Jointly CEO David Kooi on the theory of intentional cannabis use
Where you grew up and where you live now.
I grew up in Chicago, lived in Southern California for about 20 years, and recently moved to the Denver area.
Your current role in the cannabis industry and where you live.
I am CEO and co-founder of Jointly, the cannabis wellness company. We are a fully remote company and I am based near Denver.
A story about the positive impact of cannabis on your life.
My life is better because the cannabis is in it. Cannabis has opened up new worlds to me, inside and out. It enhances my favorite experiences. Music, hiking and writing. It calms my busy mind and allows me to focus and think more clearly. With the right dose, it stimulates my creativity and helps me bring together previously unrelated topics to find new truths. It helps me manage my anxiety. I sleep better. I appreciate a deeper connection to times, people and places. The positive impact cannabis has had on me is why I started Jointly. Most cannabis users know that cannabis improves their lives. Now we prove it, with data. we just published “The Theory of Intentional Cannabis Use” in which we use a combination of data from Jointly and outside data to prove that cannabis, used on purpose, makes you more, not less. End the stigma. Mathematically, at least.
A favorite flower, edible, product or brand.
I am currently exploring edibles with a 1:1 THC:CBG ratio to energize, focus and stimulate creativity, while I prefer products containing both THC and CBD (usually with CBD in a higher ratio) for relaxation and stress relief, and to help me get away from Father Skittles (Advil) to recover from exercise and to recover from working on a computer for most of the day. Conjointement is an unbiased platform where people can find the best brands and products for them, so I don’t like to express my personal brand or product preferences. The right products for me might be the wrong products for you, depending on your goals and your unique endocannabinoid system.
The biggest challenge facing cannabis marketers today.
Cannabis is misunderstood. Most users don’t know this: Cannabis is a complex plant that produces a variety of effects. People use cannabis for many different productive purposes. Cannabis affects each person differently. People achieve their goals more often when they create the conditions for a good experience. Until the consumer learns and internalizes these truths, and rejects the stigma that has taught too many people that cannabis makes them less, not more, cannabis marketers will be riding strong headwinds. And, of course, social media restrictions are annoying and unfair and (still) rooted in stigma. How do you reach people when you can’t meet them where they are? Most people are on social media.
One thing you are passionate about right now in branding, partnerships or cannabis marketing.
I see more and more brands selling their products with an emphasis on the effects they will have on the consumer. Products specifically formulated and marketed to energize, uplift, improve sleep, improve concentration. We call this intentional consumption. Consumers are already consuming wisely. It’s not about getting high. It’s about living better. I’m excited to see brands from the past that were rooted in strains, strain types, cannabinoids, and terpenes emerge and focus on the kind of experience their products deliver. Market and sell based on why people eat, not ingredients. If we can make cannabis easier, more people will be able to enjoy its benefits.
A cannabis trade/social justice organization that you support.
I admire NORML history, consistency and dedication to reforming the laws that govern the production and consumption of cannabis. They’ve been on the right side of history since their founding in 1970, when much of the rest of the country was busy stigmatizing cannabis, jailing growers and consumers, and firing them. I’m glad we now have the data to prove NORML was right all along.
A recent project you are proud of.
Jointly recently became the first company to include reimbursement for legal cannabis use as part of our wellness benefits. I’m proud of it because it’s one of my missions to create a new conversation about cannabis wellness, and with this action, we’re elevating cannabis to its rightful place among exercise, meditation, massage, good nutrition and good hydration – as a tool to find new paths to well-being.
Someone else’s project you admired recently.
I really admire what Max Simon and the people of green flower did with their Ganjier program. The job of the budtender is so vital and the difficulty of doing this job well is undervalued and underestimated. We ask budtenders to be therapists, pharmacists, psychologists, educators, merchandisers, plant biologists, salespeople, brand promoters and consumer friends. I support all efforts to elevate their role in the industry and make their job easier.
Someone you look up to in cannabis who is doing great things.
A tough. There are so many great people doing great things in cannabis. I will generalize and say that I admire the cannabis dealer. Retail is tough. It is difficult to obtain a license. It’s hard to market your business and get the word out. It is difficult to hire good employees. It is difficult to educate a skeptical and cautious public. It’s hard to sift through the thousands of brands and products to find which ones you should stock in your store. Once in your store, it’s hard to connect people to products. The taxes are too high. Competition from unlicensed stores and vendors is strong and unfair. They are forced to fight on an unfair playing field, but I go to so many cannabis retailers these days and find people dedicated to their mission. Fight the good fight. Helping people, one client at a time, discover the best life possible with cannabis.
What you would be doing if you weren’t in the cannabis industry.
I work in cannabis because I love cannabis. I believe that the legalization and normalization of cannabis is a tremendous opportunity to improve our collective well-being. Previously, I worked in bicycle retail because I loved bicycles. Who is not happy to have a new bike? When isn’t it a good time for a bike ride? So if it wasn’t cannabis, I’d probably be doing something else that I love and trying to find a way to have a positive impact on that too. What else do I like… Music? Plants? Mushrooms? Trek? Trees? Save for later. It’s cannabis, for now.