Lifestyle publication Dope Magazine has risen to the front lines of the cannabis conversation with their goal to normalize the plant and provide exposure for top cannabis brands. Every month, one hundred thousand free copies of the magazine are spread throughout dispensaries around the country and their list of partners continues to grow, along with their sway in the industry.
As the “boots on the ground,” Dope’s Business Development Manager Josh Davis sees his job as more of a consultative service, creating valuable connections within the industry through content and events. “We’re trying to be the connectors and liaisons within the cannabis industry and find ways to create a win-win.”
Exposure for Cannabis Brands
When Dope was started in Seattle in 2011, the professionalism of the industry was still developing and there was a lack of channels for cannabis companies to use to gain exposure. Dope saw the opportunity, stepped in to spark the conversation, and has since expanded into Oregon, California, Colorado, Arizona, and Nevada, with plans to continue expansion into additional regions and emerging markets.
Creating local versions of the publication has always been a part of Dope’s strategy because it allows them to tailor the conversation to the audience and highlight local brands. Since many cannabis companies are stuck within state lines, this allows brands a better chance to reach their potential customers and readers the opportunity to learn about products they can actually go try.
There is a lot of creativity happening in this industry (to say the least), and Dope wants to share this with their readers. As Davis puts it, “Our goal is to provide a platform in exposure and provide perspective on the creativity and innovation involved in the industry.”
Normalizing the Cannabis Conversation
This year has “marked a turning point” in Dope’s progression, as they expand their content to topics relevant to, but not always directly related to cannabis. Davis says, “We’re trying to make it an everyday conversation just like wine, food, sports. I believe that it deserves that credit.” By expanding their content to topics outside of cannabis, cannabis becomes naturally woven into the fabric of regular everyday conversations.
Plus, Dope wants to create content for everyone, not just regular cannabis users. “Our audience is anyone who wants to listen. Even if people don’t smoke or they’re first time users, we want to open the door for them as well,” says Davis.
Dope makes an effort to develop valuable relationships with their partners, making connections between brands and referring their partners to new opportunities for exposure. The inaugural Dope Industry Awards in Southern California recently took place in September in Los Angeles, bringing together a “who’s who” of California cannabis while celebrating the success of their reader’s favorite brands. Remaining authentic to the core, Dope makes a point to keep their award shows unbiased by letting regional voting determine the winners rather than sponsorship.
Dope at Laughter Haven
If you get out and about to cannabis events in your neighborhood, you can expect to see Dope there representing their favorite brands, as Davis is determined to sponsor more and more local events and get involved in the local communities. In fact, Dope will be sponsoring the outdoor combustion lounge at HelloMD’s Laughter Haven event October 5th, offering attendees samples of flower, concentrates, topicals, and the chance to smoke, dab, and vape to their heart’s delight!