Dealing Dope With David

I remember watching an interview with David Tran where he told the story of how they released Dope Magazine to the public at Hempfest in Seattle. I wasn’t high when I heard it, yet I found myself instantly transported back to a memory from years ago when I was walking the beat at Hempfest and heard these guys yelling “Free Dope!”. Naturally, I was curious. Any stoner on a budget would be.

Unbeknownst to me, that turned out to be my first introduction to David Tran. Since then, I have followed Dope Magazine and met David several times and always love to stick a microphone in his face as often as I can.

David is a guy that is in it for the right reasons. He never hesitates to talk about how he wants EVERYONE to succeed in cannabis right now. Be they competitor or not. AMEN to such thinking! We are a collective, my babies. One day those corporate hawks are gonna swoop in and ruin cannabis for us natives. But until then, we have to shy away from greed and connect with each other over passion.

I was at Cannacon Seattle recently and ran into David. So yes, I stuck my microphone in his face. We chatted about the future of Dope Magazine, what excited him the most in 2018 and when asked if he had a message for Jeff Sessions, he delivered one of the more lucid responses I heard all day. Check it out. Oh, and PLEASE SHARE this and FOLLOW my page! I need all the help I can get . . . on so many levels.

Power To The Flower, My Babies!


Scojo: Greetings and salutations everybody. Scojo the Herb Advisor here. I’m a Leo. I like long romantic walks in the rain and sharp cheddar cheese, because you know what? Fuck mild cheddar cheese. Fuck mild cheddar cheese. That’s what I’m saying today. But, we’re at CannaCon 2018 in Seattle. This man needs no introduction, but I’ll introduce him anyway, David, from DOPE Magazine. David, DOPE’s taken off, hasn’t it?


David Tran: Yes, sir. How are you? Great to see you.


David Tran: I am also a Leo, so we’re in good hands together.


Scojo: And fuck cheddar cheese.


David Tran: Yes, fuck cheddar cheese. I think I’m lactose intolerant, by the way after, 42 years, so … happy to be here. Thank you.


Scojo: Tell me … I mean, I know all about you, but maybe some of these people don’t. Tell me about DOPE.


David Tran: Absolutely. I started DOPE Magazine here in Seattle in 2011. It stands for Defending Our Plant Everywhere, which to me encompasses patience, the people and the planet. And again, very grassroots, but now we’re distributed in 29 different states, 75,000 magazines, digital platforms, and we also do some incredible events that help connect the community.


Scojo: Yeah, you guys … I mean, I saw some video. You did a big event down in L.A. not too long ago, was that …


David Tran: Absolutely. That was the DOPE Industry Awards show, so that to us is called the Oscars, the Grammys. We want people to get in their suits, you know, put away their work boots, and have one night where it’s very elevated. But more importantly, be able to give recognition to the people that have been putting in on all the hard work, right? It takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of sacrifice, and if you’re getting awarded, it’s much deserved, it’s because you’re elevating our industry and it deserves recognition.


Scojo: Right. Now, website, social media?


David Tran: Yep, @dopemagazine. So, the website itself, we’re doing a lot of videos now, which are great. Got a million hits of video last month, which is great. We have the Super Troopers on this month, and they’re putting out a movie, and we got some really cool behind-the-scenes footage, and also, publicity that they want to do when they come to Seattle. So, I can’t wait for that to happen.


Scojo: Nice. So, looking into 2018, what are you most excited about?


David Tran: Well it’s going to be very exciting to see the same messaging we’re seeing out here in the West Coast on the East Coast, right? Being able to send that education, being able to continue to help progress that side of the country is a very exciting move for us and not only as a magazine, but it also starts to bring in different, diverse people. And to me, that’s the most important part. That’s the most exciting part about this industry that I see is the diversity. People are coming out of that cannabis closet. People are now looking at the magazine itself and going, “You know what? If this person who is doing something very special, or just a normal person even, then I might be okay. I won’t be looked at as this what has been pushed to us for many, many years.”


Scojo: Now, after I do this, my little pathetic life in the Edit Bay, I go in there, I cut this up, and I tweet this out to Jeff Sessions, do you have a message for Mr. Sessions today?


David Tran: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Sessions. You just put millions of more eyes on our industry, and what’s more beautiful when you did put those eyes on our industry, we responded like … I mean, all the officials coming back, saying, “We’re going to protect our own stage.” There, no one’s flinching, you know? So, I think that’s a powerful message, and that continues to be a powerful message, because we’re building such a strong group, community, that it becomes very powerful politically. So, I appreciate … I mean, it’s 70% approval already, so more people are going to be involved, more people are going to start saying yes to it, and I want to thank him for the great publicity.


Scojo: I got one other question for you. This is off the script a little bit here, but I’m kind of making the argument that really right now is the golden age of cannabis, because if you think about, like, let’s say it’s the Seattle music scene, it was great, and then all the big conglomerates came in. Pretty soon, we’re going to have McWeed. Now, we get to see people who are in it for the passion, who are in it for innovation, that kind of stuff. I mean, isn’t this sort of our, “We’ll look back on these like kind of the good old days”?


David Tran: For sure. I mean, overall, we’re still in the first few pages of the first chapter of a long novel. We still are, if we compare that to Prohibition. This is still the very much beginning, but because professionals, and because a lot of best-of-industry practices are coming in here, we’re trying to cut the roadway for this industry to be successful. And that’s where I’m very excited about building platforms, so that we can get messages out quicker not only for education, but also for businesses, so they could get to a faster consumer and showing them that there are steps that you should take in order to get your name out there and to own your own niche, right? And that’s some of the principles of marketing.


So, we’re excited to be on both ends, getting more people to say yes to cannabis and then helping people be successful. Why not? It’s still early. We need everyone to succeed.


Scojo: Right. We need more mugs like this. I mean, take a look at this.


David Tran: Absolutely. Thanks, I really appreciate it.


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