A year ago, I took a leap. I took my skillset and applied it to cannabis.
Canada is leading the world. The rules of engagement are emergent, everything is being created live. The industry is full of advocates, optimists, hustlers and sociopaths. Yet, there is a need for professionalism, to professionalize. Systems, rhythms, articulation, reputation management, collaboration, content – it all needs to be set up, organized and executed. By experts.
I knew I could do a job.
From day one, though, I realised this was something different. We schematized a plan, and within a week it had changed. We noted industry trends that were relegated within a month, replaced by the new new. The corporate approach to the plant, its manufacture, the product goals, and the customer journey all evaporated and reformed time and time again.
I wrote a “I have a new job!” post. I called it “Global perspective. Change agency. Emergent narratives.” Prescient.
Within a week I realized I needed to write my thoughts down regularly or else to become bamboozled about what was going on. It became The Cannabis Diaries (all 52 snapshots collated here). A weekly slice of life in a crazy, interesting industry from an amused, slightly bemused onlooker.
Now I am 6 months out the other end I can step aside. I wanted to see it through, to see if being in the trenches was some kind of VR experience that misrepresented reality. It was not. Now I am out the other side, I feel a little sad, that Canada has not nailed it.
Still, cannabis will be a game changing industry – for products; for the embrace of drugs in a more nuanced, scientific and commercial way; for the decriminalization of people who have been caught up along the way; for wellness. Psychedelics are marching in its wake. Coming to an experience design near you in the next decade.
However, every single day was interesting, every single day was fun and crazy and slightly ridiculous, and how often can you say that of work?! The people were up tempo and alert and questing. It was fun.
And now I am off to something new. I will watch from the sidelines, and wish the people and the Canadian industry success. Cannabis is our national crop; let it be our global success.
This Much We Know.