This weekend, entrepreneur and gaming influencer Hector “H3CZ” Rodriguez is launching a top class cannabis and hemp brand called Pine Park. Rodriguez is the first prominent gaming influencer to professionally align with the cannabis industry, making the most of what he perceives as a demographic convergence between cannabis and gaming.
With Pine Park, Rodriguez is bringing together two customarily-underestimated channels — gaming and cannabis — and can attend as a significant take a look at case of how the 2 worlds would possibly per chance well perhaps develop when blended. “There was as soon as this stigma in my childhood around, you know, you smoke weed and as well you’re a stoner, you’re slothful. But there’s this complete scientific evaluation around how cannabis can in actuality support you,” talked about Max Rudsten, CRO of WOVN, a third-birthday celebration cannabis distributor working with Pine Park. “Gaming, as a class, presumably also had that stigma: you’re a slothful person even as you game, or whatever that is. But you’ve purchased to know what you’re doing, you’ve purchased to be centered, and cannabis can provide that for that form of athlete.”
Rodriguez is one of basically the most recognizable faces in esports. As the longtime owner and CEO of the wildly neatly-liked esports organization OpTic Gaming, he boasts nearly 1 million Twitter followers and a huge community of industry connections. He’s also a longtime marijuana smoker, having picked up the addiction as a 17-year-frail in 1997. With marijuana legalization gradually sweeping across the country, Rodriguez felt investing in cannabis was as soon as a no-brainer. “Originally, I had gone with a tequila brand,” he talked about. “But when I started to complete the research, and I saw the alternatives, I was as soon as indulge in, ‘there’s no reason I shouldn’t take of enterprise on this.’”
To be decided he was as soon as doing all the pieces factual, Rodriguez partnered with OpenNest Labs, a brand studio that advises and helps birth cannabis corporations. Rodriguez is offering the extensive majority of the funding in the attend of the enterprise, while OpenNest is handling the operations, with immense involvement from Rodriguez. At the 2d, Pine Park sells six traces of marijuana, in conjunction with Chem Driver (Rodriguez’s favorite) and Blueberry Haze, with plans to amplify into CBD products and apparel in due path.
“From his standpoint, it’s in actuality correct replicating the OpTic model into cannabis,” talked about Max Goldstein, a co-founder and partner at OpenNest Labs. “He’s made esports in actuality about entertainment, and the form of neighborhood and engagement and personalities around it. As we birth to uncover Pine Park out the door, it’ll hang that same form of roster of creators — with the exception of rather than esports, it’ll be basically around cannabis, constructing out that model and going in actuality deep on Twitter and YouTube. There’s nearly no cannabis penetration on both of these platforms.”
Cultural attitudes in direction of marijuana hang softened in recent years. “The perception for all americans for cannabis has correct modified,” talked about Sarah Seale, CEO of the cannabis consultancy Seale & Garland. “It former to be unlawful; it was as soon as something that you hid from your of us, from society. Now, it’s more socially licensed, more talked about from all assorted demographics. So yeah, I’m able to positively look a convergence coming from the gaming neighborhood — I hang it’s already there.”
The timing appears specifically opportune. As marijuana enters the mainstream, the esports viewers is increasing earlier into the target demographic for cannabis consumption. Goldstein describes the circumstances in the attend of Pine Park as a “ultimate storm.” “H3CZ’s viewers is of age,” he talked about. “As we survey at most of these demographics — yeah, they’ve been following him for 10 years, however they’re in their 20s and 30s. I hang that there would possibly per chance be a perception of esports as being more of a younger-teenage-boy genre, however I don’t hang that’s the case.”
Certainly, Rodriguez’s April tweet pronouncing his entry into cannabis went mega-viral, garnering over 6 million impressions in no longer as much as a day. “It’s basically the most impressions I’ve gotten on any tweet,” he talked about.
Leisure use however, Rodriguez also wired the therapeutic features of marijuana instead to Adderall or Xanax, every of that are carefully abused on the highest phases of the competitive gaming scene. “We’re launching a CBD ointment for knuckles and hands, fair grand a hand lotion, that would possibly per chance well support you get better at some stage in the night,” he talked about. “Will hang to you lag to the doctor, it’s both take Gargantuan Pharma this or Gargantuan Pharma that, and the facet effects encompass all of these negative things. So I quit hang that even this as an option is already 10 times greater than what medical doctors are prescribing now and then.”
Though Rodriguez is the first gaming influencer to begin his absorb cannabis brand, he and his colleagues judge others will follow swimsuit. “Loads of my friends reached out,” he talked about. “They both hang to query for my aid in coming to market in due path, and the comfort hang been all of us taking a survey to invest.”
Accrued, Rodriguez doesn’t feel possessive over the crossroads of gaming and cannabis. As a exchange, he hopes to be a resource to assorted contributors of the gaming and esports scene as they stumble on the cannabis home. With the overlap between the gaming and cannabis communities expanding, Rodriguez and OpenNest hope to make a blueprint that assorted gaming influencers can follow. “I’m discovering out as grand as I’m able to,” he talked about, “to aid assorted of us from the industry be taught from my errors.”