I’m always happy to connect with anyone in the cannabis industry and anyone looking to pursue a career in it. Shout out to anyone I’ve met or shared a joint with along this journey for the past 8-years! It’s been a wild, beautiful ride. – Robyn
Name: Robyn Katz
Location: Brooklyn, New York, USA
Primary sector / current role: Account Director / Graphic Designer @ The Flower Agency
Years in the legal industry: 8-years total; 4-years (medical) + 4-years (recreational)
How have you been lately? Really?
Not going to lie, I’m struggling a little bit. My anxiety has been terrible lately (thank goodness for cannabis) and some days I struggle to find motivation to do anything outside of the scope of things that I have to do. I’m spending way too much time on my phone, and rarely do I find myself truly excited about anything. I can’t wait to be able to travel again, to go to shows. See friends and not have to worry about the health of every single person I know at all times.
What made you say ‘yes’ to being showcased in The Garden?
I love the idea of shining a spotlight on all of the amazing women in the cannabis industry. When I first started working in dispensaries in LA in late 2014, women were basically budtenders and nothing else. We were encouraged to dress sexy and be flirtatious and appeal to our predominantly male customers. There was even a dispensary nearby where budtenders were all women in bikinis. Things have changed so much since then. Now women are really in charge–they own dispensaries, they’re executives, they’re investors, they’re growers, they’re involved in every facet of the industry. We still have a ways to go to make the cannabis industry one in which everyone feels welcome and accepted, but I think we’ve made tons of progress in the past decade.
How did your relationship with weed begin?
Growing up in the LA area, cannabis was absolutely everywhere. It was already medically legal by the time I was even interested in trying it, so I didn’t have to jump through any hoops to have my first experience with it. I had a few friends who’d already tried cannabis at the time, so I decided to give it a go out of sheer curiosity. My first few times getting high, I mostly spent hours and hours laughing and eating with my friends. It was more fun than anything. But as I started to become a little bit more experienced, I was able to really find the right dosage that allowed me to be optimally creative. I was a graphic design student in college at the time, and I remember starting to deliberately use cannabis as a way to break out of my artistic comfort zone. Finding that sweet spot for me as an artist was a total game changer.
Generally describe your day-to-day in the legal cannabis industry.
For years in SF I did outside sales. I was a sales rep who went from dispensary to dispensary showcasing product lines, fulfilling orders, creating invoices, delivering the products, all of it. I met owners of delivery services in parking lots sometimes. I was handling a ton of cash. I was one of the only women I saw actually doing that job, as it was really unsafe at the time (and kind of still is, but luckily recreational regulations have since put some safety precautions in place for people who touch cannabis products). I moved to Brooklyn in March of 2020 right after the pandemic started to shut things down, and I had no idea how I would find work, let alone work in the cannabis industry; which there isn’t a lot of in New York City. Luckily I was able to find another cannabis job in October 2020 and although it’s really different from my previous roles, a lot of the day to day work is similar. We work with cannabis brands, dispensaries, and delivery services to run digital ad campaigns, so I’m constantly communicating with prospects and selling our services. The main difference is that I’m now doing it from home! Lots of emailing and Google Meets. I’ve also started to design a lot of the creatives that we use for our ad campaigns. That’s been so fun!
What would you say your greatest strengths are?
I pride myself in being creative, hard working, and able to problem solve pretty quickly. Being able to constantly pivot, wear many hats, and do anything necessary to complete a task are definitely things I’ve learned by working in the industry and especially working for cannabis start-ups.
How would you assess the opportunity landscape in the cannabis industry, right now, from your perspective?
For anyone looking for meaningful work whether you’re young, old, just starting out in your career, or looking to switch industries there’s opportunity for you here. There’s also endless opportunity for innovation when it comes to product development, technology, retail/delivery… the sky’s the limit. The cannabis industry is still in its infancy and that really excites me!
What impact do you think the decriminalization of weed, on a global or national scale, would have on the industry? (DE&I, fiscally, environmentally, socially–any matter, really.)
Decriminalization is the first step, but legalization is the goal. We’d need to make sure that anyone with a cannabis conviction has their record expunged immediately, and make that a priority. We’d also need to make sure that equity programs are in place to give those unfairly convicted a chance to enter the market and reap the benefits of a newly legalized industry. We also need to lower the barrier to entry and give small businesses a fighting chance. Beyond all of those concerns, I would love to be able to travel to most states and countries and be able to buy clean, tested cannabis products at an affordable price. Can you imagine? It would create millions of jobs and alleviate so much suffering.
If you could give your younger self who is just starting out in this space one piece of advice what would it be?
My advice would be- don’t sell yourself short. You’re capable of much more than you could ever imagine.
What’s your favorite way to do self care?
I love smoking some cannabis, blasting some music or a funny podcast, taking a long shower, and spending 20-30 minutes doing an extensive skincare routine. It’s my favorite way to wind down and de-stress.
Any shoutouts, links, etc. for your brand, employer, or to readers of The Garden?
If you own or work for a cannabis brand or retailer, consider utilizing digital advertising as part of your marketing initiatives. At The Flower Agency, our technology allows cannabis companies to target super specific audiences and convert them into customers. We get your brand in front of consumers on highly vetted distribution channels like Rolling Stone and Food + Wine. You’ll be able to track ROI and gather data to better understand who your customer is and make wiser budgeting decisions in the future.
I’m always happy to connect with anyone in the cannabis industry and anyone looking to pursue a career in it. Shout out to anyone I’ve met or shared a joint with along this journey for the past 8-years! It’s been a wild, beautiful ride.