Here was my pitch. I included it here because the framework for this intriguing piece is in the pitch, a beautifully written one, I must add. Thank you, my friend, for sending this my way, appreciated deeply.
Hi Warren – Alibi Cannabis is about to announce its first line of premium pre-rolls curated for Oregon’s discerning cannabis consumer.
Made with 100% handcrafted flower, Alibi’s new Mariposa pre-rolls celebrate empowered, fierce females with the sexy NFT, Mariposa Takes Flight, on the packaging. (She is on their homepage!)
Alibi Cannabis is a woman-owned craft cannabis farm co-founded in 2017 by Marianne Cursetjee.
With an MBA and a high-powered tech career, Marianne did not expect to become a cannabis entrepreneur. Then she got cancer. Her career changed when a cannabis product eliminated the need for over ten drugs to combat side effects from chemo prescriptions. Marianne bought property in Oregon, started a cannabis farm, and became a cannabis expert. Alibi has earned recognition for growing some of the best flower in Oregon.
Can I interest you in speaking with Marianne about Alibi, the new pre-rolls, and her journey?
Warren Bobrow: Please tell me about your inspiration for the brand? Where did the name come from? Is this your first cannabis venture?
Marianne Cursetjee, MBA, CEO and Cofounder of Alibi Cannabis: At Alibi, we imagine a beautiful place where you can be the best version of you. The joy that comes from cannabis enhances our relationships, our bodies, and our spirits. The word “Alibi” is simple, but the idea can be whatever you dream. We hope people take a moment, enjoy the smoke, and look for the beauty around them.
We bought the land for our cannabis farm when I was just finishing up treatment for breast cancer. I had a vision of building a fabulous weed farm. Now, here we are seven years later, thriving in a tough market and looking forward to continued growth. The business has grown from an idea to a commercial-scale craft farm with a compelling story and beautiful imagery.
WB: Who is your mentor? When did you discover cannabis? How old were you? What are your six and twelve-month goals?
MC: I was raised in a very conservative Christian environment, so cannabis was not part of the culture. I was 45 years old when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Going through chemotherapy and radiation, managing side effects is a whole cascade of pharmaceuticals. A friend gave me some cannabis and said that it might help with nausea and pain. It was amazing! I was able to eliminate a whole host of pharmaceuticals and replace them with just cannabis. My dad is currently battling brain cancer, and I’m giving him cannabis to help with that. He tells me his head is all whirly, and some nice 1:1 chocolates make him feel better. Love that the industry is now better able to support those in medical need and also those who just love how cannabis makes them feel.
Our goals for the business are continued growth, more unique cultivars, and delivering amazing quality cannabis products. Having grown in Oregon since 2017, we’ve learned that Oregonians are weed connoisseurs constantly looking for new and unique products and flavors.
Our signature branding, “Mariposa Takes Flight,” is based on an NFT we purchased. Figuring out how to utilize blockchain, NFT’s and the metaverse in cannabis is an exciting new frontier.
We just launched Mariposa pre-rolls to celebrate empowered, edgy females with the sexy NFT on the packaging. Made with 100% handcrafted indoor flower, the pre-rolls have received rave reviews. We are in discussions to launch this brand into other states and plan to introduce a line of gummies soon in Oregon. I’m pleased that we have found some fabulous companies to collaborate with. Also, this year, we are launching a merch shop featuring Mariposa. Look for amazing merchandise over the coming few months at Alibi.shop
WB: What kind of obstacles do you face? How do you anticipate removing these obstacles?
MC: We face the challenges common to all cannabis companies, such as restrictions on marketing and advertising, limited tax deductions, and the high cost of regulatory compliance. The challenges specific to us are a flourishing unregulated market and an oversupply of product in the regulated market. It has been said that if you can survive Oregon, you can survive anywhere!
We are known for our top-shelf handcrafted flower. We will continue with new genetics and improved quality while also looking at more products and new states. There are so many opportunities available across the US; finding the right partners is key to long-term success.
WB: What is your favorite food to savor when you have smoked Alibi minis? Do you have a favorite restaurant? What is the name? Where? Indoor or outdoor-grown cannabis? Why?
MC: Portland is such a food haven! So many good things to eat! If I’m trolling for munchies at home, I love Bordeaux Cherry Balsamic vinegar on vanilla ice cream. Sweet and sour, oh my! Seriously, it’s totally the bomb! Our Lava Cake cultivar is really a heavy munchie strain, so stock up before you toke. For restaurants, I love Thai and Indian, but my favorite restaurant in Portland is a Lebanese restaurant called Nicholas. Their baba ghanoush, cauliflower, caramelized onions, yum! Spicy food really goes well with our GMO Glue cultivar — it’s a totally old-school hitter with garlic notes.
For cannabis, I like the consistency and freshness of indoor flower. I’m a little bit spoiled since we grow such amazing weed at our farm. I like knowing that what I’m smoking is fresh and clean. When you buy your bud at dispensaries, look at the harvest date. I’m surprised how much old stuff is on the shelf. Look for something harvested within the last 2 or 3 months. Older than that, and it just isn’t quite as nice. Get to know the farms and their growing practices and ethics.
WB: What is your passion?
MC: So many things! I love training Krav Maga. I started training when I was going through chemotherapy. It’s great physical exercise, and the “never give up” mentality is huge. Feeling and being strong physically is wonderful. Of course, Covid took a toll on my training, but I’m back in the gym now and kicking ass! I also love scuba diving. Diving is an activity my daughter and I do together. We just got back from diving in Mexico. The world under the sea is so amazing! We have seen strange creatures in the water, but my favorite is the mantis shrimp. It’s a bizarre creature with some freaky traits. You can read more about this underwater nightmare at https://theoatmeal.com/comics/mantis_shrimp.
What brings me real joy is knowing that my efforts at work and in the community are improving lives. Alibi is founded on the philosophy of doing the right thing. We treat our customers, vendors, and employees right.
The last couple of years have been really rough, and it’s important to find the little things that can change the day from gloomy to bright. This is the essence of Alibi’s Mariposa line — find the beauty, take a moment, appreciate life. What’s your Alibi?
WB: I love your flowers, as they are smiles in every pull. The GMO Glue is true to the name with aromatics of freshly raked loam, orange oil, dried morel mushrooms, and shavings of bitter chocolate. The high comes into view, right in front of my forehead, offering pain relief and optimism; a talkative conversation ensues into deeply relaxing metaphors for sleep and renewal. Lucky is the person who will enjoy such evocative experiences. Oregon offers that in their wines and their cannabis. The taste of the place, the terroir- it sets Oregon into a realm of conscious cannabis.