Cannecting Vegas Nightlife Expertise with Cannabis Social Use Venues
Social use cannabis venues are on the rise. Jenn Tramaglino of Cannect Hospitality spent time with us to share how expertise in the Vegas nightlife industry will play into upcoming cannabis social use venues. From operations to marketing, Jenn shares a ton of useful insight.
Given that you have significant experience in Vegas night life, let’s start off with what your career in nightlife looked like.
Jenn: I started at the company Light Group working in one of the lounges. I ultimately worked my way up to Chief of Staff of the entire company. I oversaw the daily operations, all of the marketing and then assisted with all of the development projects and the new brands that were created.
You really played a role in a major night life and hospitality company. How do you think you and Cannect will bring that experience into the cannabis space now that social use venues are coming to be? Let’s discuss the operations side first, and then marketing.
Jenn: In nightlife and hospitality, you deal with the guests who visit Las Vegas and with local guests, who then become guests in the nightclubs and restaurants. Right now, we’re starting at step one in the cannabis space with social use venues. We are determining what these social use venues will look like, how they will operate, and what will be special and appealing about them. Basically recreating what we did back in the 2000s when nightlife was really taking off in Las Vegas. Back then in Vegas nightlife, bottle service was starting and the nightclub experience really established itself as a force in the city. It’s exciting to get to do that same thing all over again with social use venues.
Our goal with Cannect is to bring safe, compliant, and fun events, shows and social use venues to Las Vegas. Cannect will play a role in the whole social venue startup and operational process. From business development to making sure these venues are compliant with all of the laws and regulations. The Cannect team has a lot of experience making sure guests are kept safe and that they get home safely from the venues. Dealing with guests while they’re intoxicated and enjoying themselves. We have a ton of experience doing that.
Our plan is to apply all of that knowledge, experience and know how to these social use venues. At least on the operational side.
It sounds like you have a pretty vivid picture in your mind of what these venues will look like and how they will operate. I want to hear about your ideal social use venue. When you think of Cannect helping clients to launch these venues, to run these venues, and to keep them compliant; what do these places look like in your mind?
Jenn: When I think of the social use venues, I think of a couple different things. I see two different experiences happening. First, I see the experience of the tasting room, or lounge experience. This concept would potentially be attached to a dispensary allowing guests to immediately sample the product that they’ve purchased at the dispensary. I think those will be smaller scale, and probably won’t take advantage of some of the other licenses like the beer and wine license. It will be a more intimate experience.
Secondly, I think of the venues that I want to build and that Cannect has experience building. These are the venues that I think will bring true normalization to the experiences by offering a normal entertainment or hospitality-based experience and combining that with cannabis consumption. These will be places where you have a restaurant and you can also enjoy cannabis, or you have a regular nightclub experience where you can also smoke cannabis or consume cannabis products.
Very cool. That sounds like something that a lot of people will enjoy! I’m excited to see everything you’ve learned in nightlife being translated over to cannabis. There are a lot of people who are getting into the social use side in cannabis, who have really never done anything like it before. But you’ve really launched similar venues on a large Vegas-size scale, which I think is genuinely valuable.
Jenn: Thank you.
Do you envision any major risks or issues that your company, and owners of these social use venues, will have to really be cautious about moving forward?
Jenn: Yeah, kind of. It gets a little scary to think that people are going to be consuming now in public, they’re going to be bringing stuff inside these venues, and we have to make sure that we have controls in place. We have to make sure that all of the venues have controls in place. Not just the ones that Cannect owns.
We want to make recommendations for everybody and make sure everybody’s on the same page when it comes to keeping these patrons safe. It is consumption in public, and that does open doors for a lot of things. We just want to make sure that we have plans in place so that we can look for risk factors before they happen.
Now that we have established what these social use venues might look like, and some issues that may be faced while starting up this sector of the industry, let’s discuss marketing. From your nightlife experience you have a ton of marketing experience, and I know you have had marketing experience in the cannabis space as well.
Can you talk about some of the nuances of marketing in cannabis? Some things that are different in marketing in this industry versus other industries? And ways in which that might play in as far as social use goes and marketing those venues?
Jenn: Yes. Marketing and advertising laws are pretty stringent when it comes to the cannabis industry. One of the things that I’ve noted along the way is that the traditional marketing platforms are finding a home again with cannabis.
Traditional platforms like print and billboards are becoming more effective in cannabis than they are in other industries. Other industries have the opportunity to take full advantage of digital marketing platforms, where right now cannabis brands, products, venues, they’re being shadow banned on Facebook, they have watchdogs on Instagram, there’s limits on what you can and cannot post.
How do you foresee overcoming the issue of limited digital marketing and a higher reliance on traditional marketing platforms?
Jenn: What’s cool is that the Cannect team has a lot of experience with guerilla marketing, person to person sales, things that are more traditional. We also have this amazing digital background that, when it is time and we are able to implement, we look forward to using.
We do a lot of marketing consulting right now. Curating full spectrum marketing plans is what we always recommend. You know, a one-off advertisement isn’t going to help. But, when you have a fully curated plan that gets you in front of your demographic, X amount of times, that’s when you’re going to start seeing more traction to your brand and more sales.
Other than increased regulatory restrictions and the lean towards traditional platforms, would you say that there is much of a difference between social use venue marketing and traditional nightlife venue marketing?
Jenn: In marketing any venue, cannabis social use venues included, you have to know how to attract guests and attract the right guests. It’s useful to work with tourism outlets and different entertainment options in town, and use cross marketing to bring the guests that want to have the experiences that venues provide. For instance, we have a lot of those relationships established and they’ve been immensely valuable to our clients. We’re fortunate to have a solid handle on being able to find the guests and then bring the guests into venues. Nightlife marketing gave us that experience, and it translates almost directly to cannabis industry marketing.
It’ll be exciting to see that expertise play out when social use venues come about! Jenn, thank you so much for taking the time to share your insights with us, as well as telling us a bit about your company. We at Cannabis Magazine wish you all the best and look forward to seeing the venues you launch!
Jenn: Thank you so much. I’ll keep you updated for sure!