Gary Vaynerchuk on Cannabis – What He Got Right and What He Missed

Gary Vaynerchuck on marijuana, marketing, and cannabis branding

Posted by:
Oaktree on Thursday Apr 11, 2019

Gary Vaynerchuk on Cannabis – What He Got Right and What He Missed

Gary Vaynerchuk, of Vayner Media, sat down with Matt Grey of Herb and did a cannabis based interview that you can watch here.  Gary is one of the most prominent marketers in the US and grew up running his family’s wine business in the New Jersey and New York area.  I first met Gary about 15-years ago when his first book came out and we were both doing the Internet marketing show circuit like Yanik Silver’s Internet Underground shows.  I will say this, Gary V is rock solid, he walks-the-walk and talks-the-talk.  He is a no BS kind of guy and what you see in his videos and stage talks is how he is in private, a very genuine and honest guy.


Some of the highlights of the video and 13-minute piece include the following paraphrased highlights about what he thinks about cannabis legalization and the cannabis industry in general.


Gary is in the cannabis space on the marketing side, having bought into Green Street Marketing


Cannabis “matters” – and will matter globally over the next 50 years


Gary understands with his history in the wine business over the past 25 years how cannabis will evolve in similar way, with state regulations, state-to-state shipping restrictions, and then how consolidations will work.


Gary’s brother has Crohn’s disease and understands it will help people medically and will most likely be better than what they are using now, whether it is for anxiety, depression, sleep aid, etc.


Cannabis is the long game, not the short game – This is a 30-year bet, not a 3-year bet


Don’t be at the mercy of a 3rd party platform for traffic, like social networks.  Build out your brand, be creative, come up with innovative ideas to get your content out there. 


Gary is looking at the macro level now, not the micro, since waiting for regulation will put many people out of business


Cannabis has the “it” or “cool” factor that things like Tylenol and alcohol do not have.


Cannabis is a great 50-year bet but not a great 50-week bet


MSO, or multi-state operators, will be the big winners in the next 10 years – the companies that can go from seed to sale within one state will dominate since you must follow licensing rules.


The video is a great piece of content from a world-class marketer who is always one step ahead on ideas and putting thoughts into action, give it a view when you can.


What did Gary miss?  How would we finish that same video?


We have put up over 3,000 marijuana articles on in the last 3 years, and I get to edit everyone of them.  What would I change or add to Gary V’s talk based on living and breathing this stuff 18 hours a day, 7 days a week for over 3 years?  Let me put on my Gary V voice and my NY accent and offer the following, I may even throw out a few “f bombs” like Gary, just for authenticity of course.


Cannabis will be a demand game in the end, not a supply game – The cannabis plant can grow in 12 weeks, 16 weeks max for some strains.  Most state laws already allow you to grow plants at home for personal use (at least on the medical side), not to mention the commercial grows and such.  The black market can grow cannabis everywhere, outside, inside, in closets, in basements and all it takes is a few hours on YouTube to know how to do it.  Will you screw up a times and have to deal with bugs and mold, sure, but in the end, the cannabis plant will go the way of the tomato plant, it will be a commodity like lettuce, bananas, and broccoli. It will be traded as a commodity around the world on public markets once these arcane laws are updated in the US, the UN, and the WHO.  There will so much supply worldwide on the legal market and black-market that prices will plummet.  As we have said in previous articles, the long game will be about creating the order for the pizza, not the mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce.  The winners will be people that have traffic and know how to create orders for cannabis for pennies on the dollar while your competitor, whether a dispensary or an online platform like they use in Canada, is paying $33 for a lead or a customer.  When a plant can be grown by everyone, everywhere, in 12 weeks, you will never have a supply problem.  See Oregon as beta test of unlimited supply.


Gary mentions a 30-year timeline and/or he has no idea when it will be legalized, hence he likes the MSO, or multi-state operator model.  I am going to say this is one error in his plan he needs to adjust for now, so he is ready down the road. There is a plan set in place RIGHT NOW to legalize cannabis at the Federal level in the next 24 months max. It starts like this; the SAFE BANKING ACT is in the House now and it is going to the Senate in the next month or two.  The Senate claims to have the votes to pass it now since so many voters are in favor of legalization (overall 61%) that even conservative Republicans are getting on board.  Everyone now wants credit for legalizing cannabis, at least hemp and CBD for now, from the voters. Plus, a few Republicans live in big hemp states and they need the banking issues worked out so their farmers and truckers can do business without Federal interference. (see police pulling over hemp truckers and arresting them for marijuana recently) The SAFE BANKING ACT allows cannabis companies to open bank accounts and use the Federal depository system without fear of Federal interference.  This means merchant accounts, swipe machines, and checking accounts for all legal cannabis companies. What everyone is missing in this change is that it is a TWO-WAY STREET. This bill would allow banks, VC’s, investment firms, pension funds, and money managers to invest in cannabis without fear of losing their banking license.  This is huge!  We cover this in our article “Will the SAFE BANKING ACT Create the Largest Stock Market Bubble in History” right here.  Think it won’t happen, check out this article on how Sweden has just allowed their pension funds and retirement accounts to invest in public cannabis companies.  What happens with the remaining seven G7 countries (Canada already can) open up a few trillion dollars of investment funds for the cannabis space without fear of losing access to the US banking system or SWIFT wire system?


How does this relate to Gary’s MSO theory?  MSO’s rely on state-to-state licensing and the idea that the plant cannot cross a state line, hence state licensing models are key.  This will all change when CALPERS (California Retiree Pension Funds) and about 800 million baby-boomer retirees’ pensions funds are invested in Canopy Growth, Tilray, and Cronos.  The massive lobbyist for the AARP, teachers’ unions, and public workers’ pensions will all push for a Federal law change so that cannabis companies can prosper, ship across state lines, and increase shareholder value and stock prices.  MSO’s are protected only by a strange Federal classification of a plant, once that classification changes, the state restricted model is over.  Snoop will be able to ship Leaf’s chocolate all over America, Willie Nelson’s can sell pre-rolls in California, Colorado, and New York.


Cannabis will cut into alcohol sales, 100% positive – Every stat shows it already has and as more people come to understand the health benefits, not just the high effects, that will only increase. Discretionary income is elastic.  You only have $20 or $100 a week to spend on “fun stuff”.  If you take $40 and now spend it on cannabis, that is $40 you don’t have to spend on alcohol, dinner’s out, movies, or whatever you spend your extra money on.  Gary is in the wine business, so he is smart to look at cannabis now.  He is a mini-version of what Constellation Brands (massive alcohol business) did with Canopy Growth. Invest now, protect your future.


Gary is right about get-rich-quick scammers, we covered some of that on our “Cannabis Trends on LinkedIn” here.  Gary says 90% of people are looking to get rich quick and get it out.  I would say the number is lower, but the theory is true. The entire crypto, blockchain, ICO crowd has now moved over to cannabis in order to make a quick buck on outlandish claims such as stock trading returns and investment idea.  Do your due diligence, shoot us an email, do not believe the hype around 30% monthly returns on anything, not to mention cannabis.


4/12/19 Update - Forget to mention that I 100% agree with Gary when he mentions "sugar" a terrible thing in society. A huge under reported problem that we will find out in 50 years lead to thousands of deaths.  Our sugar levels from kids to adults around the world are off the charts.  If you find that subject interesting check out Fed Up by Matt Damon, the trailer is below.




SAFE Cannabis banking stock bubble











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