This week’s Trailblazer is William Zorn of¬†grnhouse agency, a marketing agency that specializes in growing cannabis brands for both LPs and retailers.

Questions with a Cannabis Industry Trailblazer

When did you first become involved in the cannabis industry and why?

I first became involved in 2017 – I’d grown disillusioned with the regular retail jobs I had been working when my legacy budtender, Brett, asked me if I was interested in working in the Cannabis field. I was brought to the backroom instantly.
I had two questions in my interview, the second being “Can you hit the floor right not”?

Working with patients led to me opening stores myself and only deepened my passion for access and education in cannabis.

What has been the biggest marketing challenge you have faced when working with cannabis companies/brands?

It would be trying to create a campaign that’s engaging and informative while juggling all of the unclear restrictions in place. Cannabis brands are doing the incredibly difficult job of building a clear brand image despite these, but imagine how far this industry would be if regulations more closely resembled that of alcohol & gambling.

If you could change one of the current Canadian or American marketing restrictions on cannabis, which would it be?

I would have to say the restriction in regards to age-gating in advertisements. I’ve seen countless alcohol ads on television, alcohol partnerships and sponsorships, yet cannabis is still very “hush-hush”.
While Health Canada clutches it’s pearls, trying to hide cannabis from the youth, I believe that restrictions lifting there would encourage a level of normalization while simultaneously encouraging parents to have honest conversations about cannabis use with their children.

Kids are smart and hiding something from them only encourages them to seek it out in secrecy.

In your observation, what marketing techniques or channels have been most effective for cannabis companies looking to connect with consumers?

Despite its unfair targeting of cannabis brands & content creators, Instagram is an amazing avenue for companies to provide education, connect with clients, and build a strong brand image.
Another channel that I believe has amazing potential is Twitch – with such a variety of different types of content and their (generally) relaxed approach to cannabis/cannabis content, it has unlimited potential.

Are there any other Trailblazers in the cannabis industry that you follow?

Absolutely! Kelsey Cannabis is doing wonderful things in the field of cannabis education; I’m constantly peeking at her Instagram!

What is one tip or piece of advice you would give to people looking to enter the cannabis industry?

Listen to the budtenders. Budtenders are working on the ground floor and receive a tremendous amount of insight through this. They have contact with hundred of cannabis customers and from that, insight we could all benefit from.

Cannabis Marketing Trailblazers

A big thank you to William for participating as this week’s Trailblazer! Stay tuned for another interview with a cannabis marketing Trailblazer next Thursday in the ADCANN blog.

Interested in working with one of these talented cannabis marketers? Check out our Agency Directory for a list of all the agencies that specialize in working with cannabis companies.

Last Updated on January 25, 2022 by ADCANN

Spencer Tropea

Spencer Tropea

Spencer Tropea is a seasoned creative and certified cannabis sommelier with 15 years of experience in PR, design, and photography. He's worked with several prominent cannabis brands across North America, using his unique skills to craft engaging narratives that breathe life into the industry and the passionate people invloved.