Aj and Jen Gentile of Speedweed.com tell us how to route cannabis delivery with military efficiency. Discover why a lot celebrities in Hollywood use SpeedWeed.com to get their cannabis delivered. This may be the way that over 80% of cannabis is purchased in the future, learn now.
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[1:14] – What is Speed Weed
[2:14] – How does California’s cannabis regulatory system work
[6:12] – The evolution of Speed Weed
[13:07] – How many spokes does Speed Weed have in the hub and spoke model
[13:56] – Why did The City of LA Shutdown competitor Nestdrop
[15:59] – What’s next for the California marijuana industry in 2016
[18:38] – Walk through of the ordering process for Speed Weed
[20:40] – How long does a delivery take
[21:38] – Most popular items delivered by Speedweed
[24:04] – The best way MIPs companies to get into dispensaries
[27:03] – Most popular, indica or sativa
[29:57] – What is Speed Weed’s market share
[32:43] – Popularity with celebrities
[39:53] – What about Gene (Speed Weed’s third partner)
[41:48] – What’s next for Speed Weed
[43:53] – Contact details for Speed Weed
Matthew: Hi, I’m Matthew Kind. Every Monday and Wednesday look for a fresh new episode where I’ll take you behind the scenes and interview the insiders that are shaping the rapidly evolving cannabis industry. Learn more at www.cannainsider.com. That’s www.cannainsider.com. Are you looking for a fulfilling and lucrative career in the cannabis industry? Visit www.cannainsider.com/careers. That’s www.cannainsider.com/careers. Now here’s your program.
Many trends start in California and cascade to the rest of the world. One of those trends is cannabis home delivery. I am pleased to welcome to the show AJ and Jenn of Speed Weed. Welcome guys.
AJ: Hey thanks for having us. This is AJ.
Jenn: Hi and this is Jenn. Thanks Matt.
Matthew: Sure. Now AJ to give us a sense of geography, can you tell us where in the world you are today?
AJ: We are in Los Angeles. We cover 6,000 square miles which is basically all of Los Angeles County, and parts of Northern OC, and we are expanding rapidly beyond that.
Matthew: Okay, can you give us a little overview of what Speed Weed does for people that aren’t familiar?
AJ: Well many people think of delivery services as a mobile dispensary which is kind of a guy driving around with a big box of product, like an Avon lady with marijuana. Speed Weed is not that at all. Speed Weed is sort of a legal construct, if you will, that allows to legal patients to conduct illegal transaction in their home. So without the legal jargon we’re basically the watchdog that makes sure that everybody in our collective and our cooperative is doing things, that they’re doing things in the right way.
Matthew: Ah okay, I get it. That’s a little different than some other of the cannabis delivery services.
Matthew: I get it, and for listeners that you know aren’t familiar with California’s regulations and so forth we hear a lot about Colorado and a lot about Washington. Can you give us a little overview of how California’s regulatory environment works for cannabis and how it might be different from those other states?
AJ: California has almost no regulatory environment. Now that has advantages and disadvantages. The major advantage is because there’s not a lot of regulation there’s a lot of legal gray area. It allows businesses to sort of flourish in more free market scenario. So you can experiment with different business models. It’s sort of like a incubator for cannabis businesses because we’re not overly regulated as much as the other states are.
Now the downside to that is because there’s not a lot of regulation there is a lot of concerns. So in California products are not required to be tested like they are in other states. Plants, there’s no seed to sale tracking like there are in other states. So our company Speed Weed we actually employ all of those policies from the other states so that as California starts to catch up with the regulatory environment of the other states we’re ready to go. But it’s also about building trust with our clientele. So even though we don’t have to test our products we always do. Even though we don’t have to check all these marks that the other states have to check we try to follow all the regs of all the states because we know it’s coming. And the California legislators, they’re not sitting on their hands. They are trying to figure this out. They’re trying to work out a model that helps the businesses but also gives the patients the safe access they need.
Jen: Right and, you know, Colorado and Washington are different in that now obviously they have recreational marijuana is legal there. So they’re now trying to figure out how to change the regulatory models that they had up until now. Colorado, you know, was basically the start of the regulation movement for recreational, but they’re also very very stringent with their regulations. They used to make sure that everything was vertically integrated. If you wanted to run a dispensary, you had to do all of your growing on the premises. You had to make all of your edibles in house. Everything has to be tracked from the seed to the sale.
You know Washington is still working on its regulations now that it’s turned recreational. It’s a little different. They’re still making things happen. They’re not quite sure exactly how to do things. They’re trying to pull the good things from Colorado, but Colorado has found that they need to adjust some things. So they kind of broke down their vertical integration. Now you can just run a dispensary or you can just run a grow. Also delivery is not legal in Colorado. You have to, according to Colorado regulations, every transaction has to be on camera.
AJ: We think that’s a terrible regulation.
Jen: Right. So there’s really no way right now for them to do a delivery service unless you have your drivers wearing, you know, cop body cameras or Go-Pros on hats or something. So they’re still figuring a lot of that out.
Matthew: Gosh it’s crazy when I think about that because you know one of my friends in the business says we treat cannabis like it’s plutonium. I mean we don’t see any other industry where we treat a flower this way or a commodity. There’s still echoes of Reefer Madness in the air I think, but it’s changing.
AJ: There’s no doubt about and you know there’s plenty of dollars in Washington D.C. being spent to make sure that that stigma stays attached, but public opinion is turning and the winds are changing. I think the politicians will catch up to public opinion and then the legislation will catch up to the politicians.
Matthew: Now I want to rewind a little bit. Jen, can you tell us the genesis of how Speed Weed started?
AJ: Uh-oh buckle up.
Jen: Yes it’s an interesting story. You know AJ and his brother Gene who is our third partner have always been involved in the technology industry actually. So they were working with a company that they had started called Government Response which was government constituency management software which is about as exciting as it sounds. I mean they had clients in Congress, large cities, small municipalities, villages. It was a great incubation period for what would later become the technology platform that we use to run Speed Weed, but it was obviously much different than the marijuana industry.
So AJ was out here. I was working with him on client relations as far as Government Response was going, and Gene was kind of bi-coastal, going back and forth between the East and West Coast servicing the clients in D.C. and in New York. And then flying out here just to help us on this side of the country. He kind of really wanted a change of pace. However, Gene has always been immersed in the culture of cannabis since he was probably 15 years old. He was the kid that was growing plants in his dorm room in the closet.
AJ: Yeah. We don’t use the word stoner. We never, ever use that word.
Jen: It’s all culture. Culture folks. So he came out here, and he’s out here and he says to AJ, you know now that I’m here let’s go get our cards. Let’s get involved in the marijuana industry. You know, I am from Kansas City, Missouri. Not necessarily the marijuana mecca of the country. So it was not something that I had really ever been around. I think AJ had smoked twice in his entire life, but they went and got their cards and they went to a dispensary.
And they sort of decided let’s kind of see what’s going on here because there’s obviously a business here. AJ’s logistic in branding and marketing mind was looking around the dispensary and noticing that while it was a business, and while there were a lot of clientele, it really wasn’t being run with the type of practices and best practices that businesses that are successful are run with. So we decided to start a grow in AJ’s living room in a one bedroom apartment.
Jen: Yikes, and it could not have gone worse. Anything that could have gone wrong went wrong. From spider mites to dead lady bugs, it’s kind of a long story, but we ended up with a tent full of really potent marijuana that looked so bad that there was nothing you could do with it. We couldn’t sell it to dispensaries, you know, there was really nothing to be done.
AJ: Oh it was disgusting. It looked like something out of the cat’s litter box. It really was just awful.
Jen: It was bad.
Matthew: Did you try it yourself?
Jen: Well I was going to say. Gene being Gene said, I’m going to try to smoke some of this. So he packed a bowl and he smoked some, and he said this actually is really strong and it tastes really good. So what can we do with it. So AJ got online and started doing a bunch of research on extracting, basically like tinctures that you would extract from any other plant so that we could make edibles. Because we had seen the edibles that were out there. And at the time, four years ago, it was much different. It was a brownie in Saran Wrap with an Avery label that said like 2X handwritten on it.
AJ: I would never eat that Matt. You know, I’m the guy who will not eat the nuts off the bar. You know, I’m a germophobe. So we were not going to make those kind of edibles.
Jen: So we started looking edibles that nobody had. Edibles that you didn’t make with marijuana butter. So AJ did research on extracting tinctures and oils from the plant. And after several months we came up with a great potent tincture. And we started R and D on some different edibles, and we were able to come up with our flagship product which was gummy bears which nobody had in the state at the time. So we were going from dispensary to dispensary selling our gummy bears. And it was actually becoming so popular that we had clients that started reaching out to us. They were reaching out to us directly. So we thought well, you know instead of servicing all these collectives maybe there’s something that we can do one on one with the patients. So AJ found a series of videos about starting a medical marijuana delivery service in Los Angeles, and we figured we would give it a try. So we downloaded the operations manuals from FedEx and…
AJ: Now hold on, don’t skip one quick part. You know we followed those videos, but those videos, they worked fine, but those videos taught you the ice cream truck model. They taught you the Avon lady model of delivery which is how 99 percent of the delivery services are run. And it was working. You know, Jim was doing our operations. I was doing our technology. My brother Gene was doing deliveries. But if he was up in like Pasadena and we got an order at 2 or 3 in the afternoon and then another order in South Santa Monica that was your whole day. So even though we were getting a few orders a day and the business was running fine, we just couldn’t scale. So that’s where…
Jen: That’s where we decided to kind of upend the model. Like I said downloaded the operations manuals for FedEx, Papa John’s Pizza and Domino’s Pizza because in our minds those were the leaders in logistics and fulfillment for delivery services.
AJ: Which also focused on brand recognition.
Jen: So we pulled those apart and sort of put them back together in sort of an operations map or guideline, if you will, for us to start this different model of delivery which is more of a hub and spoke model where we would have a main location that warehouses our product, and then we would have small annexes around the city. And drivers would work out of those annexes with just enough product for the day. They weren’t carrying around large amounts of weight or cash in their cars. And it just kind of grew. It grew much quicker than we had anticipated, and it became what speed weed is today which is the leader in the delivery service industry here in California.
Matthew: So how many spokes are there? That’s a great model you have, the hub and spoke. How many are there in the Los Angeles area?
Jen: Right now we have six annex locations and we have two more coming online in the next three or four weeks.
AJ: And that will be Los Angeles then San Diego and San Jose open within the next six to eight weeks. And then we’re looking at Fresno, Sacramento, Santa Barbara and Palm Springs to close out the year.
Matthew: Now it sounds like you’re the first cannabis home delivery service that has any brand recognition. But in the last year or so there has been some that have come on. Particularly one in Southern California called Nestdrop, and they have an injunction against them by the City of Los Angeles I believe. Can you tell us what they’re doing differently than you and why you think they got shut down and maybe a little bit about where you think the direction of this type of regulation is going?
AJ: Absolutely. We know Nestdrop very well and the CEO, Michael, is a wonderful man. Nestdrop is just a technology company. So the reason that they were shut according to the city attorney, and he was quoted in L.A. Weekly just last week discussing this, is because Nestdrop is not a caregiver. They’re not a collective. So the argument was their app was facilitating the transaction between a collective and a patient.
Jen: Well, you know, it’s probably you know allowed for a doctor to make a house call. There aren’t any doctors that are doing that at the moment. You know getting your card in Los Angeles is an interesting experience.
Matthew: It’s super easy.
AJ: It’s easy.
Jen: It’s easy. It’s getting less easy actually though as this industry as a whole kind of grows up which in our minds is a good thing. You know, the doctors… it’s a minimal fee to go to the doctors. So for them to start making house calls I think would be cost prohibitive for them. And then also doctors are not allowed to have any type of connection or solicitation with any specific collective. So the patients actually have to go to the doctor and get their recommendation before they come to us. Now we have doctors that we like, and we have doctors that we recommend because we like those doctors. We know that they’re above board doctors and they handle their business legally, but we don’t have any type of you know, we don’t have any type of specific connection or type of marketing push with any specific doctor. It’s just not legally allowed here in the city.
AJ: It would just seem weird to have that anyway.
Matthew: Right. So Jen in 2016 what do you anticipate happening in California? Do you see recreational use?
Jen: You know there’s a big ballot push for recreational use in 2016. I would love to say that I think it’s going to pass in ’16, I really don’t know. If I had to make an educated guess, I would say that California may pass some more strict regulatory codes for medical marijuana use and move the ball down the field that way. I don’t know as a state if we’re quite ready to pass recreational use. You know Los Angeles and San Francisco are sort of the Meccas of medical marijuana right now, but there’s a whole center of the state that is still much more conservative than the top and the bottom of the state. So I have a feeling it’s going to take a couple more years of education on the part of our industry in order to make that switch in California from medical to recreational.
Matthew: It was on the ballot, what a couple years back, and it was a pretty close call wasn’t it?
AJ: It was a close call, and we think it would have passed. The language of that proposition was kind of goofy. I mean what was it, a triple negative. Like do you not, not, not want not to have, not legal marijuana. I mean it was really confusingly worded. And I think it was done intentionally, but you know, I’m a political guy. I’m a conspiracy theorist. You know I’m a rock and bomb thrower. I’m a controversial guy. So I think that was kind of intentionally written to fail. This time around I don’t think the legislators will be able to do that because the citizens of California State overwhelmingly support safe access to cannabis. On the medical side it is somewhere in the upper 70s in the percent. In the recreational side you’re still over 50 percent. So the voters here want it. So let’s word the proposition of using simple language. Let’s get it passed. Let’s get it regulated, and let’s get this thing organized. Because states like Colorado, Washington, Nevada, Oregon, even Alaska they’re going to leave us behind.
Matthew: Yes. And for the people in Alaska they’re going to be like, hey, what does he mean, even Alaska.
AJ: It’s okay. There’s no one listening up there. No stop, but I love Alaska, been there many times.
Matthew: So let’s walk through what it’s like to go through an order for someone from a collective. So how does the order get initiated?
Jen: You can initiate an order with Speed Weed through a couple of different ways. We have a website www.speedweed.com. And you can go and browse the menu, and actually place the order directly through the website. You can call the 800 number and place the order with a dispatcher through the 800 number. We have a chat feature on our site where you can go and you can ask questions about your specific medical needs and what strains we may have on the menu at any given day that may help those needs. But yeah, you basically either call or you place the order directly on the website.
Matthew: Got it, and is there an additional cost for the delivery?
AJ: At this time there’s not. All costs and taxes are included in the product itself, in the purchase. We do have minimum orders based on where you are in the city. And that’s primarily just so our drivers can be compensated for dragging their cars around Los Angeles which is just horrible. So I say as for now, there is no delivery charges, taxes are included because we don’t know what regulations are coming. There could be more taxes down the road. They could require fees. We don’t know. We do know there’s a lot of legislative talking happening now, a lot of deliberations. They’re trying to figure it out. So we just have to be nimble. You know, what’s why we have a chief compliance officer to stay on top of all of this stuff. And as the regulations change, and the rules kind of get tweaked, he shoots us a note and says all right guys this is what’s coming so let’s get your model ready for that change.
Matthew: Now I know Southern California, Los Angeles County, it’s just a huge diverse area and it’s kind of a cluster from a traffic point of view like you mentioned. But how long does it take typically for a deliver to occur? If I were to jump on the website right now and make a order, let’s say I live in Santa Monica, how long would it take would you guess?
Jen: You know we tell everybody that orders typically occur within 90 minutes at the outside. Normal delivery times are anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour, but if you order at [4:30] on a Friday night, you know, sometimes it takes longer than that. So that’s why we’ve tried to place as many annexes as we can around the city. So the larger population centers are close to those annexes. So even when traffic is at its worst, and anybody that lives in L.A. knows what I mean by that. Anybody that doesn’t live in L.A. has no idea what traffic is.
AJ: I’m from New York City and I thought I knew what traffic was. I had no idea.
Jen: So typical deliveries happen within 90 minutes or less.
Matthew: Okay. Now is there anything that’s sold really well that kind of surprised you that you didn’t anticipate that was kind of a sleeper hit?
Jen: Yes actually there were three products that come to mind off the top of my head. We had somebody come to us with a hemp supplement for pets. It’s a CBD only supplement that comes in a chew. So it’s a non-psychoactive product. It’s certainly not going to get your pet high, but it does help with inflammation of joints and it gives pain relief. And we thought no, there’s no way. And we could not keep it on the shelves. It’s flying off the shelves. So that was one that was really surprising to us. Another one that was really surprising to us was a THC infused feminine lubricant.
Matthew: Oh Foria, Foria right.
AJ: Yep, Foria.
AJ: Yep we were one of Foria’s first clients.
Jen: Very popular. When I first read about it I thought there’s no way. And then I checked…
AJ: There’s no way you would sell it or there’s no way you would use it? Let’s get this on the air.
Jen: So you know I was really doubtful at first. I’m our Chief Marketing Officer. So I’m the one that works with all the new vendors that want to place products on our shelves. And so I was looking through all of their marketing materials and their packaging, and was actually very impressed. It was a very professional, very, just a very professional, very slick, pardon the pun, marketing campaign that they had put together. So we thought we’d try it. And we couldn’t keep it stocked.
Matthew: Same thing here in Colorado. It’s very popular. We had John Brandon, the CEO of Foria, on the show and it’s really an incredible success story.
Jen: It really is.
Matthew: I want to back up a little bit about you were saying, you know, you’re the Chief Marketing Officer. There’s a lot of people that email me that say hey I’ve got the best product in the world. If only I can get in front of the person that makes the purchasing decisions for a collective or a dispensary I know they would love my X or my Y. What’s a good way to do that? I mean you mentioned Foria, they have very slick marketing and packaging and so forth and messaging, but maybe someone that doesn’t have quite the budget of Foria that wants to make an impact on someone like makes this initial purchasing decision. What could they do? What would you suggest to them?
Jen: You know, the best thing to do with Speed Weed is you can actually go online on our website, and there is a button you can click, if you are a vendor and you have a product, those emails all actually come directly to me. But we follow all of the laws here in the State of California. So when a vendor applies with me, we verify that they are actual patients, if they have their doctor’s rec, that they’re uploading all of their documentation. And once we’ve proved that they’re an actual medical marijuana patient, then we have them join the collective so that it’s all part of the closed loop system that California requires. And then I meet with the vendors.
Now there are some vendors that I think their product is absolutely fantastic, but I know the quality of the packaging and the marketing of the products that we currently carry on our menu. And if I love the product, but I don’t necessarily love the packaging, I will have meetings with vendors. We’ll bring them into the office. My background is in marketing and production. I was a commercial producer for several years here in Los Angeles. And I sit down and we talk about their product, where they see it going, what their vision is. You know I try to give them as much advice as I can.
AJ: I mean if I could give a word of advice to you vendors out there that have a great product, the first thing to think of is if you’re printing your labels with your ink jet printer at home, stop that. Honestly, invest a couple of dollars into getting professionally made stickers. It will up your game so much.
Jen: And it’s really changed a lot. You know, when I have vendors in here and I talk to them, we work very much off of a good karma aspect in our business. By helping other people in this industry, it only helps us. You know there’s that phrase, the rising tide raises all boats. And as an industry the more professional will become the more… we show people that we’re actually businesses with actual products instead of hiding in the shadows, the more it just helps everybody. So I have no problem with sitting with people, giving them the names of the places where I order my stickers, where I go for my packaging for our in-house products, helping people create the most profession applications and product packaging that they can within their budget.
Matthew: That’s great advice. I really appreciate that because so many people ask about that, and there are so many people with great ideas, but then we do judge books by their covers. We don’t mean to, but even it’s because their competitors are doing a better job on the packaging, it does make a difference.
AJ: It does.
Matthew: Circling back a little bit about what surprised you, what sells well. How about the indica versus sativa? What do you see there, I mean, is it mostly hybrids that are selling or do you have a strong sativa customer base? I mean what do you see there in the terms of mix of flower?
Jen: You know in terms of mix of flowers, I would say that for us L.A. is awash in indica right now. There are O.G.s all over the place, and it just has to do with the cycle of growing the plant. Everybody seem to harvest their indicas at the same time. We tend to sell, I would say, more sativa than indica, but not by a large margin, maybe 5 or 10 percent more. What we do sell mostly with our client base is what we consider our top shelf products. So those seem to sell out faster than anything else. Those are going to be, everything on our menu is indoor. Nothing that we have on the menu is outdoor product. That’s going to be your really really high-end frosty, crystally product. That seems to be our highest seller by far.
AJ: Yeah and I want to say something that might hurt the feelings of your Colorado listeners, and it’s not my intention.
Matthew: We’ve already offended the Alaskans, so let’s try it with the Colorado.
AJ: You guys are a bunch of jerks. So our third partner, Gene, who is my brother, he did a tour from Amsterdam, to Denver, Seattle, San Francisco and in L.A. The best product he found was in L.A. Better than anything else in the world. The highest top shelf products in Amsterdam and Denver were products he considered would be mid to low grade on our shelves. So we don’t know if that’s a local cultural thing, you know, if other states are interested in different products. But the consumer base here in L.A. tends to favor the really crystally, frosty looking buds, the potent sativas with the name brands like Jack Herer and ATF and AK47 and the pure O.G. Girl Scout cookies. I don’t know if we’re L.A. and we’re brand whores. You know that could be possible. You know my Louis Vuitton shoes or whatever, but we seem to feel that Los Angeles is the center for the best marijuana product in the world.
Conversely Colorado we believe is leading the way with waxes and concentrates and dabbing. Colorado is leading the way and California is behind your state, you know, in that segment of the market. So you know every local has their specialty it seems.
Matthew: Yeah. Now speaking of concentrates and edibles what do you see in terms of market share in the last, you know, year or two and where do you see it going because you know people I speak to here say, you know, edibles are really making a huge dent. What can you tell you about that for your client base?
Jen: You know like I said, you just said it. I can actually only speak for our client base which is different than the typical client base that goes into a dispensary in a number of ways. But for our client base we’re still seeing about 70 percent flowers. I would say 15 percent edibles, and then the remainder, because I’m not going to do the math right now, would be concentrates.
AJ: She doesn’t have to do math. She’s pretty.
Matthew: AJ might get punched after this interview.
Jen: He might or sleep on the couch. So you know, I know that in Colorado it really has flipped, and I know that especially in the culture, even in L.A. on the culture side of things concentrate use, dabbing, that’s all anybody is doing it seems anymore. Our patient base is very much what you would call, you know, they’re going to be the type of people that are using medical marijuana as stress relief, as you know, obviously for medical issues that they have. They’re not really really deeply immersed in the culture. So you hand someone like that a nail and a torch and you know a concentrate and start talking about dabs, it’s like whoa, no, no. I want my pre-roll or I want something I can put in my bowl, something that’s easy and it gets all, it gets kind of confusing for them which is understandable. And I think as we grow as an industry, you know, you ‘re going to see we’re going to have to educate people to get to the point where concentrates and dabbing are more of a mainstream thing. I think right now it really is something that has a very big strong hold in the culture, but has not moved its way out to the more casual user.
Matthew: Yeah I can understand when you see the torch get pulled out for dabbing and the equipment, it looks like something that Terminator or Robo Cop might use if they wanted to get high.
Jen: Or free basing heroin or something.
AJ: We’re not going to judge. Enjoy your crack.
Matthew: Now comedian Joe Rogan has mentioned Speed Weed on the podcast, his podcast before which I listen to. Do you find celebrities in particular like your service because they don’t have to be out around town being seen going in and out of dispensaries. Is there some sort of stigma still or they just like their privacy? What can you tell us about that?
AJ: Joe who? Joe Rogan, I’ve never heard of the guy.
Jen: Joe’s been a great friend to us, and he actually also is an actual real friend of Gene’s our other partner. You know, I think celebrities in particular exactly the reason you said, you know, they don’t want to be seen on TMZ coming in and out of dispensaries. But other than that, you know, our patient base we like to say, a lot of times are people that either can’t or won’t be seen coming out of a dispensary. You know we have a 40 percent female patient base which is very large for a collective. We have a lot of soccer moms. You know they can’t drop by their local dispensary with the two kids in the back on the way to a soccer game to stop and get their medicine. It just doesn’t really work. So you know our client base really is…
AJ: It’s a great image to me though. Mom running in to shop for an eighth while the kids are in the back seat. We’ll be right back.
Jen: You know, but it is. It’s the moms that they’re very stressed. They have anxiety, but at the end of the night they don’t want to unwind with a bottle of wine. They would rather unwind with a joint. But going into a dispensary can be overwhelming with the guard and the dogs and the lime green walls and the 18 year old bud tenders. It’s just not necessarily the best environment for them.
AJ: Yeah we’re upscale. Even though we consider ourselves the Domino’s of marijuana delivery. I’m a New Yorker and Domino’s Pizza would not be considered premium with all due respect. But you know we’re kind of like the Domino’s of marijuana delivery, but in an upscale way.
Jen: Right and by that I think we mean is what we strive to provide is a consistent consumer experience with every order that you place every single day. So as we expand into other states, if you order from Speed Weed in Denver or if you order from Speed Weed in California, you know that you’re going to get the same service every time you order. And you know that instills trust in our patient base when they order from us, and what they get is what the picture of the website looks like. We take pictures of every strain that comes in. What you see up there is the actual product that we have at that time. And we’ve just really been able to instill in our patient base a measure of trust and confidence that when they order from us it’s going to be a great experience.
Matthew: Now among your customer base do you feel like there’s a shift between alcohol? I mean is cannabis eating alcohol’s market share do you feel like? Like I normally would have three beers, but I’m just going to have one and then take this edible or have a couple hits off my joint. I mean do you see that in your own customer base where you feel like alcohol is kind of losing out to cannabis?
AJ: You know that’s kind of a hard question to answer, but I can tell you from my own experience I enjoy a scotch, a whiskey, a glass of wine or three. I have never been a heavy marijuana user, and I’m not currently a heavy marijuana user. I’m that guy who likes to come home from work and unwind with a cocktail or two to turn off his brain. But I do find myself consuming an enormously less amount of alcohol and much much less than before when a puff or two off a nice indica will do, and I don’t wake up feeling tired. You know, the new vaporizers are so fantastic because you can really control your dose and your experience.
So if I want to just relax for a little bit, I can take a little puff off of my vape, and I’m good. If I want to get kind of deep in the pillows, I can take a deep hit and I go down there. But after an hour or two you’re back up and then you can make another decision. Whereas with alcohol, you drink that you know three whiskeys, you’re in for it for the night and you could be in for a rough morning. Now that’s my personal experience. I can only assume that that’s happening all over the country, and to be honest I hope that that’s what’s happening all over the country.
Jen: And you know Matt, I am not the conspiracy theorist that AJ is but, you know….
AJ: We didn’t land on the moon. I’m telling you we did not do it.
Jen: I really do, you know, believe that part of the reason why cannabis has been outlawed for so long, you know, is because you have Big Tobacco, you have Big Alcohol, you have Big Pharma and they have very large lobbying firms that are pushing to keep this plant that you can grow in your backyard out of the hands of their customers.
AJ: Right. And it’s only been illegal for a generation and a half. It’s not like when we say legalize it, we should be saying re-legalize it.
Jen: Right. You know I can’t distill vodka in my backyard, but I can certainly plant a cannabis plant in my backyard. And I think that that’s scary to a lot of those large industries. Now again just because somebody has a glass of wine doesn’t make them an alcoholic, but just because somebody smokes a joint doesn’t make them a stoner. But I do think that we can argue fairly rightly that while there are so many medical benefits to marijuana that we haven’t even scratched the surface because we can’t test it yet. You’d be hard pressed to find an argument that discusses the wide range of health benefits of alcohol.
AJ: Oh absolutely. Any time someone who is pro cigarette and pro booze and anti-marijuana would like to have a debate, you know where to find me. Because marijuana has so many benefits in so many ways and alcohol and cigarettes do nothing but damage the body.
Jen: Now that being said, if somebody wants to smoke or drink, that’s completely up to them. However somebody chooses to relax or relieve stress or alter their consciousness or whatever they want to do, that’s fine. But the argument that somehow alcohol and tobacco are perfectly fine and should be perfectly legal but marijuana should not be, it’s such a spacious argument that it’s hard not to get passionate when you’re talking about it.
Matthew: Now I saw a video of one of your drivers. I think it’s Gene or Gino, I can’t remember.
Jen: Yeah that’s our third partner. That’s AJ’s brother.
Matthew: Okay. He looks like he walks into a room and everybody explodes like he just saved the Earth from like a meteor or something. He’s like the bell of the ball. I mean he cannot be a depressed individual with that type of reception wherever he goes.
AJ: Well the thing about Gene is he’s getting those cheers first of all because he’s carrying a nice big ole bag of bud. So everyone’s happiness is about to ensure. But the thing about Gino is even if he’s carrying nothing but his personality, he gets that kind of reception. You know, our business is a three-legged stool. Without one of the three partners the business fails. So Jen is operations and marketing and she’s a star. As the CEO I guide the ship. I manage the relationships. I handle the technology. I’ve got a background in those.
My brother Gene is a natural networker. He is a good karma guy. People are drawn to him. He’s got a magneticism. So not only is he handling our VIP deliveries, he also creates the relationships with the vendors that we have out there. You know he says his business card is a joint. So what Gene does is he goes to these events and he smokes a joint with this person or that person, and he creates partnerships. But when Gene creates a partnership, he creates a friendship. And that’s a talent that cannot be understated. It really can’t. it’s a talent that I wish I had more of. So yeah that’s the reception Gene gets when he goes anywhere.
Matthew: It’s amazing. People should check that out on YouTube. It’s pretty funny to watch him enter a room. He’s the candy man.
AJ: Why go to YouTube. Just go to www.speedweed.com. You can edit out our plug. I don’t want to do that.
Matthew: Oh no, I was going to ask you, what’s next for Speed Weed. I mean now the regulations, the legislation is going to change. You’re going to adapt to that, but I mean are you going to be going anywhere else? Are you going to go to Northern California?
AJ: Or expansion plan is wider than most people think. So we are expanding throughout the state. So that’s San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, the Bay Area, Sacramento, Fresno, Palm Springs.
Jen: Santa Barbara.
AJ: And Santa Barbara, and we will cover the entire state. Then the next states we’re rolling into are Oregon, Nevada, Washington and Colorado in that order. But in addition to expanding our delivery service, underneath our corporate umbrella are these vertical ancillary businesses that generate revenue for us and for the clients that they serve. So these are businesses like our technology company. So our software, we resell to other clients. We have a security company that does secure transport and facility security, and they’re outstanding and it’s run by former FBI and Department of Justice officials. So we have a cultivation consulting firm that’s operated by name brands in the industry. And we also have marketing and branding contracts with some of these smaller edibles companies and nutriceutical companies that are still trying…. They have a great product, but they’re trying to figure out their presentation. So we have consulting contracts with those folks.
So Speed Weed is really just a segment, a vertical in what’s a group of companies that all service each other and can service other companies in the industry. So while we would love to take over the world and let Speed Weed be synonymous with marijuana delivery, and we’re confident that’s happening. We are putting the pillars in place in the businesses in place to make sure that companies like ours that want to do things the right way and elevate the industry can thrive. So we’re bringing all of those folks together, and we want to bring them under our umbrella so we can fight this fight as a single unit.
Matthew: Now in closing Jen, how can listeners find out more about Speed Weed?
Jen: Well the best way obviously to find out about Speed Weed is just to go to our website www.speedweed.com. And it not only allows you to sign up as a member, but if you just want to browse the site, it gives a lot of background on the company. It talks about the three founders. There’s some great videos on there. I suggest everybody check out Hans Von Puppet who is a great professor that tells everybody about the different properties and attributes of cannabis and what it can do for you.
AJ: But listeners, he’s a puppet.
Jen: He’s a puppet.
AJ: You got to see him.
Jen: He’s fantastic. You know and then just Googling Speed Weed, we’ve done a lot of press. We did a front page L.A. Times Sunday article. A very large magazine is getting ready to do a feature on us that should be coming out in a week or so, I’m sorry, in a month or so. And you know just keep your eye out. We’re there.
AJ: Yeah follow us on Twitter @L.A.speedweed and we’ll keep you up to date. Instagram is being goofy with marijuana businesses. So we don’t know what’s going to happen there, but @L.A.speedweed on Twitter and www.speedweed.com is where we are or I can give you Jen’s cell phone number.
Matthew: Sure that would be great. Well Jen and AJ thanks so much for being on CannaInsider today. We really appreciate it.
Jen: Thank you so much Matt.
AJ: Sure, we enjoyed it.
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