If there is anyone qualified enough to spill the tea on the marijuana industry that would be Erik Sinclair, the founder of Stuff Stoners Like.
Sinclair is an accomplished marijuana taste-maker. He is a copywriter, digital media specialist, and marketer with 25 years of experience. These are the many hats he wears in the marijuana industry, where his daily pursuit is lobbying for the legalization of marijuana.
Sinclair speaks about marijuana and for marijuana on SSL Media (stuffstonerslike.com). SSL Media is his magnum opus after 18 years of energetic marijuana activism around the world. He continues to speak loud about cannabis rights online.
He is a messaging strategist, an editor managing a team of writers, and an inspiration to marijuana enthusiasts across the world.
The visionary and his company have received mentions in respected publications, from the Wall Street Journal to The Dope Smoker and Alternet.
Beyond his work in the marijuana industry, Sinclair is a freelance writer for leading magazines and an expert in the advertising industry.
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When did you first see cannabis as a career opportunity?
I interviewed the Guru of Ganja, Ed Rosenthal—High Times famed growth author—around 1995 for my college paper. The entire time I was star-struck and kept thinking, “Wow, this guy makes his living writing about weed. That would be a cool career.”
A year later I graduated with a journalism degree. But, I never considered a career in cannabis. I’ve been employed as a copywriter working in advertising and marketing since college. I’ve also been freelancing for magazines since then too. However, in early 2007 I started StuffStonersLike.com to blog about stuff stoners like—cold pizza, video games, Netflix, weed, etc., just for fun. But as soon as I got into the history of cannabis and the racist laws surrounding it—I was hooked on documenting it.
In 2013 or 14 I had enough traffic to offer advertising and affiliate marketing. And for a few years, I earned enough to support my family. But, because I’m shy and not comfortable in the spotlight, it was always challenging.
I’ve appeared on national TV, radio, podcasts, in magazines, on panels, and as a featured speaker, I’ve judged many weed contests, have reviewed 100s of strains and products. I’ve been able to travel and made a ton of great friends—and I’m really proud of all that—But, speaking in public has always given me a ton of anxiety. So a few years ago I decided to turn my site back into a hobby and return to working in advertising.
What efforts have you made for Marijuana legalization in past years?
Since 2007 I’ve attended more rallies and protests than I can count. I was honored to speak about the internet’s role in fueling the end of marijuana prohibition at the 2015 NorCal High Times Cannabis Cup. I’ve spoken in CA many times about activism and legalization. I was even fortunate enough to speak in Maui several times.
I’ve been very active in my local community. Along with a small group of activists and our mayor we helped bring legal marijuana to the city of Alameda, California, right next door to Oakland. And of course, I’ve written about legalization efforts just about daily since 2007.
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Can you share a memorable experience from your work in the marijuana industry?
I’ll never forget attending the Golden Tarp Awards after CA passed legalization, but before it was implemented, hanging out across the street, holding signs, were many out-of-work trimmers. As I was heading into the venue, someone walking by asked what the event was. Before I could answer, one of the trimmers shouted, “They’re selling their souls for money!”
That moment broke my heart. Because of legalization, the Emerald Triangle went from a thriving pot metropolis to a dessert. So it’s been difficult for me to accept that generations of people who grew and distributed marijuana during prohibition have been left behind.
What do you think are the major neglections in the Marijuana legalization issue?
Many people went into cannabis over the years and risked their freedom to buy it, sell it, grow it, breed it, cook with it, or whatever so that they could avoid the daily grind of corporate life. Watching that culture slowly being co-opted by corporations has been really difficult. Today that lifestyle is still criminalized. Instead of busting stoners being something of only law enforcement’s concern it’s now the concern of entrepreneurs and business people as well.
But, I’m stoked to have a website and platform that’s not terribly influenced by money. It allows me to shine a spotlight on events and people that deserve it—like those who built the cannabis industry before there was a cannabis industry.
What is your vision behind Stuff Stoners Like?
My site was and still is just an experiment. I’ve never had one consistent vision. I just go with what works and stop doing what isn’t working. I think that’s probably why it has persisted so long.
My main goal, however, has always been to document the positive aspects of cannabis culture both past and present—because I love it.
What is your personal experience of using Marijuana? What’s the effect on health?
The marijuana flower has always taken care of me. I’ve smoked it daily for the last 30+ years. It’s been great for treating anxiety and stress. It’s helped me fall asleep and stay asleep. It’s helped me cultivate compassion and prolong patience. Because of weed, I’m a better friend, husband, and father.
But, I’ve never considered my use to be medical. I smoke pot because I love the way it makes me feel.
What are your future plans? Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
I don’t think that far ahead, typically. Next year I plan to do more interviews on my YouTube channel. It was deleted a few years ago because it featured “drugs.” So I’ll have to build a following again, but whatever.
I’ll probably continue to review cool products, write how-to articles, and maybe a few commentaries here and there. I’ll cover pot politics, NorCal events, and some news too. Might even talk my wife into writing stoner horoscopes again. And continue to pay a few freelancers to create killer content for us too. But I don’t see myself aggressively chasing advertisers or an audience any time soon. I’m pretty happy pushing out content that I dig and not having to worry about monetizing it.
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