Roni Stetter, The Hurt Guru
I envision that one day, very soon, cannabis will be so mainstream that the rest of the world is going to figure out how to integrate with us, not the other way around.
Describe yourself and what you do.
I am just a regular girl whose life has been changed by cannabis, trying my best to amplify every message this community has to offer! As a former athlete turned stoner, turned industry professional, I’ve had a fun journey and feel it’s important to give back and take on more of a “teacher” role.
On the business side, I consider myself a writer, consultant, and influencer. I have been blogging and writing about the cannabis space for about a year, from both a professional and patient/consumer perspective. As of right now I am dialed into several different jobs and community positions. By the end of the summer, I plan to have launched my own public relations and consulting practice offering strategic planning services to CEOs both in and out of the cannabis space.
My blog is a channel for me to share tidbits about my lifestyle and to provide a place for people to learn about cannabis in a new way. Health is one of the top reasons that people these days are looking into trying cannabis for the first time. These newcomers may not have friends “in the business” like you and I, and they may not know where to find any information about the best new products and medicating techniques. I try to be that friend that many people are missing, offering an approachable and simplified view of how cannabis can be incorporated into a healthy, active lifestyle.
So many people still don’t see medical cannabis as a dietary supplement or topical treatment, which have both been extremely useful applications for me in my journey with sports injuries and chronic pain. My goal as a blogger is to open up the world of cannabis and its benefits to current and former athletes, as well as those who are hesitant on taking the first step on their fitness journey.
When I am not working on that, I work in enterprise sales for Cannabis Reports, an incredibly detailed database technology platform for the cannabis industry. Tons of community events in Southern California are on my radar, including local events for Women Grow, of which I am the San Diego Chapter Co-Chair. I also do a lot of freelance work, including writing health and general cannabis culture articles for Snoop Dogg’s site, Merry Jane. Pretty much every hour of every day, you can find me doing something related to the plant!
What inspired you to start your company and when and how did you get started?
As far as my career in cannabis goes, I first came out publicly as an advocate in 2010 – the second time California tried to legalize cannabis for adult use. I put my reputation on the line to run the campaign on my college campus because the plant had helped me so much with my health. I knew that without ordinary people standing up and sharing their experiences, that dangerous anti-drug rhetoric would keep harming millions of people just like myself who use cannabis to live better. Though cannabis was NOT legalized that year, I believe that California campaign started the conversation about normalizing cannabis use and set off the national momentum of policy change that we are seeing today six years later.
What is your vision and mission for your Canna business?
I am currently in the process of establishing my own consultancy, where I hope to help individuals and companies enter and stand out in the cannabis space. Prior to getting into this industry full-time, I worked in the public relations field – telling unique stories about brands and government entities, and helping them acheive desired project results, reputation and public status. Aside from that, I have been a patient, activist, community organizer, budtender, salesperson, writer and editor for the industry over the past six years. I have so many different perspectives on our little cannabis universe and how it all relates to the outside world. The challenge of bringing outside industries into the fold is even more exciting!
Cannabis has the potential to make so many old ideas awesome again.
I envision that one day very soon, cannabis will be so mainstream that the rest of the world is going to figure out how to integrate with us, not the other way around. Consultants who know the culture well, and have been around for the long term, will become extremely valuable during this exciting time of transition.
What is your Superpower?
I am a master communicator; I have the power to bridge gaps between all different groups of people. I can explain old-school cannabis culture to an investor in a suit and tie, then explain the ins and outs of the latest social media techniques with a grower. Many companies outside the cannabis space have even come to me interested in finding out how to be part of our movement.
What has been your greatest obstacle in this industry or with your business to date – and how have you overcome it – or are you still working on tackling it?
Though I don’t really think of it as an obstacle, establishing authority and a unique brand is the biggest challenge I’ve seen to date. In this industry, it’s not enough to have money, or even a big celebrity backing you (though it does help). Making authentic connections, the right ones, takes an incredible amount of time. To do this, you have to spend money and write lots of material for little to no financial return.
What is your vision for women in this industry? What would you like women to know about entering the Cannabis industry?
Women have so much to offer the cannabis space! Whether through our intuitive nature, or simply networking with and elevating other women, there are many ways we can make a difference here. I’d say the biggest challenge is to convince “the boys” that you know just as much, if not more, about the business. The only way you can get ahead of this challenge is by educating yourself! You may already be pretty street smart, or maybe you’re not. Either way, you should feel a deep desire to try new products and immerse yourself in the culture every day.
There’s no excuse for being unfamiliar with standard weights and measures (grams, ounces, pounds), the more well-known cannabinoids and terpenes, and industry/policy news highlights. Though I hate using this phrase…it really IS a “man’s world,” and it’s on us every day to prove that we can live in it, too. This is one professional industry where it pays to be a little gangsta.