Companies like Tilray are NOT cannabis companies
Have you heard the latest? Tilray bought up Montauk! Montauk for the non-alcohol drinking people is a beer company and isn’t the first Tilray gobbled up! In fact, it’s already purchased two other craft beer companies, Alpine and Green Flash, and now Montauk.
But what would a “cannabis company” want with beer companies you may ask?
Well, the blatantly obvious suggests that they are trying to purchase a distribution infrastructure by tapping into adjacent markets who has an overlap with their target consumer base. Or at least, this is what they want to portray within the public space or at the very least the average reader would infer.
However, I suggest that these “cannabis companies” aren’t cannabis companies at all. They are just the same corporate bloodhounds like any other industry. Utilizing the label “cannabis company” unconsciously provides them with a layer of familiarity or semblance to their target demo. Did you know Tilray is going into whiskey, too?
However, you won’t be seeing any of their board members bongripping in the mornings. No, this is a “different kind” of cannabis company. To be honest, I don’t know too much about the culture of Tilray, but what I can see by their actions is that “the bottom line” seems to be high on their priority list.
These are the type of companies that will eventually have an army of lobbyists whispering in political ears to change laws in their favor – right now, they aren’t fully there yet.
Now I’d like to stress something, I’m not against Tilray. Tilray, as a company, obviously have their agendas and they position themselves “within the cannabis market” – but I think that as cannabis consumers we should place a little bit more importance on whether something represents the brand or not.
Pfizer for example portrays itself as a pharmaceutical company, yet they don’t really make any drugs themselves. Instead, they are a conglomerate that focuses on buying up drugs and technologies and repackaging it under the brand “Pfizer” – yet in reality it’s Frankenstein’s Monster.
Tilray is as much a Cannabis company as Pfizer is a pharmaceutical one. Of course, there will be many people arguing this statement, but I think it’s a solid comparison. For something to be a “cannabis company” I think a certain degree of “cannabisness” needs to be engrained into the culture of the company.
This doesn’t mean that everyone’s got to be a red-eyed hippy all the time, but it does mean that at the very least they operate within the cannabis industry. Tilray is now also a beer company, so perhaps you could rather call it a “vice company”. Honestly, that sounds much cooler!
Not a call to hate, but to reflect…
While I’m not a big fan of hardcore corporate culture I’m also not against it. I think everyone should be able to operate how they want. The only thing I’d completely remove from the table would be “lobbying” or “donating to political campaigns”.
I think just like the separation of church and state, there needs to be a separation of “corporation and state”. In other words, those that regulate should not be able to receive money from those who are to be regulated.
Because when that happens – you get the War on Drugs, you get Drug Recalls, you get Money laundering in legitimate banks – and all of them protected from being prosecuted by the law. Why? Because they own the politicians who write the laws.
However, beyond that I think any company should run their business the way they want within reasonable degree and that respects both the environment and people.
Yet I also think that we need to call things as they are. Tilray is not a “cannabis” company but rather just your run of the mill conglomerate.
What constitutes a Cannabis Company?
I think there are degrees of classification for cannabis companies. For example, a company that is growing cannabis and selling it – 100% cannabis company. A company that buys cannabis from a supplier, turns it into a product and sells it – 100% cannabis company.
However, a company that does all the accounting for cannabis companies – NOT a cannabis company. They are “cannabis-adjacent”.
Tilray however does deal in cannabis products. They grow it, they ship it, they package and research it. I don’t know, perhaps it’s simply my own personal biases making me perceive their actions in a darker light – but there are many companies that hijack the good name of “cannabis” to boost their brand.
And this is what I’m really ranting about – perhaps Tilray itself isn’t my issue, but the moneygrab from rich people who hadn’t suffered the battles legacy stoners had to endure. Evading law enforcement, being labeled as criminals – and then coke snorting yuppies jump in when it’s “legal” and call themselves “cannabis brands”.
I know about this because I worked with several of these people. They get into it for the money and don’t give a shit about the people. I think to be a cannabis business owner, you got to have a bit of humanity in you – and I’m not sure how many people in these corporate conglomerates are when it comes to “people skills”.
Purism vs Progress
Maybe I’m being a purist. I’ve been part of the cannabis world for over two decades now. I’ve been writing on this for over ten years and helped do my part in educating people on the world of cannabis. The culture, the plant, the people.
Perhaps, I’m just too much of a purist and am incapable of seeing the “grand plan” behind it all. Perhaps Tilray is merely the evolution of what cannabis businesses will become.
But as a consumer, do you have any power in deciding where you’re going to spend your money? I would like to think so…and it’s with this power that you can hold companies accountable.
So utilize the power of your wallet and if a “cannabis company” doesn’t jive with the cannabis ethos – simply stop spending money on them and educate others on why.
When enough people do this, companies buckle at their knees because they only exist if you let them.
MORE ON TILRAY’S OTHER BUSINESSES, READ ON..
TILRAY SEES GOLD IN CANNABIS-INFUSED WHISKEY? READ THIS!