By: Cecil King
“Celebrities and women are the secret to legalization”
Cannabis entrepreneurs today don’t have anything like the Homestead Act of 1865 which lured settlers to move west with cheap land to establish a new homestead, but they are staking their own claims in the new cannabis economy.
One of those neo-cannabis pioneers is Los Angles-based Cheryl Shuman. Known as the Martha Stewart of Cannabis, her marketing, public relations and events company has deep roots in the film industry, but she has laid claim to fulfilling a need that was virtually absent just a few years ago: cannabis product marketing.
“Growers were coming up to me and asking ‘How do we make ourselves different? Maybe we should come up with a logo and a name,’” reported Shuman to Adweek’s Robert Klara. Shuman saw opportunity because, “The branding of cannabis doesn’t exist yet.” Adweek named Shuman “Pot’s First Marketer” on the cover of “Adweek”, a trade publication for the advertising industry.
Shuman recently shared her 26 years of marketing knowledge in a seminar about expanding cannabis businesses using celebrities at the Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition (CWC&BExpo) held in New York.
“Celebrities and women are the secret to legalization. We are the family decision makers and influencers in society; after all, women buy 85% of all household and consumer products,” offered Shuman, citing statistics from Adweek magazine. “Now we can use that influence to change laws, save lives, families and introduce parents to new possible careers in the green rush.”
In 2006, Shuman was diagnosed with cancer. After years of following failed traditional medical treatments, she opted for medical cannabis in the form of raw juice and oils. Her success using medical cannabis led her to found the Beverly Hills Cannabis Club (www.BHCClub.com) where she developed and branded her own cannabis strain.
Selling at upwards of $700 per ounce and featuring a classic old Hollywood styled art deco logo embossed on 14-carat gold leaf, Shuman’s premium bud has only been available “invitation only” through her exclusive cannabis club.
“It was the best thing I’ve ever done, making the decision to go with graphics and product design,” added Shuman to Adweek. Select growers will be providing BHCClub product to high-end outlets planned for Denver and Seattle.
Today, Shuman is the most visible and recognizable entrepreneur in the marijuana reform movement, recently receiving the 2013 Activist of the Year Award at Seattle Hempfest.
“As an entrepreneur, it’s exciting to be on the ground floor, the cutting edge of making news and witnessing the convergence of women, celebrity and cannabis culture,” says Shuman referring to her new partnership with CWC&BExpo. Los Angeles was host to the Fall 2015 Expo.
Prohibitionist law in Missouri continues to block access to the new cannabis economy while other cannabis-legal states lure entrepreneurial, science and technical talent to their expanding economies.