Can quality be affordable? The question that comes up in all kinds of industries, including cannabis.
It seems that cannabis users can be divided into two main groups – those who don’t even think about buying it from legal sources because they can’t afford it, and those who don’t question the price when it comes to quality.
Does it really have to be like that?
Cultural Changing Machine
Cannabis company Old Pal fights to prove the contrary. Unlike many companies who stay shy from affordable markets, Old Pal builds its story there.
To hear its story and get to know the people who stand behind the company, Benzinga talked with Tina Ulman, its Nevada brand manager, and Director of Development at Vegas NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law).
The company’s values and what it aims to accomplish is different than of most cannabis companies, as it works on offering great cannabis that is affordable for all people.
“I think our branding resonates with all folks as well, no matter what kind of consumer that you are, and we really want to pride ourselves on being a cultural changing machine,” Ulman said.
Old Pal was recently named the top flower brand in the state of Nevada, with its Gorilla Glue for cannabis being the top purchased item in the state, which depicts the idea that a good quality product at an affordable price will attract the consumers.
Among the challenges the company and the industry face, Ulman highlighted consumers focus on excessively high THC levels that led to a lot of corruption with testing labs in Nevada, as people want to reach bizarre THC levels.
While the consumers lack education on THC levels and cannabis in general, the industry should have more just laws regarding cannabis, which require more research on medical benefits, Ulman added.
“At Old Pal, we’re very proud of our approachable THC levels of 17 to 21%. Because we know that we operate in with integrity, and we can deliver factual results to consumers.”
Looking After Those In Need
As a passionate cannabis advocate, Ulman became the Director of Development of one of the strongest NORML organizations in the U.S. Under her leadership, NORML helped push for the passing of three Nevada state laws: AB 132, which eliminated pre-employment THC testing; AB 192, which vacates the records of any crime committed prior to legalization; and SB 430, which expands the conditions in which a patient qualifies for medical cannabis.
Ulman’s efforts helped the launch of NORML’s Patient Voucher Program for veterans, seniors and patients to get $1 cannabis products. The program collaborates with cannabis companies, which donate cannabis products that are going to expire within 30 days to dispensaries, where patients, seniors, and veterans can pick them up for $1.
Even though all the companies are obliged to destroy the product when it expires, Ulman says it has been challenging to find the companies for collaboration. Last year, they managed to obtain around 2500 products, but hope to see that number increase.
“There’s so many people in need that can’t afford cannabis,” she said. “And unfortunately, our medical program in the state of Nevada does not have strong benefits for patients. There’s hardly any discounts. There’s a small tax break and not a lot of medical products because recreational use has been legal for the last two years.”
What’s more, NORML reached Washington, DC this past September, and it obtained 2000 letter signs from constituents in Nevada, supporting for various cannabis bills.
“I always like to say I am trying to change the world, one doobie at a time.”
The Future Is Female
Ulman has personally seen many benefits from cannabis, being a consumer for 13 years. Cannabis helped her deal with the stress of the previous job, to quiet her mind and sleep better.
“I think the world is better with weed because so many people struggle with battles in their own mind, with a little voice inside their head that can get the best of them. And cannabis offers relief from that.
“I also think that if you through everyone’s addictions in the pile, whatever those may be, cannabis is the least destructive and truly the most helpful on your mindset.”
As a woman in a cannabis industry, Ulman doesn’t feel intimidated, on the contrary, she feels with the industry being new it doesn’t have too many good old boys clubs, hence it provides a lot opportunities for women.
“And the plant is a female plant. So, a lot of times you’ll hear the expression, the future is female. I see it first hand in Old Pal. We have a lot of strong female leaders on our team,” Ulman said, adding that her group in NORML is comprised of around 80% female.
© 2019 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.