Episode 8 - l Want Cannabis To Be Awesome with Rama Mayo with Rama Mayo

l Want Cannabis To Be Awesome with Rama Mayo

On this week’s episode, Eric & Isaac are joined by Rama Mayo from Green Street who has an amazing story of how he got into cannabis.

Rama chats about how everything he knows he learned from skateboarding and punk rock growing up. Rama was a pioneer in the music scene and launched the careers of Jimmy Eat World, The Hives, At The Drive-In, Say Anything & many more.

In 2007 Rama Mayo started a fashion trade show with Steve Aoki. A few years later he started an advertising agency & art gallery which has slowly evolved into his work at Green Street, a firm 100% dedicated to Cannabis.

Currently, Rama Mayo is the president of Green Street which is co-owned by Gary Vaynerchuk and has created many Cannabis brands and platforms including Hall of Flowers.

On top of Rama having a great story into cannabis also has a wealth of knowledge which means this episode is not to be missed.

Transcription

Eric:

This is The Roots to Risk Podcast hosted by Eric Schneider, alongside Isaac Bach. Roots To Risk brings you insights, the latest stories, and long form discussions about the cannabis industry. You’ll hear interviews with industry leaders and their perspective on current and future trends, how they’ve built success and what challenges they have faced. Our goal is to facilitate candid conversations and provide informative content for the cannabis community at large. Let’s go. What’s going on? Is it another day on the Roots to Risk podcast?

Eric:

How are we feeling today?

Isaac:

Doing well, man. Looking forward to, uh, another very interesting and unique guest coming on today.

Eric:

Yeah. We have Rama Mayo, um, who, who has his, uh, tentacles and a lot of different things. Um, most of you may, may know, you know, the Hall of Flowers event, which is he, he’s one of the co-founders of, and just a little bit more about Rama, you know, everything he knows he learned from skateboarding and punk rock. Uh, he was a pioneer in the music scene working, launched the careers of the likes of Jimmy World, the hives at the drive-in say Anything and many more. In 2007, he started a fashion trade show with Steve Aoki.

Eric:

A few years later, he started an advertising agency and an art gallery, which has slowly evolved into his work at Green Street, which is a firm 100% dedicated to cannabis. Currently, he’s the president of Greentree, which is co-owned by Gary Vanerchuk and has created many cannabis brands and platforms, including Hall of Flowers. I’m super excited to have him on here. You know, he’s, uh, right in the thick of California cannabis. So gonna provide a, a lot of good insight on that as well. And, um, you know, you and I have been to Hall Flowers events, Isaac.

Eric:

They’re, you know, super cool and, and really excited to have him on here.

Isaac:

No, they’re amazing. And, uh, honestly, it seems like he’s, he’s worked with some pretty impressive people throughout his career, so I’m excited to hear, uh, the background on, you know, how all those sorts of things came about and, um, you know, excited to, you know, talk to him a bit more.

Eric:

Awesome. Let’s bring him in. How you doing everybody? We’re here on the Roots to Risk podcast. This is, uh, your host, Eric Schneider, along with my co-host Isaac Bach. We got a great, great guest here on deck, uh, Ramma Mayo from Green Street. Uh, really excited to have you on here, Rama. Really appreciate you taking the time.

Rama:

Of course. Thanks guys. Excited to talk about insurance. Just

Isaac:

Kidding, <laugh>. Just kidding. Well, we’re, we’re not going to insurance actually. We,

Eric:

We, there’s zero insurance Yeah. On purpose.

Rama:

I did, I did write down Al Farru yesterday, cause I’m working on a new event for four 20. And, uh, I, I sent obviously, Eric, the stuff you sent me around to all my people, like, Hey, if we’re getting insurance from someone we don’t know, it’s at least get it from these guys. And, uh, and, but last night I was like, shit, I gotta get insurance for this four 20 event. So I’m gonna send you an email a little later about that, just

Eric:

All right. Yeah. Sounds good. Yeah, we’ll, we’ll we could definitely, uh, definitely help out on that. But no, the goal, the goal of this here is to highlight you and, and what you are doing at Green Street. Right. And we’d love to learn a little bit more about, you know, your path to the industry, um, as well as just what you’re doing at Green Street and, and things like Hall Flowers, which, um, you know, we’ve seen firsthand, but, uh, and, and know how great of an event it is. But we’d love to just learn a little bit more from you.

Rama:

Sure, sure. I mean, the, the, the fun version of it is, you know, my mom named Rama, right? She’s a super hippy lady. She quit high school and moved to San Francisco, you know, uh, in 1969 or something. Um, she’s currently growing weed in Massachusetts. She’s an amazing cultivator. She grows her six plants, you know, and makes her oil from it and stuff, and That’s awesome.

Eric:

Where, where in Massachusetts?

Rama:

Uh, she’s in the suburbs between Western and Boston. The Right, it’s where I grew up. You know,

Eric:

My brother, my brother lives in, uh, western Massachusetts, like Amherst. Oh, nice area. Yeah.

Rama:

Yeah. It’s just, it’s freezing there. So I don’t live there. <laugh>. I, I’ve been here in California for 20 years, but, uh, but I grew up in, in Massachusetts and, you know, the day I graduated high school, I moved to Boston. But, uh, before that I lived in the suburbs. And, um, my first like, like remembrance of cannabis was, um, I, I was going through my mom and, and, and her boyfriend’s like little, um, like little chest, little stash, chatta chest thing in our, in our living room one day. And I found a bunch of seats and I gave those seeds to the neighbor’s kids.

Rama:

And I told them that they were Peach Tree seats, when in fact they were marijuana, cannabis seats, you know, you know, weed seats. And, um, we got in trouble for sure. And cuz the parents knew that they weren’t Peach Tree seeds. And um, you know, that’s the first

Eric:

Point. At what point did they know that they weren’t peach trees?

Rama:

I think immediately, I think the second, yeah. Little

Eric:

Surprise. Yeah.

Rama:

Said we got peach seeds and then they were like, parents were like, for sure those aren’t, those are pot seeds. <laugh> and called my mom and we got in trouble. But, um, you know, so it’s been around my whole life, right. Um, and when I was, uh, in high school and early college, I, um, actually was a, a concert promoter and, um, uh, or didn’t call ’em concert fact. Now I booked shows, you know, and I had a little punk rock record label, and a lot of the bands on the label were straight edge, you know, and I never really was, I never put an X on my hand or anything like that, but all my peer group, all my friends were all straight edge, so I wasn’t really around it.

Rama:

And I grew up punk rock and skateboarding, so, um, you know, I just didn’t drink or didn’t smoke weed or anything, and I just was like sober and just like, running around, you know, skating all the time and, and stage diving at punk rock shows and, and putting them on and stuff.

Rama:

And then a friend of mine, Liz Tempa, uh, who actually I’m going to her wedding next week, uh, which is super exciting. She, um, you know, cuz I’m like a, I was like a spazz, you know, she kept telling me, Brahma, you should try weed, you should try to smoke pot. Like, I’m telling you, you’re gonna like it. And for years, I, I didn’t do it. And then like one day I was like, okay, I’m ready. Let’s try this. I was like 25 years old and I smoked a joint with her and I was just like, oh my God, this is incredible. You were right. Where has this been all my life? Oh my God.

Rama:

Like, wow. Like you were right, Liz, you know, and again, I was doing the punk label at the time and, and then, you know, the bands I started working with kind of naturally evolved from like straight edge bands to more like indie rock and, and you know, like hardcore and like, you know, more punk and more like, you know, even like, uh, you know, atmospheric kind of music.

Rama:

Just different stuff. And a lot of those older musicians smoked weed all the time, especially on the road, on tour in the van or whatever. So, you know, I was really exposed to it mostly there. And then, um, I sold my record label, or I sold, I sold the rights to the record label, um, a long time ago. And I wasn’t sure what to do, uh, at that time. And I started a little fashion trade show, which is why I, we do the Hall of Flowers Show now is cuz I, I have a little trade show background and I did a fashion trade show with a friend Steve Aoki, who was not a famous musician at the time.

Rama:

We were just punk rock friends, but then became this big famous dj and, and our trade show broke up. So then I started, uh, a little ad agency with another music friend of mine, and we were doing, you know, corporate marketing, advertising websites, logos, strategy, whatever.

Rama:

Um, and that merged into a, a larger company with, uh, my mentor, uh, Darren Romanelli, Dr. Romanelli. And at that agency we were doing Beats by Dre, Disney, Dreamworks Universal, like big, big, big amazing projects, a lot of art, fashion, music. And, um, we signed G Pen, the portable vaporizer, if you know, G Pen, you know, and, um, anything you’ve ever seen for them. We had a hand in creating, uh, you know, back then, and, uh, they were already going, they were already successful.

Rama:

Um, and they came to us and said, Hey, like, we were friends, we were using their products, you know, like I was using the G pen on the daily. And they were like, how come you’ve never hit us up about doing marketing and advertising? And we were like, well, you probably can’t afford it. You know, we’re doing deets and Disney, it’s expensive, and we need a large budget and blah, blah, blah.

Rama:

And they were like, cool, let’s do it. And we were kind of surprised. And, you know, we, we treated Beats by Dre and Disney and Dreamworks and g e n all the same, right? We treated them like they were a real company. We had a built a style guide and strategy and you know, we just put like the core branding work you would into any other company, into the G Pen brand, you know, Graco Science and the brand just took off. It went crazy, you know. So we did the Snoop Dogg deal, and we worked on dozens and dozens of other collaborations along the way.

Rama:

I did all their events and Coachella and these big concerts and all this stuff for G Penn. And then essentially their lawyer at the time, my partner now Josh Shelton, came back to me and said, Rama, like, I don’t understand this branding thing, but um, you know, I’m an attorney and I think my law firm and your ad agency should smash together to create a compliant ad agency just dedicated to cannabis.

Rama:

And, um, I said, no, A couple times after a few months, he kept bugging me about it. And then I started meeting all the cannabis entrepreneurs, all the men and women. And the exact same feeling I got from them was the feeling I got from like the punk rock men and women I worked with. You know, like I told you when I was growing up and, and those bands, you know, those bands started in the basements. Most all of ’em that I worked with basically. And we grew them into monstrous bands. I mean, Jimmy e World, at the Drive-in the Hives, all American rejects, these are bands that were like sleeping on my couches and then grew into these giant bands.

Rama:

So the same thing I got from Jimmy World was the same feeling I got from, you know, the, the, the highly educated or, or bang chocolate or whoever it was back then.

Rama:

And we were like, okay. Like my, my thought was this is gonna be a mainstream thing one day. You know, we’re 10, 20 years out or whatever, but if we could survive off making two bucks an hour for the next five or 10 years, then trust will be priceless. This was our hunch, you know? And I thought I would have like a record label for weed, and in my mind that was just basically like a, a house of brands. So I started creating all these brands alongside doing all the agency work.

Rama:

I was creating our own little brands along the way. And then we quickly realized that there was no platforms available to launch these brands. So back to music, you know, you have South by Southwest and Texas or you know, you have Coachella or Bonnaroo or you know, you have Rolling Stones, you have these really, you have major labels, so you have these really established platforms that you use to launch music through.

Rama:

And cannabis just didn’t have that. You know, there was a couple of the, you know, high Times cups and stuff going on. Our, our dear friend Dougie has Chalice or had Chalice, which we loved. It was amazing. Uh, you know, and that went away. And we were sitting there and, you know, again, I did a fashion trade show after music. So I was like, fuck, we need like a, a fashion trade show, but for weed. So, um, you know, that was something. So Hall of Flowers you mentioned, you know, that was five years in the, the making in my brain before we even launched it. And, um, you know, there’s, um, a consumer event than I’m, I I did last year and I’m working on more for this year and a big, big one for next year.

Rama:

And, um, you know, that was it. It was like the, the, the hunch was, you know, that this is gonna evolve, that, you know, the key players are gonna be people that are in now that are at these tiny little companies basically.

Rama:

And, you know, they’re gonna evolve into these big, big brands. And, um, you know, we wanted to be there. We knew we didn’t wanna do distribution and we know we didn’t wanna do cultivation and we just knew we wanted to provide as much value as humanly possible. Cause we’re outsiders still to cannabis. So we just wanted to provide as much energy and much, much value as possible into cannabis with the hunch that, you know, we’d be sitting here, you know, with the opportunity to build a lot of cool stuff in the space. And, and it, so far it’s working.

Eric:

That’s an awesome story. And, and like, I, I love to hear that what you did in the past life and, and how it’s impacted, you know, what you’re doing today. Um, and you know, Isaac and I, we’ve been to, to Hall of Flowers, it’s, it’s funny, it’s like built such a great community and also just environment that like, it wasn’t a great event for us, like as insurance brokers, but like, in a good way, you know what I mean? Like, you dig your Yeah. You dig your job making it for the brands. Yeah. You did your job.

Eric:

Like, well, like, you know what I mean? Like, it’s there for brands to highlight themselves and for, for retailers and for deals to get done. And, uh, yeah. Just, you know.

Rama:

Yeah. Yeah. Sorry to cut you off, Eric. It’s built for brands to make money. Yeah. You know, it’s, it’s built to write orders, you know, and again, from the fashion world, my partners on Hall of Flowers are, um, a guy named Danny and Aaron. Um, and Aaron is a big fashion trade show guy. And Danny’s also a, a major fashion trade show guy. So even though I had a little fashion trade show, I really went to these much more established people and said, we should just apply this to cannabis and I’ll make sure that it’s authentic for, for the weed space.

Rama:

I’ll bring the weed basically, and I’ll make sure it connects on our level. You guys handle the production and like the, the, you know, the multimillion dollars spent on building out such a, a crazy event like this, you know? But yeah, it’s, it’s just built for, for people to make money, for brands to write orders

Eric:

And people, and I mean, the booth wise, I think, you know, the, the the spend that they put into their booth, I mean, it has to be probably the, the largest expenditure out of any event out of the year

Rama:

For the brands itself.

Eric:

Yeah. Like, like, like what they, what they produce. And it’s, it’s unbelievable.

Rama:

Yeah. So the brands, you know, we have those kind of, um, pre-built stuff, right? So we spent literally millions of dollars building out walls and shelves and all these things for brands that just wanted to show up and, and have it be easy. Put their stuff on the shelves. They already, we make your signage for you. Yep. Um, but you know, in cannabis, a lot of these men and women are, are true entrepreneurs and, and they, they wanna build and show off and, and show their personalities and things like that, you know? So, um, so a lot of ’em also show up and they these crazy spaces, but we really wanna make it an even playing field.

Rama:

Like we’d prefer just to have everybody in a uniform kind of booth with the same height, same space, same music, same vibe. That way it it’s for the buyers, right?

Rama:

I guess. I know, I understand. The brands wanna show off. I get it. Believe me, we have boost there that we do, and I do fun cool booths not the standard ones, but the buyers, you know, they want it to be easy, right? They wanna go booth to booth to booth, like check thing. Yes, yes, yes. You know, so that’s why we do it so they can, it’s really built for the buyers to, to, to write orders as, as easily as possible. You know, we, and even this year we’re announcing, um, I think on Tuesday we’re announcing, um, R F I D Chip and the wristbands now to track, uh, data.

Rama:

And we’re announcing, um, a matchmaking system for the brands to set appointments ahead of time. Cuz the, the problem right, is that my partners come from fashion and even I, I, I did the fashion trade show.

Rama:

The fashion brands know how to activate at a trade show. At least there’s one or two people from the company. Even if the sh the brand hasn’t act, hasn’t ex exhibited, there’s someone from the company that has, and there’s someone from the company that goes, oh shit. Like, we’ve gotta make sure we have appointments or we’ve gotta make sure we have catalogs or like the right salespeople or, or swag to give away or whatever it may be. A lot of the cannabis brands don’t even know that. Like you guys said, you guys didn’t do well, you know, I guarantee you if we had talked beforehand, I would’ve taught you how to fish.

Rama:

But you could have done well cuz you know, there’s, there is room for the other industries at the show. But, you know, I, I talked to a brand at the last show and, and they had a lot of brands were like super happy, but that’s easy.

Rama:

I don’t care about that. I wanna know the brands that are unhappy and, and how to fix that, right? So, so I had a brand that said they had an arena, you know, the 20 by 20 you’re talking about. And they said they didn’t, they didn’t sell anything. And I was like, wow, like, that’s wild. Like, did you have catalogs? And he’s like, oh, I don’t know. And I was like, well, did you have like a line sheet or anything to an order form or anything to, to write an order with, you know? And he is like, I don’t think so. And I was like, okay, well did you have like business cards and, and like appointments and like a staff?

Rama:

And they were like, oh, we brought these guys over, we hired this guy, these couple people for the day. You know what I mean?

Rama:

And yeah, and it’s like, they just don’t even know how, what, how to take advantage of it, you know what I mean? So I, I, I, that scared me. So then I started talking to other brands, big companies, I’m talking about like big companies. And I’m like, you know, hey, like I, I wanna help you, you know, make success at the show as much as possible. Like, you know, you have any thoughts. And they said, well, you know, how do we, how do we do it? What, what do we need? And I said, I, I’m not even joking. I said, well, obviously you’re gonna have business cards and line sheets and catalogs and, and this woman starts writing down the first thing I say.

Rama:

And I go, are you writing business cards down? And she’s like, yeah. And I was like, oh shit. Oh no.

Rama:

Fuck, we’re in a bad spot. Like, these people don’t even realize, oh, we should bring business cards to the trade show. Do you know what I mean? So obviously it will evolve. We’re doing everything we can to help and train and teach the brands how to fish. I have a personal document that’s ramas dos and don’ts for Hollow Flowers that, that the tracer doesn’t even share with people. I just share with people. Cause I’m crazy and I want them to connect, you know, things like, don’t eat in the booth and schedule lunches so your people can leave and, you know, make sure like there’s no bags sitting around clutter and all these, like, really even small things, even my booths, I don’t let people sit in them.

Rama:

I don’t let, I don’t, I don’t, I, and I take the trashcans and I’ve moved them out of there.

Rama:

I don’t even want a trashcan in my booth, you know what I mean? Because I, to me, I’m so like, psycho on, like how to make it successful, how to get the most out of it, you know what I mean? And I don’t want someone walking into the booth and throwing like, an apple in the thing, or like a, a drink or whatever it may be, you know? So, um, but again, I built the show so I know how to, to do it the best, you know, with, with my partner Danny and, and everybody there, of course, you know, Danny’s in charge as he always reminds me, you know, <laugh>,

Eric:

Um, I, I, well, so Hall of Flowers. So we have Palm Springs, Santa Rosa, there’s a, you guys did an event in, uh, Toronto, in Canada as well, correct?

Rama:

Yeah. Yep. Yeah, so this year we’ll probably mix it up a little bit. California is really rough, guys. I don’t know how much you’re following it, but Wow. Yeah, it’s like not a good time closely. Yeah, yeah. It’s, you know, and you’re seeing like big companies announce that they’re departing from California even, you know, totally predicted. I obviously we saw the writing on the wall, but um, you know, if you don’t make money, how do you run business, right? So, um, so yeah, I’m not sure what will happen exactly with the schedule for this year, but yeah, last year we had, um, Toronto, we had a little popup inside of MJ BIS Con, uh, and then we had our Santa Rosa event, which is the big anchor one, that’s the one coming up in May.

Rama:

And then we had a Palm Springs event, uh, that venue I don’t think we can use anymore.

Rama:

So I think we’re trying to figure out what, what else to do out there. But you know, we’re also talking about just, you know, focusing on Santa Rosa and making it as big as humanly possible, just cuz this year’s tough for the brands, you know, again, we, we wanna react to the brands, you know, like why trade, why Hot Flowers worked. It wasn’t like, like, we are gonna charge this and this is what they get. We literally were like, how much value could we could pro, could we provide like this, this, this, this, this boost this, okay, now what is it worth? You know?

Rama:

So like we reverse engineered the price based on that, where 99 9% of these events coming into it, it’s just like, how much can we make? How many tickets can we sell? What’s, what, how much can we gross and therefore what can we spend To us, it was just like, it has nothing to do with that. It’s just how much value we can we provide, you know? And if you’re a cannabis brand in the market and you can’t afford, you know, five or 10 grand for the show, like, you know, maybe you’re not a real company or something. I dunno. Right.

Isaac:

That’s a fair point. Yeah. I mean, do you, do you have any like, long-term plans of, you know, doing some events on the, the East coast in the US or, you know, kind of focusing more on the West coast for now?

Rama:

Yeah, Danny, Dan. It’s all Danny, you know, really, like, um, you know, I’ve done, we have a bunch of companies, you know, in the, in the portfolio and, um, some platforms, some brands. And really, like, my strategy has from the very beginning has been, um, I wanted to do a lot and a lot of cool stuff, you know, all like, not all over the place cuz it’s all within cannabis, but, you know, a lot of different things. And, um, you know, um, here my, my neighbors doing some construction. I’ll shut the window. Hold on.

Rama:

So I wanted to do, sorry. So here we go and clap. And, okay. So I wanted to do, um, a lot of stuff in cannabis, right? I wanna do a lot of like platforms and brands. Cause I just see all these opportunities, um, you know, for for cool business to happen. And then those opportunities, now they’re emergencies, this is 10 I green, she spent 10 years going, you know what I mean? Like 10 years ago I was like, wow, someone has to build a good consumer show, someone has to build a good trade show, someone has to build a good, a media company, you know?

Rama:

And 10 years later it hadn’t really been done, you know, so, so I’m like, fucking these, these opportunities are now in my mind emergencies. Like, we need a bunch of more B2B shows. We need a ton of more to B2C shows, right?

Rama:

To how are we gonna get the mainstream consumer into the fucking industry and into, into the space without ways for them to do it. You know what I mean? So it’s like the, the, the, the opportunities became now emergencies and, you know, with Hall Flowers, it’s like Danny’s in charge. And you know, with my building in downtown, I have a A C E O that runs that. And with all the brands we are involved with, I have like CEOs and that run those, you know, my guy Jamie Feaster runs the country brand with us.

Rama:

But a lot of these are just kind of like ideas I have and right, like, as you guys know at this point in your careers, like ideas versus execution, right? What’s more important? I was always thinking ideas were more important always until now. And now I realize execution’s more important.

Rama:

You know, it took me 35 years or whatever, you know, to learn that. And, um, even though smart old people the whole time told me that was the case, you know, I didn’t believe them. And, um, and now I realize, okay, it’s all these ideas can be cool, but without them getting out there, what’s the point? So that’s what I’ve been doing, you know, for better or worse I partner with, uh, other entrepreneurs. I also don’t want employees. I’m, I do not like them. I’m bad at managing them. I’m not a fan of employees at all. Uh, it’s so, so much work, you know, 20 employees, 20 problems, you know?

Rama:

Uh, my friend has 300 employees, <laugh>. I think that’s insane. Uh, so I, I, you know, and like, and so I’ve just been finding like-minded, you know, entrepreneurs and trying to be like, Hey, here’s my concept.

Rama:

Why don’t you complete it? And then you run the day-to-day of it, and we are partners in it and we work on it, you know, for a long time. And, and that’s what I have with, with all the businesses, you know. And, um, we didn’t talk about Gary, but my partner in Green Street, I mentioned Josh Shelton, you know, was like, we should form this, this ad agency and, you know, and, and merge the law firm and the ad agency together. That’s Josh Shelton. So him and I are still partners right now. And then that’s been 10 years. But five years ago, I, um, reconnected and spent a bunch of time with Gary Vaynerchuk, Gary V, you know, and, um, I had met him years and years before that, like, before Green Street even started, I had met him and I was a fan of him.

Rama:

I was buying his books. I went to go see him speak like 12 years ago maybe. And, um, you know, before he was super popping. And, um, and we, we met up about five years ago and, um, maybe even a little more I guess. And, um, we started talking about all the shit we were working on, and I mentioned weed and his fucking eyes exploded. And all, everyone in the, everyone in the room turned around and was just like, wait, what weed, what, what are you doing? They didn’t care about anything else. I brought a super famous celebrity to them. They didn’t care about anything besides when I said weed.

Rama:

And then they were like, tell us more. And I was like, well, you know, I think there should be a trade show. I think there needs to be like a big, you know, complex for people to work out of.

Rama:

I think there needs to be a consumer show, you know, there should, there’s tons of space for brands, but right now I’m just doing ad agency work. I, we were just like doing client work and he came in, he invested, you know, some money and he brought on a amazing team. And, um, you know, we, we built the agency up and started building these other platforms and brands along the way. And then right before Covid, um, we didn’t know Covid was happening, but right before Covid we sat down and, and I just explained to Gary I wasn’t happy cuz now I was just running this ad agency with all these employees like I mentioned, and I’m just, I, I, my whole day was just dealing with other people internally in the company and not building anything cool anymore.

Rama:

So I was complaining to Gary and he’s just said, well, what if we stop doing client work?

Rama:

And I said, well, well that’s all we do. What do you mean? Like, what, like, like that’s like, what’s the business then <laugh>? You know, like that’s, what do you mean? I don’t understand? I’m like, okay, and continue. And he is like, yeah, fuck it. Like, you know, I, we don’t need money, you know what I mean? If you’re not happy and, and, and, and we think IP is the way we were gonna make money anyways, cuz that’s what any agency makes money from is is ip. Either it’s the make or break of any ad agency, you know, he was like, let’s just focus on ip. So that’s what we’ve been doing the past five years.

Rama:

It’s been super exciting. You know, we launched our first consumer show last year. I’m doing our next consumer event, uh, on four 20 this year. So coming up, uh, very soon, you know, next month.

Rama:

And, um, and we’ll do a, a annual big four 20 festival with the goal of growing that from California outside into other states. And, um, you know, and that’s like our consumer, you know, focus for now. And then obviously Hall of Flowers is crushing it, you know, it’s California’s tough this year maybe, but I think we’ll be fine soon. And then, um, you know, we have the building in downtown, uh, which is insane. You know, the building in downtown is a wildly ambitious project. It’s 67,000 square feet, it’s seven stories.

Rama:

Uh, but we bought it before Covid as well, and we, we designed it before Covid, so it’s like office spaces now. So, and we built it, we started opening it before Covid, we opened it three weeks, literally. Then we had to shut it down for Covid. Now we’re trying to like retrofit it to work and no one wants offices anymore, you know, so we’re turning it into more of like a, a Soho House Club membership thing or whatever.

Rama:

We do have some offices in there, but like, you know, with California, you know, cannabis brands going this way and, and, you know, real estate and offices, you know, the same way it’s been super hard to like, you know, to make the building profitable. It’s still there. It’s been 18, uh, 14 months of being open or something. So we’re super proud of it, but it’s just like, you know, wow. Like, you know, what do we do? What do we get ourselves into? But the building itself also comes from the punk rock world, because in Boston I had a, a business there called intech, and my label was called Big Wheel, and Big Wheel needed an office.

Rama:

So I was looking around for office spaces and you know, it’s when you want a 10 yellow office, you don’t get much. So then I, I, I love to build shit and fantasize and, and you know, like all these things.

Rama:

And so I start looking for bigger offices and then bigger offices. And I found a building in Boston, right, right on Yaki Way, right where the Red Sox play, and it was this three floor, like big ass fucking building and just like weed where you buy a bag of it and you sell some to your friends to make your money back, you know, I was like, shit, what if we could get this big building and I could rent out spaces to other music people? So that’s what we did. And we had Bridge Nine records in there, which is an insanely famous record label.

Rama:

Now, we had, uh, Matt Galley in there who’s arguably the number one booking agency on the planet. We had Jen Malone in there, who’s arguably the number one music supervisor on the planet right now. You know, we, she did the fucking, wed Wednesday dance, you know what I mean?

Rama:

Song and John away and shit. And uh, you know, and, but we were all like punk rock people. You know, Jen had a PR company, Matt had a booking agent, you know, uh, Chris had his label. I had my label. We had another label called Hydra Head Records. We had another booking agent named Matt Pike. We had, um, uh, a, a a mastering studio. So it’s the same idea. Like, so now the, the Green Street building that we start started five years ago, and, and we, we opened finally, you know, a year and plus ago I was doing that for music 20 years ago.

Rama:

It was on the front page of the Boston Globe, you know, but like music companies unite in this one complex, you know? And, um, so it’s a 20 year old idea. You know, you had mentioned I’m applying the stuff like that’s all cannabis has. All cannabis has is people applying what they learned from music, fashion, art, sports, energy drinks or whatever into the, the community right now as it evolves into the industry.

Eric:

Yeah. And, and, uh, no, it’s, it’s really cool, like what you’re building in the, the vision behind it, right? I think, you know, a lot of, a lot of operators and folks have a similar ethos where it’s like, listen, the, the value the market’s there. It’s, you know, how do we weather weather the storm and, and make sure that we get to the, to the light at the end of the tunnel? You know what I mean? Yeah. And like, you know, we were, we were talking to the other day, although, you know, there are a lot of issues going on with the, the industry and, and different problems that operators face when you look at where we are today versus, you know, three to five years ago is, is drastically different.

Eric:

Right. And super exciting. So, you know, just always wanna try to remind, you know, we try to remind ourselves is like, you know, it’s challenging right now. And, and obviously, you know, similar to you, Rama, we’re, you know, an ancillary provider and, and you know, our success is, you know, we, we rise with, with the tide of our clients, right? In the, in the industry. So, um, but where it was, you know, three to five years ago, again versus today is, is drastically different and just continued success, um, and growth.

Eric:

So I, I think, uh, there’s a lot to be excited about, you know, is is

Rama:

The bottom line. We’re guys, we are so early, like, we are still, like, I’ve been too early my whole life. It’s like almost not to to default, you know, I was like the first on so many things and, and by the time 10 years, it takes 10 years to grow a brand, right? Is something like that, right? So by the time the 10 years comes along, I’m usually like, oh, I’m bored. And meanwhile I’m at like, just the precipice of when this stuff’s gonna become huge. You know, I had back, if you know, these bands, like I had Chris Karaba dashboard, confessional, and, you know, my Chemical Romance and these artists like, like begging to be on my record label at the time.

Rama:

And I didn’t, I didn’t think that I could become the major label, you know, I thought I was just this indie guy and I, you know, the majors used me to as a launching pad to go off of, you know?

Rama:

And now I’m realizing, wow, like we can become the major label. But if you look at, you know, the stuff that I’m inspired by fashion, art, music, you know, these institutions are been in business for a hundred years. Yeah. You know what I mean? Like, this is like, you know, so we are so early we asked Gary, um, I did, I started a a a a clubhouse space over Covid. Cause I wanted to turn it into a physical event. It’s called Donuts and Pizza. And, um, I do it on Friday mornings. And, um, and I started it on, on on Clubhouse at the same time, on same on Friday mornings, knowing it would become a physical thing.

Rama:

And I just didn’t tell anyone. I just said, I’m gonna do this physical, and let’s just start that. And, you know, Gary v popped onto one of ’em, and Brad Shanker, you know, from seven 10, your friend, you know, asked Gary, what inning is it in?

Rama:

And again, this is two years ago or whatever, right? But he’s like, what inning is it in Gary in cannabis? And you know, Brad probably th third inning, fourth inning maybe, you know, I am like, oh, second inning. Gary’s like, guys, we haven’t even left the clubhouse. We haven’t even showered yet. We haven’t put our socks on yet. That’s how early cannabis still is. You know, he thinks cannabis is 30 years away, you know, but he thinks it’s gonna be like milk. It’s gonna be gigantic and mainstream, you know? So the, on this call right now, the people that are listening, we are like really early.

Rama:

Like, if you think it’s too late, you’re, you’re crazy. You know, my prediction is that like, especially with what’s happened in California, you know, that like a, in literally an intern for a company today, unpaid intern today can be c e o of a giant cannabis company in three years from now.

Rama:

No problem. Cuz no one knows what they’re doing. It’s right. There’s no playbook, there’s no, it’s actually crazy to think about <laugh>. That’s what’s gonna happen. I saw it in fashion. I saw dudes in fashion that were like, at the booth, like being like, oh, me to come in, check it out. Like handing out flyers. And then they’re like presidents of huge companies now. You know? And it didn’t take long because again, like there’s just, the talent will rise, you know? Cause right now we’re having also, you know, I don’t want to be negative.

Rama:

You guys asked in the questionnaire stuff to avoid, I said, no shit, talking no negative talk, right? But is, you know, I’m an eternal optimist. My only thing I’ll say is that like, it was, cannabis is suffering now from like, the hordes of the, the, I’d say like the, the non great executives coming from alcohol, energy, drinks, fashion, you know, sports, art, whatever, that like the, like the, the, the like, like the cr you know, like the lowest of the rung in music have come over to cannabis, right?

Rama:

To like, and, and they’re now CMOs of companies or whatever running these funds and stuff. And it’s like they have no idea in the world what they’re doing. You know what I mean? So it’s like, and it’s just a job for these people, which I get it. Of course. Why, why would you care? You know what I mean? Like, but the problem is, it, it’s, it’s like skateboarding or, or punk rock or, or, or you know, hip hop back in the day where it’s like, it’s still just a community, you know? And it’s, it’s, that’s all it is. Yet it’s not even an industry yet. You know? And, and you, I can prove it with this one thing, Marley Natural, look at Marley Natural, Marley natural owned by Leafly 75 million budget or whatever.

Rama:

They had gigantic team of people.

Rama:

All of our friend brands, outsell Marley Natural, you’ve never heard of them. You know what I mean? It’s just like the, the cannabis industry doesn’t care about money and flash it almost, it almost like re reflects it, you know what I mean? It’s almost like, get in here and do the hard work. Right? So that’s why our, our thought, and again, punk rock, skateboarding, whatever, like skateboarding is, all the skateboard companies are run by the big skaters, right? Like, you know, all the surf companies were started by pro surfers, right? So that’s like what, what I hope still happens with cannabis. Um, I look at them as like the celebrity chefs, you know, the cultivators and all these things.

Rama:

And, and my promise to cannabis is to, to to protect the authenticity of it. You know? That’s what I personally am here to do. I wanna be, I mean, I wanna be proud.

Rama:

I wanna be smoking awesome weed all day, you know what I mean? And there’s room for sure for like the, the, you know, the, the EBVs and the Budweisers, like that world, of course, you know, young brands like there. Of course there’s room for that. But then I feel like you’re gonna see a, a huge push to the craft at the same time. You know? And then you’re gonna get that, you know, that the two sides of the business, the craft side of it, and then like the, the mainstream consumer side of it. Um, but, you know, we wanna do both. That’s why I partnered with Gary. You know, I didn’t partner with the biggest marketing guy on the planet, basically to do indie little marketing.

Rama:

You know, I partnered with him cuz when Zucks, cause I, when Twitter said, Hey, we’re doing ads. I called him immediately and was like, can we do ads?

Rama:

Because he spends 20 million a day on ads on Twitter right now, or whatever. It’s, you know what I mean? Right. So, um, you know, so, but again, it’s, we’re so early, like you guys are so, so, so early. But if you can survive the next 10 years and like, you’ll be the go-to, you know, not just insurance, but like, anything that could expand that portfolio. Because we don’t, as cannabis people and, and, and entrepreneurs, we just want to have like a person, right? I used to say a guy, like a guy, you know, now it’s a girl or a guy or a person you can go to, right?

Rama:

So again, I didn’t even write down insurance like I normally do on my events. I just wrote Alpha Root now, and, and we’ve never already worked together. Do you know what I mean? Because it’s just like, cuz there’s this, we just, they’re gonna need these things, right?

Rama:

So to me, alpha Root is like insurance and then any other like, professional services you can add onto that. I think we would love it. You know what I mean? Yeah. I had a friend that, my friend that had 300 employees I told you about, uh, he owns a printing company and he started with making t-shirts and then he started offering stickers and then he started offering posters and you know, now he prints everything on the planet. You know what I mean? But it was like, he now, he’s like a, a printing solutions person. He started as like the sticker guy, you know what I mean?

Rama:

And now he’s like printing solutions. So you guys will be like, whatever it is, SaaS solutions or what, I don’t know, whatever the term for your whole category is, you know what I mean? But they just want, you know, we don’t know.

Rama:

We don’t know options. We think we’re inventing distribution right now in cannabis. We don’t know that there’s these huge corporations out there that, that specialize in it, you know what I mean? Because like, again, cannabis is like, they’re, they’re like frenemies everyone, you know, they’re kind of like, you know, and they’ve been carrying their stuff through the mud for so long, they’re really scared to like show off how they do it or, you know, like share information or resources or, or whatever, you know? Yeah. So therefore they don’t, they can’t learn as much, you know? Cause they just don’t realize like, wow, there’s a, you know, there’s a button for that, you know, kind of thing.

Rama:

<laugh>

Eric:

No, this, this has been an awesome conversation, Robin. And like, I, I really appreciate the authenticity and, um, and the perspective, right? I think, you know, for us, like, you know, similar to you, I’m sure we definitely just like see the, the value and, and the growth and the progression and, you know, we, we definitely, I would say agree on, you know, it’s, it’s not even, the game hasn’t even started, um, which is super exciting, right? I think, you know, there’s just, just a ton of potential.

Eric:

Um, and, and it’s those that continue to invest into the community, like you mentioned, are gonna be the ones that are successful and, and thrive. Um, and, and so that’s what we’re here to do, honestly. Like, that’s why we, we started this like roots to risk. Like, it’s not about what we do, it’s, it’s elevating other companies and, and having conversations and just, uh, learning about, you know, how people got into this space and, and what they’re passionate about. Um, so r really appreciate you, uh, you providing all that insight and just like, love hearing about, you know, how you got into this space.

Eric:

I think it’s cool.

Rama:

Thanks man. Yeah. I talk a lot. I love it. I wanna share, you know, share the story. I wanna inspire people to, to, to join the community because, you know, I want cannabis to be awesome. You know, I wanna be proud of it. You know what I mean? Like, the stuff I grew up on I’m like, is like going into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and, and now in the Olympics with skateboarding, you know, like, like I’m proud of those things. I’m proud to be like, oh, I was a skateboarder and I was a punk rocker. Cause now those things are like accepted. You know what I mean? And like, we were right almost, you know, and that’s how cannabis is.

Rama:

Like, there’s no doubt there never was. You know what I mean? Like 10 years ago we started the company, A lot’s changed in three years, 10 years ago was crazy.

Rama:

You know what I mean? Like, you know, and then there’s people that have been in it for 10 years before that heavily and, and, and way more before that, of course. You know what I mean? Um, I had a, I I had a, my mom’s friend, not my mom. I promise. Don’t, please don’t get her in trouble. Um, my mom’s friend, um, told me the story one time that, um, we were talking about weed, you know what I mean? And they like, loved that it’s commercial cuz they were doing it, you know, before that, you know, my mom’s like, you know, been growing weed for, for a long time, you know, so, um, but her friend, um, told me the story that, uh, she had like a, a sailboat full of wheat and was like sailing it, like smuggling it or whatever.

Rama:

I don’t know what you call it, the words, you know, like, it’s been a long time.

Rama:

It’s like, this is the 30 years ago or something, you know, this is before I was born, so fuck, you know, fucking 50 years ago, right? 45 years ago, <laugh>. And, uh, yeah, it’s crazy. Wow. I didn’t even think of it. So yeah. So I’ll call it 45 years ago. Wow. My mom’s friend was on a boat coming up the coast with a ton of weed on it and like grounded out on like the, the sandbar or whatever. And like the, it smelled like weed so bad that they jumped off the boat and swam to shore till the high tide raised back up so they could go back out and continue on their thing.

Rama:

You know what I mean? And this is like just a normal woman, you know what I mean? That you’d never, she’s just like a, I think she was a nurse after this, you know what I mean?

Rama:

Like, kind of thing. So it’s just come so, so, so far, right? And, um, you know, so, so a lot of the, unfortunately, a lot of the people that have been in it a long time, they’re exhausted. You know, like the great entrepreneurs that are in the space, the genetics, the, you know, the distribution people, the, you know, the, the hardware, they’ve just, they they’ve given it all they can. And now they, they’re exhausted, you know? And, and then you’re seeing, like, you talk about making money, you know, you’re seeing like these kind of, it’s dying down a lot more, you know?

Rama:

But like all the publicly traded stuff, all the Canada stuff happening, all the SPACs, you know, we got approached a dozen times 50 times by people trying to bring us public, you know what I mean? And obviously that we thought that was ridiculous, you know, so the, the shame is that you’re seeing a lot of these companies that really had it are like, you know, so tired that they need help and they, they’ll take anything they can, they’ve been carrying us through their mud for 20 years that like, you know, that the, that the people that have been making money are like the, the, the, the lawyers, you know what I mean?

Rama:

Like the people that are doing these deals that are kind of crushing these companies, you know what I mean? None of these companies that want public are, are excited about it. I would imagine not many of ’em and most of ’em are worth a fraction of what they were worth. You know what I mean? And, and some of them are like dear friends, you know, and their companies are, are almost destroyed, you know? So I think this year you’re gonna see the biggest mergers in cannabis we’ve ever seen California. I think you’re gonna see the big Distros merge. I think you’ll see a bunch of dispensaries form alliances. I think you’ll see brands emerging with dispensaries to get that valuation that the dispensaries once used to have.

Rama:

Um, you know, and, and I think all this is natural, right? This happens in any, every industry, you know what I mean?

Rama:

Like, I sent Gary the, um, the cure leaf pulling outta California and West Coast article. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, and I was like, the bubble, the bubble’s bursting, you know, and his response was like, obviously, you know what I mean? Like, yes, like we saw this, you know, but for me, like I’m, I, I think I’m a lifer in this space, you know what I mean? This is like, we’re like, when Gary’s like 30 years, I’m like, okay, bet let’s go, let’s get started. You know what I mean? So it’s just about us surviving. Like people are asking me, like right now, people are asking me how to be the biggest cannabis company.

Rama:

And I, my answer is just survive.

Rama:

You know, there’s gonna be hundreds of companies that go outta business this year, then there’s gonna be a hundred new that start. And I saw this in fashion, when you go to the fashion trade shows, I dunno if you’ve been, or I’m sure any trade show you’ve been to that are big, I don’t know. I’m sure there’s like a hundred new startups, 200 new companies, and they have a little teeny area. They have some crazy space and they borrowed money from a friend or, or a credit cards or whatever it may be. And you know, they, you know, a real institutional investment and they’re just like one trade show brands. They come once and then they’re gone. You know what I mean?

Rama:

And I think you’re gonna see hundreds of those happen, especially every state that comes on and et cetera, by thousands of ’em, you know, in the next couple years. And then eventually, you know, they’ll start going from local brands to regional and then regional to national. But I, we’re fucking so far away still for all that. I don’t even wanna make a prediction, you know, five years at best, 10, 10 years potentially, you know, kind of thing, you know? So, yeah. Very cool.

Eric:

No, and, and it’s, it’s great to hear that insight in, in, in what you think’s on the horizon and like you said, survive. Um, which I think is, uh, super impactful. So, um, I wanted to kick it to, to Isaac to just, um, wrap things up here. Got a quick, a few quick hitters for you. Rama

Isaac:

<laugh>. Yeah. Quick, quick fun ones. Not cannabis related necessarily, but, uh, what’s on the, uh, top of the Spotify or Apple music these days? What’s getting you out a bag in the morning music-wise? Well,

Rama:

Again, as you guys know, I couldn’t even get the microphone to work in the start of the interview. So, you know, um, I, I listen to my music literally via YouTube love, and I’m just

Isaac:

Watching,

Rama:

Like, I’m watching, a lot of times I’m watching a teeny little video playing like a little thumbnail like going on, and then the screen is doing the rest of the work. And, uh, especially if it’s like something creative that I’m doing, you know, uh, no math of course, but like, you know, some, it’s fun, you know, <laugh> and, um, and that’s usually, like right now it’s the Specials. I dunno if you know this band, the elite singer passed away not long ago. And, um, I, um, I’ve been on a kick, you know, since then. Uh, amazing band from from England and, um, o old, old kind of like, you know, punk band, sky band, I guess maybe, I guess they’d be called, uh, specials.

Rama:

And, um, and then that, you know, like YouTube feeds me the next stuff. So that then goes to like the Clash and like kind of, you know, even like rancid and these like no effects and these like punk rock bands that’s like brings you to the punk rock stuff, you know, for me.

Rama:

And I grew up on all this stuff. So that’s what I love, you know? And then, um, then it’s the complete opposite. Then it’s like the most ignorant, you know, hip hop stuff that I can listen to <laugh>, like, I’m on. Like, so every day I go to YouTube and I look at the top trending and I watch, unless it’s a sports video or something, I, you know, or car video, if it’s music related, I watch it. And on YouTube, if you go there, you’ll see like the top 10 right now, play the videos. Like four of them are like crazy hip hop shit that’s like crazy little kids shit.

Rama:

Like, like 21 year olds with guns everywhere, ski masks and whatever, you know what I mean? Little Dirk in this world, right? So Playboy, Cardi Below, right? So, um, so every day it’s like the new something on there.

Rama:

And so I, I watch all that stuff and then there’s a bunch of like Spanish music on there. So I watch that. But again, like to me it’s like, I just want to know what people are into, right? So like there’s a number one trending video on fucking YouTube and it’s like some 22 year old kid from Atlanta that I never heard of. How do I not know about this. Right? Right. So like, for me to be good at marketing and in the world and know the fucking world, I wanna just know that stuff. Right? So, so that’s what I’m looking at. I’m listening to that stuff. And then like, like Childish Gambino maybe, or something like in the Middle <laugh>, you know what I mean?

Rama:

Like he’s, you know, so like a lot of that maybe. And then, you know, Buena Vista’s Social Club, little Bit comes from that.

Rama:

But again, it’s like mood, right? In the morning. If it’s, I want to be like, in a positive, like mood, I’m like here. And then if I’m in like, uh, like, uh, you know, experimental mood, it’s like the YouTube stuff, or if I’m in like a getting stuff done, it’s like more the, the, you know, the like, how about this? Before this, the show, I listened to my alma mater or, uh, Dropkick Murphy’s song before getting on <laugh>. And I wasn’t go, I went to YouTube and I didn’t go, I wanna listen to dropping Murphy’s. I’m just scrolling the stuff that I, uh, and I was like, okay, that’s easy.

Rama:

And while I roll a joint, I can listen to dropping Murphy’s. And then I, I probably got, you know, two minutes into it, you know, just to kind of get pumped up for, for this interview. Yeah,

Isaac:

I love that. I love that you have different music in different things for the, uh, time of day or the mood you’re in, I think. Yeah, I think a lot of people do that.

Rama:

Yeah. I, I, I started the label 25 years ago cause I couldn’t play drums, <laugh>, you know what I mean? That was, or more than that, yeah. 30 years ago because I couldn’t, cause I, that was it. I just wanted to be in a band and I couldn’t. So I love music, you know, art, music, like, if I could do those things, I, I would, you know, now I just do the business for those

Isaac:

<laugh>. Um, next one. Do you have a, uh, a book or, you know, something like that, that you turn to all the time or you would recommend for people to look into, um, you know, that’s helped you out throughout the years

Rama:

Where good ideas come from, uh, by Johansen, um, incredible. We’re incredible where good ideas come from. Incredible. Um, watch the YouTube video, please, everybody. Please watch. You guys should go watch it after this. Um, I would say Tim Ferris, you know, four Hour Work Week is incredible. Um, Gary, you know, Gary Vanerchuk, that’s how I got into him, you know, A Thank You Economy by Gary Vanerchuk. Um, I like that kind of stuff, right? I mean, here’s the books here, right? Well, how about this

Isaac:

<laugh>

Rama:

Number one artist ever. Chris, Chris Buron, if you don’t know him, he’s the guy that he did the, the lights at LACMA in. Um, oh,

Isaac:

That’s Suck.

Rama:

La those lights famous. This is him crucified to a, um, a Volkswagen. He also shot had he had someone shoot him in the gallery, uh, as well. Then here’s the other stuff. This is where I’m at. <laugh>

Isaac:

<laugh>. Was that the IKEA book? <laugh>?

Rama:

No, I wish. Oh no, this is like, you know, this is, this is where Ikea takes everything from, you know. No, of course, obviously. Um, but yeah, I, I like the, I don’t do fiction. I like that stuff. I like the inspirational stuff. Um, Seth Goden, you know, anything by Seth Godin’s incredible. Um, yeah, I don’t really read a lot, you know, I’m not like a big reader or you know what, I’m fucking reading like a million emails a day and then by the time I’m, I’m good, you know? Yeah.

Isaac:

<laugh>, I feel you. I I like it. Yeah. We’ve, uh, you know, across the, the number of guests we’ve had, we’ve built a pretty good, uh, reading list, but I also think people have now kind of opened up a little bit and say they don’t have time to read as much as they would like to, or they’re just reading emails and articles about work a lot of times.

Rama:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. I, I, um, yeah, I’m like a, uh, I like love data and information and stuff like that, so I’m like input all day long, Johnny Five Style and, uh, you know what that is old reference. And, uh, so yeah, so I have like a million, literally like fucking probably 400 books right here. Uh, but a lot of it’s like art stuff, you know? It’s like, you know, like, this is what I’m looking at every day, you know? Yeah. Surfing, you know, old surfing books and stuff like that. Or actually, this is the last book I bought here, jocks and Nerds, fashion <laugh>.

Rama:

Why do I need this book? I don’t, I don’t have anything to do with clothing or fashion <laugh>, you know what I mean? This is the last book I bought.

Isaac:

I love it. Um, all right, last one. What would your, what would your last meal be?

Rama:

Fuck. That’s not cool. Um,

Rama:

I mean, John and Vinny’s came to mind right away. Um, so like, John and S is an Italian restaurant here in, in, in LA that I’m obsessed with, um, for a Super Bowl. I, I order the whole thing a whole spread and don’t invite anybody over. I just eat whatever I want, like my own personal buffet. Um, um, yeah, I’d say that I’d say like a John and Vinny’s, uh, like ultimate Platter. Like my last meal would be Shut John and Vinny’s down. And it’s like every dish they have ever, you know what I mean?

Rama:

Cause I like to sample shit so I can have one bite of everything, of one, you know, bite of the, this pizza, one bite of the next pizza, one bite, you know? That’s, that would be the thing, the full menu at, at John and Vinny’s. Love it.

Isaac:

I love it. I also love that you went with the first thing that popped in your head. Eric and I did this literally right before we got on here, and that, that’s how we determined what the actual answer is. The first thing you think of has gotta be the answer.

Rama:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. That your comfort zone, right? Like, what’s gonna make you the most comfortable, you know? So yeah, that would be it, you know, meatball, you know,

Eric:

<laugh>, but, uh, no, really awesome Rama and, and really appreciate you taking the time today. Um, super insightful and, and, uh, excited to see what’s on the docket for, for Green Street Hall of Flowers and, and anything else. You have your, uh, your hands in and, uh, I’m sure 9 23 is gonna be a great year.

Rama:

Thanks bud. Yeah, we’re, we’re, we’re gonna announce once this will come out next week or two weeks or three weeks or something, right? When’s this? Yeah, a

Eric:

Couple weeks, typically. Like a few weeks. Yep.

Rama:

Yeah, so, so by that time, we’ll have announced our four 20 experience. So, um, you know, we did Green Street Festival last year, um, and I did it in May. And on four 20 we had a little party, you know, at, at the building. And, and it was obvious that four 20 just needs a, a home. Like, you know, we need to be like focusing on that. Like, people were freaking out, it was four 20 and they loved it. So I was like, shit, next year I’m gonna do the festival on four 20 instead of just on a random day in May. That means nothing, you know? And, um, so that’s what we’re doing this year.

Rama:

Um, I didn’t announce it yet, I’m announcing it, I teased it, but I’m announcing it, um, the next couple days. So Cool. Show what’s done, but four 20 experience, uh, we’re calling it.

Rama:

And we’re really inspired by like south by Southwest, where there’s like multiple venues and one area. So we’re like doing a few different venues, not a lot, just a couple. It’s what we did last year. And then I’m doing shuttle buses that connect them, and I’m working with a couple really great, uh, event people in California to do it with, uh, which I’m super excited about. Four 20 experience, so check that out and haul flowers. We’ll make some big announcements before that as well, so you’ll see the schedules and calendars, everything we’re working on. And yeah, man, I think we’re just getting started, you know, so I’m excited to, to do this again.

Rama:

Uh, just getting started doing a, we’re doing a thing at the building in a few weeks. Yeah.

Eric:

March 22nd.

Rama:

Yeah. Yeah. Cool. Very cool. It’d

Eric:

Be awesome.

Rama:

Let’s start from promoting it

Eric:

A hundred percent. Well, thank you, Rama. Appreciate you, man, and, uh, have a great rest of your day. All right.

Rama:

Yeah, thank you.

Eric:

That was, that was a lot. That was awesome. I mean, his story from where he started growing up in, in Massachusetts and, and where he, you know, started to get passionate about cannabis and then, you know, cycling through the music industry, the marketing and fashion, and how that’s culminated to, you know, green Street and Hall of Flowers. It’s, it’s, uh, it’s really cool to, you know, to hear the background on that.

Isaac:

No, for sure. I mean, having been to Hall of Flowers, um, you know, and I know you’ve built a pretty good relationship with him over the last few months and, you know, learning more about Green Street, uh, I didn’t know that was his background, but now it makes a whole lot of sense. Like, totally Hall, hall of Flowers is the way it is. Um, you know, I mean, it’s an awesome production, so, um, it does make sense that his background has played so heavily into that.

Eric:

No, and, and I think, you know, like he mentioned, just like the need for more, you know, B2C events, more B2B events, obviously Hall Flowers is, is really at the forefront, but the things that he’s, you know, got in the works for, uh, the four 20 event specifically. Um, but really, you know, what I took away from that is, you know, we’re just getting started. Um, and, you know, where we’ve come from, you know, five, 10 years ago, it’s where we’re at today, you know, we’re gonna be looking back in, in five to 10 years from now and saying, wow, it was like that back then.

Eric:

So it’s, uh, it’s pretty cool. It’s pretty cool, man. We’re just, uh, we’re just getting started. So are we, Isaac? We’re just getting started

Isaac:

A another five to 10 years of, uh, of Canvas industry. The hair will fully be gone by that point. The, the hairline’s already been a bit, but it’ll fully be gone after, after that much more time. So I’m excited.

Eric:

I’ll be, I’ll be the one with the buzzer. I’ll be the one with the buzzer to, to finally get that. Good

Isaac:

Nigga. It’s good. It’s gonna come naturally, so we’ll be good. I don’t

Eric:

Know, I think you’ll be all right. Um, but no man, really excited for, for, for this one and then obviously got some more guests on deck and we’re just gonna keep it rolling.

Isaac:

Yep. Looking forward to keeping it going and, uh, you know, appreciate learning more about Rama.

Eric:

No doubt.

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