Miranda Cummings  0:01
Now people want to associate those things with what they do. Now they want to travel with it. Now they want to, you know, take a puff before they walk into the restaurant. So when it comes down to cannabis, it is an experience for some people. What I really, really tried to accomplish with all the brands that I work with is defining highlighting or creating the moments that matter between your products and your patience. And then you know, the other thing about it is is like how lucky are we like when you look at alcohol? You couldn’t call that a medicine. You can never like say like, Oh, yeah, that’s my that’s my medicine. So how lucky are we to to have a plant that we that is so versatile that we can utilize it recreationally utilize it to enhance our experiences, and also get us out the door for some cases.

Announcer  1:04
You’re listening to To Be Blunt, podcast for cannabis marketers. Where 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.

Miranda Cummings  1:25
We are back with another new episode. Hello 2021 Hello, listener. I really appreciate you. My name is Shayda Torabi and I am the host of this podcast. If it’s your first time, I hope I don’t scare you away. In fact, I hope this is so valuable for you that you come back for more and more. And if you are coming back for more. Thank you. Thank you for tuning in. Y’all know I put a lot of labor into these conversations. I just want to kind of re remind you what the point of this show is all about. It’s to have transparent conversations at the intersection of cannabis and marketing. I’m a marketer by trade. That’s my passion. That’s my background. And obviously I love cannabis. I actually own a CBD brand based in Austin, Texas, my hometown. And I really just love the high level cannabis conversation that is able to be had through this podcast, really touching on everything from dispensaries, to brands to media platforms and sites and everything in between that really helps make up this industry. But with the formalities out of the way, welcome to today’s episode. I’m really excited because I am a born and raised Texan. And basically what that means is you have an instant rivalry with the state of Oklahoma. So you know there’s there’s that but also aside from you know, sports, which I don’t really pay attention to, I gotta say Oklahoma is up to some really dope shit, which is why I’m really excited to have Miranda Cummings, today’s guest on the podcast. She comes from Colorado. She’s done some work for westward, which is a Colorado, specifically cannabis kind of publication. And she’s done some cannabis consumption events with some brands in Denver. And then she recently moved to Oklahoma to really get embedded in the Oklahoma cannabis scene. And, and I don’t want to kind of, you know, what’s the saying, you know, spill the beans too soon. I don’t really know a lot about Oklahoma cannabis. But what I do know what I can share is that they’re doing a lot of things right when it comes to medical marijuana. And so I’ve been really fascinated, especially again, as a Texan, our medical marijuana program is lacking. And so I think it’s, it’s been really interesting to look to Oklahoma to see what they’re doing, how they’re doing, and kind of you know, how we can maybe collaborate and get involved and then just learn from each other. And so I got connected to Miranda through one of my previous guests, Whitney Adrian of sunny days on Instagram. So thank you, Whitney, for the connection to Miranda. And Miranda just is such a beam. She is just so knowledgeable, she’s so friendly. We’ve just been riffing on Instagram, and I honestly haven’t talked to her face to face before. So this is gonna be a really great conversation, I think for everybody listening just because from what I’ve observed, she really knows her shit. And I’m really excited to pick her brain. Because I want to know everything that’s going on at Oklahoma. I want to talk about cannabis consumption events and, and I hope you guys will listen to the whole episode and learn some stuff. And if you liked what you heard, maybe you’ll share it. Maybe you’ll DMS maybe you’ll start a conversation. That’s really the goal is just to inspire more dialogue. So really appreciate you tuning in. Let’s kick it and welcome Miranda to the show. Hey, everyone, my name is Miranda Cummings. I have my own experiencial marketing consulting agency called me see marketing. And I’ve been a cannabis consumer since I was 18. Very typical story to everybody else’s right like, my first experience wasn’t my favorite, but I knew something I liked. I definitely have anxiety disorders. So being able to utilize that even though I’m a very extroverted and social person. It’s something that definitely helps me to be more that way. So recognize that I was able to use cannabis for medical reasons. Other certain like, psoriasis even, like, I feel like cannabis assist me with surprisingly exercise induced asthma. And it’s like, just a circulation. And, you know, definitely, CBD is certainly a proponent of that as well. So I was entertained by the idea of cannabis for a long time, medically. But then, you know, getting my degree in Public Relations and Marketing Communications always being the one that wanted to do prom and student council events. And that’s always been like, very much. those that know me can easily say that that’s kind of my jam, is doing events. So finding the things that I like to do and and then being able to make a career out of that, that just seems like a very, like, simple choice for me. And that, you know, kind of started with I also used to really like partying, there’s certainly still a side of me that likes going out and being social from a liquor and alcohol and bar, you know, setting. But I found myself being at those events and wishing that I was high.

And I feel like as I got older that that’s what I wanted more and more. So I think, you know, I was attracted to the idea of social settings attracted to the idea of events you know, I worked for westward newspaper in Denver, and love Western newspaper love how they instantly you know, like, as soon as they could they came out to in support of cannabis businesses. And I think it took a long time for publications to kind of hop on board, especially ones that were national publication entities. And I think that Scott, the CEO of westward and choice Media Group instantly recognized that, you know, not only do these cannabis businesses need their support needed a platform to market themselves and advertise themselves, but it would be really smart for him to to align his businesses, his publications, with the development of cannabis. And so when I started working for westward I originally wanted there because I wanted to work in their events, they do this really cool music festival, they do these four awesome events every year. And I had like, started going to those events. And I wanted to be a part of that. And I wanted to work with those really cool liquor brands. But then as I The more I became involved at westward in, the more accounts I got, the more I started to see all these cannabis brands, and I’m like, well, personally, and medically, I’m interested in cannabis. And now I could apply what I went to school for, to these cannabis business owners that, you know, maybe are super passionate about the planet, but aren’t totally sure what to do when it comes to their brand development, their identity, their storytelling, like and most importantly, like, I wanted to give people something else to say other than like my weeds, the best in everybody should smoke it, like, that’s not cutting anymore. So I, I saw that opportunities through my my time and development of, of, you know, honing in my skill set to cannabis for cannabis brands, and decided to start nisi marketing, actually two years ago. Yesterday, I realized when I filed the LLC, and then soon after that, I became kind of full blown cannabis cannabis adjacent like anybody that was working towards strengthening the industrialization of the cannabis community, and also just like really wanting to provide more access to clean medicine for people. And I truly do think that you can have the best of both worlds, you can have clean branding and a clean product. And I wanted to provide my expertise to the people that were trying to accomplish both. I am just like so in awe of you. Because everything you’re saying is like the same heartbeat that I have just for like my passions in life. I actually have a background in experiential marketing as well. I love branding. I spent six years of my career in tech marketing, traveling the world really doing experiential marketing for for my WordPress company. And so I come from the branding platform tech side of it, but that’s definitely my sweet spot. And I resonate with what you’re saying of just, you know, wanting to kind of see that that vision that people currently see when it comes to whether you’re going to a festival or you’re going to you know, a pop up event, there’s always this incorporation of alcohol and there’s obviously a lot of money that these brands are spending to incorporate their business into these events. But why not cannabis and so especially as things start to transition, like you were saying, I mean, so many states went medical this year, so many states went you know, for metal To record this year that it’s just opening up more and more for that, that D synchronization. And I think really getting into the experience of it is, is the fun part. Because kind of like you’re saying, you know, yeah, everybody’s got good weed. He’s got a high percent THC, he’s got you know, this or that, but it’s what’s that experience? What does that brand make you feel. So when it comes just kind of the top of my head, I love to plug this brand, I if anybody’s listening from dosis, I want dosis on my podcast, because I’m obsessed with their branding, I love what this does happen. I’m gonna have that happen, we’re gonna be I’m gonna have 21 Thank you grow that is exactly the manifesting but but their brand that I’ve observed through the little things that they’ve done, you know, obviously, their product isn’t very particularly styled products. But if you’re not, if you’re not familiar with dosis, I encourage everybody to go Google them really quick. They’re just very clean, kind of like you’re saying they’re medical, but they’re also very effective. And then they’ve built these beautiful, clean, hip dispensary’s, that are very experiential, and it’s just it’s elevating the cannabis conversation into the mainstream, which is, I know a little bit of a touchy subject for people because it’s so Oh, this is just supposed to be craft cannabis. Like, why is this being turned into this huge event opportunity, but, but that’s where the markets going. And cannabis should have a seat at that table.

And I honestly, like I’m starting to meet more and more people that are like, not drinking alcohol at all anymore, that are going on, right, and they maybe dabble in psilocybin every now and then. Maybe allegedly. Maybe, you know, they are, you know, taking pre dosed hits of cannabis and like regulating you know, their opportunity to enjoy certain experiences like going to a music concert going out to eat for dinner, like things that we normally would associate with alcohol, being able to, we were just talking about making it easier to to take cannabis on the go with like 1906 and and how easy it is for them to be a completely like, you know, versatile product and having vape pens and having puff codes that you can fit in the cupholder of your car, like, you know, just making cannabis more accessible edibles all of those things like now, people want to associate those things with what they do. Now they want to travel with it. Now they want to, you know, take a puff before they walk into the restaurant. So when it comes down to cannabis, it is an experience for some people. What I really, really tried to accomplish with all the brands that I work with is defining, highlighting or creating the moments that matter between your products and your patients. And then you know the other thing about it is is like how lucky are we like when you look at alcohol, you can call that a medicine. You can never like say like, Oh yeah, that’s my that’s my medicine. So how lucky are we to to have a plant that we that is so versatile, that we can utilize it recreationally utilize it to enhance our experiences, and also get us out the door for some cases. I love that. And I think you’re right. And I think that’s kind of the the beauty of the plan. But also unfortunately, I think it’s part of the stigma, right? It’s like, is this medicine? Well, if it’s medicine, why would you put it in maybe an event experience? And so I love to get your thoughts on just like what does that actually look like? Again? I mean, I I know event marketing and experiential marketing, but for the listeners kind of paint that picture if you’re a brand. And obviously you mentioned you work in Colorado. I don’t think you mentioned yet but I know this information about you’re presently in Oklahoma, which is medicinal. Why are you through some of those those details, right? If you’re a medicinal only state versus a recreation state versus a consumption on site, I know that there’s a lot of rules around that. I know going to California and going to their legal market, I’ve been able to go to certain dispensaries where I can consume on the property. I have heard if you get a license for your dispensary, and then that dispensary license could potentially transfer to a pop up event that you’re going to but that obviously varies state to state. So what does that actually look like to do experience marketing in cannabis?

Right. And you know, it’s ever evolving. And there’s also a lot of gray area. I mean, when you look at the compliance side of cannabis, there’s a lot of gray area and then you’re wanting to follow the rules, but you aren’t really clear what the rules are. So part of you wants to do this, like ask for forgiveness instead of permission and then part of you wants to make sure that you don’t end up like a in jail for white collar crime. Or be paying so much money in fines because you didn’t know that you were you’re kind of stretching this gray area. So I think you know the most important thing as somebody that has participated in cannabis events in multiple states and is somebody that has coordinated cannabis events in multiple states. You definitely definitely, definitely want to educate yourself on as you know, as much as you can understand what those certain kind of legislative guidelines are for each state. So for example, in Colorado, because it is rec, we were able to provide cannabis couldn’t, you know, consumption friendly events, as long as it was a private party, and as long as nothing was being sold on site, and therefore, it became more of a gift opportunity. So, you know, I actually worked at invisible city, which was kind of an underground venue that was a like a synagogue turned event space. Super, super cool. sounds really cool. Very, very, very fortunate to be able to cultivate anything out of that, that space. And it was so sacred to so many people. But we actually worked with the Denver Fire Department, we worked with the city of Denver, we worked with the middle school across the streets, you know, to just make sure that as long as we were communicating to our neighbors, being kind to our neighbors, being respectful of the city, I’m letting people know, like what we were doing, communicating with them like that there is going to be this event. And then, you know, maybe not giving them everything, but definitely making them feel knowledgeable. And, and most importantly, that if they did have questions, or if they did want to, you know, kind of changed certain things, so that it was of compliance, that they had her contact information to be able to do so. So that it was more of a conversation instead of, you know, the police showing up, which that happens sometimes, too. So I think I think that, you know, communication is key, trying to figure out who the facilitators are in your communities, being very knowledgeable of what each state guideline is, and trying to respect that as much as possible. But then also, this industry is all about taking risks. And I’ve certainly had my fair share of doing that, and just learning lessons along the way. And obviously, making sure you can have access to legal advice when you feel it’s necessary to do so.

Unknown Speaker  17:17
Yeah, I think that that’s probably the best advice that you could share, right? It’s like, and that’s what I really hope this podcast comes across. For anybody listening. It’s

Miranda Cummings  17:25
not that anything that you and I say is like the explicit truth, or in the right answer, like the one answer. Exactly. It’s like, hey, these are our journeys and our stories, you should absolutely do your research, like you said, for your city for your you know, municipality for your state because it is unfortunately going to vary. And I think just reminding people that the gray area exists and even if there is a law that’s explicit, like, like hemp is federally legal, yet, we still have so many challenges at these different state and city levels that just because something is legal, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t come without, you know, misconstrued thoughts about it. And so it’s just something to be very delicate about but I’m genuinely excited. And so I’m curious, you know, just from your, your background history, like what are some of those experiences that you’ve been able to be a part of, that you think are really kind of driving the industry forward? So I think, honestly, for me, and and what I strive to accomplish for for the brands that I work with, I really feel like the end, I feel I don’t want to get in trouble for sameness. I feel like the the trade show setup is so overplayed and so you know, how can you create an experience within somebody else’s experience or before surrounding that that experience? I think that there are better ways to talk about your brand and not to say that those ways aren’t important, but that shouldn’t be the only type of way that you know, b2b networks are created. And I feel like you know, when you look at because, you know, the rest of the world is still trying to wrap their head around cannabis, those that aren’t directly involved. Because of that, you know, we’re not really provided as an industry as many opportunities to sponsor certain events. So then we just started like, Okay, well let’s just throw another trade show have some experts talk because people are so thirsty for knowledge in the industry, and then throw a few parties around that and I think that that’s necessary I think that there’s a place for that I would love to see how that evolves once it is safe again to do so.

Yeah, I think you bring up a really interesting point though that like this is where my brain goes okay, so I’m a direct to consumer brands. So I am not sold in other people’s dispensaries. I am a CBD brands so I can ship across state lines. But I I’ve done the trade shows I’ve done the, you know, health and wellness events. And I think within the industry, those are not the most fruitful for me as experiential pop ups because I ultimately, I want to be direct to my consumer and have a brick and mortar store. And I would rather control that conversation through other means than be saturated in like, like, I’m sure you’ve heard of South by Southwest. It’s a massive, you know, music film interactive festival here in Austin, rip, we, you know, COVID, we had to cancel this last year, it was crazy. That was like the beginning of the end of the world for everybody here. But South Bay had a huge like a cannabis influence, it was increasingly so and so I remember when we first launched our brand, we did a health and wellness pop up and we were one of you know, a handful of other CBD brands. Now I observed at the time, my retail presence wasn’t as big and so it was easier for me to justify going into a setting like that, because I didn’t have a store experience that I was competing against. Now my store experience is much more profitable for me and engaging for me, because it’s my environment that I I don’t want to go to those events. What is more appealing to me as a brand. And I love your thoughts kind of on this this like rabbit trail, we like last year decided to partner with this event company, they did a bunch of different types of events, it was kind of for singles, you know, up and coming, you know millennials in Austin area who were just looking to get connected and network with people IRL. And so they would do events that were you know, around spa and wellness where they would do events around game night and just incorporate different aspects and so we happen to collaborate with them and do a CBD dinner, we had curated it we worked with like a local chef who just like does amazing work. She incorporated our CBD into every different menu item. And my sister and I who was my co founder, we were able to be a part of the dinner and educate people through every course, we you know, had bottles on the table that people could administer themselves for extra dosing. But that was kind of if I’m being honest, at a time where I was looking around at my peers who were some were doing these events and it was like, Well, how much CBD Am I supposed to give somebody? How much CBD is too much? What are people going to think about this? You know, how are they going to actually feel and, and for us, the end result was actually very positive, we ended up doing, you know, three other dinners with this group, because it was just so successful for us as a brand. And those were, again, those experiential events that I could control and I wasn’t in competition necessarily with somebody else. And it was a curated high quality fun dinner, you know, conversation type of experience. But I think from my knowledge, of course with with cannabis at large, but specifically CBD understanding the dosing of that and just going off of what you said, you know, you can do it if it’s a private event, if it’s, you know, in a rec state, you can do it if you’re gifting but how do you kind of approach the dosing side of things for those consumers or other consumers always, you know, cannabis consumers? Is it sometimes, you know, people who are curious about it, I mean, I just think that today’s cannabis consumers so broad, so when you’re trying to create an experience for them to obviously enjoy, there’s the use and ease of the world who could easily take a couple hits and eat an edible or two and probably just coast through the night. And then there’s my sister who, who, if she doesn’t know how many milligrams she’s getting of CBD or THC, she just she feels paranoid and she doesn’t, she then doesn’t have a good experience. So

I think we’ve been experiences at the center point of it. And dosing is just as a hard one. I think, you know, you’ve kind of like within like this, what you’ve just said, I’ve kind of hinted around, but I think the answer is and that is giving the consumer more control and providing a dinner, but then giving them the opportunity, providing them with the education of what a suggested dose is for the average consumer or, you know, doing that kind of due diligence and research and working with, you know, culinary experts that have done the same because, you know, there are so many like scientists, like nutrition experts that understand like how we metabolize like, Cannabis, and that just goes way that’s totally like, I’m like, Alright, I’m still contracting you I’m still contracting here. Oh, and your LLC and also like taking some of that pressure because that’s the other thing is, you know, it definitely took to really truly cultivates a layered experience like, CBD dinner like that, you know, you definitely don’t want to be the one man show partnering with an agency or with experts and having them have a list of resources that they have worked with, because they’ve been doing several events. I mean, I have certainly had some horror stories with caterers with all sorts. I can only imagine, you know, like there have totally been in the last two years and then you know, I’ve, I’ve been working on experiences for a decade now and I can honestly say there have been a lot, a lot of oshit moments. So I think also making sure that you surround yourself with people that have the same expectations of themselves too, as you have of yourself, but then also giving the consumer the most the most control giving them an opportunity to say like alright, they’ve provided me the education they’ve provided me the expertise and now I can take this you know, little bottle and apply you know, however much of a dosage I feel comfortable with, based on what I want my experience within this experience to be Yeah, I think that’s really it is is making the consumer ultimately comfortable and so creating the environment for them to be curious to feel confident to. I always like to highlight especially and I know that you kind of know this about me and I’m sure the listeners know this but like I like being in social media I like creating content I love helping influence others I don’t like wearing you know the capital I influence or hat but I do believe you know, we’re you know those people I love the you know those people who are like I’m an influencer I’m I’m an influencer, but I’m not one of those people. I always like to clarify, I’m really just a girl who puts her pants on like everybody else like, but But with that said, it’s empowering to remind the consumer like, no, you’re actually the influencer. And if I can give you the best experience, whether that’s at an event that’s at my store, that’s you interacting with my product or packaging like that is to me as a marketer experiential. And it’s like wrapping that up. It’s something that I used to think about a lot was, you know, the different touch points, it’s okay, well, when someone goes to our website, what do they feel when someone talks to one of our, you know, customer service representatives? How are they taking care of when someone meets us at an event? What does that experience like? And like that all wrapped up into how this brand, you know, presented or presents itself? And so I think sometimes brands think, Oh, well, if I just do this thing over here, and I neglect all these other areas, it’s like, well, hey, if you just dropped all this money to go to a trade show, but like your website’s shit, what’s all that traffic that you’re creating that awareness driving towards? And so I just, I think experiences like, yes, the physical experience of events, which again, I’m very passionate about, but to me, it’s really the total experience of like, all those different touch points that consumers would have with your brand.

Listen, I’m so so like, couldn’t be more perfect segue because I was just getting ready to bring up. I’m actually also working with my current client. I’m the Marketing Director for noble nectar extracts, which is an extra x processing company here in Oklahoma. And one of the things that I created and and we’re currently in our inaugural semester of is the nectar collective, which is a beta testing program that we created for 10 individuals from all different walks of life in Oklahoma, male and female, all different ages, backgrounds. Some of them are content creators. Some of them are budtenders, gmms, dispensary’s, some of them are mothers, some of them are you know, boxers, a boxer on this one photographer. We tried to you know, kind of diversify as much as we possibly could, because we really wanted to get a well rounded, rounded feedback. So we provided them with customized noble nectar rigs, like really nice like 500 plus dollar rigs, and a full orientation kits, which gave them like a banger a rig, pack of Q tips to clean their rig like all the essentials that they would need to take a proper dab of our product

a 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.com. 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. So it was like okay, we set you up with our products even we set you up with all of the resources that you need to consume our products properly and not only properly but like, you know, some of these items were, you know, some of the best in the biz of how to consume dabs at that point in time. So Then we had them fill out what I call the dank diaries. And we asked them, like, certain questions before they consume the product and then right after, and then they provide us their their feedback two times a month for the last six months or so. And then we also asked them if they can, you know, just share some of their feedback on their social media outlets as well. So, you know, without calling it an influencer program, I really like calling it a beta testing program, because we have been able to provide them with the strains that, you know, we are dropping like from our new single source line, our new diamonds and plasma, single source line, flawless line, new packaging, new cartridges, you know, like, right before we, we dropped those new products as like, our first year as a company in Oklahoma, we were able to kind of get their feedback on it. And you know, and even after the fact, we were able to, to make certain edits or, you know, just kind of take all that analytical data into consideration when moving forward. So if somebody was like, Yo, this was super gassy. It smelled like very funky, and I loved it. And a lot more people said that, then, you know, maybe the next time around, we stick to the super gassy and funky strains and blends. So I think it like started out as something like, Alright, we just want to like consistently have people properly consuming our products and showcasing that, and then evolved into, alright, well, now we have, you know, what’s 20 times 620? I literally count with my fingers. I’m embarrassed. I just did the same thing. But but that was 120 feedback reports, yield reports, if you will, of, of what people truly thought of our products in a comprehensive manner. I guess my point is, is that the experience was so much further than just the physical events, I believe in really, truly helping brands to spend more time focusing on how their consumer is interacting with their products. And it sounds like you do a really good job. Oh, my gosh, thank you. I mean, literally everything you’re saying it’s so it’s so amazing. And it’s also at the same time, like, I’m gonna say it’s not super radical, right? Like, I don’t think these ideas are very like, Whoa, like, so foreign. But I think this industry just doesn’t know me, because they’re concerned, they’re scared, they don’t know how to approach it. And I think that’s where people like you, coming from, like an agency perspective can help brands, unlike myself, who just I take it all myself, and I do it all, it’s fine. But what would love to partner with people like you, you know, just like looking at, again, like your skill set, you meaning the listener? What are you trying to do with your brand? How are you trying to get your brand out there? And what are those avenues that you can do so and so I love that idea. I mean, obviously, yeah, influencer with a capital I, or lowercase I or even like these beta programs is not something new. But the application of it, I think, in this industry is so yeah, the daily diaries is Google Form. It is literally a Google form,

Unknown Speaker  33:18
like somebody else made it and we just absorbed it, which is all you have to do. Sometimes I think you were kind of joking about that, you know, just like what are you googling and it’s, it’s, again, nothing that I that we say is so you know, pie in the sky transcended reinventing the wheel on

Unknown Speaker  33:33
Oh, no,

Miranda Cummings  33:34
but that’s what I love about marketing. It’s like this, you know, ingenuity of, hey, here’s like 10 really great ideas that these brands have done now. How do I go learn from it, adapt it and apply it to my business? And make it my own? Yeah, exactly. Make it my own. I’m just like, so obsessed with different brands, that was really the antithesis of me launching this podcast was just, you know, how does a brand like wanna become one? What are those different functions that they do? How do they extend themselves in the community? What are their challenges that they’ve gone through as they’ve navigated this industry over the years now want to start saying you know, Colorado has their expanded all across the United States? I heard they’re going into Canada and Oregon. Yeah, it’s just it’s crazy and obviously there’s a lot of money that goes into it and so I can you know, humbly say from my perspective, I think I’m doing the most with what I have obviously certain resources can propel certain brands forward faster. So I think that’s the grain of salt that listeners should take to heart is are you a local brand Are you a national brand? Are you CBD? Are you THC? I mean, you just highlighted you know, obviously what do you want your brand to look like in 10 years?

Announcer  34:45
Absolutely. Where

Miranda Cummings  34:46
are you going there and then work your way backwards. Like Alright, like this cool idea is cool now but what does it look like in 10 years worth of blows up then what like want it to be an international brands like What happens when wheat is federally legal? Like, you know, so but I think brands are being disruptive now that are taking that risk and now as gray area as it is like, I think when we were approaching our dinners to use that as an example, we’re actually have another example I’ll share. We did painted ice cream with a local ice cream shop here in Austin. They approached us they’re friends of ours, it was never something that I was like pushy, like, Hey, you got to do painted CBD ice cream. It was just a very organic like, hey, this thing came up. They wanted to collab with us. It was actually for national CBD day two years ago. But there were so like, you know, well, how much should we put in the ice cream? What’s the right dose? Again, I’m kind of talking to you before we started recording, I’m looking around, you know, what are my peers doing? What are what are people putting doses in, you know, CBD sparkling waters? What is the consumption suggestion, and you kind of get to the point where there’s not really a clear answer. And so you just have to move forward hoping that you’ve done enough work and you’ve done enough education and you’ve crossed your T’s and dotted your i’s and enough just enough to move and that you saw that this collaboration is intentional and authentic and well researched so that it doesn’t look like you just did the CBD pixie dust well, which is why they wanted to work with us because we’ve built that which is great as a brand in Central Texas, that is you know found date foundationally built on education and so there was that trust it’s not like I’m gonna go work with CBD brand, you know, X, Y and Z because they say that they need to work with us it’s no I want to work with restart CBD because those women know what they’re doing. I trust them they’d be a good partner. And so I think that’s something that brands need to be conscious of, too. It’s like you want to do these experiential events but you need to also partner and how do they know that how do they know that about restart? You know, like how do they know that you like that you had to show them through your storytelling you had to show them through your education, your content creation like exactly you had to place yourself as an educator, you had to place yourself as the authentic individual business owner the authentic entrepreneur, and you have to show yourself as somebody that is knowledgeable and a consumer yourself of the plant i think that that also is is something tricky with CBD like it’s just listening to a conversation on clinicals left. Which Miranda are both on clubhouse you should find us because we’re gonna start having conversations there. Yeah, so many conversations if you like cannabis or just people that are cool. Follow us on it cannabis networking hub. Okay, so I was listening to a conversation on clubhouse about beauty brands that have hemp seed oil in their products. But but not, you know, CBD or THC hemp seed oil, but still put cannabis leaves in the brand design the packaging design and kind of slap some green shit all over it make it look like it is just to ride the CBD train. So then it’s like, oh, gosh, now I have all these people that are actually like, not doing what they’re supposed to be doing so. So now not only do I have to show that I’m just authentic as a brand on my own. But I also have to show that I’m not like one of these crazy pants brands that have no business being in this space. Yeah, it’s really funny. I had a girlfriend, she sent me a picture of some brand that has just everything you just described, there’s no active milligrams, they’re being sold at Target. It is very much made with hemp seed oil, which is definitely not active cannabis. And she sent it to me and she’s like, Look, CBD is in target. And I was like no girl.

Unknown Speaker  38:37
Oh, no girl. That’s not actually dance

Miranda Cummings  38:39
routes, and Kroger and Trader Joe’s. And yeah, the consumers just I think the consumers are in a tough spot, which is where I think brands that can address that experience of those different touch points can find success. Because I think consumers are looking for obviously products that are effective, they want products that work they don’t want to buy snake oil, I don’t think anybody like wakes up in the morning and is like, I’d like to spend money on something that doesn’t work or doesn’t do the job that he’s gonna do. Like we all want things that are going to work, but you really are fighting against their attention spans and marketing and studying that’s where marketing for me is so exciting but also severely just like taken advantage of because there aren’t really certain you know, rules in place to mitigate against that. Well and also since you know the the big boom of the gold rush that is the cannabis industry. I think that you know, there’s people that really truly care about the plants and growing the plants and nurturing the plants and harvesting the plants and turning that plant into a consumable product are good, but maybe don’t have that that business sense because they spent all Their time in the garden perfecting this process. And then you have all these people that know everything there is to know about business are so excited, they haven’t seen an industrialization boom, since the tech industry, you know, like, so they’re wanting to jump on it from a business perspective, but they don’t really know much about the production, the cultivation of cannabis. And so I, I would truly like to, to find that kind of middle ground of you know, assisting the people that are actually doing good, that are actually providing authentic quality materials, and helping them to launch themselves to be in the same room as the people because you can tell, you can tell you, you can tell who’s who’s who’s doing it to to truly be able to, to provide more access to something that really is good for your body. No matter how he no matter how you wouldn’t take it. Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. I think it’s just, um, it’s like, we really fucking can tell. Like when a brand shows up, and they’re like, see me do this. I’m like, Huh, no dice. Where are you sourcing from? What is your marketing? say, Oh, you don’t have a true contact form. I love when I see like generic about me pages of these brands that pop up better? No, we’re like, we love cannabis. I’m like, Who’s we? Where are you? Do you have photos? Are you a real person, like, who’s actually behind this brand and not to dog on, you know, all the different types of businesses that exist in this space. But I do think the businesses and the brands that are going to succeed are the ones that are really creating that connection to the consumer, providing value to them, and ultimately delivering on the experience of whether that’s shopping with them, or how that experience is taken into their home and their personal life. It’s Yeah, shouldn’t be conscious and considered of the end consumer. And you want to make sure that it’s authentic, and it’s educational. Yes, you know, it’s, it’s our, for me, personally, I have taken it on as like my role to to help people feel like their, their experience with cannabis in general, was more positive than it was before. Whether that was because they learned something new about it, or because they got to experience in a different way. Like, that’s really like, what the main goal is, when I think about putting on consumption friendly events, I think something that I want to kind of touch on to to wrap up, that I’m really curious about before we close the interview out, but experiential marketing is obviously like my sweet spot. I love it. It’s your sweet spot. I think that there’s just there’s so much to come with it. But obviously it does kind of drive back to where you reside and what market you’re currently existing in and, and I would be remiss not to pick your brain about sweet sweet, my neighbor to the north Oklahoma. I just recorded the intro to this episode, my kinda you know, I, I start the episode with kind of saying, obviously, there’s a rivalry between Texas and Oklahoma. It’s just like, built in. I don’t even like sports. It just is part of it. There really is though. There’s like such a rivalry. And then I think when cannabis started rolling out in Oklahoma, you had a lot of Texans who were like, what, like what’s going on? Guys, all the meme of like, Texas, looking up at Oklahoma, like the kid that stuck at home and the other kids are like playing outside and the kids like in the window like, I want to go play with me told me that you can imagine

it’s really quite shocking how advanced Oklahoma’s market is for how quickly it’s spun up. I know very little to nothing other than allegedly, there’s a dispensary on every corner. The state is not shy about it. And it is medicinal only at this time. So kind of with that tee up. What’s going on in Oklahoma, Miranda. Alright, so there’s a lot there’s a lot going on in Oklahoma. But I’ll start with the fact that almost 10% of Oklahoma State population currently has their med cards. So that’s the entire state population of quality, almost 10%. In comparison, Colorado is like 3% of California’s like consumption without even medical like they’re just like rec market is 20%. And sure like that’s, you know, some might say that’s comparing apples to oranges because Colorado is rare and Oklahoma isn’t. I honestly feel like Oklahoma is a medical market acting like a recreational market just because all the way around. Whether you’re a patient or you’re a license holder, the barriers to entry. There aren’t that many. Oklahoma is a really exciting market. When I started working with noble nectar extracts, you know, the founder Preston, who’s awesome. He was like, yeah, there’s you know, a lot of options. Do here and I would come in out out here and visit and work on, you know, building his brand with him starting last January. And every time we came out here, I would kind of learn a little bit more. I’d see these, you know, dispensaries on every corner, like you mentioned, just to kind of give you some perspective, there are 2057 dispensary licenses in the state of Oklahoma. There are 6564 grower licenses, and 1262 processor licenses. So we’re talking like,

Unknown Speaker  45:33
wow, yeah.

Miranda Cummings  45:36
And that’s all marijuana, right? That’s not including industry, marijuana.

Unknown Speaker  45:43
Damn Oklahoma.

Miranda Cummings  45:43
So basically, Oklahoma said, you know, because if you if you look at what’s going on in Florida right now, and you look at what’s going on in Chicago, when you look at what’s going on in some of these newer markets, they, they didn’t do it, right. They didn’t really learn the lessons that were learned the hard way in these markets that opened up, you know, now five to seven years ago, or maybe they did learn lessons that they wanted to, but either way, they’re making it, you know, extremely, extremely difficult for people that don’t have millions and millions of dollars to just even have a fighting chance in producing their own medicine and the medicine for their communities. And I truly feel like Oklahoma was like,

Unknown Speaker  46:30
Fuck that.

Miranda Cummings  46:32
We want money. First of all, as a state, we want money. And they did, they brought in quite a bit of money. And then we also want as many people as they want to have a license. I mean, there’s so many people with lands in Oklahoma that lien has been in their their families for generations. And so so the other thing that that Oklahoma did that was really smart is that they made it and I don’t think that they did this in the beginning. But pretty quickly after they made it a requirement for anybody that is a license holder. You know, 75% of the ownership is a two year resident. So then what that did is that kind of made all these like big time California brands that were coming out to, to Oklahoma, get put in a position where they needed to partner up with somebody local, somebody that has lived there for at least two years. So I guess, you know, for me, I watched this industry, you know, I remember going to California when I was in college, and seeing the easy up tents on Venice Beach that were like your medical doctor and you know, I helped my friend move out there in college, my college roommate moved out there and she went and got her med card and I you know, sat right outside the dispensary, like waiting for her to come out as like this, you know, 20 year old like, gosh, this is so cool. And she came out with these, like bright blue suckers that you know, are like 25 milligrams THC. And like, I watched that and, and wanted, I wanted to be a part of that. And then I saw Denver and I got to literally be a part of that as as close to the frontlines as I could be. And then I felt like you know, I love helping other brands, like you I’m very interested in what other brands are doing and and the other products that exist and you know, just the versatility of the plants and and how many different ways you can utilize it, I think is so special and so sacred and so cool that it is has provided such such a wide open, you know, industry as far as different different products and consumables are considered. And I think for me, I finally got to this point, and built you know, the network and community around myself where we want to take a shot at more of the the cultivation side of it. And Oklahoma marketplace really, really made us feel like it was the the first market where we were like, holy shit, like, yeah, this is gonna take some investment, this is going to take some money, like we’ve been building out this business plan, you know, since last March, like every Tuesday and Thursday night, we all still have other things that we’re working on, we have been building this and just to put that much passion into it and to really like have a more hands on experience with, with what ends up being a consumable good, which what ends up being a brand that has a story to tell. I think it was just finally time for me to, to kind of try my hand at that part of it. You know, I really appreciate that. And I think your journey is just so remarkable because it’s uniquely yours. And obviously there’s a lot of similarities for myself of kind of what you’re going through in your different experiences, but just really very clear that you have a passion and a purpose for this plant and it’s really cool to hear what you’re up to and what’s specifically going on in Oklahoma because I do think there’s a lot that we can learn from these different states. I mean, you touched on Florida compared to Oklahoma, you know, they’re totally vertically integrated. That’s, that’s what their government has required of them to do to roll out medical marijuana. And as a result, you have a lot of, and there’s only like, 22 licenses, right? Like, there’s

only like, yeah, there’s only so many licenses, you have to be vertically integrated. It’s very expensive. It’s just very unachievable to get involved. And so where I sit in Texas, I’m like, Texas, please don’t book this off. Definitely don’t fuck it up. Like don’t buck it up. Be Cool. Be Cool. Y’all got one chance, man, you have one chance to not fuck this up. We’re about to start our legislative cycle kicks off here. I think in a couple days, by the time this airs, it’ll have already started. And we’ve got a couple different, you know, marijuana bills. And, you know, I saw that people are asking me, you know, what do you think is gonna happen? What’s gonna do this? I’m like, Look, Texas has to have a proper medical program first. And so I’m hopeful that the MediCal program will continue to get evolved. But I don’t see Texas in this next two year cycle doing what Oklahoma or even what Florida has done, unfortunately. And so we’re in a little bit of a different position, but it is something to be hopeful and excited to look towards and just observe Yeah, like what’s going on in Oklahoma? And how, how we can you know, learn from it, but potentially be involved. I think there is a lot of excitement for, you know, because I do I talk to people on both sides, hemp brands and marijuana brands, obviously, if you’re a marijuana brand, it does take money to go bring your brand from one state to the next state. But if you’re hemp brand, you can cross state lines. And so you know, how do you start as as a brand? I’m seeing this maybe for myself, too? How do you start to work in all these other different markets, get yourself exposed so that you can start, you know, not even start continue to build on that brand equity and awareness. But yeah, it’s all just one day at a time. Absolutely. Yeah, I was just gonna say I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to connect with you. Shout out to Whitney’s sun sunny days for connecting us near and dear to my heart, and also just an all around badass in this space. But I’m really happy to connect with you. Because I really do think that it’s important to kind of create this, like sister states connection, especially with neighboring states, as more and more states start to go through legalization. Because I think that as long as we like, you know, stay educated, stay knowledgeable, stay,

Unknown Speaker  52:35
stay ready,

Miranda Cummings  52:37
we could be able to kind of like sway how this does go down. I think that there’s a lot of people that have been working on the legalization of cannabis movement for a very, very long time that did not think that it would ever get this far. And so I think that, that it’s our responsibility to just as much as we seek the pleasures to also do what we can to continue to bridge the gap between different legalized states that are trying to become legalized, different brands that are actually good, authentic brands. You know, I think there’s strength in numbers, especially in the cannabis community. So I guess you said it so well, I think that’s that’s it, it’s just kind of looking around you and realizing there’s so much opportunity and so much excitement and really being a little bullish and how you approach things and and you know, you said it earlier so I’ll repeat it asking for forgiveness not permission and, and I love to see the female power and energy that is you know, coming from this industry and so being able to just rally around other strong women who have voices and and care about how this gets you know, rolled out whether it’s from an education perspective, but obviously especially through that experience because as we’ve stated in this episode, and as we both know, the consumer is king cash is king or queen, I should say it’s all Queen, right? Yeah. How do you start to face for yourself as a brand as a business as a business woman who’s just trying to help D stigmatize this plant that obviously gives us both so much pleasure and help I mean, we really both say that it helps now just slightly too, so it’s um, it’s just in normalize the places in which we choose to do that. And the number of cases in which we choose to do that I just, I sincerely look forward to the day where we can instead of having happy hour and splitting a picture of Margarita as they bring out you know, a cute little ashtray rolling trays and papers, and we get to just go to town rolling ourselves some joints and have this the start of that is CBD dinners. So let’s just do more of those. How about that? Okay, we will be talking offline about doing definitely. But thank you so much for being on the show. Right? I can’t wait for other people to just connect with you and see all the great work that you’re doing through your agency and what’s going on through your clients, especially in Oklahoma and love to check in with you in a couple months and see what else Oklahoma is up to. So keep us posted. Yay. Yeah, Miranda Macy on Instagram Miranda Cummings on clubhouse. I am so thankful to have had this opportunity with you Shayda Thank you so much. I think I do really well when I record these post interview wrap ups kind of immediately. So I literally just got done interviewing Miranda. So y’all just listen to the episode I’m wrapping it up kind of in real time. I just, I’m so grateful and thankful to be able to be connected to all these badass women. And especially people who just like are really passionate and have this history with the plant. I think it’s so cool to hear from Miranda and her background of you know, kind of watching Colorado go legal and now being a part of what Oklahoma is up to. I think if you get any takeaway from these episodes, it’s that you should get out of your own bubble. Get out, go talk to people, make relationships, make friends, follow these people on social media start conversations. And kind of the other side of that is if you’re a brand who’s looking to you know, create more of an experience for your consumers, I think that you really should look at what your goal is, what’s the end goal for your brand? Where do you see yourself you know, in one to three to five years and I think that that should give you a good a good starting space for you to think of how you can bring your brand into different experiences and and like we touched on in the episode it’s events but it’s also you know what it’s like when someone interacts with your product for the first time what is that feeling if they if they you know hear you on a podcast or they meet one of your team members, you know, what are those experiences that are associated to your brand so again, love this topic could probably talk about experiential brand marketing for hours, but I’m gonna close out and just say thank you again for listening. And if you enjoyed this episode, I hope you will share it with one friend. We’ll be back next week with a brand new episode. Thanks for tuning in. This is to be blunt. I’m Shayda Torabi and we are done.

Announcer  57:20
I love this episode of To be blunt. Be sure to visit the Shayda Torabi comm slash To be blunt. For more ways to connect new episodes come out on Mondays and for more behind the scenes follow along on Instagram at V Shayda Torabi

Transcribed by https://otter.ai