114 episodes

Hosted by RESTART CBD CEO and cannabis brand marketer Shayda Torabi, To Be Blunt features discussions among Marketers, Brand Builders, Founders, Senior Level Executives, and CEO’s of leading cannabis businesses that are navigating the journey from unregulated to regulated. The difference: Everyone speaking is working professionally to establish their brand(s) or business in the growing legal cannabis market. Every Monday Shayda will discuss a trending topic with other leaders within the cannabis industry and discuss it unscripted, with no pre-prepared questions. It will be as if you are sitting with the guests over dinner — discussing the truth and reality behind each topic of discussion. And the truth is — it isn’t what you are hearing in most interviews. The mysterious black box has officially been cracked open. We are discussing the good, bad, and ugly that we all must deal with, and how we are all moving forward to normalize and professionalize this industry despite regulatory changes, federal and state law roadblocks, and the many headwinds experienced within the industry. This is the study of operating a successful business in cannabis. This is To Be Blunt.Tune in weekly, and subscribe so you don't miss an episode!

To Be Blunt: The Professional Cannabis Business Podcast Shayda Torabi

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

Hosted by RESTART CBD CEO and cannabis brand marketer Shayda Torabi, To Be Blunt features discussions among Marketers, Brand Builders, Founders, Senior Level Executives, and CEO’s of leading cannabis businesses that are navigating the journey from unregulated to regulated. The difference: Everyone speaking is working professionally to establish their brand(s) or business in the growing legal cannabis market. Every Monday Shayda will discuss a trending topic with other leaders within the cannabis industry and discuss it unscripted, with no pre-prepared questions. It will be as if you are sitting with the guests over dinner — discussing the truth and reality behind each topic of discussion. And the truth is — it isn’t what you are hearing in most interviews. The mysterious black box has officially been cracked open. We are discussing the good, bad, and ugly that we all must deal with, and how we are all moving forward to normalize and professionalize this industry despite regulatory changes, federal and state law roadblocks, and the many headwinds experienced within the industry. This is the study of operating a successful business in cannabis. This is To Be Blunt.Tune in weekly, and subscribe so you don't miss an episode!

    111 How To Get To 1 Million Subscribers with Bryan Gerber of Hemper

    111 How To Get To 1 Million Subscribers with Bryan Gerber of Hemper

    “People and consumers are getting smarter in identifying the companies that are just trying to take advantage of the situation. And I think why we've serviced millions of customers in the last seven years is because we really truly provide value. We always make it a hundred percent satisfaction guarantee.” - Bryan Gerber


    Welcome back to the To Be Blunt podcast! In this episode, Shayda Torabi welcomes the “King of Cones” Bryan Gerber of Hemper and Hara Supply. He and his team have produced over 85 million pre-rolled cones per month in the cannabis industry and today, he gets candid about their crazy journey to success. He also gives an inside look at manufacturing pre-rolled cones and glass products and discusses how they are navigating a fragmented industry and providing the best quality to their customers. 



    [00:00 - 09:50] From Subscription Box to Cannabis Lifestyle Brand
    [09:51 - 23:52] Scaling and Becoming the Leading Pre-rolled Cones Manufacturer
    [23:53 - 33:53] The Challenges of Cannabis eCommerce and Digital Marketing
    [33:54 - 37:17] Surviving the Industry Consolidation
    [37:18 - 48:08] The Realities in Manufacturing Cannabis Ancillary Products
    [48:09 - 1:00:28] Glassware and Setting up an In-House Production
     
    After graduating from George Washington University School of Business, as a cannabis user seeking a solution to a routine problem for the average smoker, Bryan Gerber ultimately ended up revolutionizing the entire industry. Through his entrepreneurship, he is on track to produce 1 billion cones per year, provided by his company Hara which he helped in creating and making it to be the largest distributor of pre-rolled cones in the globe.
    Dedicated to proving himself through his hard work and ingenuity, he has paved the path to sustain his businesses’ growth and longevity, while constantly discovering innovative ways to reach new consumers all sustaining his loyal and happy customer base.
     
    Connect with Bryan!
    Check out Hemper.co to know more about their products and services.
     
    Shayda Torabi has been called one of the most influential Women in WordPress and now she’s one of the women leading the cannabis reformation conversation building one of Texas’ premier CBD brands. She's currently the CEO and Co-Founder of RESTART CBD, a female-run education first CBD wellness brand. And has formerly held marketing positions at WP Engine and WebDevStudios. Shayda is the host of a podcast for cannabis marketers called To Be Blunt, where she interviews top cannabis brands on their most successful marketing initiatives. When Shayda's not building her cannabiz in Texas, you can find her on the road exploring the best hikes and spots for vegan ice cream. Follow Shayda at @theshaydatorabi
     
    Key Quote:
    “The biggest difference between working with us is that we stand by our quality and you're not going to run into a contamination issue. You're not going to run into a pesticide or heavy metal problem. And God forbid you run into a recall situation. A lot of these big cannabis companies are trying to save that half a penny by going with the smaller guy. It's not worth cutting the corner for a half-cent.”  - Bryan Gerber
     
    SPONSORSHIP is brought to you by Restart CBD. Check them out for your CBD needs
    LEAVE A REVIEW + help someone who wants to join me for episodes featuring some serious cannabis industry by sharing this episode or click here to listen to past episodes
    RESTART CBD
    RESTART CBD is an education-first CBD wellness brand shipping nationwide.

    • 1 hr
    110 Cannabis Potency Testing at Home with Peichen Chang of tCheck

    110 Cannabis Potency Testing at Home with Peichen Chang of tCheck

    “We spoke with hundreds of people and the response was overwhelming. It was like, how has this not been in my life already? How come somebody hasn't invented it? And so from that, we decided to build the product. The need is out there. We have the ability to fulfill it. Let's go for it.” - Peichen Chang

    Welcome back to the To Be Blunt podcast! In this episode, Shayda Torabi welcomes Peichen Chang, co-founder & CEO at tCheck. tCheck is a device that helps home edible makers and DIY cannabis growers measure the potency of their flower and infused oils such as butter, coconut oil, and EVOO. He digs deep into what problem they saw in the market, how they were able to create a convenient device for potency testing, and what marketing strategies they are utilizing as an ancillary business.


    [00:00 - 14:00] Potency Testing at Your Fingertips
    [14:01 - 20:42] A Faster and More Affordable Option for Home Bakers and Cultivators
    [20:41 - 26:45] Engineering a Simple and Scalable Solution for the Market
    [26:46 - 39:15] Building a Brand and Marketing as a Cannabis Technology Company
    [39:16 - 44:00] What’s Next for tCheck: Expanding Their Customer Base and Helping Farmers Stay Compliant
    [44:01 - 54:11] App Development and the Best Ways to Optimize tCheck
     
    Prior to joining tCheck, Peichen Chang was a software developer and product manager for companies such as Emulex/Broadcom, TD Ameritrade, and HP. He grew up as a DoD brat on the tropical island of Okinawa, Japan before moving to snowy upstate New York for his B.S. in Electrical Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.  Afterwards, he went on to Oregon State University for his master’s in business administration. Today, he lives in the Sacramento area with his wife, 3 boys, a dog, and too many cats.


    Connect with Peichen!
    Follow him on LinkedIn and visit the tCheck website.
     
    Shayda Torabi has been called one of the most influential Women in WordPress and now she’s one of the women leading the cannabis reformation conversation building one of Texas’ premier CBD brands. She's currently the CEO and Co-Founder of RESTART CBD, a female-run education first CBD wellness brand. And has formerly held marketing positions at WP Engine and WebDevStudios. Shayda is the host of a podcast for cannabis marketers called To Be Blunt, where she interviews top cannabis brands on their most successful marketing initiatives. When Shayda's not building her cannabiz in Texas, you can find her on the road exploring the best hikes and spots for vegan ice cream. Follow Shayda at @theshaydatorabi
     
    Key Quote:
    “Their number one goal is to solve whatever health problem it is that they have. They couldn't care one bit, one iota about a spectrometer. They simply don't care. They're like, how do I make my pain go away? That's the only thing they care about. And so how do you solve that problem for the customer and this other problem, which is, this is a device that has never existed in the market before, this technology which is a kind to magic at this point. How do these two come together?” - Peichen Chang
     
    SPONSORSHIP is brought to you by Restart CBD. Check them out for your CBD needs
    LEAVE A REVIEW + help someone who wants to join me for episodes featuring some serious cannabis industry by sharing this episode or click here to listen to past episodes


    RESTART CBD
    RESTART CBD is an education first CBD wellness brand shipping nationwide. restartcbd.com

    • 54 min
    109 High Quality Cannabinoid Ingredients with Nicole Brown of Open Book Extracts

    109 High Quality Cannabinoid Ingredients with Nicole Brown of Open Book Extracts

    “Nature is our muse. Those ratios that are found naturally in the plant, well, let's recreate that so that you can consistently have that same experience every time you have a product. so that you're not buying a product one month and then three months later, and you're like, was that the same product? And that's happening because of that lack of consistency which now we're able to solve and  I think what's going to help lay the foundation for this industry to reach its potential.” - Nicole Brown


    Welcome back to the To Be Blunt podcast! In this episode, Shayda Torabi welcomes Open Book Extract’s Chief Innovation Officer, Nicole Brown to talk about the science of cannabis and cannabinoids. She discusses the extensive research and testing that goes behind the scenes in order to develop and bring to market better cannabis products that are going to improve people’s quality of life.


    [00:00 - 03:48] Life Update: Working Through Change and Chaos
    [03:49 - 20:23] Crafting Cannabis Products and Navigating Legalization in North Carolina
    [20:24 - 30:55] The Chemistry of Cannabinoids
    [30:56 - 44:19] Formulation Development and Delivering Consistent and Effective Outcomes
    [44:18 - 58:22] How Technology is Transforming the Cannabis Industry 
    [58:23 - 1:07:21] The Future Landscape: Brands and New Categories Emerging
     
    Nicole Brown serves as Chief Innovation Officer for North Carolina-based Open Book Extracts, a foremost ingredient manufacturer, product development house, and supplier focused on cannabinoid-enabled health and wellness. She channels data-driven consumer insights into a long-term course of action, delivering immediately usable product innovation, and also drives awareness and thought leadership by overseeing strategic marketing efforts, including PR, event marketing, advertising, and partnerships. Nicole is committed to a spirit of sustainability and social impact and has built and led best-in-class teams to foster an open culture to learn from one another.
     
    Connect with Nicole!
    Head over to the Open Book Extracts website.
     
    Shayda Torabi has been called one of the most influential Women in WordPress and now she’s one of the women leading the cannabis reformation conversation building one of Texas’ premier CBD brands. She's currently the CEO and Co-Founder of RESTART CBD, a female-run education first CBD wellness brand. And has formerly held marketing positions at WP Engine and WebDevStudios. Shayda is the host of a podcast for cannabis marketers called To Be Blunt, where she interviews top cannabis brands on their most successful marketing initiatives. When Shayda's not building her cannabiz in Texas, you can find her on the road exploring the best hikes and spots for vegan ice cream. Follow Shayda at @theshaydatorabi
     
    Key Quote:
    “The whole reason to go after THCV was quite obvious. The journey to actually figure out how to do it was intensive. It required a team of scientists that I am humbled by every day with how they're able to take on these challenges and be like, okay, we're going to figure out all the laws of science and chemistry and what is going to take to be able to bring to market what we think is a very important cannabinoid.” - Nicole Brown
     
    SPONSORSHIP is brought to you by Restart CBD. Check them out for your CBD needs
    LEAVE A REVIEW + help someone who wants to join me for episodes featuring some serious cannabis industry by sharing this episode or click here to listen to past episodes
    RESTART CBD
    RESTART CBD is an education-first CBD wellness brand shipping nationwide.

    • 1 hr 7 min
    108 Professionalizing Cannabis through Journalism Objectivity with Chris Walsh of MJ Biz

    108 Professionalizing Cannabis through Journalism Objectivity with Chris Walsh of MJ Biz

    “What we felt would help legalization and move the needle with cannabis was sticking to some key tenets her and it's objectivity. It's professionalism. It's journalism ethics.” - Chris Walsh

    Welcome back to the To Be Blunt podcast! In this episode, Shayda Torabi welcomes Chris Walsh of MJ Biz to talk about the impact of media in the fight for legalization and how it shapes not only the opinions of the consumers but also of the policymakers. He also gives his take on the resistance against mainstreaming cannabis and the importance of supporting the small players in the market.
     
    [00:00 - 11:13] Establishing a Cannabis Media Brand
    [11:12 - 19:41] The Cannabis Industry Then and Now
    [19:42 - 26:57]  We Need Professionalism to Survive
    [26:58 - 34:30]  The Path Forward is Incremental Change
    [34:31 - 43:20] Influencing Conversations Through Media 
    [43:21 - 55:46] Pushing for Social Equity and Empowering Small Businesses
     
    Chris served as the founding editor of Marijuana Business Daily during the company’s launch in 2011, becoming the first journalist in the United States to focus exclusively on covering the business of cannabis. As CEO, he now guides the strategic vision of the company and its sister publication – Hemp Industry Daily – while educating mainstream industries about the marijuana and hemp sectors. Chris has been quoted as one of America’s foremost cannabis industry analysts by dozens of media outlets, including Harvard Business Review, NPR, CNBC, and the New York Times. He earned an MBA in international business from Regis University.


    Connect with Chris!
    Check out the MJ Biz and MJ Biz Daily!
     
    Shayda Torabi has been called one of the most influential Women in WordPress and now she’s one of the women leading the cannabis reformation conversation building one of Texas’ premier CBD brands. She's currently the CEO and Co-Founder of RESTART CBD, a female-run education first CBD wellness brand. And has formerly held marketing positions at WP Engine and WebDevStudios. Shayda is the host of a podcast for cannabis marketers called To Be Blunt, where she interviews top cannabis brands on their most successful marketing initiatives. When Shayda's not building her cannabiz in Texas, you can find her on the road exploring the best hikes and spots for vegan ice cream. Follow Shayda at @theshaydatorabi
     
    Key Quote:
    “Our approach has been to really shed light on the bad parts of the industry, and we've got people that don't like us because guess what? This company did something and it was bad. And it created a huge issue in the industry. And so we'll write about the issues. We'll discuss them at our conference. It's not all rosy, right?” - Chris Walsh


    SPONSORSHIP is brought to you by Restart CBD. Check them out for your CBD needs
    LEAVE A REVIEW + help someone who wants to join me for episodes featuring some serious cannabis industry by sharing this episode or click here to listen to past episodes
    RESTART CBD
    RESTART CBD is an education-first CBD wellness brand shipping nationwide.

    • 55 min
    107 The Fight to Legalize Cannabis in Texas with Attorney Lisa Pittman

    107 The Fight to Legalize Cannabis in Texas with Attorney Lisa Pittman

    “The strategy is different for different clients because it depends on how much you're willing to push that envelope. Some are more willing. It depends on what the product is. It depends on how it's marketed because there's that tight rope between you want to get your brand out there, and you want to get market share, and you want the consumer to understand what the product is. But on the other hand, you don't want to paint a target on your back. It's a risk-tolerance business decision.” - Lisa Pittman

    Welcome back to the To Be Blunt podcast! In this episode, Shayda Torabi welcomes Lisa Pitman, an influential figure in advancing cannabis law in Texas. Having experience in the early days of the fight for legalization, she offers her perspective on the present policies on cannabis and why there’s still more work to be done in educating consumers, providing better access for medical use, and supporting small business owners.
     
    [00:00 - 25:42] Pioneering Cannabis Legalization in Texas 
    [25:53 - 32:37] Branding and Marketing as a Cannabis Lawyer
    [32:38 - 47:54] The Current Legal Landscape in Texas
    [47:55 - 59:17] Navigating Smokable Hemp Regularization
    [59:18 - 1:09:47] Interpreting the Language of Cannabis Policies
    [1:09:48 - 1:19:23] What’s Next: Cannabinoids and Cannabis-Derived Products
     
    Lisa Pittman focuses on litigation and regulatory compliance. Throughout Ms. Pittman’s 20-year career, she has litigated and tried disputes relating to labor & employment, breach of contract, commercial banking, fraud, fiduciary duty, construction defect and injury, deceptive trade practices, premises liability, professional liability, and products liability. She is also a pioneering figure in the emerging legalized hemp/cannabis industry in Texas. From her participation in the nascent cannabis industry, she has represented a broad range of clients from investors to ancillary service and product providers to “plant-touching” companies — farmers, processors, manufacturers, laboratories, distributors, and retailers. 



    Connect with Lisa!
    Head over to the Pittman Legal website.
     
    Shayda Torabi has been called one of the most influential Women in WordPress and now she’s one of the women leading the cannabis reformation conversation building one of Texas’ premier CBD brands. She's currently the CEO and Co-Founder of RESTART CBD, a female-run education first CBD wellness brand. And has formerly held marketing positions at WP Engine and WebDevStudios. Shayda is the host of a podcast for cannabis marketers called To Be Blunt, where she interviews top cannabis brands on their most successful marketing initiatives. When Shayda's not building her cannabiz in Texas, you can find her on the road exploring the best hikes and spots for vegan ice cream. Follow Shayda at @theshaydatorabi
     
    Key Quote:
    “You watch these different states try to come up with some laws, and I've been involved in helping to advise what language to use or not use on behalf of some clients that are selling these psychoactive products, whether it's psychoactive or intoxicating...  All these different words matter.” - Lisa Pittman
     
     
    SPONSORSHIP is brought to you by Restart CBD. Check them out for your CBD needs
    LEAVE A REVIEW + help someone who wants to join me for episodes featuring some serious cannabis industry by sharing this episode or click here to listen to past episodes
    RESTART CBD
    RESTART CBD is an
    RESTART CBD RESTART CBD is an education first CBD wellness brand shipping nationwide.
    restartcbd.com

    • 1 hr 19 min
    106 Mastering Influence and the Need for Innovation With Olivia Alexander of Kush Queen

    106 Mastering Influence and the Need for Innovation With Olivia Alexander of Kush Queen

    “I hope that young people and newcomers to the industry know that innovation is the way to slide in. Innovation is the way to really make a name for yourself, and these big companies are too big to do it. They can't do it, and they're never going to do it. - Olivia Alexander

    Welcome back to the To Be Blunt podcast! In this episode, Shayda Torabi welcomes Olivia Alexander, CEO of Kush Queen. She paints an honest picture of how she built a brand from scratch, the challenges she faced, and the success she found leveraging social media. As one of the leading women in cannabis, she also gives her take on the changing cannabis landscape and why she is passionate about the entire industry coming together for innovation and education.

    [00:00 - 19:33] Scaling a Small Brand to a Big-Time Business
    [19:34 - 29:38] The Woman Behind Kush Queen
    [29:39 - 32:07] The Influencer Culture Now
    [32:08 - 38:55] Marketing Online and in the Dispensaries 
    [38:56 - 50:58] The Cost of Compliance and The Need for Innovation 
    [50:49 - 1:14:44] Believing in the Power of the Molecules and Educating Consumers


    Olivia Alexander has grown Kush Queen into a multi-million dollar, multi-channel brand manufacturing only the finest cannabis-infused products. The Kush Queen product line includes award-winning bath bombs, pain relief lotions, indigestible, wellness supplements, and skincare. Referenced as the Queen of CBD by the LA Times, Olivia has a knack for being able to develop, connect and relate cannabis to community, health, and wellness. As a voice for progressive change and industry inclusion, Olivia was recognized as one of the cannabis industry’s top women founders by Variety Magazine, Green Entrepreneur, and Ganjapreneur in 2020, as Dope Magazine’s 2017 Social Media Influencer of the Year and shouted out as “The Mariah Carey of Weed” by ELLE In 2020. Olivia’s book, The Essential Guide to Cannabis for Women: How to Buy, Use, and Enjoy Cannabis for Recreation and Wellness releases on sale on March 29, 2022. 

    Connect with Olivia!
    Follow her on Instagram and LinkedIn, check out her Linktr.ee, and visit the Kush Queen website.


    Shayda Torabi has been called one of the most influential Women in WordPress and now she’s one of the women leading the cannabis reformation conversation building one of Texas’ premier CBD brands. She's currently the CEO and Co-Founder of RESTART CBD, a female-run education first CBD wellness brand. And has formerly held marketing positions at WP Engine and WebDevStudios. Shayda is the host of a podcast for cannabis marketers called To Be Blunt, where she interviews top cannabis brands on their most successful marketing initiatives. When Shayda's not building her cannabiz in Texas, you can find her on the road exploring the best hikes and spots for vegan ice cream. Follow Shayda at @theshaydatorabi

    Key Quote:
    “It all comes back to knowledge is power, and that's the same with the molecules, with the brands you choose, with being an ethical cannabis consumer.” - Olivia Alexander


    SPONSORSHIP is brought to you by Restart CBD. Check them out for your CBD needs
    LEAVE A REVIEW + help someone who wants to join me for episodes featuring some serious cannabis industry by sharing this episode or click here to listen to past episodes



    RESTART CBD RESTART CBD is an education first CBD wellness brand shipping nationwide.
    restartcbd.com

    • 1 hr 14 min

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Super informative

Whether you keep up with Instagram or the podcast they are both filled with organized well thought out knowledge that’s is hard to find anywhere else

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