Home Culture High on the Air: An Interview with Cannabis Radio Founder Daron Babin

High on the Air: An Interview with Cannabis Radio Founder Daron Babin

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Photo Credit: Webmasterradio.fm

The rise of the Internet has facilitated many things, but nothing has been enhanced more than the sharing of information. It was not that long ago that the number of media outlets a person had access to could actually be counted. Now, there is no end to the amount of places one can go to get information and/or entertainment.

Internet radio is a medium that is growing every day. The number of stations, live shows and podcasts has exploded over the last few years. The growth has been no less apparent when it comes to the genre of cannabis radio. Stations and podcasts have proliferated, spreading knowledge about cannabis while entertaining an ever-expanding audience.

At the forefront of the marijuana radio revolution is the Cannabisradio.com. CBR is a podcast ntwork that now comprises over a dozen shows (like The Tommy Chong Podcast, The Russ Belville Show and The Grow Show with Kyle Kushman), with more  being added all the time. It covers just about every angle of the cannabis community and law reform movement.

“The Cannabis Radio Network is the premier online/podcast radio destination for all things cannabis,” it reads on the Cannabis Radio website. “If you are an activist, enthusiast, cannabusiness owner, politician or policy maker looking to keep your fingers on the pulse of what is important to all the major stakeholders of cannabis, then this is the radio network for you.”

The Marijuana Times recently got a chance to speak with Daron Babin, co-founder of CBR, about Internet radio, the cannabis community and more!

The Marijuana Times: Where did the idea and impetus for Cannabis Radio come from?

Daron Babin: This was long an idea that our team tossed around a number of years back when we were located in Florida. We were accustomed to building out niche specific internet radio & podcast networks, it was a part of our core business. So having built several networks, we were always on the look-out for the next “new” thing. Cannabis held that potential and we knew this. Identifying core markets is something we were used to as one of our networks was focused on digital (or online) marketing. Ultimately, we were located in Broward County, where the TV Show “COPS” was created. You do the math. So we decided to NOT raise any sort of red flags for ourselves, and just wait for our country to evolve just a little more.

MT: What did you do before Cannabis Radio?

DB: My answer to #1 covers this, but I’ll drill down on this for you a bit. All of our online radio networks involved some component of B2B & niche digital marketing. More specifically, Search Engine Optimization. I’ve been in SEO since 1994 in a hired gun & consultative capacity since I began online. So this usually attracted a variety of projects of what I like to call: “things people want!”

MT: What do you hope to accomplish with the network?

DB: Simply put…be the best. We are very proud to have a great line up of show hosts who are the definitive experts at what they do. We have a way with knowing how to showcase this type of talent, dedication & passion for the plant. We want people to think of us as THE place to go to when they want to find a treasure trove of information whether it is about getting into the new legal business of cannabis, or just hear some of the latest news that we report daily as one of the only media outlets that is Cannabis specific that has a deal with The Associated Press. There’s also great shows for mmj patients or those interested in the plant as medicine, and of course plenty of funny for the enthusiast.

MT: In what ways are you involved in the realm of cannabis law reform activism?

DB: Personally, I am the former Arizona State Director for NORML and remain on the board in Phoenix. This was 2 years of working with folks at the local level to both learn about the plant and learn our options on legalization in AZ. Many of our show hosts are also very active reformers, so we’d like to think that there is a tenor of advocacy in our programming. The only way to enact change is to create unity in the community. This does not happen without a concerted effort. Having an amplification tool at our discretion to use to aid these on-going efforts across the country…is exciting and hopefully useful.

MT: Why should people check out Cannabis Radio?  

DB: We aren’t what people think of when they think of traditional weed radio. Usually that sounds like something with a reggae beat with Bob Marley carrying music lovers off into a haze of tunes for tokers. This is not what we do. Think of us, (as our host Russ Belville likes to say) as the NPR of POT. We have something for everyone, whether it’s a newbie who’s never known the difference between a strain to the aging in our country trying to learn about the alternative to pharmaceuticals. We’ve got a who’s who in Cannabis on the air right now, with more in development every single day. With names like Tommy Chong, Dr. Mitch Earleywine, Kyle Kushman, Dr. Dina, Nurse Heather, Stoner Jesus and so many more.

MT: What are your final thoughts on the cannabis industry in general, and its future?

DB: Doing what we do, we hear a lot of opinions from all over the country. The general consensus is, the train has left the building. I have to agree, in noting we now have 24 states with some medical laws on the books, 4 recreationally legal and, let’s not forget, the strides being made in the U.S. Territories. This could be too far down the path for some new President to give the Federal noose tighten up a bit after so much progress on the medical front. We STRONGLY support the need for further research into the efficacy of cannabis for use in treating Alzheimer’s & Dementia patients. I’m very excited to hear about the early results on testing of a new cannabis drug created by GW Pharmaceuticals to treat epilepsy. The success of this illustrates not just to us, the average everyday American…what the plant can do. But it also shows our elected officials, people on the far right in general and Wall Street…that the Drug War was a lie. That the world could have benefited from cannabis this whole time. Our hope is that this movement can help change our future as a civilization. That we can help fight for a brighter tomorrow.

When it comes to information and the ways it can be spread, the door has been kicked off the hinges, as they say. The Internet allows a freedom of discourse never before known in human history.

The new media is here and things will never be the same. Everyone has a voice and those who wish to speak can no longer be kept silent. That is why things are changing, and changing so quickly when it comes to cannabis law reform.

We will be kept silent no longer.

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