We sat down with Dan at his house in Bel Air to talk all things Ignite
THIS ARTICLE ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN MRR’s MARCH SPECIAL REPORT.
Dan Bilzerian, the ‘The King of Instagram’, has built a pretty sizable empire around his social media marketing. With a quick glance at his profile and it’s hard for anyone to argue with that. Beautiful women, incredible cars, unbelievable locations and the parties… so many parties. We stopped by Dan’s mansion for Ignite’s Angels & Devils party and sat down with Dan to find out what Ignite is up to in 2019.
MRR: First off, this party is incredible. Now that your CBD line is expanding into recreational cannabis, can you tell us about what was the strategy was when launching the brand initially? For instance, can you explain to our readers how you came up with the logo, the name, as well as the roll out strategy?
Dan Bilzerian: Thank you man, it’s going to be a good night. Okay, so the branding. I think the logo was, fuck I bought my plant in I think 2014 and stuck it on there so I’ve had it for, I don’t know, what six years, something like that? I like goats and it originally was just kind of a cool goat skull my buddy got me where the skull was mounted and it looked similar to that. I just looked at it and thought it was a cool logo and I always wanted a logo. I figured out early that, look this whole fame thing is great but at the end of the day you have to do something with it and logos are important for branding. So, I was effectively building a brand and I wanted to have logos so that’s where that came from. As far as the roll out, we’ve got CBD which is good because you have it for sale in all 50 states. We’re doing nicotine as well because nic is all 50 states. We’re able to do a more worldwide play with that.
MRR: And that’s with Bo Vaping, right?
Dan Bilzerian: Yeah, so we’re working with them right now. We’re working to actually, possibly acquire them or a controlling interest in them but anyways, yeah we’re partnering with them. We’ve got other partners, so we’re doing disposable vapes, we’re doing the reusable vapes as well. I personally much prefer the reusable just because you’re not wasting stuff, you’re not polluting the environment, you get better pulls, it’s just more value for the dollar. In that device you can put in THC, you can put in nicotine, you can do CBD or just like a vitamin vape juice or whatever. So, I think that’s important because when you see someone with a Jul, you know that they’re doing nic, when you see something with a name brand cannabis vape, you know they’re smoking THC. So this allows some kind of ambiguity as to what the person’s consuming and I think that’s important.
I also think it’s important to be able to have one device and be able to have interchangeable carts, so I’m pretty excited about that. Right now we’re in over 100 dispensary locations in California and we are working on opening a flagship store over in Nevada. In total we’ve got a 14 state roll out plan plus international. We’re about to go into Canada with pre-rolls and flower because that’s all they really have, and then we’ve got a worldwide distribution being set up right now as far as the nic and then CBD in the territories where it is allowed.
MRR: With your cannabis line, what’s the procurement process you have set up in order to ensure quality control with your brands?
Dan Bilzerian: On the cannabis side we’ve partnered with some of the best people in the industry. We currently are splitting a state-of-the-art facility in Long Beach with arguably one of the best growers in the industry where he has allocated half of the grow to us, and in addition to that we’re also sourcing from some of the other best growers around. For us, initially we came in and we were just trying to find the best supplier in each category and have them produce our product to our specs and what we found was people are just… okay. Number one, in the cannabis industry 90% of people are full of shit. Number two, a lot of people aren’t capable of doing what they say they’re going to do. Number three, the quality in most of these so-called “brands” is just not up to par. So, we’re taking a different approach now in that we’re buying a manufacturing facility and getting our own license. That’s in addition to our grow as well as our sourcing from some of the best growers around.
MRR: You said you are starting with pre rolls and flower in Canada, how is your rollout up there looking so far?
Dan Bilzerian: Canada we’re going to be going with pre-rolls and flower, hopefully Q1 or Q2 of this year so that should be coming up relatively shortly. We have a very unique, strategic advantage in Canada because you’re not able to create a brand there in the same way. We already have a brand here and so, everything that we’ve done here and kind of my reputation is going to give us a big advantage just because no celebrity can promote there and you can’t use a celebrities name. There hasn’t really been a company there that’s really excelled beyond valuation pricing. I mean, Canopy, they’ve got these big grows but it’s unproven. Nobody’s growing in a million square foot grow house up there. So, we’ll see.
MRR: CBD is doing well for you, you are rolling out your cannabis line here in the US now and looking for international expansion in Q1 or Q2 of this year, and tonight you are throwing one of the largest scale private parties for cannabis in the industry with your Angels and Devils Valentines Day Party. Honestly, what’s the next big play for you guys?
Dan Bilzerian: *laughs* Well honestly nicotine is a big play for us right now. I mean, I absolutely, unequivocally hate cigarettes more than almost anything else. I’d rather heroin be legal than cigarettes. I mean, I think cigarettes are fucked up because you’re polluting the air around other people and you can cause lung cancer for them. It has absolutely no benefit whatsoever, I mean it doesn’t even get you high. It makes you smell like a dog’s asshole. There’s just no reason to smoke a cigarette, absolutely fucking none. I’ve watched friends of mine die from lung cancer where they 175 pounds and then they whittled down to 137 pounds and they just looked like a skeleton. I mean it was just the saddest thing ever and I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy. So, to me, if we can get some people to stop smoking cigarettes and start using our nic products, and eventually, get some of those people to switch over from nic to the CBD, I’ll be happy.
MRR: Being a connoisseur yourself, what’s your personal favorite way to consume cannabis?
Dan Bilzerian: It’s tough, man. I’ve been doing a lot of dabs, so, for me it’s like when you do a ton of dabs, it’s kind of hard to go back to smoking flower. I still enjoy flower but I feel like dabs are better because I get a little bit more clarity, less cloudiness and it’s a stronger effect obviously. I also like edibles. My chef makes fresh edibles every day, so that’s a cool way to consume if you’ve got a five hour block where you’re just going to kind of strap in and watch movies or whatever.
MRR: Thank you so much for your time I really appreciate everything.
Dan Bilzerian: My pleasure.
To checkout Dan’s cannabis line visit www.Ignite.co