69 episodes

To Be Blunt is hosted by cannabis advocate, entrepreneur, and industry brand marketer Shayda Torabi. Join her weekly Monday's for a new episode featuring some serious cannabis industry heavy hitters laying down what's worked and what hasn’t when it comes to their marketing strategy. For anyone who is looking for some creative inspiration in a budding industry! Shayda will share her own journey building RESTART CBD to becoming a nationally recognized CBD brand, as well as feature leading cannabis marketers to tell their brands journey and story. I believe knowledge is power, and cannabis is powerful. Let’s light this conversation up!

To Be Blunt: The Podcast for Cannabis Marketers Shayda Torabi

    • Business
    • 4.9 • 42 Ratings

To Be Blunt is hosted by cannabis advocate, entrepreneur, and industry brand marketer Shayda Torabi. Join her weekly Monday's for a new episode featuring some serious cannabis industry heavy hitters laying down what's worked and what hasn’t when it comes to their marketing strategy. For anyone who is looking for some creative inspiration in a budding industry! Shayda will share her own journey building RESTART CBD to becoming a nationally recognized CBD brand, as well as feature leading cannabis marketers to tell their brands journey and story. I believe knowledge is power, and cannabis is powerful. Let’s light this conversation up!

    068 Chicago Cannabis Lottery System Storytime with Mike Malcolm of Weed Travel Food

    068 Chicago Cannabis Lottery System Storytime with Mike Malcolm of Weed Travel Food

    “The majority of people that qualify for social equity didn't qualify like myself. And one of these licenses, they didn't qualify because they were arrested for cannabis or their immediate family members have and they qualify based on where they live. Now, there's some truth to that, that neighborhoods have been targeted and people suffer because of that.” - Mike Malcolm
    Welcome back to the To Be Blunt podcast! In this episode, Shayda Torabi welcomes Mike Malcolm, founder of Weed Travel Food, to talk about the disorderly legalization processes, how the cannabis lottery system works, and how he equipped himself through the challenges.
    [00:01 – 09:56] Mike Shares his Cannabis Journey
    [09:57 – 24:09] The Mystifying Processes of Social Equity
    [24:10 – 38:55] Inside the Cannabis Lottery System
    [38:56 – 59:29] The Flawed Legalization Processes
    [59:30 – 1:01:54] Food for Thought: Prepare for the highs and lows in the industry.
    I'm Mike. I was born and raised on the south side of Chicago! ⁣⁣⁣I’m a real estate investor since I graduated high school in 2000 and a Realtor w/ @atproperties since 2012.⁣⁣ I’ve always been passionate about cannabis, travel, and food so I founded the @weedtravelfood brand where I operate my media production company “WTF Media LLC” and my cannabis industry consulting firm “WTF Consulting LLC”, as featured in major media outlets like the Chicago Sun-Times, FOX News and ABC News.⁣⁣ I work with cannabis companies and brands across the country on everything - product development, content creation, community engagement and outreach.⁣⁣⁣ I’m a social equity applicant and currently have 10 dispensary license applications under review by the state of Illinois.⁣⁣⁣ I’m an equity partner of the @cronjaculture cannabis brand. My partners have distribution, manufacturing, and delivery licenses based out of Los Angeles, California. We currently have ancillary products for sale online, dispensaries in LA and Chicago, and we’ll have cannabis products on California shelves in 2021.⁣⁣⁣  In March 2021, I created a syllabus and course about Cannabis Marketing and Branding for Olive Harvey College. I'm currently an Adjunct faculty member there, teaching my course weekly and I sit on the City of Chicago College's Cannabis Advisory Council.⁣⁣⁣ I’m a proud member of Chicago NORML, Cannabis Equity Illinois Coalition, and National Cannabis Industry Association. 
    Connect with Mike
    Visit https://www.weedtravelfood.com/ and follow him on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn @weedtravelfood  
    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:
    “Because we're in cannabis, a lot of it is really unclear on how to proceed and move forward. And so I think it's really cool to hear these kinds of new and interesting ways to navigate the system.” - Shayda Torabi
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    • 1 hr 1 min
    067 The Future and Innovation of Cannabis Dry Spirits with Matthew Cohen of purejuana

    067 The Future and Innovation of Cannabis Dry Spirits with Matthew Cohen of purejuana

    “When we build this [position in the cannabis industry], we're building it for the future, you know, we're building it for the long haul, and we're taking a bold position on what we think the future will hold.” - Matthew Cohen
    Welcome back to the To Be Blunt podcast! In this episode, Shayda Torabi welcomes Matthew Cohen, CEO of purejuana to talk about the journey to pioneering the spirits category in the industry, introducing a new need in the market, and how he kept the pure cannabis culture alive through innovation.
     
    [00:01 – 05:34] Introducing purejuana and Changing the Cannabis Game
    [05:35 – 16:46] Facing Raids and Pioneering the Spirits Category
    [16:47 – 30:19] Challenges of Entering the Category and Proper Positioning
    [30:20 – 39:28] Educating the Customers the Cannabis Experience Pathline
    [39:29 – 51:44] Mindful Marketing Towards Clarity for Clients
    [51:45 – 54:45] Food for Thought: How do you innovate while keeping the culture pure?
     
    Matthew Cohen co-founded Lively Spirits, a psychotropic spirits company leveraging nature's bounty of plants and fungi to craft euphoric beverages in 2020, and currently helms the Company as its Chief Executive Officer. A serial cannabis entrepreneur with nearly three decades rooted in the industry, Cohen got his start advocating for medical cannabis use among patients in the late 1990s, as California’s medical marijuana program was in its infancy. In 2009, Cohen founded Northstone Organics, a farm-direct entity that became the first licensed cannabis producer in the state of California until it was abruptly raided and shut down by the DEA in 2011. As California’s regulatory framework continued to emerge, Cohen went on to lead a number of successful cannabis ventures, including the Emerald Growers Association, a not-for-profit association of medical cannabis cultivators, business owners, and patients advocating for public policies that foster a more sustainable medical cannabis industry. He also helped lead Harborside Health Center, and he founded TRiQ, an industrial solutions provider focused on growing, processing and manufacturing cannabis with innovative technology, which included Cohen’s own invention, the Vulcann50 industrial drying machine. Cohen’s series of disruptive innovations is predated by a history of activism and patient care.  Cohen was named one of the 100 most influential People in the Cannabis Industry by Cannabis Business Executive and has been featured in the New York Times, This American Life, Slate, The Week, Rolling Stone, and Frontline.
    Connect with Matthew
    Visit https://www.purejuana.com/ and follow him on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn @purejuanaofficial
     
    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


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    LEAVE A REVIEW + help someone who wants to join me for episodes fea
    RESTART CBD RESTART CBD is an education first CBD wellness brand shipping nationwide.
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    • 54 min
    066 Founding an Edible Brand and Getting Acquired by an MSO with Ryan Crandall of MariMed

    066 Founding an Edible Brand and Getting Acquired by an MSO with Ryan Crandall of MariMed

    “Bear through obstacles. Everything is a speed bump, nothing is a brick wall. And I think if you have an optimistic attitude and you're not willing to take no for an answer, it's not about ‘it's never gonna happen’, it's ‘when is it going to happen?’.” - Ryan Crandall
    Welcome back to the To Be Blunt podcast! In this episode, Shayda Torabi welcomes Ryan Crandall, co-founder of Betty’s Eddies, to share his story of MSO acquisition, the impact of varying state laws on business operations, and broadening our perspective on the opportunities within the cannabis industry.
    [00:01 – 07:00] Ryan Shares his Experience on Medical Cannabis
    [07:01 – 12:56] Filling the Void of Quality Products
    [12:57 – 23:22] Understanding MSOs and the Acquisition Process
    [23:23 – 32:15] Market-based Approach in Branding Towards Consistency
    [32:16 – 38:09] Understanding Laws and Becoming a Multi-State Operator
    [38:10 – 45:11] Innovation Opportunity for Big and Small Businesses
    [45:12 – 54:49] Food for Thought: How Do You Broaden the Opportunities in the Industry?
    Ryan Crandall is the co-founder of Betty’s Eddies, a premium all natural products and confections brand, which he launched in 2013. Betty’s Eddies was acquired by MariMed Inc. in September 2017. Since the acquisition, Crandall has been the Chief Product Officer & SVP of Sales for MariMed Inc. MariMed designs, develops, finances, and optimizes medical cannabis cultivation, production, and dispensary facilities as a management service. MariMed's team has developed or is in the process of developing state-of-the art regulatory-compliant facilities in DE, IL, NV, MD, MA and RI. These facilities are models of excellence in horticultural principals, cannabis production, product development, and dispensary operations. MariMed is on the forefront of precision dosed branded products for the treatment of specific medical symptoms. MariMed currently distributes its branded products in select states and is expanding licensing and distribution to numerous additional states encompassing thousands of dispensaries. MariMed Inc., is one of the 17 top-performing public cannabis companies in the U.S. tracked on the U.S. Marijuana Index.
    Connect with Ryan
    Visit https://marimedinc.com/ and follow him on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn @marimed_inc
     
    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 just have to be willing to look at the data when you do have it and be able to make quick decisions and be malleable to what the market is telling you needs to happen.” - Ryan Crandall
    “We are all about patients. We're all about our customers, and we're all about trying to improve their lives every day.” - Ryan Crandall
    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
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    • 54 min
    065 Top Industry Insights From a Cannabis Digital Marketer with Liz Udell of CannaCraft

    065 Top Industry Insights From a Cannabis Digital Marketer with Liz Udell of CannaCraft

    “So whenever you just get the chance to, you know, kind of be a little creative, be scrappy, and take your own photos. I make my own content. I make content for my channels that we use. And that's definitely the route like marketing you can totally make happen.” - Elizabeth Udell
    Welcome back to the To Be Blunt podcast! In this episode, Shayda Torabi welcomes Elizabeth Udell, Digital Marketing Manager at  CannaCraft, Elizabeth joins us to share her invaluable perspectives on scaling in the cannabis industry, the huge role of digital marketing, and the works behind creating a legacy brand.
     
    [00:01 – 08:02] Shayda’s CBD Discovery and Updates
    [08:03– 18:06] Digital Marketing and Liz’s Story on Cannabis 
    [18:07 – 24:38] Understanding and Engaging in the Groundwork
    [24:39 – 28:49] Realizing the Need for Guidance in the Industry
    [28:50 – 38:09] The FAQs of Creating a Legacy Brand
    [38:10 – 53:09] Acknowledging the Realities of the Cannabis Industry
    [53:10 – 56:23] Food for Thought: How do you create freedom with your brand? 
     
    Elizabeth Udell is a digital marketing manager based in Los Angeles. Born in New York City, she moved down to South Florida as a child and ended up at the University of Florida studying Public Relations and Mass Communications. While at UF, she started writing for the 2nd highest trafficked electronic music blog at the time, EDMTunes which landed her a role at Insomniac Events as a social media manager in Los Angeles. Over the years she has pivoted from music to cannabis and brought her marketing experience with her. Once she mastered the digital marketing of medical and adult-use cannabis in 10 states, she brought her services to clients all over the world in various markets. Her brands include MedMen, CannaCraft, West Coast Cure, Houseplant, Kush Queen and Advanced Nutrients. She also teaches social media management and content writing part time at San Diego State University.
    Connect with Elizabeth
    Visit https://www.cannacraft.com/ and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn @lizoodell @cannacraftbrands


    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's very poor planning on my part to have these big grandiose dreams without knowing what is actually the potential possibility for me to have.” - Elizabeth Udell
    “You just got to be ready to play. Like if this is your dream like this. You gotta make it a reality and just no head in the clouds.” - Elizabeth Udell
    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.
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    • 56 min
    064 Re-Defining Marijuana Law and Taking On The Michigan Supreme Court with Earl Carruthers of G3 Cannabis Therapy

    064 Re-Defining Marijuana Law and Taking On The Michigan Supreme Court with Earl Carruthers of G3 Cannabis Therapy

    “This war on drugs is like really trying to turn lives upside down. It's like they're almost creating this criminal out of thin air... You're creating people to be criminals. And I didn't want to be a statistic. I just don't want to be another black man who goes to jail, comes back out, and goes back to jail again.” - Earl Carruthers
    Welcome back to the To Be Blunt podcast! In this episode, Shayda Torabi welcomes Earl Carruthers, founder of G3 Cannabis Therapy, to talk about his intense journey in his business and pioneering change from the community up to influencing the legislation on marijuana law.
    [00:01 – 07:57] Earl Carruthers’ Powerful Story in the Medical Market
    [07:58– 19:23] Discovering the Loopholes, Discrimination, and Stigma on Marijuana Law
    [19:24 – 23:16] Engulfing in a Movement Affecting the Legislation
    [23:17 – 29:23] Repercussions Due to Ambiguous Policies
    [29:24 – 38:54] Establishing Support Systems Via Communities
    [38:55 – 53:09] The Timeframe of Marijuana Law Revisions to Commercialization
    [53:10 – 54:30] Food for Thought: Do you feel afraid or empowered on moving forward with cannabis in your city or state? 
    Since 2010, Earl Carruthers has been a pioneer in the Cannabis Industry. He is a business owner, the first POC dispensary owner in Michigan and has been party to two State of Michigan Supreme Court cases, one changing the legal definition of “edibles.” Earl has spent the past decade as a Cannapreneur, owning and operating a grow, 3 dispensaries and processing Cannabis into many different products for his patients and customers. In January 2011, Earl was apprehended during a traffic stop leading to a lawsuit that ultimately ended with a change in Michigan Cannabis law. The following year, Earl’s dispensary was raided after being visited by an undercover cop. So as you can see, Earl has had some very unique and undesirable circumstances along the way while navigating the shifting tides of Michigan’s ever changing laws. But like every good entrepreneur, Earl kept his chin up, head down and moved forward. From then on he made it his mission to restore the use of Cannabis for Therapy. That’s why he founded The Cannabis Therapy Network in partnership with his sub-brands The Craft Cannabis Club and Tiggity. He is also the co-host of the Cannabis Therapy PotCast providing Cannabis resources, knowledge and community for Cannabis consumers, advocates and connoisseurs.
    Connect with Earl
    Visit https://www.cannabistherapynetwork.org/ and follow him on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn @cannatherapynetwork 
    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 comes down to the local level and understanding what they stand for as far as what your beliefs are.” - Earl Carruthers 
    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 s
    RESTART CBD RESTART CBD is an education first CBD wellness brand shipping nationwide.
    restartcbd.com

    • 54 min
    063 Optimizing the Human Creative Performance with Cannabis from Art, Business, and Life with Shawn Gold of Pilgrim Soul

    063 Optimizing the Human Creative Performance with Cannabis from Art, Business, and Life with Shawn Gold of Pilgrim Soul

    “People buy products from companies that believe what they believe. If you don't start off with a strong belief system, then it's really difficult to create an authentic brand. In this internet world where people see through everything and have access to everything, authenticity is really essential.” - Shawn Gold
    Welcome back to the To Be Blunt podcast! In this episode, Shayda Torabi welcomes Shawn Gold, founder of Pilgrim Soul, to share his strategies in establishing an authentic brand with a strong belief system, challenging default thinking, and embracing creative thinking in marketing.

    [00:01 – 05:23] How Shawn Gold Started in Cannabis
    [05:24 – 18:19] Pilgrim Soul and The Creative Perspective and Ideation in Market Positioning
    [18:20– 28:24] Utilizing Product Features for Branding Perspective
    [20:00 – 34:21] Influencing Loyalty in the Brand
    [34:22 – 43:08] Fostering an Emotive Experience with Customers
    [43:09 – 56:04] Leveraging Media and Tools to Effectively Market
    [56:05 – 57:43] Food for Thought: What Prompts You to Connect to Yourself Deeply?


    Shawn Gold is Founder and CEO of Pilgrim Soul, a mission-driven cannabis brand focused on optimizing human creative performance to gain a competitive edge in business and life. Until recently, Shawn was CMO of Lowell Herb Co., one of the fastest-growing cannabis companies in North America. He has been an advisor to other leading cannabis brands including MedMen and Charlottes Web. Previous to Lowell, he was CMO at TechStyle Fashion Group in its growth to over $1Billion in sales.  Before TechStyle he was head of entertainment brand partnerships at Wattpad.com. Before Wattpad, he oversaw sales, marketing, and content development as CMO of Inside Studios. In the early days of social media, Shawn was CMO, head of marketing & content for MySpace, spearheaded the development and implementation of marketing initiatives and campaigns during its growth from 25 to 110 million users worldwide. Prior to MySpace, he was a partner and the founding publisher of Weblogs, Inc., a network of popular blogs that included Engadget, Joystiq, and Autoblog, now part of Verizon. As head of communications planning for Rare Medium, Shawn helped launch digital communications strategies for brands at P&G, General Mills, Nestle, Mattel, and other international brand marketing companies.
    Connect with Shawn
    Visit https://www.pilgrimsoul.com/ and follow him on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn @pilgrim_soul_creative & @CreativityOnCannabis


    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 general concept of finding your big ideal as a brand or even as a human being all goes back to who you are, what you stand for, and what your role in society is as a brand.” - Shawn Gold


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

    • 57 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
42 Ratings

42 Ratings

megan@podcastingyou ,

Valuable Content!

Shayda does such a good job covering a variety of topics. The guests offer valuable insight as well. I would recommend this podcast to anyone looking to be inspired and informed!

Dan Humiston ,

Finally, a marketing podcast for cannabis

I enjoyed having Shayda as a guest on Potcasters. it’s great that To Be Blunt is here to help us navigate all the constantly changing cannabis advertising restrictions.

Mr. Cody S ,

Great guests, very informative!

This podcast is a must listen for anyone trying to educate themselves on the cannabis industry: marketing, legal issues, product reviews, etc.

Five stars!

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