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CannaCraft: Where Cannabis Meets Innovation

As we’re only days out from Green Street Festival, the 2-day weed celebration hosted by Gary Vee and Harry Mack, we felt it absolutely necessary to highlight one of the most reputable brands we spotted on the bill: CannaCraft.

We spoke to one of CannaCraft’s founding partners, Justin Capri, to learn more about the storied history of the cannabis maverick.

What is CannaCraft?

Started in 2014 by Dennis Hunter and Ned Fussell, CannaCraft is a leading innovator in the world of cannabis. With Dennis’ 30 years of growing experience at the time of the company’s formation, CannaCraft has always had a leg up on their competition.

From the time when Dennis and Ned started cultivating, when weed didn’t have as clear of a future, to today, one thing has stayed the same: the duo’s adoration for cannabis and its many applications.

When CannaCraft was founded, California was on the brink of recreational legalization, along with Nevada, Maine, and Massachusetts. This meant there was about to be a boom of sorts in the cannabis market. As state governments were making their peace with their populations’ undeniable need for marijuana, Dennis and Ned were at the forefront of the industry, creating markets for some of the most popular products today, like 100% cannabis oil vape pens, microdosed edibles, and CBD:THC ratio products.

What is CannaCraft up to now?

Since 2014, CannaCraft has continued to exercise a very high level of attention to detail. From its conception, the company has employed the help of leading researchers, along with utilizing manufacturing equipment and techniques from the pharmaceutical, beauty, and food & beverage industries. This integration of proven approaches into their product devision is one of the many things that gave them an edge from the start.

From there, the company’s love for cannabis sparked growth for itself and the industry surrounding it.

Today, CannaCraft has over 200 products amongst its many brands, which includes Farmer and the Felon, AbsoluteXtracts (ABX), and Care by Design (CBD).

CannaCraft / CareByDesign

As if that’s not impressive enough, the company even has a partnership with Lagunitas for Hi-Fi: a cannabis-infused sparkling water. Turns out that partnership arose from their neighboring headquarters and a shared love for weed and beer. The two companies would have meet-ups after work where they’d share the fruits of their respective labor.

CannaCraft / Lagunitas Hi-Fi Sessions

CannaCraft’s alchemy of bad into good

Innovation usually comes with a price, and CannaCraft’s journey has been no exception to that rule. Although (since cannabis’ legalization) they’ve taken every precaution necessary, trouble has arisen on multiple occasions.

One of their most recent run-ins with the law came in 2016, when their headquarters was raided and co-founder Dennis Hunter was arrested with a $5 million bail. The state was accusing Dennis and CannaCraft’s brand ‘Care by Design’ of “running a meth lab-type of operation” in Santa Rosa, which was actually just a factory for creating extract products.

Before long, that $5 million bail and the eye-catching allegations that came with it turned into a $0 bail and a dismissal of all charges. This is all thanks to the cannabis community, which quickly banded together to petition online and in person at the time of this predicament. Within 48 hours of his arrest, Dennis Hunter was released from jail, and CannaCraft got back to work.

In all of its years, the company has never been shy about these trying times. They’ve alchemized this misfortune into social good through their ‘Farmer and the Felon‘ brand, which donates a portion of all its proceeds to helping find justice for non-violent cannabis offenders.

CannaCraft / Farmer and the Felon

Looking forward to Green Street Festival

Now you probably see why we’re so excited to link up with CannaCraft at Green Street Festival in Los Angeles this week. CannaCraft will be featuring products from Farmer and the Felon, AbsoluteXtracts, Hi-Fi Sessions, and Kayla Extracts.

Along with CannaCraft, Green Street will be featuring other noteworthy brands and even an appearance from Juicy J. If you’re in Los Angeles this Friday and Saturday, head to the Green Street building in Downtown LA to experience the magic for yourself.

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Sports Strength

Meet The 5s, Gary Vaynerchuk’s Major League Pickleball Team

On Wednesday, April 6, serial entrepreneur and pickleball big wig Gary Vaynerchuk revealed the name of his new Major League Pickleball team that will make its debut this season: the 5s. Named after Vaynerchuk’s favorite number, The 5s will feature Competitive Clown, a recently unveiled VeeFriends Series 2 character, as their logo.

“5 means the world to me in the context of sports as it was the first jersey number I received and wore when I came to the US.,” said Vaynerchuk. “My mom knitted that jersey for me, and the number 5 has always been my favorite ever since. Now it’s on our Major League Pickleball team and in our logo, alongside Competitive Clown, and I couldn’t be more proud to have that number, that means so much to me, as our team name.”

Major League Pickleball

With The 5s remaining more of a concept than an actual flesh-and-blood team until the Major League Pickleball Draft on May 28, general manager Ryan Harwood will work to construct the roster and shepherd the team through its inaugural season over the summer. A former tennis player at the University of Pennsylvania, Harwood has worked closely with Vaynerchuk for years, serving as the CEO of Gallery Media Group and the founder of PureWow and ONE37pm; in other words, he’s my boss and he’s tremendously handsome and strong. 

“I think every sports fan as a kid dreams of being a GM or owner of a team,” Harwood told ONE37pm, “so I’m very pumped to flex those muscles and see what it takes.”

Drawing on his experience as an elite tennis player, Harwood hopes that his wealth of paddle-sports and management knowledge will translate to pickleball.  

“I’m not the most avid pickleball player now,” said Harwood, “but I will become one. It’s really exciting to have the chance to learn about all the players and assemble the best team possible and create a culture the same way that we’ve done in the business world.”

For Vaynerchuk, The 5s represent the acme of an interest in the sport that’s been percolating for years. Like millions of other Americans, Vaynerchuk has fallen in love with pickleball, a passion that was born when he first picked up a paddle and teamed up with Andy Roddick to beat Harwood and Andre Agassi at a charity event four years ago. Unsurprisingly, Vaynerchuk plans on being an innovative and involved owner.

“I feel like I’m going to build strategies and help execute the growth of the sport through my ownership; I plan on being an active owner, not a passive one. It’s my job to put up the dollars and help draft the team, but also to be an ambassador for the sport. Pickleball now is where the NFL and NBA were in the 1950s and ‘60s.”

But beyond growing the sport and understanding the business of, in his words, “underpriced attention,” Vaynerchuk has a single, orienting goal: “I want to win championships.”

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Sports Strength

Gary Vaynerchuk Joins Major League Pickleball As Team Owner

On Tuesday, March 29th, serial entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk announced that he would become one of four new team owners in Major League Pickleball, an Austin, Texas-based elite pickleball league. Established in 2021, Major League Pickleball (MLP) will expand from eight to 12 teams for the 2022 season and feature 48 of the best men’s and women’s pickleball players in the world. 

By adding Vaynerchuk to a roster of owners that already featured Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry and American tennis legend James Blake, MLP has demonstrated that pickleball is not just the sport of the future, but that it’s increasingly becoming the sport of the present as well. 

“MLP is the most exciting brand in pickleball, a sport that I’m very excited to be coming into at such an important stage of its development,” Vaynerchuk said in a press release. “I’ve been watching the growth of the sport over the last couple of years, and waiting for the right opportunity to jump in.

“What MLP is creating is precisely what I think pickleball needs – innovation, equality, great competition, and a central focus on the social community that this sport creates.”

On May 28, the league  will hold its annual draft at Flushing Meadows’ USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, where teams will build out their four-player roster for the upcoming season. The event will be livestreamed on on MLP channels including MajorLeaguePickleball.net, MLP YouTube and Facebook. 

The regular season will begin the next weekend, with the first event of the year scheduled for June 3-5 at Dreamland in Dripping Springs, Texas. Excitingly, the finals of this event will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network, giving MLP exposure to a broad audience of potential fans. 

Vaynerchuk has often said that his ultimate dream is to own the New York Jets and joining MLP is a promising step in that direction. 

For more information on the upcoming MLP campaign, check out the league’s official website.