Stephen Gold and Andy Yashar are the founders of The Daily Leaf, a real-time resource that helps drive information to cannabis consumers. The pair recently sat down with Civilized to discuss their first time smoking marijuana, as well as their predictions for the future of the cannabis industry.
What's your typical day like?
SG: Typically, my day gets thrown in a million directions. I try to keep a steady calendar of being in the office Monday through Wednesday. Then, I’m out on the road visiting clients and new companies Thursday and Friday. We are a boot-strapped, self-funded company, so Andy and I both end up with our hands involved in every aspect of the business; from managing our sales team, to working out new promotions with clients, to handling social media, it really depends on what we have in the works.
AY: I wake up, check and return emails, and then head to work. As soon as I get to work, Stephen and I meet to see where we're at with new and old accounts. Then, I get to start my SEO and development work. I usually work until rush hour ends and then head home. I end my day by puffing on my Truly Pure Vape pen and watching the NFL network.
What's the biggest misconception about the marijuana industry?
SG: That everyone involved is rich! While we do have a lot of outside money coming into the industry, a lot of producers and processors (in Oregon, at least) are continually reinvesting their profits back into the business to keep it afloat and build in order to compete with the big money coming in. The cannabis industry is in its infancy and for a lot of people it’s a long game, rather than a short come-up. Black market tactics have people thinking that this industry is just a big, quick flip, and it’s not.
AY: That we are all stoners and hippies. Some of us come from corporate backgrounds and have experience running a business.
What's one prediction you have for the marijuana industry five years from now?
SG: Five years from now, we will just be getting out of the rut these f*ckers are creating for all of us in Washington. While I do not think that anything done in the next three or four years will be detrimental to the cannabis industry, I also do not see anything being done on a federal level to push it forward and to fix problems like 280E and all of the banking issues. Five years from now, we should be seeing the beginning of tremendous interstate commerce and the real fun beginning!
AY: That we will be a $30 billion-a-year industry.
What is one change you'd like to see happen in the cannabis industry?
SG: More acceptance. The Daily Leaf is a marketing company that drives consumers to cannabis deals, specials and promotions, and we cannot advertise any of that information through regular channels like Facebook, Google, or Instagram, let alone work with affiliate marketers outside of the cannabis industry. I have friends who work for large ad agencies who would like to play ball with us, but as companies they are not allowed to touch marijuana yet.
AY: We need to take marijuana off the list of Schedule I drugs.
What's your perfect setting to consume? (place, music, food, etc.)
SG: I grew up smoking blunts in a circle of friends. Nowadays, I really enjoy smoking a joint on my apartment balcony. I still find myself in a circle, but it seems like that only happens at a cannabis convention or event.
AY: Consuming while watching TV makes TV so much better.
What is your go-to munchie?
SG: Chocolate-covered pretzels. And when I say chocolate-covered pretzels, I mean taking a piece of chocolate and a pretzel and alternating bites to get that perfect sweet and salty combo.
AY: Fruit snacks. Don’t knock it until you try it!
What's your favorite (and least favorite) way to consume cannabis?
SG: My favorite will always be rolling a joint. Blunts were great, but as I matured I realized how bad a Dutch Masters wrap is for your health. And, we’re trying to live right? Also, I take an RSO (Rick Simpson Oil) capsule with turmeric, black pepper and holy basil every night, which has been extremely beneficial to my health. Each capsule has about 20 mg of RSO. My least favorite consumption would be dabs. Too many contraptions and tools needed. Just give me a lighter and some papers.
AY: I like CO2 pens. Dabbing is just too crazy for me.
Tell us the story of the first time you consumed marijuana.
SG: I was 14 and still in middle school. I hit my homie Wesley up because he and a couple friends had already acclimated. I was holding out because drugs are bad... right?! At any rate, I eventually decided to give it a shot, so I had him grab a twenty bag and I went by his parents house. He rolled up a blunt and we went for a walk. As we were smoking, it started to snow, which was cool. Nothing crazy happened. We kind of just strolled around and then kicked it in the garage. Not a bad first time.
AY: My story is a lot like many others. It was after school and my friends had some cannabis, so I puffed on it once. It didn’t do too much at the time, but I gave it another shot.
Do you have a message for Donald Trump and/or Jeff Sessions? What would that message be?
AY: Jeff Sessions needs to try marijuana. If he smoked it, he would realize that it’s nothing like heroin. Donald Trump needs to just come out and say that he has smoked in the past. We all know he did.