‘The Marijuana Show’ Takes Your High Ideas And Turns Them Into Money
Everything seems like a good idea when you’re high. But what happens if your best high idea is actually profitable?
Meet Wendy Robbins and Karen Paull, the couple-creators behind The Marijuana Show, a web-based reality show that’s like Shark Tank, except for weed. Entrepreneurs — or “ganjapreneurs,” as the MJ Show refers to them, are given the opportunity to present their ideas about how to make money off weed, and then coached and driven to compete for a winning prize.
They want to change the way we (women especially) relate to business, and start to understand that in this social climate, the best you can do is not wait for anybody to co-opt your big ideas. That is, everyone except for Wendy and Karen. Read our interview with them, below.
Galore: How did you come up with the idea for your show?
Wendy: The cannabis industry was really expanding, so we drove down to Denver with the intention of opening a dispensary, but it was a lot more complicated than we thought. We came up with the show idea through creative processing. When I was working for Kelly Ripa, my job was to teach women how to be the CEO of a company within days and to sell a product from a home shopping network and make like $10,000 in 4 minutes, so I’d already had a background in something similar.
Karen: We realized that opening up a dispensary would be really hard for us to do, and we were just thinking, what could we do that would be exciting? We’re both businesswomen and so it just came out of our creative marketing and advertising production perspective. We were just like, let’s do this.
So you guys are are you guys pro-legalization, I’m assuming.
Wendy: Oh yeah! We are true advocates. Our platform is like Shark Tank meets American Idol, so being advocates to legalize it will only make our show better.
What are some of the downsides to legalizing weed?
Karen: Weed is already regulated by the government and that creates a lot of problems for people because they typically regulate it from an opposing stance. The government has been changing the rules so much and it’s expensive for people in the industry to comply with these new rules. For instance, they’re saying now that you can only have some amount, like 16% THC in your product, but most growers are growing 24% THC. It would take 80-90% of the industry away in order to ignore that, so it means that everyone would have to grow different strains, but it takes awhile to grow… so that’s an issue. And then there’s the worry of the government coming in and taking control of an industry that is creatively run.
Where did you develop your business mindset?
Karen: For me, 15 years as a marketing/advertising executive. I ran a company called Snapfish, helped bring it to profitability and then sold it to Hewlett Packard for $300 million. I was a big part of that team that helped get them acquired. Then I started my own advertising agency, so that’s me in the digital space. I have a Master’s in Theater, I have a theater background background, and I teach acting. I have 2 Bachelor’s degrees and a Master’s degree. I love school, and if I could go back I would to get a PhD.
Wendy: My background is that I went to Juilliard, making films, 2 Emmy awards for different shows that I directed, and then business was just the “Tingler” head massager. I made $10 million from that and I figured if I could make that off of toilet parts, I could probably teach others to make a shit ton of money on stuff that doesn’t come from a toilet.
It’s Independence month at Galore, and we’re really into stories about how women can learn to be successful and happy about the field they’re working in. It feels so hard to figure out what that even means these days though.
Karen: If you have a job, and you’re not an entrepreneur, then somebody else’s vision is what you’re working towards. If you really believe in that vision, and someday you want to be that person and have a team, that’s great. But if you’re just doing it to be a piece in a puzzle, then you’re just helping someone else get rich.
It also just feels hard to have the confidence necessary to go after these things sometimes as well. And the wage gap is so real right now.
Karen: Hopefully that’ll change soon, but part of it is recognizing your own value and learning how to talk about wages like hey, this is what I think I deserve. Of course though, when you’re an entrepreneur you have a lot more flexibility than you do when you’re working for a company.
So do you guys feel like it’s really important to do everything independently?
Wendy: Not at all! We’re going to start a crowd funding platform for equity crowd funding. That way people can invest in businesses. Say for instance that you pitch something to us and we tell you to sell 5,000 of your products… you’d use social media, or whatever other skills and tools you have in order to do so. If you’re able to, then we can get it out to a large audience to get the money that you need, or find somebody that can invest in you.
Girls being confident in themselves makes a huge difference. Do you have any tips for girls who are trying to work in any industry?
Karen: Well, there are some easy things like Salary.com — you put in your position and role and then it gives you an idea of what your salary should be. I would encourage all women to be entrepreneurs or at least consider what they would do if they had their dream life.
Wendy: I wrote a book and it sold 50,000 copies, it’s called “Why Marry A Billionaire? Just Be One.” It’s basically million dollar advice in a $20 book. The main thing I find in common amongst all women is that we don’t feel worthy enough, so it comes down to self-worth and valuing yourself. I think it’s interesting how female anchors get fired the minute they don’t look as good in the camera but male anchors can stay on forever. The first thing people are going to do is describe how you look in order to rank you. But it’s your substance and your character that matters, not the way you look.