We want to welcome you to another important episode of WeedBudz Radio, with your host Ry Russell. Today we are re-introducing a guest who’s energy we loved so much he got invited back, Santino Martinez. Along with Tino we have a personal friend and powerhouse in the cannabis industry, Shane Hammer. Together these two came on to explain the social injustices people face today regarding cannabis, and more specifically inmates still incarcerated over cannabis related crimes. Kushy and 40 Tons are teaming up to end the war on drugs and to share the story of Corvain Cooper, who was given a life sentence for a cannabis crime, and granted clemency by former president Donald Trump. The family built this brand and gives proceeds directly to those 40 thousand still incarcerated, whether putting it on their books, helping with travel arrangements, or programs to help get former prisoners on their feet. Join us and learn how these two are giving back to the community and helping those who are struggling. Tune in!
Shane Hammer & Santino Martinez
Contact the host or our team using the form below
Welcome back to another incredible
episode of WeedBudz Radio.
I’m your host Ry and I’ve got
2 amazing guests with me today.
One might look very familiar to all of you.
Santino, thanks for coming back.
Oh, you know it.
Thank you for having us Ry.
It’s always a pleasure being on the show.
And we have a new face on WeedBudz Radio, Shane Hammer.
Shane, welcome to WeedBudz.
Thanks for having me Ry.
Well, Santino, the last time you were here, we talked
a little bit about some of the music that you
are making, some of the videos that you have done.
I wanted to follow up with that
and just learn a little bit more.
How was the response to that and
what are you working on now?
Yeah, I mean, in the music game,
it’s always the coin toss, right?
You have great expectations for the projects you do
and quality was fine and those sorts of things.
And the people who we wanted to
receive the video well, received it well.
So the industry partners that we have and the
people who we were shouting out like Michael Thompson,
I think it helped to get the message across
about his story and what he had going on.
It did what it needed to do for us.
I got to perform those songs out in
Arizona, Texas for a couple of weed events.
So I think I was overall happy
with the music that was made.
Well, congratulations again.
I love listening to it.
I love watching and I saw a couple
of Instagram stories of you performing live.
What was it like to finally be live again?
It was amazing.
And I’m glad that now we’re starting to open up again.
I’m seeing more shows, even locally,
starting to open up for me.
It’s what I love to do.
So getting back out, seeing the people, getting to tell
my story in front of a crowd again was great.
Can’t wait for more. Awesome.
Well, I can’t wait for more as well.
And Shane, you are a new face to WeedBudz Radio.
You’re not a new face to me.
Good friend here.
And I’ve been following your journey, I guess it’s been almost
2 years now and I realized we’ve talked so much about
the work that you do in the cannabis industry and I
want to get into that, but like we did with Santino
when he was here last time, I’m curious what you are
doing before you got into the cannabis industry.
I don’t think we really talked about that before.
No, I don’t think we’ve covered that.
And that’s a great question.
That’s always a question that is top
of mind for a lot of people.
What did you do before this?
So, for me, I did a couple
of other startups in the marketing space.
I did a pretty long run at Verizon
Wireless, a little bit of time at BMW.
But, yeah, for the most part, I’d say for
about the last four and a half, five years I’ve
been doing the startup life and working on some
branding projects and things like that.
Tyler Aldridge and I connected about what would
be 2 years ago and had some pretty
good success with a couple of brands.
The market said yes to Kushy.
So we’re doing Kushy and super excited to
offer these tools to folks and got a
pretty awesome promo coming out as well.
Aside from that, not much, man.
I’m a pretty regular guy.
Santino and I are laughing.
I don’t know that anything is regular about you.
You’re a unique individual, that is for sure.
And you mentioned Kushy.
I’d love to learn a little bit.
I know you and Tyler kind of built out
this startup and you are heavily involved in kind
of the ecommerce space and development space.
I was wondering if you could kind of take us on
a journey, if you will, from, I think so many startups
in the cannabis industry in the last few years.
They’ve really developed fast, they
evolve fast, they pivot quick.
And so I’d love for you to kind of share
a little bit about what that journey looked like.
Yeah, you definitely hit the nail on the head there.
This niche is moving super quick and Tyler
is kind of a genius when it comes
to developing out the branding kit.
And so we have the opportunity to put
a couple on the marketplace and really see
what was attainable for our team.
But the big picture for us
was we wanted to help people.
We saw that need for folks needing help with
basically all things digital media, especially in cannabis.
They’re already working with a lot of
aches and pains and legal hurdles even.
But yeah, that said, we put out Design
Kush, had a handful of great clients, did
a couple of pro bono projects.
Kushy was kind of the asset to that.
It’s kind of the software side of things.
So it’s our website builder social media toolbox
and then we’ve got kind of a full
reporting suite that goes with that and there’s
much more that goes with it as well.
But that all said Ry, for us, we wanted
to help people, so we wanted to impact the
space but also make sure that we were doing
our part with the reform around social justice. Right?
And so we did last prisoner projects
website through our Design Kush brand.
And right now we’re working with really one of my
favorite brands that I found today in the cannabis space.
It’s a 40 Tons brand.
It’s ran by a really great organization.
Kushy is doing a pro bono project with them and we’re
rolling up our sleeves on a couple of other efforts.
But yeah, man, we’re just really excited.
The crazy thing actually is, and I don’t think a
lot of people know this, Kushy is kind of a
revamped model we had our first Kushy client back in
2018, really before the market really took off, like it
just did in this last year.
But that all said, I guess just looking back
on it, talking about pivoting and aches and pains
and hurdles, it took us basically, what’s, a little
over 3 years just to get a brand name
that sticks, grab at least a dozen use cases
with great customer success and customer satisfaction, and have
the market say, yes, we want more.
But what you also look at is we
pivoted away from a couple of different projects
because it just didn’t make sense.
And I think if you’re in the cannabis
space, you know that, but if you’re getting
into the cannabis space, you should be prepared
to make educated decisions rather quickly.
That’s basically it there.
I know Tino’s got a pretty solid
outline on the 40 Tons brand.
I’d love to plug that a little bit just because
the way that Kushy and 40 Tons are going to
be working together, I think it’s going to be a
real game changer to kind of showcase what folks can
do when they team up together.
So I don’t know if I’d be taking over your
show, but can Tino talk a little bit about that?
So 40 Tons of the brand with a powerful story. Right.
Corvain Cooper was given a
life sentence for cannabis crime.
He was granted clemency by
the former President Donald Trump.
And as he was exiting the presidency,
Anthony Allegretti, Lauriel Allegretti, his wife and
Corvain, they got together, built this brand.
It’s a clothing brand, lifestyle brand that
gives money back directly to the people
impacted by the war on drugs. Right.
So all of these 40,000, it says right here
on the side, free the 40K that’s for the 40,000
prisoners who are still locked away for cannabis offenses.
So what they do is they take proceeds
from the clothes that they make, and they’ll
give them directly to the people impacted.
So they’ll put money on their books.
They are trying to establish and facilitate visitation so
that families in one state with loved ones who
are locked away in another state can go and
travel to see those people while they’re incarcerated.
They also use that money to do programs like
coding for not only children in underserved neighborhoods, but
also for the formerly incarcerated as well, right?
So to give life options and choices to
these people who are coming out of prison.
We all know it’s difficult for a person with a
felony on their record to be existing and thriving in
the world after you get out of prison.
So they’re trying to bridge that gap
and create those possibilities for them.
And their story is great.
They’ve been doing amazing things.
They’re growing so fast.
They’re all over the place.
I’m sure you’ve seen them on
social media just going wild.
We definitely took their story to heart and wanted
to help them as much as we could.
So we’ve been partnering with them
to create this 710 promo, right?
We all know 710 the
national holiday for cannabis concentrates.
So we have a 710 promotion going on with
them where we’re trying to give $40,000 back to
40 Tons to help the 40K prisoners, right?
So, yeah, we can get into the details
of that maybe a little bit later.
I’ll show our promo as we come to a close.
Well, I know that when I first met
you, Shane and Tino, that I remember you were
working on the Last Prisoner Projects website.
I remember how passionate the
entire team was about that.
And this seems like such a natural fit into
the ecosystem that which you are all creating.
And so I know I’m grateful and I know
that the audience is tremendously grateful that organizations are
looking at this in finding ways to get involved
because there are so many companies and startups and
agencies within the cannabis space that I think have
a real opportunity and obligation, really, right?
This is our community.
So I love that this aligns so
well with what you’re working on.
And I’m curious, Shane and Santino, we’ve talked about it
in your music in the last time that we met.
But Shane, where does this passion come from?
How do you get the entire team’s
buy in into these sorts of organizations?
Not that it’s hard, but just how do you
orchestrate something like that while building a startup?
That’s a great question, and I think
Tino would agree when I say this.
I think it’s just a certain type
of person comes into the cannabis space. Right.
Cannabis helps a lot of people, but I think
when you have a certain skill set and you’re
maybe slightly enabled or for me, I just feel
like it’s almost my civic duty in some sense.
But all members of the team we have now and
even folks we worked with in the past, they’ve all
jumped on board themselves just because they see how important
it is, just like we all do.
And to give you a little bit of an
insight, actually, I think everybody has their own story.
We just heard Tino explain Corvain’s story and actually, to
kind of backpedal, it is a great fit with that
too ride because Corvain is actually on the LPP board
and so him working over with 40 Tons and establishing
that with Anthony and his wife and them running that
and how Design Kush are doing the pro bono project on
that website, it all makes sense.
But to get back to what I was saying, until
you really ask someone that question, you might not know.
But for me, I’ve got 2 good
friends that have been locked up.
I’ve got one good friend that’s still locked up.
And then this is just for basically
growing a plant, farming a plant.
A plant that saves lives and helps people
and gets people off real bad drugs and
helps people eat who can’t eat.
I mean, I can probably name over a hundred
different things that the plant does, but for me,
I take a lot of passion of that.
And I had a friend get real depressed over a
court case that he was going to hit and he ended
up, what some people say is he took his life.
I just want to say it was a bad overdose on
a bad drug, but yeah, I’ve just seen it firsthand, man.
It impacted me in some type of way.
And so I’m really passionate about this
40 Tons and Kushy project right now.
And we’re going to be able to uplift
40 brands and some dispensaries in the process,
but also bring everybody together and like Tino
was saying, offer financial support and legal services
and the visiting program is huge, man.
Some of these people, you get locked up in Colorado
when you’re in the feds, you might get shipped down
to Florida and that’s hard to get down there
for some folks, it’s literally impossible
or like a holiday gift program.
And it’s like these are lost souls they’re forgotten, which
is sad, but this is a really small initiative too.
So for us, at the end of the day, we’re
hoping what this is going to do is springboard other
companies into taking these types of initiatives, getting creative with
their marketing, but being able to put in the effort
to not give up to make sure it happened, right?
That’s where I stand on that.
And I would say the sad thing is I’m
one of lots of people that have had family,
friends, and different associates get locked up.
And if you really think about
it too, man, it’s fucking crazy.
Pardon my French, but just think about it.
There’s a little over what?
Over 40,000 folks just sitting in an 8 by 8.
I think how big they are.
I was stretching it, man. Shit, my bad.
So, yeah, it sucks, man.
I’ve cried over it and I’m not even in it.
So I’m out here and doing as much as we can do.
We feel like a lot of good success is
going to come from this Kushy, 40 Tons promotion.
So we’re super excited.
Like I said, we’ve got that list.
We’re basically looking for 40 businesses to say
yes to it and check it out.
We’re already starting to get people on the list
and so we feel super confident on it.
And we were going to run it through 710 and kind of
do this thing, but we got such good feedback we’re going to
push it through to October and we got a couple of other
surprises coming out too, so it should be fun. Amazing.
Well, there’s going to be a lot to talk about.
Santino, what were you going to say there?
Oh yeah, now just to piggyback, right?
I think you said it right, Ry.
We have an obligation.
This is our industry.
We need to kind of own the fact that
while people are out on the outside making millions
of dollars, there’s companies valued in the billions.
States are making hundreds of billions of
dollars off the revenue from this plant, right?
Then we need to have a hand also in correcting
the wrong that was incarcerated people for this plant.
Like Shane says, right?
We all know somebody at this point.
We all know somebody who’s either been arrested, stopped and
frisked any kind of interaction with police and the law
over cannabis. It’s bullshit, and it has to stop.
And we just had a great olympian, right?
Or potential olympian just lose her opportunity
to go shine on the world stage
because of this plant, Sha’Carri
So this is just ridiculous.
So anything that we can do to reverse the
wrongs, right the wrongs, we need to do that.
It’s really tough, too, when we’ve got
superstars in those types of situations.
But then we’ve also got the White
House recommend classifying cannabis retailers alongside smoke
shop, which is I don’t know, it’s
kind of contradicting everything that’s going on.
And you’ve got Connecticut launching, like, an awesome
informational website on cannabis up in Alaska,
they just put someone on the board.
I’m not saying this correctly.
I’m naive to the exact title, but some type of cannabis
educator is now sitting up on the board up there.
And then we’ve got companies like Greenflowers,
they’re getting all their programs set up
with a bunch of different colleges.
And then just this morning I was reading I think
it was from March to January, New York’s arrests, it
was like 90% people of color correlated to cannabis.
And it’s like, how can we have that going on
on one facet and then all this other positive stuff?
So it’s like it has to end, and we
all have to come together to make that happen.
I like that you consider a civic duty.
I think that’s something that more organizations can really take
a look at and see how do they get involved?
I think a lot of organizations try to get
involved in some way or another, but you’ve identified
multiple ways that individuals and organizations can get involved.
I’d love to talk a little bit about Kushy
and what Kushy is and who it serves and
tell me a little bit about the platform.
Yeah, absolutely, man.
It’s real simple.
We’re big fans of the acronym KISS.
Keep it stupid simple.
So for us, we had a bunch of success over the years,
and that was with this kind of really the secret sauce.
And so we implemented that on the Kushy
and it’s a website builder, so you can
quickly and easily create a beautiful, elegant website.
They look perfect on every device.
So it’s a responsive setup.
So that means it works on
a desktop, a tablet, mobile device.
And we just got the progressive web
app feature set up because, excuse me,
Google, they basically run everything.
And the other couple of search engines, so
they’re saying, hey, we’re going to rank websites
higher when you have this switch flipped.
Basically we’ve got the website segment of it,
and then we’ve got the social media toolbox,
or what we like to call campaign.
This is where you can create and organize content.
You can also automate, post, scheduling, and then
you can manage all your channels with these.
And there’s a really nice dashboard
where you see all this.
You can add your team members, if you’ve got some team
members that are like, hey, look, social media is not my
thing, but I’d love to be involved in it, and maybe
I’m in a director role and I need to submit approvals.
You can send this stuff right to someone’s
phone and they can comment on it and
make any recommendations or changes they want.
Then we’ve also got, like I said,
a pretty extensive reporting segment to this.
So with the website and all the social media, we’re
reporting on all those analytics and they kind of talk
to each other in a sense because we track all
the website traffic, where it’s coming from, Instagram, Direct, if
you’re running ads and what have you.
But then also on the social media side, we’re
tracking all the data as well, so you can
really get in there and refine your approach.
That all said, it’s also backed by a cannabis agency.
The first brand, all this was Design
Kush, where we had the initial success.
And so with that said, customer success and
customer satisfaction, those are our real big KPIs.
We look at through the business development
side of things with Kushy, and we’ve
got a plethora of brands on it.
Right now, our own Design Kush
agency is built through the platform.
The Hawaii Cannabis Association is built on there,
40 Tons who we were just speaking on
their website is built on there.
And then we’ve got a plethora of
other dispensaries, nonprofits, different CBD brands.
Basically, we wanted to test the market and
see if this could help basically everybody.
So, yeah, right now, Tyler, I don’t even know if
I’m supposed to say this, but I’m going to.
Tyler’s working on the kind of
the do it yourself portion.
I’ve been excited about this for the last few months.
I told a couple of people about it behind the scenes.
But yeah, that’s coming out here in the future where
someone can actually just go on there and pick out
a template that’s already kind of premade and has some
slight directional elements to it that says, throw your logo
here, add call to action here.
And then for all the DIYers out there and
people come into the space, or the people who
have great marketing teams that are like, hey, we
want to manage all this stuff ourselves.
It’s kind of all inclusive. So that’s
basically the longer version on Kushy.
I know that with all these different
tools out there, you can use any
kind of scheduling tool or website builder.
I just know in the cannabis space, it’s
nice to have peace of mind that you’re
working with a team that speaks the language.
I worked as a budtender way back
when and professionally advocated for amendment 64.
He’s at least a decade of farming under his belt,
if not more, and his whole family comes from a
really awesome history of farming and what not.
And then the rest of the team, all
the team members we’ve had have just been
really passionate about the plant first.
I think that’s what it is.
Actually, speaking of, I got my
first little plant growing ever, actually.
Yeah, man, it’s a little Rocky Mountain strain.
I just flipped a little seed and some
dirt and just letting mother nature rain on
it and wind and all the things.
And actually me and my partner Lauren, we went camping for
what, 3, 4 days, man, and we came back and this
little lady hopefully is a couple of inches big.
Anyways, that’s Kushy. Tino, I don’t know. What did I miss man?
I probably missed some stuff.
Well, no, just brands that we like to help, right?
I think even with Design Kush and even
though we’ve helped a plethora of brands who
have all kinds of different motives, right?
I think the brands that we do want to
reach out to and do want to help tend
to be those in the equity space, right?
Women owned businesses, right?
Trying to help conscious businesses.
Businesses with the goals of not only
just promoting the plant health, wellness, right?
But also companies who aren’t just trying to come
in here and be the Walmart of weed.
I know we all have lofty aspirations
and goals in this space, right.
We all want to go and get it, and that’s fine.
There’s enough to get.
But the cannabis culture is based on community.
The cannabis culture is based on sharing, right?
We pass the joint, you pass the peace
pipe around the table, right around the horn.
Let’s get it.
So those are the kinds of owners
and operators that we’re trying to find.
People with a sense of what this
culture actually is, what it means.
The patients that this plant helps as well, right?
People with patience in mind, those are the
types of businesses that we’d like to help. Amazing.
Well, and before we wrap up, if we are one
of those businesses, and I know we have a lot
tuned in, if we’re one of those businesses, how do
we connect with you two gentlemen and how do we
find out, learn more, how we can get involved?
Great question. Go ahead.
Yes, go ahead.
Take it away, Shane.
I’ll just say, man, same old, same old.
Tino and I and the rest of
the team, we’re usually on the website chat.
So if you have any questions, you
could just chat with us right away.
You could call or text us as well.
I can plug that number here in about 20 seconds.
Find us on all of the
social media @trykushy, trykushy .com like you said.
I’m never scared to say what’s up to
you on my personal Instagram, anything like that.
Please come say what’s up to me.
I use my artist’s name.
We shared that last time, Ry, for sure.
But it’s Dr. Spaztastic for everybody
who doesn’t know Santino Martinez.
If you need to find me through name and
yeah, we’re here to talk with you, walk you
through the process, answer any questions that you have.
If it’s not about the service, about
ways that you can improve your business.
If we can give you helpful tips, we love to do that.
We were just doing that today with
a company called the Lit Dump. They’re awesome.
You need to check them out. Cool.
Awesome little product device that just blocks the
wind for you when you’re trying to smoke.
Go check them out.
Go check them out.
And that number is 720-741-7267.
If you want to talk to a real
person, you can also text that number.
You can also just email
Santino and I trykushy.com
Shane and then Santino.
But yeah, otherwise it’s a website chat.
We’re always here. Awesome.
Well, gentlemen, thank you both so
much for joining me today. Yeah, thank you, Ry.
It’s always a pleasure.
And thanks to all of you for tuning in.
What’s that, Shane?
Excited to see what you have coming out.
Man yes, we’ve got the golf tees that
we just launched, so it’s been crazy over
here in the tinker lab for sure.
But I’m just so grateful for all of you, for
the 2 of these fine gentlemen, all of you tuning
in to another episode of WeedBudz Radio.
Be sure to head over to the show notes.
We’ll have the contact info for both of them.
And we’ll see you all in the next episode. Take care.