One of the best things about the new and growing legal cannabis industry is the opportunity it offers. Thousands of people are finding their calling in a rapidly growing industry, one that has practically endless potential.
Not only are opportunities becoming available when it comes the actual growing and selling of cannabis, but dozens of ancillary industries are feeling the benefits as well. Security, hospitality, tourism and transportation are just some of the industries that are seeing an increase in investment and opportunity thanks to legalization.
Another of these industries is entertainment. New entertainment companies are popping up all over the country; reporting, commenting on, highlighting and streaming the various goings on in the cannabis community. They are in the vanguard of the new media.
Entertainment has always had a close relationship with marijuana going back to the early days of Cheech and Chong and the hippie rock of the late 1960s; and if you go even farther back, to the jazz clubs of the 1920s and 1930s. And so it is today.
But this is a new age; it is the age of the Internet. With traditional outlets ignoring our movement and being off limits for cannabis business advertising for the most part, the only medium left for getting the word out about your company is the Web. And the best vehicles for advertising are always in the entertainment realm.
Entertainment, cannabis and the Internet collide in the form of the juggernaut that is Stoned Media Group. Housing brands like Stoned Girls, Naked Weed Report, High Finance and Stoned Insider, SMG covers all angles of the cannabis world. And at the top is their self-described “Dream Catcher”, Bree Whitehead.
Bree is a strong-willed woman running a company in what is traditionally a man’s world. Some men might not take her seriously because of it. Some business owners don’t want to work with her because SMG is associated with cannabis. Some women consider her a sell out to her gender because some of her brands feature gorgeous women who are often naked. But Bree is unrepentant.
“I am a 29 year old woman in an industry that is male driven,” Bree wrote in a blog post for StonedGirls.com. “I make no excuses about what I do. It’s a party trick at this point. Me being a woman has done everything to benefit me and nothing to inhibit my growth. I get told weekly from some editor or some super feminist that I objectify women, put them down, promote rape culture, etc.
“Women, hear me at the top of my soapbox, STOP TELLING OTHER WOMEN THEY ARE DOING IT WRONG. Go burn your bras. I will be wearing the one with all of the underwire and padding these double d’s can handle. Buy your organically sourced vegan leather moccasins that donate 75% of their profits to the noblest of causes. I prefer heels that I have to carry at 4 am. F**k all of the girls or boys you want. Or don’t. You pick, you decide. That’s my feminism. Your feminism and mine can co-exist.
“Our grandmothers, aunts, and mothers fought for a sexual revolution and gender equality so I could do this. Not ‘this’ as in my job, but ‘this’ as in write an article on a website I run reaching 500,000 people (this month). That’s one end of the spectrum. The other is, allowing a woman, in every facet of her life, to choose what she wants to do with her body. (While I am up for a fight, I am not talking about THAT choice, right now) Every time you look at another woman and slut shame her for what she decides to do in her life or with her body, you might as well hand over your girl card. You can’t sit with us.”
The Marijuana Times recently got a chance to chat with the irrepressible Bree about her company and more.
The Marijuana Times: What were you doing before creating The Stoned Girls?
Bree: I was doing freelance marketing work for other brands. Nothing really specific or in one industry.
MT: Why did you get into the cannabis industry?
Bree: You could tell in 2013 it was going to be huge and you wanted to be in it as soon as possible. It always seemed like the next place to be.
MT: Where did the idea for Stoned Girls and Naked Weed Report come from?
Bree: We’re definitely not the first to think about putting a naked girl on something. My investor is also in adult and it always seemed to make sense. We talked about it a thousand times before deciding to move forward with the project.
MT: What do you say to those who think naked women shouldn’t be used in cannabis advertising/business promotion?
Bree: But why? Hot girls have been used to sell things since the beginning of time. We have to stop being so uptight. You’d think this industry, if any, would chill out a little.
MT: Is it true you only hire women? If so, why?
Bree: That WAS true. I recently hired a few guys. I have 2 developers and a content manager that are guys and we have a few interns. Before it was really important to me to have that persona of being a feminist company. I realize now I can have great male talent and still be that company.
MT: What sort of activism has your company been involved in?
Bree: Honestly, not much. Most activists aren’t really excited to have our brands associated. That’s changing now with the introduction of Stoned Tube, High Finance and Stoned Insider.
MT: What does the future hold for Stoned Media Group?
Bree: I hope really big things! We are going to spend the next few months focusing on developing our content to bring more original and interactive pieces. We’ll also be building and focusing on our partnerships. I am taking a break on launching any more new brands until these 5 are much bigger. Unless we come up with a really good one. Then everything I just said was complete bulls**t.
A new industry is emerging and people like Bree and her crew are poised to seize the opportunities it presents. They are the new entertainment; they are the new media.
And the people at Stoned Media Group possess what may be the most important ingredient when it comes to being successful in the hyper-competitive world of cannabis companies on the Internet: they are fearless and they are unapologetic about who they are.
Add this to the fact that they know how to use the medium of the Internet to advance their cause and promote their brands. This may seem like a simple thing, but you might be surprised at how many companies have no idea how to utilize the tremendous opportunity of the Internet.
The future is bright for those in the cannabis industry. Potential stretches out before us like a long highway. Only those with the most skill and the best work ethic will make it to the end of the road.
Something tells me Bree and her crew will be on that road for a long time.