Matt Gray, co-founder and CEO at HERB, is easily one of the most influential figures in the cannabis industry. HERB is the most active and engaged community in the cannabis industry and currently reaches over 250 million people a month. To put that in perspective, the entire population of the US is 320million. More people viewed HERB’s content in November than there were voters in the presidential election. Now, that’s influence…
That means just one Facebook post from Matt could help a cannabis company launch, scale, and soar. More importantly, social posts from HERB stand to educate, influence, and represent the cannabis community at large. The old Spiderman adage of “great power comes great responsibility” has definitely rung true with Matt; he spends his life as a digital nomad, travelling to different cities around the US and Canada to learn as much as he can about how legal cannabis will affect that area.
With a modest team of 6 full time employees and 15 part time contractors, HERB is part of a growing movement that is actively elevating the public perception of cannabis. HERB has the ears of a massive millennial community that is concentrated mostly in the US, Canada, and Great Britain. HERB’s top cities are New York, Mexico City, Chicago, Houston, LA, London, Melbourne, Toronto, Denver and San Francisco. The breadth of HERB’s community is yet another reminder of how incredibly unifying this incredible plant we’ve all come to know and love can be.
We met with Matt to discuss some of the ways he’s using HERB’s influence to guide the industry and how he balances the public service such influence demands with monetization of such an obviously lucrative business.
With the ability to influence so many cannabis consumers on a daily basis, what kind of message are you continually trying to convey to the community?
The message that we want to convey is that cannabis consumers are regular people. We (cannabis consumers) are entrepreneurs, artists, moms, dads, brothers and sisters. We enjoy cannabis and there is nothing wrong with that. Our message is that through spreading honest, reliable, and trustworthy information we can all work together to end the negative stigma around cannabis.
The industry is clearly taking on a new face—moving into the mainstream. You’re an example of that. You’ve gone from The Stoner’s Cookbook to Herb.co. Can you speak on how your evolution is tied to a movement in the industry as a whole?
Our mission at HERB is to end the war on drugs, which we view as a war on human consciousness. There are people being locked up for carrying a plant in their pocket that we know has medical value.
In order to support this movement and smash the stigma around cannabis, we felt it was time to evolve the brand. HERB is the embodiment of our mission and goal for this industry. We want to provide cannabis enthusiasts with trustworthy and reliable content and products.
Since the rebrand from The Stoner’s Cookbook to HERB we’ve seen massive growth in our community. We currently have 7M fans on Facebook.
Regardless of the brand change, you and Herb.co are some of the most charismatic and humorous faces in the cannabis industry. What are some of the funniest pieces of news, memes, phrases, and/or pictures that have come your way? What are you most proud of producing yourself?
Our video “Waiting for your food while high” was produced by Ryan, our social media manager at HERB. Ryan is an incredible content creator and is unbelievably funny. The above video was one of our most popular videos ever and he created it!
It’s definitely worth a watch. The video has over 15M views, 126K likes, and 66K comments. The stats are insane!
What’s shaping up to be your largest revenue generator for HERB?
Our largest revenue generator is native advertising. We work with over 100 of the top brands in cannabis (and a few brands outside cannabis). We create engaging video and written content around products and services and put this content in front of 7M fans on Facebook and 6M visitors on our site.
For more information on this people can visit herb.co/advertise
What’s next for Herb.co? What types of new features do you plan on rolling out? What’s your vision for the next 10 years?
At HERB we’re incredibly focused on native video at the moment. We’re currently pushing over 240M video views a month (a number so big we can’t ignore it). We want to provide people with the most compelling, engaging and entertaining content around cannabis and help change the perception of this remarkable plant.
In 10 years I see HERB an international leader in the cannabis industry. I see HERB as a voice for patients and cannabis enthusiasts. I see HERB unlocking the potential of cannabis and ending this war on human consciousness.
What are you most excited about for the future of cannabis aside from legalization?
I’m most excited for more research to go into the medical benefits of cannabis. I believe cannabis has enormous potential and I beleieve that this potential has yet to be unlocked. I’m optimistic that with more research into cannabinoids, terpenes, and the different benefits of cannabis we will see some major breakthroughs in medicine.
We’re all about mapping strains to experiences here at WoahStork. With that, do you use any particular strain of cannabis when trying to generate content for the site? Do you use different strains to boost the creative process for humorous vs. non-humorous content?
I love medicating with sativas to enhance my creative process and productivity. One of my favourite strains to induce this flow state (an optimal state for hyper-productivity) is Sour Diesel.
If you could have one device or app crafted for the cannabis industry, what would that be? Mine would be to have an in-home strain dispenser that combines my stash in different dosages to give me the exact effect I want.
I’d love a nanobot that would calibrate what specific cannabinoids my body requires and automatically secrete those specific cannabinoids into my system so that my body is always in perfect harmony.
For those interested in learning more about HERB, be sure to visit: