Want to get into the cannabis industry but don’t know where to start? For that there’s Bud Camp, a summit led by powerful female industry leaders, giving seminars on topics like brand building, cannabis tourism business strategies, community engagement, and more.
Bud Camp was founded by Karen Paull and Wendy Robbins, co-creators and producers of The Marijuana Show, who partnered with Lisa Snyder and Samantha Montanaro of Tokeativity, who helped them create the summit. “Wendy and I came up with the idea back in 2014 when we incorporated a ‘boot camp’ style of training for our cast members in season one of The Marijuana Show,” explains Paull. “We provided them with a team of experts, including us, who coached on how to pitch for investment, how to do a valuation, accounting, branding, cannabis tax law, compliance, licensing, dispensary and grow regulations, how to market, brand and everything required to run a successful cannabis business.” Entrepreneurs and investors can conveniently learn from home, at their own pace, while connecting with teachers and others over a live platform. “We love expos and conferences, but it’s expensive and time consuming, so we bring conferences to your couch,” adds Robbins.
This isn’t the first time Paull and Robbins have offered Bud Camp classes (they’ve actually offered more than 40 classes last year), but this is the first summit of its size, featuring 16 women teachers over three days for an interactive video conference January 29-31.
Bud Camp’s target audience is men and women over 25, who are either new or experienced in the cannabis industry and want to learn how to grow their business. “One hundred percent of our teachers are women, so it’s not a surprise especially following the women’s marches that we have attracted 100 percent women who are 25-65 to our event,” says Paull. “Some [of the teachers] are long time teachers and coaches, lawyers and business owners who are ‘veterans’ in their field, and a small amount are women who are newer to the industry, but have mastered an area of expertise such as successfully selling online, bringing products to market, Instagram, overcoming obstacles in advertising and tools to help you sell.” They’re anticipating a few hundred for the live sumit, and a thousands more to replay it.
With about 250,000 employees entering the legal cannabis industry, these newcomers need training, says Robbins, as do entrepreneurs and investors. By providing business tools and and information, Bud Camp aims to help students combat the challenges they’ll face in building profitable companies in a federally illegal industry.
“The classes are in an interview format with a host interviewing the teacher, so the student can ask a question of the teacher before or right after the class using the functionality of the platform,” says Robbins. “There is a chat feature as well as our ability to bring the student on camera anytime.”
In the future, Robbins and Paull say they aim to expand the diversity of the teachers, adding more women and men of color, and continuing to offer diversity in the summit community and curriculum.