Many know Gary V. from his prominent, authentic voice on social media. As an early investor in Uber, Snapchat, and proud founder of the massively successful company Vayner Media, many respect his opinion and trust his judgment when it comes to all things business. Gary Vaynerchuk recently appeared on a podcast with the Founder of HERB, a Toronto based Cannabis media giant, and they casually chatted all things green.
A wide range of topics was covered, from what Gary believes will happen in the next 50 years in the “cannabis game”, his macro views on MSO’s (multi-state operators) and his cannabis marketing venture Green Street Marketing. Gary seems to understand the cannabis industry and believes it will evolve similar to how the wine market has evolved over the years. He has worked in the wine business for over 25 years, dealing with all of the state-to-state regulation and shipping restrictions, and eventually consolidations.
Gary’s brother, who suffers from Crohn’s Disease, began using medicinal cannabis to aid in pain management and sleep deprivation, opening the eyes of Gary who now has a closer understanding and sweet-spot for the cannabis plant. Simply put, he knows that cannabis has the popular culture factor that an old school Tylenol or alcohol will never have. He was also quick to say that cannabis is a 30 – 50-year bet, not a 1-3 year bet. However, if he had to bet short term it would be on the multi-state operators who have mastered the process of seed to sale.
Watch the full interview by Herb here
With all the marketing regulations around Cannabis, it was interesting to hear this marketing Guru’s take on effective strategies. “I’m not crippled by the rules, as long as everybody has to play with them. I’m devastated if there were two companies that were backend paying Google to run ads, but if everyone is playing by these rules… interesting.” Says Gary. He seemed very optimistic that the right companies with the right content creation strategies will rise above the rest. Gary believes in owning the content and innovating. Make podcasts, Influencer marketing, event-based marketing, “whatever your consumer product is build the best hoodie brand around that brand if you have too until you can advertise more freely.”
Gary mentions a 30-year timeline and finds shelter in his MSO investment strategy, but many would argue that time frames will shrink when cannabis becomes federally legal in the United States. Acts such as the “Safe Banking Act” and other related bills hint that this will be an eventual future. With the legalization, companies would be able to ship across state lines, and then pension funds, and 800 million-plus baby boomers, teachers unions and all will push for federal law changes so that the U.S cannabis companies can continue to prosper and increase shareholder value. This could be a reality that we witness within the next 5 – 10 years. Gary does seem to have his finger on the pulse when he says that cannabis should cut majorly into alcohol sales. As people begin to understand the health benefits many might choose it as a substitute for those “extra beers” they may have bought over the weekend. It seems he leaves us with a message that is loud and clear; Invest now and protect your future.
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