Five Questions With Arend Richard: CEO Of The Weed Tube
Arend Richard: WeedTube.com
Photo Courtesy: Arend Richard
I met Arend over lunch in NYC recently and within a few minutes I realized the difference between the media moguls of the past and the new leaders of the present. Arend is one of those new leaders. He is confident yet humble in his soft-spoken, gentle manner. I found him to be engaging and crisp. He speaks with a smile and he is well known and liked within the tribe. He’s on to something that is very modern, very cool indeed. His style is forthright, humorous and well punctuated by thought. He’s precisely the kind of entrepreneur who would dream in color, yet is well grounded in pragmatic reality. He knows where he is from and how tough it was to get here. Arend is definitely going places. I see it. You shall too. Thank you Arend, you rock. What is it with this generation? Such enthusiasm for entrepreneurial success. They know what time it is.
Warren Bobrow= WB: Tell me about your path to where you are today? Did you expect to see cannabis legalized in your lifetime or in your state? What makes your company so exceptional in the marketplace?
Arend Richard= AR: You know what’s crazy? I have no idea how I got here. But I’m so glad that I am here. If you retrace the steps of my life you will find the path that led me here. So, I do know how I got here for sure. Maybe what I should say is, “If you told me 5 years ago that I would be a popular WeedTuber who would be deleted by YouTube just for me to start my own site”, there is literally no way I would believe you. My path in the cannabis industry actually started accidentally. I started a YouTube channel as a creative outlet in 2015. At the time, I was a full-time restaurant manager for an up and coming family diner in northern Denver. I needed a place to express my creative side, and my roommate at the time was an avid YouTube viewer. I had never been much into YouTube until she showed me how certain creators like Grace Helbig, Tyler Oakley, and Mark E Miller (all my favorites at the time) were able to show people their actual lives, while also being incredibly entertaining. It was right up my alley.
Photo Courtesy: Arend Richard
When my channel first started it was all about showing people my life and trying to get a nice laugh out of them. One part of my life at this time though, was cannabis. I was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, the first state to recreationally legalize cannabis, and because of this I didn’t have much of a stigma around cannabis use. After recreational legalization hit, the stigma and social image of cannabis use changed so quickly. So naturally, I began making videos that included the use of cannabis. Legally of course. These videos started to take off in a way that other content I was working on had not. So, I decided to lean into it. Cut to March of 2018. I now have 120,000 subscribers on YouTube, millions of views, and a pretty nice career, that is until March 1, 2018 when YouTube deleted my channel.
I was incredibly lucky to be close friends with so many other YouTubers who were deleted at the time. In fact, just a few months prior to all the deletions, I was managing quite a few other YouTubers, helping them acquire brand deals and sponsorships. It was a natural progression for all of us to work together on a solution to this censorship problem. So, we banded together to raise $15,000 to start TheWeedTube.com. The first ever of its kind cannabis friendly video platform. Oh, and we raised that $15,000 in less than 48 hours.
Since our launch, TheWeedTube has amassed over 2.5 million unique users. We’ve launched an application for mobile devices, both Android and Apple. Which truthfully was the hardest part of this whole process. It hasn’t been easy, we’ve fought different forms of censorship the whole way. It has however, been extremely rewarding to me personally and to the rest of my team at TheWeedTube. To be able to give a voice to a community who needs one, is the greatest accomplishment in my lifetime.
WB: How do you combat stigmas? What advice would you give to an East Coast mindset, vs. a Colorado one? How do you feel about gourmet strains? Indoor or outdoor? Favorite grower?
AR: I combat stigma through my actions. They speak louder than words, right? It has been my belief that the cannabis community needs to fight the negative stigma of cannabis by showing the world what a wonderful open-minded community we are. Whether that means using our voices together for more than just cannabis advocacy, or being that person who’s going to pick up someone else’s litter from the streets. Combating stigma is doing good deeds in your everyday life, no matter the level of impact. No matter where you are. No matter who’s watching.
Photo Courtesy: Arend Richard
AR: continued: I would very much like the opportunity one day in the future to have an even larger impact on the stigma of cannabis. Ideally, TheWeedTube will be one of the first cannabis related companies to make a very large contribution towards cleaning the plastic out of our oceans. As someone who nearly went to school for marine biology, it is a project very near and dear to my heart. As far as cannabis goes, I personally prefer indoor, hydroponically grown cannabis. Though it is a rarity to find anymore. Especially in legal states. It isn’t the cheapest or easiest set up. With most legal markets switching to quantity over quality for their cannabis production, hydro is a quickly fading art that I greatly appreciate. Get it while you can!
WB: Do you cook? If so, who taught you? Mother? Father? Television cooking shows? Do you have a favorite restaurant? What kind of food?
AR: I used to cook quite a bit actually. I was very much self-taught by the internet. Prior to launching TheWeedTube I spent a lot of time learning new recipes and trying them out on friends. I absolutely adore the Pioneer Woman and everything she ever makes. Unfortunately, the amount of time I have free to research anything now has to go to my business. I definitely miss it! My favorite restaurant would have to be a lovely spot in Jersey City, NJ called “Sam AM”. It’s a fantastic breakfast spot with a biscuit and gravy dish that will make you question reality… In a good way.
WB: Where do you see your company in six months? A year? What cool things are coming up? Please share your social media links.
AR: In the next six months I hope TheWeedTube can operate fully without censorship. We’ve had quite the battle getting our new application approved for Apple and Android (different times for each). Instagram and Facebook have been quite the nightmare to deal with as well. Instagram now will not even let us link to our website. Ideally, we will have that all sorted in a year. I hope we are in a place that we have grown large enough to make some powerful moves towards helping our current state of the planet. Our oceans being filled with trash is a daily thought for me. I want to do everything I can personally to try and combat the destruction we’ve done to our planet. Hopefully in a year TheWeedTube is helping in some way. It would do wonders for changing people’s perceptions about cannabis if a bunch of stoners cleaned the ocean.
Photo Courtesy: Arend Richard
WB: If you could be anywhere in the world, right now- where would that be? With whom? Doing what?
AR: Two years ago I would have said: “On stage with Christina Aguilera. Belting out one of her classic ballads.” Today though, I’d have to say I wish to be in conference room with Oprah, Elon Musk, and Priyanka Chopra. Enjoying some legal cannabis, and talking about how we can change the world for the better.
I was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, the first state to recreationally legalize cannabis, and because of this I didn’t have much of a stigma around cannabis use.
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Pipe-weed was a plant of Middle-earth, in particular grown and enjoyed much by the hobbits of the Shire, to whom it was first introduced by Tobold Hornblower.
- 1 History
- 2 See also
- 3 Translations
- 4 References
It was first grown in the Shire by Tobold Hornblower in Longbottom around SR 1070 (the year 2670 of the Third Age). Despite its foreign origins, the hobbits were the first to use it for smoking. Pipe-weed production became a major industry in the Shire, especially in the south. 
The same plant was known among the Dúnedain as sweet galenas for its fragrance. In Gondor, it was known as Westman’s-weed, and grew there as a wild plant, appreciated most for its sweet-scented flowers. The colloquial name was in reference to its origins: it was apparently brought to Middle-earth by Númenóreans in the Second Age. 
Popular hobbit varieties of pipe-weed soon included Longbottom Leaf, Old Toby (named after Tobold Hornblower and revered by Bilbo Baggins), Southern Star, and Southlinch, which was grown in Bree.
Merry (of Peter Jackson’s films) smoking his pipe-weed
The Wizard Gandalf learned to smoke pipe-weed from the Hobbits and was known to blow elaborate smoke-rings. Saruman initially criticized him for this, but eventually took up smoking himself. After the destruction of Isengard, pipe-weed was found among its stores, but the hobbits Merry and Pippin failed to realized until later the implications of the discovery of Saruman’s commerce with the Shire. 
A barrel of “Southfarthing Leaf” in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Pipe-weed was a plant of Middle-earth, in particular grown and enjoyed much by thehobbits of the Shire, to whom it was first introduced byTobold Hornblower. 1 History 2 See also 3 Translations 4 References It was first grown in the Shire by Tobold Hornblower in Longbottom around SR 1070 (the…