally a miracle. And so amazing. So it is my absolute pleasure and honor to be here speaking with you. So core vein, if you could just tell the audience a little bit about your backstory, but specifically your life before prison. And then we’ll get into that a little bit.

Corvain Cooper  03:31

First want to acknowledge the fact that like I want to take y’all to the place of being a person that’s in life without the possibility of parole. Some of your family members have turned on you the friends that you grew up have testified against you in order to get you here to get the life sentence right. So you’re in a dark place right you’re in Louisiana you’re on one of the worst prisons in the world. And then a letter just comes up under your door in it says boom says Lisa buffo bomb and it’s a person you’ve never met you don’t know from it’s just like wow, you care about me. You care about what’s going on with me way in a prison in Louisiana and your own friends that you grew up with have turned on you so that’s the place I want to start this at to take you guys there because that’s where it’s like that’s where it’s really at because when you have a life sentence like people really really really turn on you they count you out and they say that you know you’re dead basically your your your thing says deceased in the Fed in a federal prison like you’re never going to see the streets again period. So you know, I really love the fact that and I always will be here for you and anything that you need always be there because it’s just like their letters was touching I was I was telling your partner like I had you guys it’s pictures and stuff on the wall you guys used to do go places and travel I travel to, because I travel through you guys, you know, so I want to take you guys there first. But I started like without the possibility of parole and I’m here for a reason. So I have to turn as minus until a plus and really do something with a second chance that I was given. We get about six second chance career fairs that we do have 40 times in order to stop the next court Vancouver from being the next quarterback and Cooper. Right. So luckily, we were blessed. We got a we got a immediate grant with media jail, and that can project our message to millions and millions of people, you know, so on our grind and on our journey as 40 times, we want to help all the next prisoners Yes, was a prisoner we want to change the t shirt. In in get these guys. Just yesterday, we had her talk to Parker calm. And that was the day before yesterday. He served 60 years on our same conspiracy right now today. So the people that are like getting left behind why the industry is steadily growing and growing and growing and growing. And you got Luke score model that started the first dispensary in Modesto. And that’s like he’s doing 22 years and you got Edwin rubies as as a master’s degree, you know, and it’s super smart, and they’re all pushed away. And Berto and I are all pushed away in prison while the industry is steadily blossoming. So at 40 times, we just want to change that. And we want that to stop, you know, and we want these people to be home, we want to fight for him. Luckily, we have people like Lisa that reaches out and touched a prisoners heart that can change this a letter can change your heart. And it can just give you more motivation to want to keep fighting and keep going and keep, you know, changing your whole perspective on how you’re looking at your time. When I was doing my time, I never accepted that I had a life sentence. Because once you accept it, it’s you see people walking around like zombies in there, you know. So first thing is not to accept it and just keep your journey going. And just you could do anything because here I am a miracle right here. So anything that you want to do, you can do.

Lisa Buffo  07:26

So I’m actually going to read a little bit of the letters I brought some, but let’s just like take everybody to that that place in time. So you’re from LA. Yeah, you two daughters, two daughters. How old were you when you went in? And how old were they?

Corvain Cooper  07:40

I was 33. When I went in.

Lisa Buffo  07:43

And old was clear and,

Corvain Cooper  07:45

Scotland was two  and clear was five to six I was on my way to take her cheerleading practice, drill chain practice. And so on the face, it was like, Whoa, it was it was it was a thing.

Lisa Buffo  07:58

And you were an entrepreneur before you went in, right? You had a clothing company?

Corvain Cooper  08:03

Yeah, I had a clothing store and have my kids base on the side. Like if you follow the story. And I was big and fast. And so on 40 times we try to be big on our fashion look right. Thank you. Thank you. So I had the clothing store you trying to get out the game, but you got to be out of the game for five years. Right? So it’s a five year statute of limitation in effect. So if you’re four years, like my friend Anthony was four years, nine months, that’s not enough, those extra five months, they’re gonna still give you a look for that, like, it’s defense is very, very particular. And they were very, very serious on how the conspiracy is ran, how you can get out to conspiracy, and you could just get into conspiracy. By like anything, I’ve started a thing called jump for joy. And he got out the game and he built up a foundation for obesity kids. And then he just let him borrow some money. So if you just let somebody borrow six $7,000 to get in the game or 30,000 and getting game, you’re in the game too, because that money went into the game. So we want to show people that and we want people to know about the expungements because it’s a big error right now with like peel popping in smoking weed and doing all those are prior felonies in the feds. So if you have a friend he has one felony and he was popping pills, that’s one you get a pound of weed that’s two and then you can just say hey, I want to make some money, because the market is already pushing back legacy. So now you got caught in a conspiracy. We got those say now that we’re is Daniel is a lawyer out of Pittsburgh that we’re advocating for right now. That just turned to soap in May. And he’s doing five years because he was he was an attorney sent a tweet on the side. And he just turned to something a couple of weeks ago. So it’s still going on today and people are still doing time and we just want people to know that.

Lisa Buffo  09:57

So  Corvain asked that we not Prepare for this. And we just come up here and speak from the heart. But I did prepare and he said, I can ask him anything. So do you mind telling the story about what got you sent in?

Corvain Cooper  10:11

Yeah, so we’re selling weed and melon weed to North Carolina to kind of make the story kind of go a little faster. So, because it’s a real long story to get to 40 tons of marijuana, obviously. So we’re milling it, we started off with a two man Anthony started off with an eighth. And then we just kept flipping. So that shows you our hustlin ability. So we kept pressing on and kept passing, we kept going until we got to crates, Anthony thought of the crate. And then we started belling crates of marijuana. So allegedly. So it kept going and kept going. And as as time prevailed, everybody split up and you know, everybody’s calling it, I guess we figured that we thought we made enough to get out the game, you got to start a store, you’re gonna start whatever business that you want to start, but you weren’t out the game long enough. Right? So then they can still come back and get you if that one person that stays in the game, it gets cold and brings you down and it fits. I don’t care how much money you got, or how much the lawyer you can’t beat this economy. Because it’s a conspiracy as the web you can’t get out of because this is your friend and he’s gonna get on the stand. And you guys were doing business. And it’s just gonna be hard to be it’s good. It’s one of the hardest chores is to be and people are buried in there off this chart. So that’s another chores that you need to get changed because it was it was really built to bring down a mop and now they’re bringing down people’s families with this charge.

Lisa Buffo  11:45

So the conspiracy charge is what the life without parole.

Corvain Cooper  11:49

Yeah, in the A 51 enhancements. So I got caught with a pound of weed in 2011. And I got caught with a bottle of cough syrup because I started selling California, correct in California. And I was there’s medical in California, and I was the campaign for Prop 64. So they got taken off my record and prop 47. So both of those priors get took off your record, but it doesn’t get took off your record in the fades. So that’s what people need to know. It’s only getting taken off your record and the state defense don’t acknowledge it.

Lisa Buffo  12:22

So I Okay, I’m gonna read it now.

Corvain Cooper  12:27

Okay, go for it, go for it.

Lisa Buffo  12:30

Okay, so one of the things about sending letters that Mary told us is, I didn’t know what to say, we were just like, let’s do this, I had no idea what to say. And I felt a tremendous amount of it. She just said, talk about your life, send pictures, talk about your life. And I was, I had been traveling to Puerto Rico, I had been, you know, doing some things during the pandemic. And I felt extremely guilty, telling him about my travels and going to the beach, and you know, building this business, while he’s, you know, spending time in prison. But she assured me in a short us that, that brings a lot of joy, and to do that, and to let them know about what is happening on the outside and to be very honest and forthcoming about your life. So I had printed out some pictures and I sent them to you on the on the first letter. And I don’t think you knew it was coming, but I just sent it and told you about what I was doing. So I believe this is the first letter you sent. So or returned letter. So Friday, October 23 2020. And I should mention, it also takes some time for these. It’s not like regular US Mail where it’s two, three business days. And then it’s there. It’s a process. It’s got to be they gotta read it. They read it. Yes, they go through it. You can’t add like color and things like that. It was very particular. So no, read the first two pages. I’m gonna try. Okay. Hey, Lisa. Just got your letter. We’re on another lockdown. The police got stabbed. This place stays on lockdown because of violence. I’ve been here two and a half years and I’ve never been out of my cell one whole month. This is hard time for real. But God made me strong enough to stand through it. I love the Lakers. And I had asked him if he had been watching the NBA games at the time. But there was a hurricane going on during the game. So the TVs were out. And I missed the final game. But in real life, I’ve literally been to all of the Laker championships in person. My uncle Keith took me to the championship at the forum when Michael Jordan won his first ring against the Lakers. I hope we can work together on 40 tons and make it one of the biggest companies in cannabis. As far as children go, I wish my daughters would stop growing. I want a son once I come home. I always wanted one. Kids are amazing. I just turned 30 So he said 30 is a good age if you’re down in ready to settle down. Now if you guys are just having fun, you should wait because being a parent is a lifetime job. I have a text that I talk to many on every day when we’re out. And you sent me the number. I can’t see this text until something comes up. But it feels good to always have messages. As far as pictures go, I would love to see you, Colorado, Puerto Rico, the whole nine yards. I try my best to put pictures on Instagram. Keep everyone posted with what’s going on. Nice and clear your daughter, her birthday is coming soon. She will be 15th on November 1. She was born a few hours by me I was born on November 2. I’m not really big on animals ever since my dog rocky died when I was young. And then I got bit by a dog near me. Also, I’d never heard your name buffer before. Where does it come from? It’s beautiful. And then, and then you kept going and just told me all about your life and your daughters and your daughter. And I wrote in my calendar, but both of your upcoming birthdays. So she had been turning 15. And the last time you had seen her was when.

Corvain Cooper  16:18

she hit when she was 13 because we’ve been on lockdown for like two years, because of COVID is to COVID in the violence, the violence is serious.

Lisa Buffo  16:29

So that’s how we had initially first started and then you know, we got into it a little bit. And I wanted to so before I read the next one, what was it like at that time? Do you remember like October 2020. And is it locked down was like in Louisiana,

Corvain Cooper  16:46

Locked down was was really, really rough. Because you’re actually you’re fighting the clemency you’re trying to write back and forth, because you’re in the middle of it at the time I made like 140 156 6000 signatures on one of the top runners. So your life is on the line, because the only way I can get out is with a clemency right? And you’re dipping. Explain what clemency is, for those who don’t know, for those who don’t know, a clemency is like your lottery ticket. That’s why we trademark that at 40 tons because clemency is better than the lottery. So it’s your only way of getting out of prison. If you have a life sentence unless you get poor if you get a pardon, or clemency. And only the President of the United States can do that. And at the time, the President of the United States is Trump. And at the time, Trump is going through a lot of stuff. So I got a good push and I got a good run. But the person that I’m dependent on, it’s kind of going through some stuff. Right? So he is going through a lot of things, and he’s in the media a lot. So you’re wondering, how is he even going to think about me. And he has all this going on. So you’re dependent on that. October came November came and b t did a special on me during the Hip Hop Awards, which was called smoke. So I had a 27 minute segment on there. And with NAS, right, as an executive producer put that together. And that really, really, really gave me a push. So there are my letters went from like two letters a day to like 20 to 30 letters a day, right? So this is still toward the end of his term. And when you’re at the end of the term, you caters to you or letters as letters from people in the world, and just everyone, right? And then everyone saying how they feel and how they feel about the situation after they physically seen it on screen because some people don’t know they exist still today. Right. So that’s why exposure is a must. So when that happened, right after that my attorney Patrick grow, we made the front page of The New York Times he had argued with Trump about getting his friends out, but you left Corbin and Cooper in there. Right? And that was a push that was on the 29th. But now it’s only Trump is going to be in office maybe 20 more days. Right. So he’s at the end of his term is is really really really, really really really pushing skin. It’s getting towards the end. So it’s your nerves are going to be really, really bad. So on the last night, I have to take them to the I gotta take them to the last slide.

Lisa Buffo  19:24

Because I have like your letter from December 31. So it’s right at this this point in time. Okay, so this is New Year’s Eve. So December 31. Your letter came right on time to start off New Year’s Eve. I run a ticket in here so of course I’m watching the games. This was the NBA games, right?

Corvain Cooper  19:47

Yeah, I was I was the book Yeah, still happen.

Lisa Buffo  19:53

It’s just the hustler in me. I love your energy through your letters. It speaks volume. Not only are your beautiful, thank you Rudolfo was very lucky. But I have seen and met so many people in my life that I know a real one. Within seconds. We’re still on lockdown. So that’s why I can’t return your text. And I had been trying to text you from when you sent me that number, and I never got anything back. So I knew something was being held up. I pay $30 a month for services on the computer. But on Christmas Eve, they let out 16 cells, and it was a riot over who was next on the computer. And it involved eight stabbed, this place has to be one of the worst places in the world. I’ve been here for three years, and have never been out of my cell to talk to my family for no holidays, period, or birthdays. But somehow I still find to keep a smile on my face. Anthony runs my page. I’ve never even been on Instagram. If I did have a phone, I wouldn’t even know how to use it. I’m kind of old school when it comes to stuff like that. I love cars, I’m really into the new electric wave. And I want the BMW i ate when I get home. Find what discount what. And I love living in high rises. I wish I could sit back and look at Instagram, especially being in the cell alone. Which really hit me because I sit and scroll on Instagram a lot and hate it because it feels like a time suck and a waste of time and you know, mental drain. So to hear you say like I wish I could do that, you know, woke me up a little bit. And then you said I meditate in my cell every morning. And you said that there was some basically somebody in there that that helps you do that. And then we started talking about our birthdays and and our science because we’re both water science, cancer. And you said I see you were born on the summer solstice. I think more about one of the biggest about building one of the biggest brands in this new billion dollar industry. And then think about being in prison. I want my daughters to be proud to be a cooper. Thanks for looking this birthday up. I felt it was very close to me. I’m over COVID And I love how you study things. And I was sending I think I sent you like a printout of what your birthday was crossword puzzles. And I tried to send some like games and things but I don’t think they actually got through to you.

Corvain Cooper  22:40

I think the games got through. But the main important thing was the breaking down of what the sign meant and what to Scorpio man. And that was some good things to read during that time. It was dope.

Lisa Buffo  22:50

Yeah. Yeah. So it’s trying to keep it a little entertaining and something different. But yeah, and you had talked about you said, you told me about your uncle who took you to the Lakers games when you were younger. And you said about how you think about him a lot, especially with the game is on and on my bucket list. I want to sit courtside at the Lakers game. Next to Jack. Who was Jack ?

Corvain Cooper  23:15

I know Jack Nicholson? I want to sit next to Jack Nicholson. Okay.

Lisa Buffo  23:23

I didn’t know that. Anyone knows Jack Nicholson or has courtside seats still on your bucket list? Yeah. Maybe next year, somebody will do it there. But you also told me about how you had you had COVID When you were in prison, and you were pretty sick? Yeah, you weren’t taking care of anybody,

Corvain Cooper  23:41

They are  not taking care of anyone in there. And not only that, you’re stuck in one room where it’s constantly moving around. So even when you’re out, everyone is going to continue to get it to then everyone’s going to get it because no one’s going to be able to leave the building. During the time it was cold, but you couldn’t go outside even if they’d let unlock the doors, you still only got to be inside. So everybody’s just passing it to each other. There’s no medicine, there’s no way to help you. So it’s just like, get over it. You know, I mean, like it’s really an horrible place to be actually.

Lisa Buffo  24:13

And what, how did you get to Louisiana, from California.

Corvain Cooper  24:17

Like you start in California. So the bad thing about being kind of like, looked at as kind of like a leader or whatever, in prison. That’s not the worst thing that you want to be right? Because if you’re looked upon as leader, then you’re the first person to go when something happens because they feel that you have some kind of influence over other people’s decisions that they make, and then they move you away from your family and from Atwater was already a four hour drive because that’s like near the bay. Right? So that’s where you were first. Yeah. Yeah, my family’s in LA but it took them four hours just to get that water in they shipped me to Louisiana.

Lisa Buffo  25:04

So, so now we’re at December 31 2020. At the time at CMA, I don’t know if any of you came to our first future of cannabis marketing Ted style talks 2021. That was January 19. Okay. We had invited Anthony Anthony and I had been in touch and he, you know, wanted to come and but he couldn’t. So tell me what was going on in January.

Corvain Cooper  25:27

So now January, this is your countdown. If you’re waiting on the clemency and you got life. This is your countdown. So first day of January, you’re seeing what what names he’s doing. Okay, he’s not doing but now he’s doing a push. They’re saying, Oh, he’s gonna do a push. It’s on the news. You’re you’re only watching the news and NPR. That’s all you’re doing is listening to NPR and watching the news. That’s all they let you know, that’s what’s all you want to do. If you’re waiting on, you know, main. So now you’re to the 19th. Right. So he, Trump releases a few names. Right? So every hour on the hour when it comes. They’re like, Oh, you get Kodak Black get little way in which, you know, I’ve had run ins with these people before and you hear the rappers and you hear hear Yo and you hear all the names, right. So as hours go by, it’s like a bottom ticker at the bottom, but went on lockdown. So you have to look somebody that you have to scream downstairs. And you have to say, Hey, man, do you see my name on a ticker yet? Because they have a ticker that’s going across the bottom, but they can see better because their TV is closer to their sale. So they’re like, No, I want to see your name. So But everyone’s kind of rooting for me in there. But every 30 minutes to an hour, CNN releases new names on the bottom ticker. When I’m still not there, and now it’s at 11. is made it to 11 o’clock at night. On the night. 19th. Yeah, and my name is still not on the ticker, right? You’re like, damn, this is the last day he’s gonna leave offices. The 20th is tomorrow. So he’s gonna leave office and I had to push up in on TV. Everyone’s fighting, you know, so you, you you’re looking for to push and then limit 30 comes you’re not on there. You just basically saying like, damn, I got a suit up and say, Is it I gotta do another fight maybe with another president or I gotta put my fighting shoes back on. So I wake up in the morning. They’re doing showers. So you have to get put your hand through the tray slot and get handcuffed to go to the shower at a USP prison when you’re all locked down because it’s it’s a threat. You’re a threat, your threat. So you open the door, it’s showers and sinks and war. And when I look to the left, I see Trump you know, in a helicopter, right? So I’m like, damn, Trump’s can’t isn’t that like he’s gonna sign it? Why he’s getting copper. Right, then you look to the right, Biden’s getting inaugurated in and having a full inauguration going on. So you really have to, this is the time where you’re like, damn, but with the push to have just had like, you don’t even know if your push is going to be that big. Right? So some people I’ll never forget a guy from DC likes to scream about his sale on a way to the showers like, no court, right? Put your head up, man. Like maybe it’s some like Miss paperwork or something. But like, man, you call I can feel it man. Like you’re gone. Right? But it’s 630 in the morning. Like the President is leaving, like, What do you mean? You know, I mean, so we go to the shower. Yes, yeah. So you’re handcuffed to the shower. Now you come back. When you come back, when you come back? From the shower, you got the tank off the boom, now you go on yourself. So now your your mental mind has to physically say because people were doing clemency is at the end of their their term. So even if Biden even if you’re going to do another push for Biden, it’s one he’s leaving is that when he’s coming in and with so if he doesn’t eight year term, eight year time to put in your lottery ticket before it’s even going to get signed. So I’ll just say just I’m making my bed and I have to get ready for another fight. Maybe like I would say from there maybe 30 to 45 minutes. You hear people screaming and knocking up any like counselors walking counselors walking, right. So it’s like an alert because a counselor. What does the counselor come in here a bit building for willing of 90 day lockdown. He just had a right? There’s no reason why he’s coming in here. He’s not like he’s checking on you. Right? So he hits that they said he hit the top tier. So as soon as he hits the top tier, everybody does that mean, the top tiers like let’s say this is the top tier because they got the second floor. So I’m staying on the top tier, and he unlocks the door. And at this point, we just have to put our hands retrace lot to put handcuffs on to go to the shower. So there’s only one way you can unlock the doors when you fill in unsafe or, or you’re filling. This never happens in a USP for a counselor to unlock the door and open it when you’re on a severe lockdown. And he said, Man, you got five minutes to pack your shit up, man, you’re out here. So it was just, it’s a moment in time that you would never forget. People start knocking on the doors and screaming and everyone was happy. It was a win for like the whole prison system at that time, and everyone was happy for me. I told everybody to walk by faith, not by sight, he found me and like what I left in the unit and is still in the unit to this day where it’s like, do not let anything bluer, you have even seen the letters, like with the life sentence with not knowing if I’m coming home is still projected that we want 40 times to be this and we want 40 times to be that we want to be the biggest company and we’re wanting to chase these goals. And I’m talking to Anthony every day on what we want to do with 40 times and to see us we haven’t took a day off since I’ve been home when you see for eternity you only see us here we have no workers we have no no staff, whatever we’ve seen as delegates. That’s what we’ve done with the hard work that we’ve put in because we were big on on that’s why our thing is called the second chance because I got a second chance in life. And I just want to do the best with it.

Lisa Buffo  31:33

Yeah so you had said that the you close one of your letters, and you said thanks again for everything. Hope I see you soon. I think this is the New Year’s when you said 2021 is my year for freedom and making 40 tons the biggest brand out there and look into my eyes of best selling book 2021.

Corvain Cooper  32:00

Yeah, and we’re still working on that. We’re looking to my blog. So hopefully we have Look into my eyes. Immediate jalebi big promote it.

Lisa Buffo  32:07

So yeah, so he’s he’s working on a book, but I just I just wanted to capture this moment where you, you thanked me for for not doing anything. Hope I see you soon. 2021 is my year for freedom and making 40 tons the biggest brand out there and that you closed your letter like this. And then you said PS did you get your free Corbin t shirt yet, which I did. But you had that optimism and that foresight after spending? How many years had you been in prison at that point nine at that point nine years in prison. So almost a decade? Yeah. Independent US Federal Prison hours away from your family during a pandemic. And you close your letter saying thank you. This is my year for freedom and making your brand the biggest one out there. So you were still building your company from prison? Yeah. So amazing. So I’ve lost my notes, but that’s okay. So let’s talk about 40 tons and where you’re at now because it so I remember when you got out Anthony FaceTime me we had just finished our event. It was extremely emotional. I started sobbing breaking down.

Corvain Cooper  33:22

Stop in Denver, I stopped in Denver on on it. We had a layover in Denver flying back.

Lisa Buffo  33:26

You did and I ran to the airport, because I think you had literally I think you ran out of like 20 minute layover, 30 minute 20 minute layover, and if you know the Denver Airport, it’s huge. So he ran out of security. I’ve ran to the airport, but also dropped me off. We hugged for like three minutes. And then you had to run and catch your flight. But it was awesome. And we got a picture and I’ll have to share it later. But you have it so you got out and started working immediately. The picture you took from the parking lot is in your 4010s gear at the penitentiary. Oh yeah, I am so impressed by it because if I had just spent a decade in prison, I would be angry, depressed. I don’t know what where I would be mentally but you amaze me and your resolve and resilience and your ability to be optimistic and just keep working like you’ve got you’ve been working nonstop. So tell me about what’s happened since January 20 2021. What what your mission is at 40 times and what you’ve been building.

Corvain Cooper  34:28

It started like like you said immediately like Anthony he brought when he came to pick me up. We almost went to jail to the day Anthony was speeding and we got pulled over! So Anthony was speeding? Well, first of all, like anybody that kind of like knows me, like I’m kind of big on like, I want to be clean. I want to be this I want to be that so before I even want to FaceTime everybody or or even small kids. kinda like to like a wolfman X when I like could lose this on lockdown in the sale so I want to get here okay cleaned up first before I even FaceTime them so everyone’s calling Anthony’s phone like, where is he? They said you picked them up he so he’s lying everybody and like I haven’t picked up in the barber chair. So he’s, he’s lying saying that they haven’t picked me up yet. So now we’re rushing because because we have to go, we’re trying to get back and we’re going to text them we want to see Brittany Kay Barnett, who was instrumental in me getting out. And so we’re going to stop in Dallas, and we’re going to fly from a patch from a girl, my attorneys out there, and we’re gonna we’re trying to fly back. So he’s speeding. So when the police come over to the car, I don’t have any ID or nothing i Last thing I want you to ask me is, what’s my name? And what am I doing? You know, because I haven’t got permission. In the feds, it’s really bad because you can really get a violation and offense because they’re really big on any contact with the police, you have to report it. So he’s been I’m looking straight in and he’s, and I’m just like, oh shit, I’ve been out of jail fucking one hour. I’m about to go back to prison. So and they send you right in the face, you go right back to where you just left. So you’re gonna be the embarrassment of everyone, like you didn’t stay out an hour, you know. So that was a scary moment. But we made it through it. And he got a speeding ticket that I don’t know if he paid yet. I don’t know if he has a warrant. Right now for but yeah, so we picked them up with the 40 times outfit on already had the 40 times out, we have a picture of that too in our video upstairs. And we just said let’s just go on a journey and just keep working. And we haven’t stopped working since like, there’s no days off. And, and we really want to be global and push one of the biggest brands. So in order to do that you’re going to have to put the work in. And that’s what we’re here to do.

Lisa Buffo  36:56

And tell us about the brand and the mission like the 40 tons name as possible.

Corvain Cooper  37:01

First of all before it says name is a real thing. So October 13 2013 is one on one to tro me, Evelyn de la Chapelle and Natalia, wait, if you know their story, they want to travel with me. And it’s the 40 Times Conspiracy started when we got found guilty on that day in Chicago, Charlotte Mecklenburg, North Carolina so that you can Google that to see that it’s not Oh, we didn’t just come up with a name I was thin air. It’s the name of a real case that I had the look on my wall every day and wake up and see this newspaper clipping sentenced to life for 4010 as a marijuana, drug ringleader or whatever, however they put it in, I always said, I’m going to turn that minus into a pleasant change that whole story around.

Lisa Buffo  37:46

And if you’ve seen their booth or their video upstairs to tell us about the logo, if you could describe it, and the story behind it.

Corvain Cooper  37:53

So kind of when you see like, it’s the core van Cooper going up and down to kind of stand up a little bit and show the logo. This is Anthony. Yeah. So whenever he was designed, and as soon as he did, he did a real good job, and is my pass. That’s my pass when you’re looking at. So it’s Corvain Cooper. And that’s my pass race in that way. And that’s what I have to look forward to. And we’re breaking the chains of injustice at the same time when we do it.

Lisa Buffo  38:24

So let’s let’s talk about the mission behind the brand. And the bigger picture for the audience. As far as brands and marketers here, what what what do you want this audience to know? And what is our duty and responsibility as an industry,

Corvain Cooper  38:38

The first thing that I want people to do is go to 40 tons dot CEO. In the prisoners shirts that you see when you go into Shopify on there, that money goes straight to their books, right? So we want to get we want them to grow with us there. We want as big as 40 tons get, we want them to get big with us, right? So if they’re selling, I think I’m hard to sell at the most shirts, right? So one let Umberto made like 800 shirts, right? We want, let’s say if the shirt costs us $14 To make, and it’s $30 on our site, the $16 of the profit goes straight to their books. So every 10 shirts is another $160 that’s going on their account on their commissary account, right? So they get the grow with us and the mission grows, and the people are not forgotten, right. So there’s 10 people that we’re advocating for now. There’ll be more people on the site as well but we want to keep pushing the mission to first start with them. It’s cool to build a brand or it’s cool to try to make some money or it’s really no money in the industry anywhere right now all the taxes but it’s cool to do all these things but to forget the people that that helps door just like it looks from us. It was one of the first dispensary owners in Modesto and then he has to sit in prison, while Modesto and all everything takes off so we can’t forget about them. So have our first core mission is that our second core mission? Is our cannabis career fairs. Right? So when our brand would be built on what are we doing for the person after they get out of prison? Right? Can we can we put them in a market, you might just be good at making packages, you might just be good at marketing, you might just be good at whatever ancillary thing that you’re good at. We want to make sure that we can bring that out of you. And if you don’t have the knowledge, we give out scholarships, from Oaksterdam, right, so you can win a scholarship when you come to our career fairs. And we’re going to come to Denver and do one with all the brands out here. And we’re gonna go global, we’ll be in New Jersey, August 13, in Trenton, New Jersey, what are for fun, and that’s what we want our brand to be built on. So we can have some legs to stand on and not just be another person with a package.

Lisa Buffo  40:48

And to your point about the commissary you had said in one of your letters, you sent me your Western Union address inside, there’s a lot of campaigns out there saying they’re sending money to me, but none of them actually come to me, here’s the direct way to route information. So there is there is a direct way to get money and resources.

Corvain Cooper  41:08

Right. Like, yeah, they had a like a lot of at that time, like, by the case getting big and by my name was getting in the in the in the community bigger, they had a lot of people that were like still in money. So we that’s another thing that we’re big on 40 times because it was like then grades six, seven out, or just personal raise 20,000, just for someone who’s 40,000. And they didn’t give you anything, like you know, like they raise it on your name and didn’t even send you any money on your books, like so even at a small level at at as we are we’re very small and 40 times, we still send money and still bought Parker glasses, and he needed some glasses over $1,100 to get on the glasses. But the money that we went out and hustle T shirts and raise money. That’s what he needed. That’s what we’re gonna get you. Right. So you have brands that are saying that they’re doing that and not doing it. And it was really hurtful to know that that was happening.

Lisa Buffo  42:05

And I want to talk about Parker Coleman. So can you tell everybody a little bit about Parker and what you’re doing for him and what the audience can do as well.

Corvain Cooper  42:15

And as far as brightening, which is like you see what he said, he said, Just even writing uplifting them and saying, Hi, how you doing? We’re out here fighting and you’re going to come home one day, just to receive that when you’re sitting at a sale, he’s been going he’s missed his whole 20s He’s a young good kid, right? That he’s maybe 30. We’re gonna call April 2010, to start conspiracies as 12 years of his life, he’s already missed space and 60 years of very smart kid that just got some weed and melted and put it to an airport and sold marijuana. And now his whole life has changed. And as you can see on the phone conversation, and yet, he’s still keeping his demeanor, he still humble. He’s still fighting, and he’s still doing his thing. And he’s a part of the 40 Times Conspiracy. Because he’s a, it’s a three part conspiracy. So he’s still really a part of 40 tons. And when I first got to the unit, when I met Parker, he was going to trial and he just got found guilty. And so it was even harder for me to pick to go to trial, after finding out that he just got found guilty. And I gotta go sit in front of the same judge, Judge Conrad opposite in front of the same people, right. And he just went through this when I just came to the unit and met Parker. So me and him bonded. And I was our bond, we have both said, and I was like we want to keep our rights. I don’t want to I mean, your deal is 22 years. You know, if not if you’re not taking someone else’s life, in going in and cooperating against anybody, they want you to sign for 15 to 22 years. To me that was life.

Lisa Buffo  44:04

same things that we are all doing.

Corvain Cooper  44:06

I mean, for the same things, you know, and then it’s even worse, when you get the 10 or the 22 years. What makes that even worse, is that people are coming home from these bids of these 10 and 15 year bids. And you know, it’s no public thing is no one cares about it. Because it let’s say, let’s just say if you do get let’s say if I didn’t get 10 years, right, you do get 10 years is no push behind it. It’s nothing comes with it. You’re just another number and you did 10 years and came home and you don’t even get you know, you know, luckily, you know, last prisoner project and other groups that I was dealing with and you know, it was paparazzi at the airport or whatever it was to make the case bigger, but the person that’s coming home from 10 years they don’t get no push.

Lisa Buffo  44:52

So So we’re at about time, but I want to end on the note of what what do you want this room to Know what, what can the industry folks hear marketers, communications professionals, brand owners? What what do you wish that they understood better? And what can we do? Moving forward?

Corvain Cooper  45:13

I say moving forward, I think awareness that this is still going on is very big enough. So for your company to be aware of what’s going on and aware of the things that are taking place to bring us bring more awareness. If everybody can put aside like, that’s cool, because you got to make money anyway, if your company’s gonna make money. But if everyone can bring more awareness, right, that is going on, and that the prisoners and represent the prisoners more, right? If everyone does it together as a conglomerate, then the prisoners grow, their name grows, the company grows, and then you can help change the narrative of them getting out of prison and why the company is making money. Right? So that’s an odd thing.

Lisa Buffo  46:00

And lastly, how can everyone support 40 times outside of the T shirts? What else do you need? Do you need professional services? Do you like what? What can people offer to help you I’ll take your next step.

Corvain Cooper  46:12

I think doing a career fair out here, because they get with the big brands, and then we can big brands, little brands to regular brands or whatever, and we do a career fair and hire the people that has been affected by this by the war on drugs and really put them in position whether you just need them to clip the buds or you just need somebody to post whatever it is that you’re lacking at your company. I think we can find it right if we all work together. So I think that’s the biggest thing that we can do is all work together and figure out what’s the niche that we can do together to make the same goal happen.

Lisa Buffo  46:44

So if any, is anybody hiring here Okay, so if you’re hiring, let’s get let’s connect with you and Anthony, and get get folks in touch.

Corvain Cooper  46:53

Let’s do it. Right right when it comes to retail, and then we’re trying to get to we’re trying to get the Denver but if you just see 40 times anywhere, just buy it and support it and know that you’re supporting a social impact brand is something for a good cause.

Lisa Buffo  47:08

Well corvain this has been the pleasure of a lifetime to be able to have this conversation with you on this stage. I am so honored and this is a miracle in my mind to have this conference after this pandemic to have this conversation with you. You know starting from that I I am speechless so thank you!

Corvain Cooper  47:26

And never give up and just always if you don’t see it yet and in whatever vision you see just keep going like I remember when she was starting this thing and your and your vision and your business coming in life and and it’s crazy because like both our visions are coming to life at the same time. So that’s what really makes it out.

Lisa Buffo  47:46

Thank you for joining us for another episode of Party like a marketer. Follow us on Instagram at party like a marketer and on our website the cannabis marketing

Meet Your Host

LISA BUFFO, Founder and CEO of Cannabis Marketing Association

Lisa Buffo is an award-winning entrepreneur and marketer with a passion for launching companies with experience in both the cannabis and technology industries. Lisa is the Founder & CEO of the Cannabis Marketing Association, a membership based organization focused on education and best practices for industry marketers with the vision of rebranding cannabis at the national level. She was named one of 2019’s 40 Under 40 Rising Stars in Cannabis by Marijuana Venture Magazine in 2019 and named “The Marketing Guru” by Women & Weed magazine and is a featured speaker and media source in publications like Forbes, The Guardian, and VICE. You can find her on Instagram @libuff and Twitter @libuff21.

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