Allie Marconi 0:00
We’re fortunate enough one of the ladies who works on the edible brand in the kitchen, she left her house. She was taking her kids to school and she took a photo of the low lining clouds with the purple reflecting off of it and it went viral. And then it was like two days later, I had cnn calling me to talk about it. And it was interesting because there was a little bit of that like, rumor mill that curated because of it, but it was so remarkable. We actually created a limited release flavor inspired by it. So we have like a purple haze cartridge that we were able to like turn into something fun.
You’re listening to To be blunt, be podcast for cannabis marketers. We’re your host Shayda Torabi and her guests are trailblazing the path to marketing educating and professionalizing cannabis light one up and Listen up. Here’s your host Shayda Torabi, welcome back to the show.
Shayda Torabi 1:06
My name is Shayda Torabi and today’s guest is Allie Marconi. She’s the director of marketing for copper state farms, which is the largest cannabis greenhouse in the US. With over 60 acres of plants under glass and snowflake Arizona, which is about three hours north of Phoenix. Copper state farms operates multiple brands which Alli gets to oversee, ranging from a dispensary to a really fun and cool branded edibles brand and so many more impactful things that this company is up to which we’re going to dive into today. All of this is happening under the medical market as Arizona is not adult use legal yet. So it’s pretty fascinating to have this chat with Allie and peek into the life of one of the nation’s leading cannabis brands you probably haven’t heard about yet. But they’re up two really big things and today’s Convo takes us right to the heart of that So let’s welcome Ollie to the show.
Allie Marconi 2:02
My name is Allie Marconi. I’m the Director of Marketing for copper state farms. I’ve been with the company just about two years. I guess it’s September in like two weeks. So yeah, I’ve been with the company for two years. Before that was in the restaurant industry throughout my entire career, whether it was PR or just managing marketing for restaurant groups and chefs alike. That was kind of where I was at beforehand. Where I learned about this opportunity was actually from that chapter of my life. So one of the chefs that I did PR for, opened a couple of his restaurants back in the day, he let my friend know that he was starting this edible brand and the farm who was producing the edible brand needed a marketing person. And you need those internal lightbulbs and it’s the kind of goes off and you’re like, I need to follow my intuition. I need to explore this further. And I wasn’t looking for a new job at the time I had just felt like my head hit the ceiling. I’m ready for that next year. After, and I said, Yeah, let’s talk and then it was a domino effect. I connected with our co founder, Dr. Simonton, he was amazing. I watched our Canna cribs video and I really got an understanding of this farm and all of the labors of love that went into getting this farm to be what it is today. The farm itself at the time was a 40 acre facility up in snowflake Arizona. And snowflake is actually a predominantly Mormon community. So it was very much in, you know, a foreign conversation like, Hey, this is something that is innovative and happening and this could bring a lot of positivity back to the town and create a lot of growth. And, you know, I think everyone who was involved really believed in Fife and really believed in his authenticity and his genuine goals of establishing this farm and we were able to do so So that in itself is kind of an interesting tidbit. Now, when you pull into snowflake, it was a town that, you know, they have a giant Mormon temple. Very well known for that. And then to the left of it is now, what is a nearly 60 acre greenhouse facility. And so that greenhouse has actually been in existence since the early 90s. This kind of like whimsical backstory is a gentleman from Canada, won the lottery. And he wanted to build like the greatest greenhouse so he started doing all this research. And there’s a couple other places that have these ideal environmental circumstances that really lend to creating an ideal greenhouse scenario, elevation closest to the sun. How many days out of the year are you seeing sunshine so while our facility is three hours north of Phoenix, I think people imagine it being like in the woods and it being very forestry and there’s snow on the ground. You drive through all of that to get to where the farm But you’re actually at a point to say, I want to say it’s like 3500. It could be more than that to be frank, but you’re basically in a prairie at that point. So you go almost above the mountains, and it’s all flat land and it’s hot. So it’ll be you know, I was at the farm earlier this week for a photo shoot, it was like 90 degrees. And then when I got down into paste, and it was like 85. So we definitely have that sunshine, we have that elevation. The water source was also another reasoning for him picking that location. Of course, his intentions when he created this greenhouse in the early 90s was not for cannabis. It grew strawberries and tomatoes. And then when our co founder in 2016, who himself was a tomato farmer before this, he discovered it, he wanted to be closer to home, a lot of his farms were in Mexico. And it was like, once again, kind of how I felt about finding the position this moment of like, the serendipitous moment where it’s like, all If the pieces kind of came together in the right way, so that’s just the farm. That’s part of it. And the edible brand that the chef that I knew who he co founded is called good things coming. So that was like the first brand that was really introduced outside of just copperstate Farms being this wholesale distribution, Beast, really. And then from there, we opened up our dispensary brand, which is called Sol flower sLl. So once again, a little bit of a tribute to the sun, and all things that you know, define Arizona. And then from there, we’ve had a couple of like partnerships where other brands from other markets have come in and used our facility and I’ve helped like launch them in this market. You know, it’s kind of like dating, right? We get into a relationship with some of those brands, but then they kind of get different opportunities that take them into a different direction. And so you kind of grow apart but we launched last See in the Arizona market and then we also launched Aero pro in the Arizona market, which was really fun. They have a cool cartridge pen that is like a different infrastructure than you see from those Standard C cell batteries. And definitely, the innovation just never stops with copper six. So I’m currently working on a new concentrate brand, which is going to be really exciting. And then from a flower perspective, for the past year, we’ve been working with DNA genetics, they are world renowned for their seeds, and they spent like six to eight months fino hunting in our farm and figuring out like, which of their seeds are going to take to this Arizona landscape. And, you know, how did they respond to the greenhouse? So that’s been really exciting. We launched that at our dispensary earlier this summer and we’re going to be doing our wholesale launch next week. So no rest for the wicked.
Shayda Torabi 8:01
You’re up to so many cool things. It’s, you know, shocking to me a little bit. I mean, I know you full disclosure. You know, Allie and I are friends. I knew Allie through her previous position, which is how you know we got connected and then watching her get into cannabis watching you get into cannabis was really exciting because it’s something that I’ve always had a passion for myself. But being in Texas, I didn’t really know how I was going to get into the industry. So I’m sure you relate to that just coming from Arizona where, you know, maybe politics are a certain way and you have a certain type of you know, structure in the state. And so it’s just very cool to see not only are you in cannabis, but you’re really with such a behemoth of a very well put together beautiful brand. And so I wanted to interject to for anybody listening to just go ahead if you haven’t already and googled conversate farms and see the greenhouse I was looking into one article and it was saying that that particular part of Arizona snowflake Arizona somehow almost gets a little bit of normal Northern Lights exposure and so there’s some purple, luminous, you know, magic going on in the sky which I think you painted a picture right? It’s kind of over the woods or over the mountains through the woods and here is this beautiful greenhouse, this massive space but really looking at some of the the imagery around it. It’s beautiful. The lighting is just echoing this beautiful whimsical place in Arizona. That’s apparently now the number one largest greenhouse in North America.
Allie Marconi 9:28
Yeah, we just added another 20 acres. So we we had greenhouse one, greenhouse two and my greenhouse three. And I mean, the team at the farm, they just it’s they put so much blood, sweat and tears into everything that comes out of it. Like when I was out there on Tuesday, I literally watched our hydrocarbon lab get delivered by a gigantic crane, like a whole lab just got delivered on property, the purple lights that you saw, it’s actually a combination have red and blue LED lights that the farms are exposed to at night so that during the hours when there isn’t the natural spectrum sun, they’re still getting that exposure. And so we try to make it so that none of that light is escaping the room. But all it takes is one little hole in the in the blackout curtain and that light gets out and then when we have low lining clouds at night, it reflects off of it. So we’re fortunate enough one of the ladies who works on the edible brand in the kitchen, she left her house, she was taking her kids to school and she took a photo of the low lining clouds with the purple reflecting off of it and it went viral. And then it was like two days later, I had cnn calling me to talk about it. And it was interesting because there was a little bit of that like rumor mill that curated because of it, but it was so remarkable. We actually created a limited release flavor inspired by it. So we have like a purple haze cartridge that We were able to like turn into something fun. I love that. Yeah, purple is it’s so electric. And you know, I think it’s, it’s interesting to just educate people on it too. And it’s, it’s always cool. I when I drove up to the farm on Tuesday, I saw a little bit of the lights. So yeah, it’s it’s definitely a unique experience.
Shayda Torabi 11:18
Well, I think that’s such a fun story to tell to for people listening, you know, something that’s a very normal scientific natural process, when you are setting up a greenhouse is to think of the cycle for how your crops are going to get the right nutrients, light resources that they need to, you know, thrive and ultimately be a crop that you can leverage and use and so you have this lighting that is, again, scientifically designed for the plants at a certain look or color and then you have this employee who just happens to catch this experience happening and just lights the sky up. And yeah, you have all these people like CNN call you I mean, that’s every brands dream for positive reasons, not because you did something Bad, you know, there’s loads of PR, but like, Hey, this is really cool. We want to talk about it like what a cool opportunity to have a moment for positive publicity and PR that you were able to kind of spin and take advantage of. And I think for people listening, especially in this industry, where it is really hard to go and navigate and get pressed thinking of ways that if there’s already exposure happening, how you can capitalize on it. So, you know, you were able to then think, hey, let’s make a specific product that is reflecting of this phenomenon that’s happening around our greenhouse. And so I just wanted to give you kudos for that because I think that was really smart and shows the effectiveness of your marketing, which I think is obviously the whole takeaway of this. So to kind of get into that a little bit. As an observer, I love brands, I love the look and feel of brands. What is it like managing so many different kind of products or different brands with different personalities that all fit essentially under one umbrella?
Allie Marconi 12:59
It is is nothing short of entertaining I’m so grateful for. So the brands are already pre existing, like good things coming, for example, you know, a lot of what we do is a labor of love because budgets are tight, and you just got to work with what you have. All we ever had with our brand was the logo, and the logo was hand drawn and illustrated. So it’s a unique font. And we have a smiley face associated with it. That in itself has driven the direction of the brand, the bold colors of the packaging, the minimalistic aesthetic that I wanted to implement with some of the shoots so that we could really focus on the boldness of the color, the details of the jelly or the brownie bite. And also when I think about color, I think about variety and I think of diversity and you know, obviously with COVID it’s been really hard from like a lifestyle photoshoot perspective to tap into that and that was definitely one of our goals this year was to just showcase more people with us. In our products, so we’ve, you know, worked on some creative ways with our photographer to do more in studio shots with one person, but still kind of like, create this lifestyle scene. And good things is just so fun and so lively. And it’s like that personality through the logo just really defined itself. copperstate state, you know, being the larger wholesale distributor in Arizona and the largest greenhouse in the country really wanting to position ourselves as a leader, but we’ve been in a place of, okay, right or wrong. Let’s figure out what’s going on with our plants. And we have some really great people on the team now who have made massive changes at the farm in the past six months, and I was just there on Tuesday. Last time I was there was in December. The plants look so happy and so gorgeous. I mean, from the nose to the trichomes to the structure of the Nikolas I mean, everything was remarkable and I think for us copperstate we always just want to, like, remind people that weed is happy and like, let’s not take ourselves too seriously. I think that there’s a lot of people out there who, you know, always want to be pointing out what’s wrong in a photo and like I always respect that. And I think for us, it’s like, Hey, we know we’re not perfect, but we work really hard every day to get closer to meeting that those levels of expectations of perfection. With the dispensary. It’s all about living with soul and being motivated and empowered to tapping into what makes you feel your best. And there is this stigma with cannabis and with so flower, we really want to chisel away at that. We want to encourage people to feel like this is an inclusive community. You want to take a photo, take a photo, you want to you know talk about it on Instagram, like do that like just because there’s this stigma. We don’t want to play into that we don’t want our patients that are coming to our dispensary to feel like this Can’t browse and they can’t have conversations and they can, you know, obviously COVID has placed limitations on that interaction, like we can’t have patience smelling bud anymore out of the jar like how they used to. So our team gets creative to find ways to still interact with our patients. But as I’m kind of talking about this out loud, you know, it’s nice to take a step back and get to speak a bit holistically. What I like to think that is the common denominator between all of our brands is positioning our company and the brands as being a better cannabis company. And what does that mean? Right? Okay, so for me that’s putting out awesome content and aesthetically pleasing, you know, packaging. And also, you know, we haven’t announced this yet, but we’re working on a really large partnership with last prisoner project. And I think for me, looking at all of the criminal injustice that goes on in the countries and how people who are incarcerated because of it Cannabis consumption or caring or just affiliation with it, our have had their lives completely derailed. And that does not settle with us or anyone I copperstate. And we really want to be a part of the solution and help the organizations that are putting the right foot forward. So for us being a better cannabis companies, you know, it’s with the branding with the patients with the packaging, but then it’s also like what’s going on behind the scenes? And how can we use these dollars to help make the world and the country a better place?
Shayda Torabi 17:33
I love the way that you articulated all of that. I think you can tell that there’s a lot of different aspects with each of these different brands, but they all really have that core commonality, which is just being a good steward of this plant and putting products that reflect that why in front of consumers which kind of makes me want to dive into you know, you’re in Arizona. It’s not adult use. So What is the landscape like for? I mean, I was gonna say for somebody who’s not familiar, but I’m really not that familiar. I know very little about the Arizona market. So everything that y’all are presently doing right now is medical only, right?
Allie Marconi 18:14
Correct. Yeah, prop 207 will be on the initiative and November and that will be the initiative for recreational use. But really, for us, like our medical patients, like right now, testing regulations haven’t really been established. We always have put ourselves to a certain level of QA regardless what was being asked of us on a state level. But now it’s going to be required from everybody when it comes to testing and transparency. So for us, you know, that’s going to be a change for everybody come November 1, and it’s going to be really interesting to see how that plays out. And testing is expensive. So what brands are going to be able to sustain with that? Definitely, no, there’s going to be a ton of change when it comes to The brands that are on the market. And you know, as we’re creating new brands that will be, you know, exposed to the medical market, but you know, potentially if the initiative passed, we would have exposure to the recreational market in April of 2021. Not taking it as an opportunity to like restaurant or morals and be like, okay, let’s just like stick with our safe zones and like reiterate what we think people already know like for us, we really want to move away from these indicus ativa hybrid stereotypes and really tap into terpene education. I think getting that in front of more medical patients as well as when the time comes for recreational is going to be huge. And I want that because I want more science behind it. I want more research dedicated to cannabis terpenes and the endocannabinoid system and really educating people on you know, what does it mean? What does CBD mean when it’s on its own? What is THC mean? When it’s on us, okay, what does that mean when you’re putting them together? They’re out. Actually connectors and you know THC isn’t this scary psychoactive compound. And when you have CBD and you you do connect them magical things happen and your body is receptive to it. With that all being said, I also like to acknowledge the people who don’t have that experience with cannabis because you can be allergic to terpenes you can be allergic to cannabis and a lot of people’s endocannabinoid system rejects that. This isn’t a scary thing. This is something that our bodies were truly designed to respond to.
Shayda Torabi 20:35
I’m right there with you. I think terpenes is such a fascinating category because they’ve existed in nature for many years. But I think, especially as a marketer, this is something that we come across a lot, especially given that cannabis is in the gray area that it exists in. You can’t make explicit claims that a certain strain or terpene or whatever will have a particular effect. But I think when you’re looking actually at the terpenes from a science perspective, getting to do more research you can fine tune I think what someone would want to hopefully have the experience of a particular you know, terpene blend or cannabinoid blend and so I just picture a day where someone could go and say, Okay, I want one of these edibles where I want you know, 10 milligrams of this or two milligrams of then add these terpenes and and really get into a customized cannabis experience which is really on the cusp of that I feel like it’s coming. But at the same time you look at kind of where every state is and so the fact that Arizona you know, has these massive business opportunities in place but the market is still kind of in between medical and adult use. It’s definitely a little bit of a different customers a little bit of a different beast. And so I’m sure y’all as as the leader in that space are positioned to handle it, but it’s something that I think, you know, the sentiment is you got to get kind of used with the chaos and just yeah, races And every day you’re learning something different and so I guess kind of With that said, What is the market like in Arizona like from a medicinal consumer focus? I mean you have people who are using cannabis for all intensive purposes medicinal only right and so they have amis are trying to treat themselves for certain diagnosis that they have. How do you market your products to somebody from a different perspective and are the doses higher because you’re in a medicinal market?
Allie Marconi 22:29
That’s a great question. The the doses right now there’s not a lot of like regulation so some of the brands out there you can get a 1000 milligram brownie and will sell at the dispensary will sometimes will sell upwards of like 6080 a day. And really like I think it boils down to like a tolerance to but also pain management. And our Director of patient services. She’s so wonderful. I could never do Do what she does because I’m just too empathetic like I’ve seen patients come into our office who are suffering and she is there to guide them and help you know them explore medicinal cannabis options that could help ease their pain and that will always be a component of it you know while I think as we go into recreational there will be more of this like for fun type component, but I think there will also be a lot of people who are like I have just been waiting to get my hands on a topical because I have massive back pain and I you know, I don’t don’t really smoke so it doesn’t really make sense for me to get a medical card and make that type of investment but now I have accessibility to THC a cream that is going to relieve this muscle tension that you know, Icy Hot just doesn’t really do the trick sometimes and I think that is going to be a great opportunity as we go into that rec market and not only have it be like for fun, but also for the people who have pain and can’t sleep at night, we have a one to 110 milligram edible that is perfect for falling asleep. It’s actually made from real cherries and cherries and themselves have melatonin in them. So then when you add this 10 milligram CBD to THC ratio, I mean, it’s a perfect sleep aid, and really like just educating people. So, you know, it’s great to have like a poppy happy pretty brand, but also making sure that there’s education folded into that, whether it’s like talking about you know, we had a national relaxation day earlier this month, or maybe it’s coming up but talking about very cherry talking about our lavender lemon drops that are for micro dosing 2.5 milligrams, and, you know, talking about linalyl that’s in lavender and why it’s relaxing. So really incorporating all this education. So people on Understand the resources that are available to them. What will be interesting with prop 207 is recreational consumers won’t be able to purchase edibles that are above 100 milligrams THC. That won’t be the case for medicinal patients after 207 would be to get passed they can still have access to that thousand milligram brownie but recreational consumer without a medical card would not be able to access anything outside of 100 milligrams
Shayda Torabi 25:31
This is pretty consistent to with what I feel like other states adult use to medicinal market seemed to be I’ve heard upwards of 1000 3000 milligram plus in some of these medicinal markets and it’s just a fascinating point for me to understand because when you’re talking about medicine, you obviously are attribute it to an ailment and so therefore there is some umbrella like you have this pain, you want to take cannabis and it should To help with this thing that you’re taking it from, I’m kind of trying to be delicate. And also, just, you know, talking from a perspective of like, this is my understanding of, you’re taking something because you have a medical issue and cannabis has been deemed medicinal for that purpose. But when you have a rec conversation or an adult use conversation, I can’t say hey, CBD will cure your insomnia, or is going to, you know, eliminate your back pain. I think those are very explicit things that as a marketer, you kind of get taught over and over like, Hey, don’t say these explicitly to this industry. And so I don’t know if there’s anything that y’all are maybe more at liberty to say from a medicinal perspective that when you do translate over into a rec perspective, is it the dosages that’s going to change? Or are you going to actually have to change how you market and talk about the application of the product? Does that make sense?
Allie Marconi 26:53
Yeah, that makes total sense and they think to what I’ve been thinking about a lot recently, is the next That we cast is just going to get so much wider right? So we’ve been looking at our demographic of consumers who have just been medicinal. The industry is very close knit. Once that opens the doors, it’s gonna be like okay, a lot more people we’re going to have questions a lot more people are not going to understand this. It’s almost like we’re going to be having to take it back a few chapters and almost re introduce things to them. always wanting to be cautious with medical claims, and also telling people how we think that they’re going to feel that’s something that I see a lot happening in cannabis like oh smoke this to be happy smoke this to get tired and a lot of those are distillate pens where it’s like, if anyone knows anything about distillation like that’s been stripped of everything your THC and your terpenes are going to be, you know, added back in and in theory terpenes that are added back in Yes, they might have like a cerebral effect. Fact on you, but in theory, why are you going to try and make this claim that this is going to help you focus or this is going to help you laugh. Whereas what we really want to start doing with our brands is that terpene education and plant education. So like it’s a tiva indika hybrid, they’re a thing, but they’re a thing because they are defined by plant structure. So an indika family versus as a team of family is structurally completely different. And that’s why they exist. indika doesn’t exist solely to put you in the couch. And I hear so many people like I hate him because because they make me so sleepy and I’m like, you Well, you know what you should like, look into that stream that makes you feel sleepy. And let’s look at that terpene profile. And then Okay, maybe it has these three. Well, there’s other indicas that have other terpene profiles, and maybe that’s just one you want to explore. So it really does boil back down to this education and, and stripping away what people maybe thought was true. Which is always a challenge. But I think the more that we stand by it and the more that we, you know, push that message out there, I think, especially with recreational, will hopefully start to get a little bit more of that deeper understanding of the plant. And you know what, why the plan makes you feel this way in and I also have a lot of experience in the wine world. And for me, it’s like, I love drinking a glass of wine and talking about the flavor notes. You know, when we were doing our photoshoot on Tuesday, we were smelling the COLA and I was like, Huh, I was like, I’m getting like, tropical fruits and like, wet Earth. You know, it’s kind of that same conversation when you’re talking about flavor profile. So for us, maybe that’s like the baby step is Hey, smell this. Do you smell gas? Do you smell citrus? Do you smell Earth? Okay, well, those flavor profiles you’re smelling are directly affiliated with the terpenes that are found in this plant.
Shayda Torabi 29:58
I think that is such a beautiful Like vision to see because I think what you said is is something that is very heavy on my heart constantly. It’s like the reason I breathe and live is like, I just want people to experience cannabis in its totality. And I think that part of that is getting people exposed to education and getting them comfortable with some of these different aspects and, you know, full disclosure as somebody who consumes cannabis, I had no idea prior to which people know you know, by listening to me, hopefully by now I was in a car accident, I broke my pelvis. That’s how I got introduced to CBD. But was a cannabis consumer prior to that, but would never have told you, you know, oh, this is why this particular strain is good. It’s because it’s this strain or it’s this blend of terpenes or it has this percentage of CBD versus CBG versus THC. And I know most of that now, because I am in the industry and I get to educate myself every day, but having those conversations at a consumer level and to your point, reinforcing it not only through your brand, but like being a brand who’s like okay, we’re going to kind of Do our research, we’re going to look around, see where this industry is driving, and then also build up a narrative around how we can communicate that out to our customers. And so everything that you’re saying resonates with me because those are the things that I’m trying to build up and have conversations with in my corner over here in Austin, Texas. And so I think for anybody who is kind of stuck on indicus, a TiVo hybrid, do some more homework, like Allie was saying, those are the plant structures, and I think that they’ve been, it was just easier, it was easier to say, Oh, of course, this is an indika into couch and if you’re, you know, a marketer it’s kind of a smart marketing thing to like associate that and, and now you’re kind of coming out as cannabis is becoming more mainstream and it’s like, Whoa, the way that we’ve been thinking about this plant is totally limited. I don’t want to say it’s wrong. It’s just limited we have such as all worldview of this plant and and it’s just really exciting to hear and to get to witness and watch other brands who are caring about the plant in the same way and try to think outside of the box. You know, I think there’s so many any conversations that happen and I’m a part of a lot of them internally in my own business where it’s like, This is hard. Like, it’s just like, you know, we hit a wall, like we can’t go in that direction anymore. And I think you have to kind of learn to pivot around those and get creative. And so think of different ways that you can maybe you can’t talk about medical claims, but hey, yeah, if we could educate consumers on terpenes, what does that door open up? And so I agree with you and think that we just have a lot to learn. But it sounds like terpenes is a theme that I’ve been hearing a lot in a lot of my conversations and just in general in the industry. And so yeah, just more research gives us more access and opportunity to having those conversations be acknowledged by the consumers. I remember when we first launched just two years ago, in Austin, people were kind of they know what CBD was. They had no really understanding and still even two years later today, I have customers who assume that what I’m selling is weed. You know, they don’t know hemp versus weed. They don’t know The Breakdown or the high CBD versus high THC and all those differentiating points and so we welcome all of it as a conversation starters a way to kind of get somebody introduced into the educational you know black hole that it is because there’s just so much information but I do think that it falls upon brands and you pointed it out we’ve seen probably collect loot when the two of us a lot of really crappy claims out there a lot of really bold claims a lot of really misinformed marketing campaigns and messages. And you know, I think it makes the job as marketers to do care and want to do good in this industries jobs a little bit more interesting because you have to almost counterbalance and like you said to y’all are self regulating in an industry that is not really requiring these regulations of you. And so I think brands need to kind of, you know, be acknowledging and I think y’all are good stewards of that in a good example. So hopefully people are getting some good tips from talking to you.
Shayda Torabi 34:01
quick break to say thank you to restart CBD for sponsoring this podcast. Restart CBD is a brand my sisters and I founded in our hometown in Austin Texas. We operate a retail location as well as an e commerce store and you can browse our wide range of CBD products at restart CBD calm again, thank you to restart for allowing me the time and resources to put on to be blunt. I hope you’ll check them out for your CBD needs. Let’s go back to the episode. Is there anything that you feel like we didn’t talk about that you are like dying to share? Like I’m always curious, like maybe like a favorite campaign you’ve been able to execute or like a celebrity endorsement or something fun like that.
Allie Marconi 34:46
You know, I’m so jazzed about our last prisoner project partnership. We’re going to be launching our first campaign in middle of September. It’ll run through October will host a few more of those throughout the next 10 months in an effort to Are donation of $100,000. So, if that that’s something that’s really exciting, this new brand that I’m working on a lot of what we talked about with terpenes. And, and, and giving the power back to the patient to, you know, experience this product, and based on how we’re presenting it to them, maybe it’s color based. And it’s like, how do you feel when you look at this color? And you know, we have this psychology behind that, and I think it’s a true thing. So instead of saying, This is the focus one, you’re going to focus with this one. This is maybe has shades of light blue, and chartreuse, green and midnight blue. And how does that make you feel? It makes me feel calm and at peace and when I’m calm and I’m at peace, and I have a better chance of being able to focus or maybe people like to focus when they’re a bit more hyper and energetic. So for them that’s going to be the red and the orange and the pink and the yellows. So we don’t want Want to tell people how to feel we want people to experience our products and feel their best. And whatever that is, we want our products to be there to help them, you know, kind of get get along the way. And in the same sense where it’s like I love going hiking in the morning that makes me really happy saying good morning to people on the trails is my happy place. Um, what can I do from a cannabis consumption standpoint, that gives me that same replicated happiness. And that’s what we really want to do with our brands is be that connector of, you know, this is my lifestyle, but then this is the product that I go home to and I still have, I can recreate that sense of happiness or calmness or energy when I’m using this particular product. But we don’t want to tell that to people. We want them to interpret it and come to their own conclusions. I think there’s a lot of like, because people do want that people want that. Like you Okay, give me what’s gonna make me feel happy. And it’s like, that’s not really how it is we want you guys to consume something and it will make you feel happy. Or it will make you feel calm or will make you feel at peace. But we don’t want to say like, you will feel happy and calm. And I think you see a lot of that. So for us, it’s always about treading lightly when we do get questions about other brands, and however they want to talk in market about it, it can sometimes confuse that consumer because they’re hearing one thing from this brand, but then we’re telling them distillate is this and not that. So it is you want to be sensitive. And for me, it’s all about if you walk away, which is the the seed planted, when I give you something to think about, I don’t need to convince you of this truth right on the spot. And I think being patient and gentle with this new audience that we’re going to be exposing ourselves to is going to be the saving grace for the industry. You can’t force someone to believe in something They have to believe in it for themselves.
Shayda Torabi 38:03
We at restart always refer to ourselves as CBD Sherpas or cannabis Sherpas. Like you will have to go on the mountain, you will have to go through the valleys the peaks, you’re going to find, I think, to you know, to reiterate your point, you’re going to find what your happiness is, I don’t know what your happiness is, or your relaxation is and, and it is because it’s such a new industry, I think you have consumers who are conditioned a certain way. They’re conditioned to, you know, maybe go to a bar and ask the bartender you know, what drinks gonna make me feel great because I like this particular flavor palette, or, you know, this particular effects are like vodka over a whiskey. And so I think you have some of that influencing the cannabis market. Of course, just because as a consumer, we want someone to be able to hear what’s wrong with me, and then be able to present a product that’s going to fulfill those needs. But I think where cannabis gets a really, you know, sticky position is because we’re in between In this stance of regulation and federal legality, and every state is kind of operating on their own. And so while I’ve been able to have some of these conversations isolated with different, you know, friends or different brands across the United States, it’s really fascinating because cannabis is the same kind of at the top, but when you break it down, every state has their own rules and slight variations to the regulations and your communities are different. And so it’s a really beautiful time to be creative. And that’s what I love about this podcast, too, is it’s not to listen to the story and someone’s like, Oh, I’m gonna, you know, be able to go mirror exactly what they’re doing or exactly, you know, in the same way, brand form or fashion but hey, you know, maybe that gives me an idea to think about this problem that I’m dealing with a little bit more creatively. And I think that’s just that’s what I love about it is like being able to learn you know, interesting new little things and so yeah, I’ve just been a fan of yours both as your friend but online Just watching this, this market and especially the edibles brand because that’s where I’m a little bit excited to have coming from Austin and we have such a huge foodie city. I’m kind of laying the groundwork right now of course just ready for the day where we can openly talk about all the cannabis right now we’re going through some I don’t know if you are keeping track of what’s happening in Texas, Probably not, but maybe through my social we are going through a smokeable ban right now. And so the state of Texas just pulled hemp smokeable sales from retailers then a couple days ago, the judge kind of put a stop in place so that we could sell because there’s some lawsuit going on. So the state right now is in this kind of like, ah what’s going on but I hope when things settle down like I look forward to being able to, you know, we’ve done a CBD ice cream collaboration with like a top ice cream company in town. I would love for us to be able to do like you know, some weed ice cream or like a fun little pop up with a chef or to be able to see some of these really great chefs and restaurant tours be able to get into that space. I know we didn’t kind of touch on it super deeply but soul your dispensary and Wellness Center also has a cafe component I was going to ask Can you sell cannabis infused foods at the cafe?
Allie Marconi 41:12
No so the cafe is very much just a standard cafe. We do have CBD infused items so like you can get CBD basically added to anything at the cafe but nothing would have THC in it and that CBD would also be hemp derived.
Shayda Torabi 41:28
got it got it so yeah, I think that’s my understanding is if you’re purchasing cannabis within a dispensary the CBD is derived from the weed plant.
Allie Marconi 41:37
Yes, yes, sorry. No, no, you’re right. You’re right or
Shayda Torabi 41:40
Yeah, it’s in the dispensary any CBD in the product is coming from the full spectrum plant versus if it’s outside of a dispensary and it’s more transactional. It has to be by the federal law which is industrial hemp so it’s coming from hemp less than point 3%. Okay, that’s an interesting clarification because I think California right now Now is the only market where you can have food consumed with cannabis on a property. I think local farms is the only one. So I didn’t know if y’all were teetering or getting getting some access to that over in Arizona, but I know that that’s just, you know, an interesting thing to have. As we start to see these different walls get broken down in the industry. I look forward to the day where we could go to a cafe we could sit down, have, you know, THC infused dishes and it’d be normalized. And it’s by really great leading chefs who, you know, come from the restaurant world of just making really good food but have a love for this plant and want to incorporate it just like they would maybe turmeric or matcha, but it’s a little bit you know, more active.
Allie Marconi 42:48
Absolutely. You know, the one item that comes to mind from our line is our French chocolate brownie bites, and they we use a Valrhona chocolate from France and then a little bit seesaw just to give it that bit of balance and they are actually wheat free so that was a nice rd providing people with like, you know, low sugar organic real ingredients is so important. But those little brownie bites we used to do a full size brownie and I was like, I really feel like the brownie bites is a fun opportunity and they are so popular and so well received that I can’t wait to get those out to more and more people because it is using high top quality ingredients. And then to your point I you know just about education when you talk about CBD, hemp derived versus cannabis derived not enough education out there on it, you know, that’s something that I would really love to see more of because, you know, what becomes mainstream gets naturally accepted and we saw that happen with CBD in the past two years and I just want more of that I want people to really understand that. CBD is like the chocolate cookie and THC is like the cream filling and together they make the perfect Oreo.
Shayda Torabi 44:05
You need both you need all of it and you need high grams of it. Yes,
Allie Marconi 44:08
totally. Yeah. And having just education on that too, you know, like, you take 25 milligrams of CBD One morning, okay, well, 2424 hours later, you probably only have five milligrams left a bad initial dose in your system. So it’s very much like a supplement. You know, you need to be taking it for 30 days to have it fully running in your system. And I think a lot of people will take CBD sporadically and it really needs to be treated like a supplement, retweet that statement
Shayda Torabi 44:36
all day long. It is such a unique conversation though, because people’s minds are conditioned to if you’re going to put it in a category of medicine. They want the prescription of how often How much do I take but then you do have the people who are looking at it from recreational they just want it when it is needed. And because I think you have the cannabis we versus the cannabis hemp it’s just you know it’s trying to make sense of it all and get it to market and get it in a you know I don’t want to say that everybody needs to have a nice sexy packaging or brand around it but I do think creating something for a consumer to build confidence and trust around is paramount
Allie Marconi 45:21
yeah i agree i think the brands that have stories like I love Viola I think they have a beautiful story. You know even non cannabis brands like if I’m looking at organic tampons on Amazon and one has no backstory and no store you know nothing really no legs but this one like I love Cora brand. They have a beautiful story about women I’m gonna buy Cora like that’s just me as a consumer i know i’m not i’m not every consumer so really looking at it holistically and and making sure at the end of the day that the product that is in that packaging stands up to what you’re paying As a brand to so for me that’s huge as you know, packaging is what catches your eye, but the quality of the product that’s in that jar and that bag that’s what is going to create that loyal consumer who who will come back time and time again.
Shayda Torabi 46:15
And it sounds like y’all are delivering on that promise with copper state and all of your brands under that umbrella. I am so grateful to have had you on the show I like seriously fan of yours excited to see what’s happening love to support you. If you can let our listeners know where to find you online how they could follow along I know your products are exclusively for medicinal patients in Arizona. So if anybody happens to be listening from Arizona and is a medicinal customer, please go support all these brands. But yeah, how can we find you online and connect?
Allie Marconi 46:46
Yeah, so copperstate Farms calm and then there’s links out to all the other brands websites there on Instagram copperstate underscore farms at good things coming. We got that handled. No underscore which is great. And then soul flower is at live with sole underscore. I’ll keep you posted when we get a little bit closer to announcing the new concentrate brand. So definitely more fun things to come on that.
Shayda Torabi 47:17
So Allie is clearly keeping busy over in Arizona but I really loved hearing what she’s up to at copper state and look forward to following along as they continue to build out the copper state family of brands. And selfishly I can’t wait to make my way over to that greenhouse one day when things lighten up. And you know, just see it with my own eyes. I picture this beautiful massive glass building in the middle of nowhere full of all my favorite strains and I see myself running freely through the plants which lol I don’t even know if that’s possible, but a girl can dream Okay, so go follow them on social see what they’re up to. And, by the way, follow this podcast on social I just launched an idea For the show at To be blunt pod you can always follow me to at the Shayda Torabi and let’s make some cannabis marketing magic this week y’all. Cheers Until the next episode.
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