2 Minutes With .... Lance C. Lambert, CMO of Grove Bags
Lance C. Lambert is the chief marketing officer of Grove Bags. After working with companies like Scripps and AutoTrader, Lance made a transition into the legal cannabis industry 10 years ago. Since then, he has played a pivotal role in shaping brands such as Weedmaps, The Cannabist, GreenBroz and Green Flower.
In his latest role, Lance is actively building Grove Bags into a player in the global cannabis-flower supply chain. Drawing from his journey as a cancer survivor and his upbringing in Northern California, he has developed a deep appreciation for the benefits of cannabis and its role in fostering a healthy lifestyle.
Recognized as an engaging speaker, Lance has been featured as a presenter and panelist at industry events. He also writes a column for MG Magazine, covering international legalization efforts, providing insights into the evolving landscape.
We spent two minutes with Lance to learn more about his background, his creative inspirations and recent work he's admired.
Lance, tell us...
Where you grew up, and where you live now.
I grew up in a small town in Northern California called San Anselmo. It's next to San Rafael, where the Waldos grew up (the guys behind the 4/20). Now I live in Thousand Oaks, a smaller city nestled against the Santa Monica Mountains in Southern California.
How you first got interested in cannabis.
Growing up in the post-hippy era of the Bay Area, cannabis was prevalent. Being involved with the traditional market is what helped me save up for college in my teen years. If not for the D.A.R.E. program, I would never have known that cannabis was considered bad.
One of your favorite projects you’ve ever worked on, and why.
I'm a big fan of community over corporate. One group I've supported for years, first by way of sponsorship and now as a board member, is HeroGrown. This nonprofit supports veterans and first responders by providing cannabis instead of Big Pharma opioids to help with service-related injuries and psychological disorders.
A recent project you're proud of, and why.
We recently did a collaboration with the social impact brand 40 Tons. We created a bag in partnership with cannabis activist and artist Cannabiscapes (Greg Welch). The flower for the project was sourced from Strong Mountain Farm, a multi-generational operation in Northern Mendocino county, Calif. Coverage found here: RMR.
The biggest challenge cannabis marketers face today, and how to approach it.
The opportunity to advertise across certain platforms continues to be tough. While most would think the dot-com world would be more open to cannabis than traditional marketing venues, it's just not so. Print, billboards, direct mailers are all more open for advertising, even for ancillary brands. This challenge brings out the best in any true marketer. You have to be creative in more ways than one.
One thing about how the cannabis industry is evolving that you're excited about.
After a decade in the legal cannabis industry, it's exciting to see companies finally pay attention to the mainstream and first-time consumers. It always baffled me why everyone targeted people that already embraced the plant. Not enough education and low-dose offerings were out there for the novice audience. We are starting to see this more than ever.
Someone else's work, in cannabis or beyond, that you admired lately.
I continue to be a big fan of what Wana Brands is doing. They're constantly evolving their product line, especially when it comes to quality and use of technology. Friend and fellow CMO Joe Hodas does an excellent job of communicating this to the world.
A book, movie, TV show or podcast you recently found inspiring.
I'm a bit of a science geek and enjoy some people in that community, including Neil deGrasse Tyson and Stephen Hawking. They remind us we are just a small element in a very big universe. I recently read some excerpts from Carl Sagan's last book. He nailed many concerns back in 1995 that are coming into reality 25 years later.
A visual artist or band/musician you admire.
I'm a huge fan of Mossy Giant (Pieter van Tongeren). He is a phenomenal artist out of Holland who creates in all formats, focusing on cannabis and its culture. We're doing a limited-edition bag series with him.
Your favorite fictional character.
Jason Bourne. I am always traveling, often to other countries. To be able to know more than just English and Spanish would bring a whole new dynamic to my adventures.
Someone worth following on social media.
Jim Carrey. As a class clown in high school, I was always a huge fan of his work. I like his take on life in the later years. He actually makes retirement look fun.
Your main strength as a marketer/creative.
Getting to know the audience. While nobody said I had to grow or sell weed to be in this industry, it sure did help. Coming from the community makes a big difference.
Your biggest weakness.
Kindness. I am a big fan of supporting others and helping them be successful. While this is very rewarding, I've supported a few people who might not have deserved help.
Something people would find surprising about you.
I'm a cancer survivor going on 20 years. That's where my support of cannabis comes. And the fact that I've seen it help so many others, especially children who have been harmed by the pharmaceuticals they often get fed in lieu of a natural remedy like cannabis.
One thing that always makes you happy.
I'm always collaborating and planning on the next big win. I know I sound like George Peppard, but I do love it when a plan comes together. Because 90 percent of the job is often in the prep.
One thing that always makes you sad.
Seeing people who can't help themselves. We need humanity to come full circle. Human kindness is the best thing that costs nothing. If you see someone fall, stop and help them up. Don't just stand on the sideline and film it for social media.
What you'd be doing if you weren't in the cannabis industry.
My other passion is anything with an engine. I'm the third generation of an automotive family. That was where my career began. I would likely be building hot rods and cafe bikes, something I do as a hobby, along with gardening.