Talking Cannabis Deals with The Daily Leaf
Talking Cannabis Deals with Stephen Gold and Andy Yashar of The Daily Leaf
What inspired you to start The Daily Leaf? Tell us a bit about the platform, too.
The Daily Leaf was created to help consumers navigate their way around specials and deals from local dispensaries. In Portland alone there’s been over 200 dispensaries and in Oregon as a whole nearly 400. That’s a ton of options for consumers with few services to help them figure out where to go.
In the past, dispensaries would use Instagram to let people know about specials, but both Instagram and Facebook shut down cannabis accounts, especially those that advertise prices. So, how can a dispensary interact with consumers when there isn't a medium available for them to get their message across? That’s how The Daily Leaf started. We wanted to give consumers a way to find hyper-local information NOW. If a dispensary had a deal that they would be running for the next three days, we wanted to be the way that information got out to the public.
Today, we have grown to include options for producers, processors and ancillary businesses to get information out to the public...and we have grown to be an influencer in the Oregon cannabis market.
Describe some of the best deals you’ve got to offer on the site right now?
Deals change daily and weekly and there is always a deal to be had. We find that consumers who come to The Daily Leaf not only like deals, but exclusive items as well. We can run a special for a $30 quarter and get a massive amount of people to show up to purchase, but can also advertise an exclusive strain that might only drop to a few stores and get consumers to flock to purchase that as well. Moving into 2017 and beyond, we are working closely with brands that produce flower, edibles, extracts, and more to create one-of-a-kind specials that are exclusive with The Daily Leaf. This way, consumers who rely on The Daily Leaf can access deals the general public might not know about. For instance, we are currently working with a brand new CO2 Vape Company to offer $5 quarter gram cartridges. That is UNHEARD OF! But something you will probably only find through The Daily Leaf.
How do local dispensaries benefit from partnering up with The Daily Leaf?
A lot of ways actually. Sure the main benefit of partnering with The Daily Leaf is the ability to get information out about what deals or exclusives they have at any given time, but it also gives them access to a lot of local consumers who are interested in anything they might have going on. We currently reach around 20k consumers a month. Dispensaries in Oregon always have special events, host in-store demos, give away free lunch, or any other creative marketing opportunity to get traffic through the door. We have dispensaries that give free yoga classes every Sunday, or sometimes BBQs. Whatever event a dispensary has, there’s a way to utilize The Daily Leaf to spread the message.
Besides the great money saving deals, what are some other benefits consumers get from signing up for your weekly newsletter and checking out the site regularly?
In 2017, we are focusing our efforts on providing compelling and educational content. People love deals, but as we move to a country that is making cannabis recreationally legal, a lot of people don’t know much about the plant and the various forms available for purchase. For example, CO2 cartridges are all the rage, but how many people really know how they are made? Or what CO2 oil is? Or what the difference is between CO2, BHO, RSO, Clear, or Solventless? Sure, there are a ton of articles written about this information, but people want fun and creative ways to access that information. We are working with the brands that create these products to produce inventive media about their processes to give consumers an inside glimpse into the products they love.
I’ve been enjoying your behind-the-scenes videos on your YouTube channel, especially this glimpse inside cannabis culture in Oregon shown above. What sets Oregon apart from other weed-legal states?
Oregon might have the strictest set of regulations in the country when it comes to the production and sale of cannabis and cannabis-derived products. So when you come to Oregon and purchase a product you will have the cleanest product in the country. Not to say other states don’t have clean, pesticide-free products, but Oregon producers want to ensure everything going out is safe. A lot of growers are Clean Green Certified, organic and use cutting edge processes. Besides knowing 100 percent that a product is absolutely clean, we really love our craft scene and love to market those brands so the consumer can get familiar with the growers producing the products they like. There are a lot of small batch producers who make incredible cannabis products and dispensaries make sure the consumer knows who the grower is. Ten producers can grow the same strain, and each individual smoker might have a preference for who they think grows it best. In Oregon, you are able to get familiar with the farm that grows the way you like and figure out which dispensaries carry their products.
You’re involved in cannabis-themed sporting events like CannaBowl and Fore Twenty Golf Tournaments. What are those events like?
Our events company Fore Twenty Sports has produced four golf tournaments to date, and we’re producing the first ever Cannabis Bowling Tournament, Canna Bowl, in Portland on February 7th 2017. So far, all of our events have been B2B (business to business). The idea was to create a networking environment that is fun for everyone to be involved in.
Coming from the fashion industry, I would work about five trade shows a year. Although they are great for getting to know other businesses and building relationships, they were always stale. By integrating sports with the idea of a trade show you create a memorable event for everyone involved. We’ve had tremendous success with partners like Leafly, Shine Papers, MRX, DOPE Magazine, Botanicare and countless other local and national companies.
In 2017, we’ll continue to build relationships through sporting events for the cannabis industry, but also plan to expand to include events catered to consumers. This year we will host three events: two b2b and one b2c consumer event, in Oregon. In 2018, we plan to expand outside of the state to other adult-use states. If you are a business that would like to participate in one of our future events you can get in touch via email: email@example.com
What trends did you notice with cannabis brands in 2016?
In Oregon, 2016 was the year everyone got serious about having an actual brand to launch. Before then, it was common to get your product in a black mylar bag with no logo or any sort of branding on it. Sure, there was a bit of branding happening before 2016, but I think everyone entering the market in the past year really focused a lot of attention on creating products that can be marketed. Companies had to deal with so much competition. While, in 2015, there might have only been a few CO2 vape companies or edible companies with great packaging. Now, in order to get a sale you need to be branded. The local farmer who may or may not have lived in the black market was finally coming out of the shadows and standing behind their product. 2016 was the year were we actually saw a proper product launch. While it is hard to determine set dates that a product will drop, we had a few companies that actually marketed a “coming soon” and then had a real nice launch.
What are your predictions for the cannabis industry in 2017?
I think that we will see a lot more competition in 2017...as if there isn’t enough already. This past November, The MJ Biz Con in Vegas saw over 10,000 people attend. This will, without a doubt, trickle into numerous products being launched in all of the states where marijuana is legal. With California legalizing as well, you will see a lot of companies that are established in Oregon, Washington and Colorado try their hands on developing their products in the Sunshine State. Not everyone will succeed, but many will try. We have already started to see larger companies take shape in Oregon as the mom and pop grow-ops dismantle due to lack of funds. I am sure this will be the same in California as their market takes form.
In Oregon, this will be the year we see the medical marijuana program significantly shrink. As of January 1st, Oregon’s “official” recreational market is up and running. Dispensaries can no longer help both medical patients and recreational consumers. Nearly every dispensary will choose to serve the recreational market leaving less dispensaries for medical patients. This will force fewer companies to focus on producing products for medical patients.
Where can we keep up with you on social media?
The best way to keep in touch with The Daily Leaf is to visit the site and join our mailing list.
While social media is amazing, cannabis brands know that social media can be taken away from you any day, any time. We have had our Instagram account taken away twice so far and cannot broadcast most of our news on social media due to regulations. Nonetheless, The Daily Leaf can be followed on:
To sign up for our newsletter simply go to DailyLeafDeals.com, scroll to the bottom of the page and input your email address.
About The Daily Leaf
DailyLeafDeals.com, awarded “Best Marijuana Tech Product” by Dope Magazine, is a real-time resource, created by Stephen Gold and Andy Yashar, that helps drive information to cannabis consumers. Touted as a “Groupon for Cannabis” in the early developmental stages, The Daily Leaf has blossomed into a platform that helps consumers find local information pertaining to dispensary deals, product launches, and cannabis culture events. The service now provides visitors with savings of 10-75 percent off their regularly priced cannabis products. In addition, The Daily Leaf produces compelling behind-the-scenes video content and hosts events like Canna Bowl and the Fore Twenty Golf Tournament, “The Largest Cannabis Golf Tournament In The Northwest.”