RETAIL MARIJUANA IN LAS VEGAS: Reality Check Over Fairy Tales

If you’re watching the evening news across the nation about Las Vegas’ retail marijuana industry, you may find yourself convinced of some pretty inaccurate information. As someone who has lived here for 18 years and been involved in the industry since early days, it is my pleasure to provide a reality check. Here are some fairy tales you may be hearing:

*Las Vegas is running out of weed! Reality Check: Nevada has 87 licensed producers and cultivators, who are all actively growing and producing incredible product. With the controversy surrounding liquor distributors in Nevada, most dispensaries did the wise thing and stocked up before July 1st. The reality is that they may certainly be low or sold out of your favorite product, but no dispensary is completely sold out of marijuana and the regulators in Nevada are working overtime to ensure emergency measures are put into place to allow for retail deliveries. This speed bump should be resolved by the end of the coming week. There’s plenty of marijuana for retail consumers to purchase. This is NOT weedpocalypse.

*Eighths of marijuana are selling for $80. Reality Check: Where?! No, really, because I’ve been into every dispensary from July 1-9 and I can’t find an $80 eighth. I was trying because I saw it on the CBS nightly news, so I had to see it with my own eyes. The increased retail taxes have increased the average price of an eighth, but it has been 15-20% to account for the tax increase. You can still find eighths of quality cannabis flower at dispensaries in the $30-40 range. If you find that $80 eighth can you share it with me? I want to know what is in it and who was clueless enough to pay that much!

*You can smoke on the Las Vegas strip! Reality Check: Please don’t. No, really. It’s illegal to consume in public places and you’ll get an expensive fine for doing so. Plus, you make the rest of us law abiding cannabis consumers look like jerks. Help the cause of normalization and follow the law by only consuming out of public view in private places. Nevada is the most regulated cannabis ecosystem in the world today, so help us lead the way by following our laws.

*Lines are around the block. Reality Check: So true! From open to close, seven days a week we are seeing lines around the block at most locations. The dispensary teams are working tirelessly to ensure that every retail and medical consumer receives a positive experience. The average high in Las Vegas is over 100 degrees, so the wait is long and hot, but I heard so many people say that they’ve been waiting for retail marijuana sales for years and they’re happy to continue waiting. Most dispensaries have a medical only line for patients and the wait for those patients has been eliminated.

The retail marijuana industry in Las Vegas is thriving. We experienced an estimated $5 million in retail sales in the first 3 days, which will help our public education system. Las Vegas has the worst public education system in all 50 states- literally rock bottom. As a mother of two girls who are in school this is a cause I care deeply about. Our children deserve better and cannabis consumers deserve to enjoy the normalization of consumption that all of us advocates have lobbied in favor of.

Get your Vegas Weekend Box to experience the best that the Las Vegas cannabis industry has to offer. Order yours NOW! 

Advice From a Baby Unicorn

Almost everyone I know has a Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. It’s not uncommon to utilize these platforms for personal use every day, multiple times a day. In fact, social media has become such a huge part of our lives that it’s changing the ways in which companies are connecting with their consumers. But what do you do when it’s your job to do the connecting? 
 
Most of us have utilized social media for personal use, but very few of us have actual experience managing a professional company’s social media page. I’ve been doing this for a long, long time now (a week), and I’ve learned a few lessons that could help you if you’re just getting started in the social media biz. 
 
  1. Get to know your brands 
When you’re handed a few different companies and asked to start producing content for their social media pages, it can feel a little like getting chucked in the deep end without your floaties. “Where to begin,” I asked my cat. She didn’t know. 
So I started by doing a little digging. I scrolled back as far as I could through their Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. I googled the company, and read news articles or watched reviews on the product. A sense of continuity is important, and you want to stay as true to your brand’s “voice” as possible. What kind of articles did they share before? What’s the culture like? Who looks at their posts? Answering these questions is the first step toward becoming a social media posting pro.
 
  1. Ask as many questions as you can think of 
Your team members are there for a reason – use them! If you’re unsure if something will be received in the right way, or if it’s a good fit for the audience you’re trying to reach, ASK SOMEONE. Send it to your supervisor or a friend and see what they think. Getting a fresh perspective is so helpful. If it’s possible, hop on a phone call with the representatives from the company and ask them your questions. Get a feel for what they’re looking for, and keep the lines of communication open. The only stupid question is one that goes unasked, so be honest about the things you’re unsure about. It’s the only way to learn! 
 
  1. Don’t be afraid to get creative 
Posting the same standby pics of the products packaging or logo can get boring, for you and for users viewing the page. Don’t be afraid to veer off the beaten track and post a funny video or meme, as long as it’s in keeping with the image the brand is trying to convey. If you think a picture or a video might be too weird to post, refer to #2 on this list. Same with captions – don’t be afraid to use an alluring alliteration or quippy pun to get your point across. Social media is about engaging with the real live people on the other end of the screen, so make it conversational. Make it funny. Make it personal. Whatever the situation calls for, a little creativity goes a long way. 
 
  1. Don’t take anything personally 
It’s hard not to get that pit in your stomach when you’re told something you’ve done needs to be changed, or even taken down completely. Just remember – it’s not personal. You’re representing a brand, and you want to make sure that you represent them accurately. Take the  criticism as constructive feedback, and use it to realign yourself with your brand’s goals and vision. Again, refer to #2. Ask as many questions about what went wrong with the post as you can think of so that you can be sure to not repeat the same mistakes in the future. Thankfully, no one expects you to become a social media master in 7 days, so learn as much as you can and your team will be patient with you. 
 
  1. Have fun! 
Seriously, your job is to post on social media. There’s a lot that goes into it, but the first thing should be a sense of enjoyment. If you’re stressed or uninterested in what you’re doing, it will come across in your posts. Get your creative juices flowing and approach everything with a smile. Chances are, if something you’re creating makes you laugh, smile, snort, chuckle, etc then it’ll be engaging to the consumer viewing the post as well. Social media is fun! Fun to use personally, and fun to use for business once you’ve started to get the hang of it. 
 
 
If you’re just starting out in the social media space, like me, then these five tips can go a long way in helping you get your footing. I’m lucky enough to have a pack of magical unicorns around me, guiding me in the right direction. With some help from your team, and a little ingenuity on your part, you’ll be a pro in no time – that’s what I keep telling myself anyways! 

Becoming a Unicorn

The first month of a new career always brings fear and excitement.

I’m glad to say that here at Social Media Unicorn it has been a lot more excitement than fear. Everyone is great! Not only is my entire team fun to work with, they all have an in-depth knowledge of the cannabis culture and the wants and needs of the community we serve. With that being said, I am starting a weekly blog to inform and educate about the new innovative products, services, and happenings within our community. Stay tuned each week to see what this Unicorn is getting into 😉

Just recently, we had the pleasure of hosting a patient appreciation day for Tahoe Hydro Company with the lovely people over at Medizin. They operate one of the premier dispensaries that cater to Las Vegas and the surrounding areas. Medizin, unlike many other dispensaries, is also involved in cultivation. They have some award winning flowers like Chloe, one of the most medically beneficial strains that is offered in Las Vegas. We had a great time representing Tahoe Hydro Company while we were there. THC is a boutique cultivator out of Carson City, NV, that is sure to fit the needs and wants of any consumer out there. They have award winning strains: Blackjack (S), Gelato 45 (H), Tahoe Hydro OG (I), all winning their respective categories at the 2016 Jack Herer Cup. THC also just entered the preroll game with the introduction of their STIX line, currently offering Tahoe Hydro OG. Needless to say, they know what they are doing over there at Tahoe Hydro Company. We passed out tons of Tahoe swag and educated patients on our products and specials. It was great meeting and creating future Tahoe fans! I loved hearing all the positive feedback regarding our products. Huge thank you to Tanya and the whole crew at Medizin for making my first patient appreciation day a success!  

All in all, these first few weeks have been an adventure and a blessing. I’m so lucky to be surrounded by people who are so passionate about cannabis. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me as a Unicorn. Be sure to tune in next week for my next post and mark your calendars for our upcoming events!

Las Vegas Social Media Day – Fri. 6/30

Follow Tahoe Hydro Company on IG @tahoehydroponics

Get updates from Medizin at http://medizinlv.com 

The Endocannabinoid System

The Endocannabinoid System

An appropriately titled 2013 survey, “Ignorance Is Not Bliss,” revealed that only 13 percent of U.S. medical schools teach the endocannabinoid system to future doctors. With more and more patients are turning to it for relief, there’s certainly a need to be familiar with the endocannabinoid system.

The human endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a naturally-occurring network of receptors that is spread throughout the entire body. This system controls some of our most vital life functions, including our immune system, memory, appetite, sleep pattern, mood, and pain sensation.

The three main components of the endocannabinoid system are as follows:

  • Cannabinoid Receptors – found on the surface of cells
  • Endocannabinoids – small molecules that activate cannabinoid receptors
  • Metabolic Enzymes – break down endocannabinoids after they are used

There are currently two known major cannabinoid receptors; CB1 and CB2. Though they’re certainly not the only cannabinoid receptors, they were the first discovered and therefore remain the most-studied.

Unlike THC, endocannabinoids are naturally produced by cells within the human body. Like the plant cannabinoid THC, they are molecules that bind to and activate cannabinoid receptors.

The final piece of the endocannabinoid puzzle is comprised of the metabolic enzymes that quickly destroy endocannabinoids as soon as they are used. The enzymes responsible for this rapid breakdown are FAAH and MAGL. Their work ensures that endocannabinoids are used efficiently. This differentiates endocannabinoids from other molecular signals (such as hormones or classical neurotransmitters) which can persist for several seconds or minutes, or be stored for later use.

Of course, this is only a high-level overview of the human endocannabinoid system. Unfortunately, cannabis research is extremely limited – due to its federally illegal status – which prohibits government institutions (like the FDA) from conducting clinical studies. However, cannabis research is growing like a weed (pun intended) and each year, studies reveal even more about this intricate network within our bodies.

Priceless, Teamwork

This is a story about teamwork. I just finished working on an oil project in northern Alberta. In the last week of work I moved 10 million dollars in equipment.  Now the equipment wasn’t big, It wasn’t heavy, but the internals in it were so delicate that every move was preplanned. Every member of the crew had their place throughout the job of moving and installing this equipment, from calling the lift with the crane operator, to holding the tagline so the equipment is controlled and doesn’t slam into anything.  We did critical lift meetings prior to moving the equipment each day, even if all we were doing was moving it from the shipping crate to a holding area for the team from Norway to make sure everything was working properly.  The job was completed without a hitch.  The team came together, no one was hurt, the equipment was installed and we all walked away knowing we did a job well done.
 
Fast forward to today and I may not be moving millions of dollars of equipment, however I am doing something just as important. Working with the Social Media Unicorn team, we need to plan, we need to work together and we need to have our own “Critical Lift” meetings.  Every client that we cater to expects exceptional work to be delivered.  We want to shine.  How do we do that? By working together. By treating every client and every task like you are moving a million dollars, which if it slips it could get damaged. When working as a team, no task is too menial. Every member of Social Media Unicorn has their tasks to perform and by working together and helping one another we can succeed and deliver the premier experience that is expected from our clients.  
 
The most important thing that I can teach is to take each day as a fresh start.  Go through that meeting, talk to whoever you need to on the team. Each team member is unique. Find out who will be the best asset each day to help you achieve your goals. Find out if anyone could use help in achieving their goals. Only with teamwork will we be able to succeed and thrive.

3 Lessons Learned as a New Unicorn

3 Lessons Learned as a New Unicorn

A new job always comes with a learning curve, and being a Unicorn is no exception. Within my first month, I’ve learned three very important lessons that will always stay with me.

 

Find What Works For You

Over the years, the adult-skill that I have struggled with the most has been time management. Having ADD can make managing my time particularly difficult, but since I joined the Unicorns right before 4/20, it was crucial that I had my schedule under control. I’ve combed the internet for any and every “hack” involving time management – and what I learned from it is something we all already know, that everyone is different.

For me, it’s lists – I’ve found that I respond best to visual reminders and cues. “Out of sight, out of mind” is practically my accidental life motto. How do I use this to my advantage? Write. Down. Everything. If it’s something I need to do, I write it down. It doesn’t matter if I need to do it immediately, or in a few weeks – if I don’t write it down I’ll forget it. Every morning, I write (and prioritize!) a new list of tasks that need to be completed. When something inevitably comes up, I add it to the end, and reprioritize if needed. While this might seem like a lot of unnecessary and repetitive work to some people, it allows me to function ten times more efficiently, ultimately making me better at what I do.

Be Honest With Yourself

New people and new environments can be truly intimidating – pair that with a need to prove yourself, and before you know it you’re enthusiastically saying “yes!” to everything that is asked of you. This is when you need to be honest with yourself, in order to be honest with your co-workers. The amount of work that you initially agree to will set the precedent for the workload that you are able to handle – but I’m not saying that’s a bad thing!

Being honest with yourself also means challenging yourself. Just because you’re not particularly excited about the new project doesn’t mean that you can’t absolutely crush it. And on the opposite end of the spectrum, don’t turn down projects simply because you’re afraid to fail either. Failure is simply an opportunity to learn and grow.

Never Settle

Super cliché, I know, but hear me out. Now, before you go out and quit your stable office job in order to pursue your dream of being a nomadic juggler, that’s not quite what I’m suggesting. “Following your dream” sounds great in theory, but the reality is that “following your dream” doesn’t always pay the bills.

What I *am* saying is don’t lose sight of your end goal. Figure out what you’re best at – what you undeniably excel at doing – and pair that with your biggest passion. That is your end goal. It’ll probably take time, hard work, and patience to get there, but persevere. Being content isn’t good enough. You deserve to be truly happy.

Do Correct Spelling & Grammar Matter in Cannabis Marketing?

Lots of younger people may wonder just how important spelling and grammar are in the “real world.” The answer is VERY!

In the cannabis industry, this matters even more. Since we are battling against nearly a century of stigma, how we present new cannabis brands to the public matters.

Are you a cannabis entrepreneur looking to put yourself and your company into the spotlight? Here are a couple of reasons to brush up on your English grammar, or at least, try to be a little more conscious of all the good (and bad) copywriting that is around you! 

You’ll Seem Smarter

Using proper grammar can be positively conspicuous. You never know who is a stickler for proper syntax, or which big decision maker at a company was actually an English major in college.

Though you don’t need a degree to be a successful cannabis business owner, good speaking and writing skills can help. The type of people you’ll hit it off with by being a great speaker are the ideal types of acquaintances for an entrepreneur to have. 

Your Social Media Game Will Pop

The more you learn about the English language, the more awesome and creative things you can come up with to say. In the modern era of social media, that’s an incredibly important skill for a Unicorn to have! 

Brands – whether they are companies or personal brands – that do well on social media, tend to do well because they combine the right words with the best and most representative images. Plus, they know how to write a post that reads nicely, without confusing typos. Learn the basics of copywriting and you, too can sparkle on social.

You’ll Gain Opportunities

No matter your line of business, at some point you’ll find yourself having to pitch your product or services to someone else. It might be the media, or a new prospective business partner. Either way, that pitch had better be spotless if you want to put yourself and your brand in the best possible light! 


So, how exactly does one improve his or her spelling skills? That’s a great question. It seems hard to do, but we have a few specific suggestions. First, read more frequently; it doesn’t matter if it’s Lean InGone Girl or The New York Times. Second, find a friend or colleague with good writing skills, and shoot them texts.

Even better? Hire a cannabis marketing agency that can handle your specific needs with appropriate style and flair. 

The truth is, without a great communicator behind your brand’s most important materials, your company will never reach its full potential. However, we’re always here to help. Reach out to Social Media Unicorn to put our team of cannabis industry marketing and copywriting specialists to work. 

3 Photo Booth Apps For Your Next Event

From music festivals to industry conferences, having a photo booth activation is a great way to get interactive with your guests and attract attention to your brand. Here are some of the top photo booth apps we’ve seen popping up at parties across the nation. 

 PHHHOTO

Nope, that’s not a typo.  PHHHOTO is a next-generation camera app that shoots instant moving pictures your event attendees can instantly share with friends across social platforms.   

HotPoint App & Lightbox

photo-booth

Moving visuals are definitely on trend.

The HotPoint App takes this concept to the next level, adding a voyeuristic element allowing those at home to “watch in” on your event.

Already featured in some of the hottest venues across the nation in cities including Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami, and New York.

Launched in 2014, you can now bring a Lightbox to your city and have the whole town with #FOMO (fear of missing out) on your next event. 

 

Simple Booth

photo-booth

Offering branded images to major companies like Adidas, Disney, and Red Bull, Simple Booth brings the sauce when it comes to reach.

Almost all of Simple Booth gallery views occur on mobile devices, so we optimized the new galleries to be mobile-first and fun to play with. Infinite scrolling allows new images to load on the fly, so you can keep scrolling just like you would a social feed.

The best news is there are many options on the market, so if these didn’t work for you let us know what does in the comment section below!

4 Free Apps for DIY Graphics That Look Totally Pro

Stunning and aesthetically pleasing designs and graphics always see better results on your social media. We rounded up the top DIY graphics apps, these apps will add some sizzle to your mundane photos and escalate your followers’ counter.

These apps will also allow your creative side to display its imagination.

 Over

Your social media photo game isn’t perfect until you have the Over app on your device.  This app will turn your phone into a professional graphic designing studio and will surely evoke that waning right side of your brain.

Over is very easy to use and doesn’t create much hassle for beginners.

The app has features like adding text with a gazillion font and colors options, you can select the background and cut/paste the images.

Pixlr

Pixlr is a robust browser photo editor, for all your editing needs. Have full control over your images, including layers and effects.

This user friendly interface is like having a whole Photoshop software in your device, it has the usual text adding feature on photos along with certain effects, overlapping images, impressive borders etc.

The app is sure to give your photo a boost of liveliness offering full creative powers to its users. 

 

VSCO CAM

VSCO Cam has become  extremely popular because of its DSLR type effects. VSCO Cam has built in tool to edit certain aspects like brightness, contrast etc.

The app also has features like collage creation, templates, captivating borders,  overlays and text on image. Through VSCO cam you can save and download your edited image and can share directly on social media in-app.

Studio 

Studio gives your photo just the right amount of touch and makes it look as if they’ve been edited by a professional.

Studio gives the option of many outlines to choose from. You can crop the image in layout, the app has fun stickers, striking and trendy word art, which you can place anywhere on the photo to create graphics. You can also adjust light, shape and filters.

“What Instagram Did For Photography, This App Will Do For Design,” Mashable said in an app review. 

Here Are 3 Apps To Step Up Your Social Media Engagement

Social media has impacted our lives both personally and when it comes to raising your awareness about your business or brand.

With a whopping 600 million users on Instagram, another 1.68 billion on Facebook, and 319 million on Twitter many people are using social media to their advantage either for their business or own personal life.   So if they can do it, why can’t you?

Here are three helpful apps to step up your social media game!

Canva

social-media-apps

A call to action can help boost engagement. Turn your product pics into graphic masterpieces with Canva.

Created in 2009 out of Sydney, Australia the app has gained massive success thanks for its easy to use editing system and the fact that it’s FREE. Learn more on their website.  

 

 

Instafollow

social-media-apps

Instafollow or it’s Twitter equivalent, UnfollowerStats, allows you to check when people follow and unfollow your social media accounts. This is optimal for businesses who want to familiarize themselves with what posts are and aren’t working with their demographic.

Currents

Google’s Currents is an app that helps the average joe keep up to date with the newest trends in what’s happening around the world. This app helps many social media influencers, especially journalists and political commentators, remain relevant when they post.

What’s your go-to app for engagement?