2 Minutes With … Zane Witzel, Founder and CEO of Cannador

On the challenges posed by 'Big Tech'

Zane is the founder and chief executive officer of Cannnador, which makes a humidification box designed for short- or long-term marijuana storage.

We spent two minutes with Zane to learn more about his background, his creative inspirations and recent work he's admired.

Zane, tell us …

Your current role in the cannabis industry, and where you're based.

I live in Savannah, Ga., and I love creating storage solutions for cannabis.  

Your earliest cannabis memory.

It's the typical high school basement get together, much like the recurring scene in That 70's Show, with lots of laughs and awkward pauses.

A story about the positive impact cannabis has had on your life.

Cannabis literally led me around the world, from meeting manufacturers in Asia to distributors in Canada and Europe. It's my first business and I've enjoyed meeting so many different people. It's brought new friendships and acquaintances that I wouldn't have made under any other circumstances. 

A favorite flower, edible, product, or brand.

King Louie. I have no idea who grew it or where it came from, but it was given to me and I love it.

The biggest challenge cannabis marketers face today.

"Big Tech" and the stranglehold they have over online marketing. It appears that some have found workarounds, but I don't know how long they'll last. Furthermore, it seems like we're in the same bucket as alcohol, tobacco and firearms, which is really limiting. 

One thing you're excited about right now in cannabis branding, partnerships or marketing.

I've enjoyed Jim Belushi over the years. Watching him grow the Belushi's Farm and Blues Brothers brands with partners and seeing this metamorphosis documented in Growing Belushi has been entertaining and educational.

A cannabis trade/social justice organization that you support.

I appreciate the work that the Last Prisoner Project is doing in the industry. I admire their dedication to cannabis-related criminal justice reform. Text FREEDOM to 24365 to donate and learn more.

A project you worked on recently that you're proud of.

We're developing a 10-year anniversary project with woodworking artist Chelsea Van Voorhis to create custom kaleidoscopic cannadors to commemorate our milestone. They'll be available online soon.

Someone else's project you admired recently. 

Check out Monko, a luxury lifestyle brand dedicated to social equity. They are redefining the cannabis retail experience with their design and aesthetic.

Someone worth following in social media.

Follow Chelsea on Instagram. We've worked with Chelsea on various projects over the years.

Someone you admire in cannabis who's doing great things. 

I've always admired the Hoodie Analytics team. They provide the industry with data that's actionable and insightful for producers, entrepreneurs and investors. 

A book, movie, TV show or podcast you recently found inspiring.

I love movies about business founders and recently saw BlackBerry. It's a great example of how easily an organization can fall into complacency without realizing the speed or magnitude of the competition. 

A visual artist or band/musician you admire.

I've always loved Trent Reznor from NIN.

Your favorite fictional character.

Daniel Day-Lewis' oil tycoon from There Will Be Blood.

Your main strength as a marketer/creative.

Cool artist collaborations.

What you'd be doing if you weren't in the cannabis industry?

Before cannabis, I had my sights set on a career in the entertainment industry, but it wouldn't have lasted anyway.

2 Minutes With is our regular interview series where we chat with creatives about their backgrounds, creative inspirations, work they admire and more. For more about 2 Minutes With, or to be considered for the series, please get in touch.

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