The end of cannabis prohibition in Colorado has signaled an incredible resurgence in innovation and entrepreneurship for the state. Finally given a legal leg to stand on, these “canna-preneurs” have delved into all angles of the marijuana business, from growing operations, to specialty products, to art and entertainment, to us: the Dope Directory. This fascinating trend has never been more apparent than on September 13th and 14th at Denver’s Watering Bowl. It was there on those dates that over two hundred cannabis industry hopefuls gathered to try their luck at getting on The Marijuana Show. If you want to find out more on what is happening in the world of the Marijuana Industry, you could look into something like a marijuana blog to keep you up to date.
Described as the marijuana industry’s equivalent to Shark Tank, this brand new television concept has been brought to light by Wendy Robbins and Karen Paull. Well, Russ, one of the founders of Dope Directory, went to this exciting open audition. The following is his account of the audition process, and the emotional rollercoaster that we at Dope Directory rode in the weeks following his audition.
“I was at a weekend getaway with my wife and teenage son in the mountains, when the radio advertisement for The Marijuana Show Came on the radio. Being one of the principal founders of The Dope Directory, I’m always looking for new opportunities for the brand new company. It sounded intriguing, and like something I’d love to investigate. On Sunday (the second day of the open auditions), I came home from the mountains, and set out to the Watering Bowl in Denver. The place was absolutely jumping! After my brief checkin, I was given a number: Number 71. That means seventy people were to give their two minute pitches to Wendy and Karen before me. In all honesty, with the sheer number of people buzzing around the building, I was just worried I wouldn’t even get a shot at talking to the women. Shrugging my shoulders, and taking a deep breath, I climbed up to the balcony, and watched the auditions.
“I must say, I was absolutely impressed by the organization and professionalism of this audition experience. From the backdrops, to the lights, to the clapper board, it was like being in Hollywood, right here in the city I call home. It was incredibly inspiring. Finally, the cannabis industry is receiving some well-deserved national attention! Equally inspiring were the throngs of passionate inventors and entrepreneurs who showed up for the audition. What an amazing time, to be surrounded by people all working towards making a break in the cannabis industry! It’s rare to have experiences where you’re surrounded by such talented people from all walks of life.
“Contestant after contestant walked up to the stage, gave their two minute spiel, and then waited for the judges to deliberate. You were either given a ‘Callback!’ or told to audition again for season two. Finally, there I was. Number 71. This was an exceptionally nerve-wracking moment for me. At the Dope Directory, in every aspect of the company, we work as a team. This was the first time representing the company that I was flying solo, and I had the hopes and dreams of the five other guys at the company, as well as the dispensaries that we work with, resting squarely on my shoulders. Deep breath. I gave my pitch. Now, I’ve given many pitches in my life. It’s sort of what I do. But I can’t honestly remember being more nervous than I was during those two minutes. My time was up. The judges sat in silence. I smiled, and began walking back up to the balcony. They stopped me, pointed, and told me ‘Callback!’ I did it! The first big hurdle had been crossed. And now, to wow the judges a second time.
“I received a green index card with the words ‘You’ve Passed Go!’ written in Sharpie across its front side. Then began the sizable wait for my callback, where I was once again put in front of the cameras. Each one of the entrepreneurs who made it to the callbacks round was given a challenge by the judges, based on the challenges they’ve faced in their business. As a new company, I told the judges that my fear was being overlooked as such a new company. With this in mind, the judges gave me our challenge. Find twenty dispensaries to give you support in one week. As a company who has signed about one new contract a week, this was no small challenge for us. The very next night, Dope Directory had its very first emergency meeting, to discuss The Marijuana Show and the challenge given to us. Twenty dispensaries in one week. I saw the faces of my sales team sink, and I could almost tangibly feel the air leave the room. I knew what they were thinking: how could we possibly get support from twenty dispensaries in one week?! Then, something incredible happened. Everyone in the room lifted their heads, and the conversations, the planning, the logistics, all started to fall into place. This was one hell of a challenge to give our new company, but we were absolutely determined to complete The Marijuana Show’s challenge.
“That week, the sales team hit the ground running, and used practically all hours of daylight over the course of the week to talk with the dispensaries they’ve worked with. Armed with phone cameras, we hurried around to the dispensaries, talking about our exciting news. Twenty dispensaries, six days. What an emotional ride that week became, all because of this golden opportunity from The Marijuana Show! We were absolutely floored by the response from the dispensaries, too. We simply could not believe the amount of support the dispensaries – the cannabis community of Colorado – showed our homegrown Colorado company! It took us until Saturday, but after hours of meetings, hundreds of miles on our cars, gallons of coffee, and nearly four hundred takes in my basement, we finally stitched together our submission for The Marijuana Show. Tired, excited, but ultimately hopeful, we sent our video off, fingers crossed.
“It was that next Wednesday that I received a call via Skype from The Marijuana Show. They saw our video, and thanked me for it. ‘What a powerful video!’ they complimented. Here came that nervous feeling again. We completed their challenge, which pushed our company to its absolute limits the week prior. Were we in? Then came the magic words: ‘You’re in. You made it onto the show!’ It’s probably a good thing that they called me via Skype, because Wendy and Karen could see, in full glory, my the sheer number of excited victory laps I sprinted around my kitchen in sheer jubilation. Then, or second emergency meeting of The Dope Directory. With everyone from the company assembled again, I told everyone of the news. We did it. We made it on the show. The beers were cracked open, the hugs were exchanged, and the high fives were thrown until all of our hands were sore. Our homegrown Colorado company will now be seen by all the viewers of The Marijuana Show.
“As the dust settled, and our sheer excitement began to steady, the rubber truly hit the road. We knew what we had to do. We had to keep doing what we do best: write about Colorado’s best spots for cannabis buyers. We had to keep working. Our team is back out, working hard, but still eagerly awaiting what happens next in this exciting new time for The Dope Directory. On behalf of everyone at the company, I would personally like to thank each and every one of those twenty dispensaries that showed us the incredible support needed to get us onto The Marijuana Show. From our hearts to yours, thank you.”
Compassionate Pain Management
The Healing House
Herbal Alternatives at New Broadsterdam
The Health Center
Boulder Marijuana Co.
Headquarters Cannabis Co.
North Boulder Wellness Center
Northern Lights Cannabis Co.
The Releaf Center
The Walking Raven