Welcome to another Episode of The High Club Conversations with Ben Rispin. This episode is hosted by Stingo Da Dingo. Stingo is joined from Canada by our friend Ben Rispin. Ben is Director at Puff Digital. Let’s get into this episode of The High Club Conversations.
Stingo: “Thank you Ben for joining us”
Ben: “Thank you for having me Stingo and Kush”.
Stingo “This pandemic has thrown everything into chaos resulting in a delay on this episode we apologise for that”.
Stingo: “Me and everyone else here are super excited to have you on board.”
Ben: “Thank you for having me and please do not worry about the delay it’s crazy here also.”
Stingo: “Ben, could you tell me about a bit about Puff Digital?”
Ben: “Stingo, Puff Digital is a media company with proprietary ad tech, and an agency component. We own and are partnered with cannabis publications like Skunk Magazine, Puff Puff Post, Higher Mentality and much more.”
Stingo: “That is so dope Ben!”
Stingo: “You must know you stuff! How old where you when you got into the production gig?”
Ben: “Well, personally I’ve been a lifelong punker, which led into self-producing shows, bands, videos, film, festivals etc. I got into weed at a young age. Maybe 13 or 14 years old. I dabbled in every level of the weed and the music business most of my life.”
Stingo: “You’re a prodigy!”
Stingo: “So glad we collaborated your story is important and needs to be out there more!”
Stingo: “Massive shift in the cannabis marketplace in Canada recently, How did that affect you?”
Ben: “When legalization happened, I found myself doing PR for a grey market dispensary chain called MMJ Canada. We fought pretty hard for consumer and patient access. These guys put me in front of governments and I worked closely with Clint Younge, who in my opinion is one of the most solid cannabis figureheads Canada has ever produced. Handling MMJ’s socials turned me on to the fact that although illegal, helped me solidify that weed was helping people get off junk.”
Stingo: “Tell us a bit more about getting people of junk Ben?”
Ben: “Helping people get off junk medication and other substances is a huge aspect of my advocacy. I’m a firm believer that weed can be an essential tool for harm reduction when dealing with addiction. Coming from music, I’d seen and personally experienced the benefits of using weed to combat my personal and colleagues excessive substance abuse. When I saw message after message coming in to MMJ’s points of contact about addicted thanking us, the punk kid in me got activated.”
Stingo: “The punk kid is real!”
Stingo: “What happened next?”
Ben: “I eventually found myself working for a legal cannabis clinic called Hello Cannabis. That’s where I started dipping my toes in corporate cannabis. I immediately started seeing some pitfalls. Some guys were doing aquaponics, others water rooting, but when push came to shove, none of these major weed companies that I dealt with had ever grown weed on the scale they were growing. It had never been done. So I realized pretty early that this was the same deal as when me and my friends bought our first light kit when we were kids. Set it up in a closet and thought we were gonna get a pound. We ended up with a half quarter. And that’s phase one of legalization in a nutshell. That’s why it suffers initially here in Canada from my perspective.”
Stingo: “Bro it does sound like they need some Kush Koalafications growing techniques”.
Stingo: “How did you end up at Puff Digital from Hello Cannabis?”
Ben: “So, I left Hello Cannabis when I met a chap named Peter Tieu, the founder of Puff Digital.”
Ben: “Through advocacy, I knew I needed a bigger platform and Puff was the way to start it.”
Ben: “It was a place my previous media and music experience could be utilized, as well as the vast amount of cannabis experience and network I’d acquired.”
Ben: “Puff started funding some creative projects I had in mind like our Into The Weeds Podcast I co-host with my best friend’s Bubba Nicholson, who works with one of the best legal weed companies in Canada called Thrive, and LA based Punker Efrem Martinez-Schulz who front bands like Death By Stereo and Voodoo Glow Skulls.”
Stingo: “Sounds so awesome! How did it go?”
Ben: “The show took off pretty quick and I found myself a director at Puff Digital. Where we’re producing all kinds of quality cannabis content. In my opinion anyway.”
Stingo: “Ben in your opinion how is the cannabis industry currently in your country?”
Ben: “Cannabis is and has always thrived in Canada. However, there is a culture war happening. Corporate cannabis deliberately left the traditional black market out of the situation.”
Ben: : “They’re coming around a bit now, but there inability to consult with the existing culture, creates a huge divide not only in quality, but with the activists who pushed cannabis legalization. To be blunt, it’s a fucking mess but getting better. The weasels are getting ousted at a proper rate.”
Stingo: “So insightful, bless you bro!”
Stingo: “Thank you for joining us on again Ben, we wish you and all your friends and family the most safest times”.
Ben: “Thank you for having me”
Ben: “Be safe and make sure everyone plays their part by staying at home and washing their hands!”.
Thank you for tuning in for another episode of The High Club Conversations with Ben Rispin.
This was episode three. We appreciate your continuous love and support.
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