Ten years ago, Olivia Alexander was selling homemade edibles and sub-par hash out of a long-gone cannabis dispensary called The Green Easy in Los Angeles.

She was far from a connoisseur, let alone an activist, having only been introduced to cannabis for the first time earlier that year. But when friends offered her a job at their collective, she took it, knowing that she needed the money to help get her through college.

Almost instantly, the 18-year-old from Louisiana “connected with [cannabis] as a thing that could improve” her life.   

Today, Alexander is arguably the leading millennial voice within the cannabis space.

When she isn’t overseeing The Third Eye Agency – her own cannabis digital agency that represents brands like Bhang Chocolate, Northern Emeralds and Blaze Now with millions of social media followers – she’s pumping out content for her YouTube channel, BuddFeed, or managing her cannabis luxury accessories brand, The Crystal Cult (best known for its selection of Swarovski crystal-bedazzled vape pens.)  

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“I’ve just been creating and carving out my own little place in this movement,” Alexander tells Civilized of her success; adding that she has always created products and content with herself (and those like her) in mind, “because it’s never existed.”

“This is so much more than just a business and an industry,” she adds. “We have to treat it like a movement.”

This, in essence, is Alexander’s overarching message to her target demographic in whatever she does. She believes her fellow social media-savvy millennials will play an essential role in the burgeoning cannabis industry (and the movement as a whole) going forward. She also thinks that current industry leaders and millennials alike would do well to take note of this.

“I really want to start a conversation that’s not happening… when it comes to millennials and the future of the industry,” said Alexander.

“We’re coming up in this world where millennials are the largest, most influential group who will eventually have the buying power.”  

Alexander thinks cannabis leaders have, by and large, neglected to engage with millennials both within the industry and in the context of the cannabis movement itself. This is a mistake, she believes, because her generation is the one that can help inform on matters like digital cannabis commerce and the most efficient ways to use social media within the industry. It’s also her generation that will (hopefully) go on to carry the torch for long-time cannabis activists.

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“It’s just wild to me that the movement and the industry hasn’t engaged millennials...They’re everywhere; they’re on their phones; we know how to find them, but no one is communicating to them that they need to be socially active [in this industry and movement.]”

This is, largely, why Alexander does what she does: in efforts to inspire her fellow Gen Y’s to jump into the cannabis space and get their hands dirty.

“Part of what I’m doing is just…[hoping] to inspire more millennials to get in the industry, because it’s a much older industry, or inspire them to get more into the movement,” she says. “We really need my generation to step up and [help] end prohibition in the next 10 years.”

Olivia Alexander will be our guest today (2 pm PST) on Live in LA, a Civilized Facebook broadcast.  

Banner image: Olivia Alexander