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Living: Music and marijuana – the mutual marriage, from Collie Tunes

By Sean Hocking
Collie Tunes
Recreational marijuana legalization is now in play across three states, with many more to follow.
All I’ve seen in  “cannabis industry” media is endless chatter chatter chatter about strains, edibles, retail, rules, regulations, money and a thousand other subjects revolving around commerce — but what about the greatest pleasure of the herb?
The Sound of Music
Yes there’s him ( , and there’s him ( and them ( but let’s try and get a bit more adventurous, shall we?
The marijuana industry doesn’t seem to have cottoned on that if you are under 25 you might not be interested in Bob Marley & his endless offspring pushing reggae lite – or if you’re like me, you’re over a certain age, and Wacca Flacca Bacca, Curren$y or any number of artists who can’t resist a $ sign or an over preponderance of ZZZ’s in their stage name also fail to hit the spot.
I have found as a person with a keen ear that’s even more so after a smoke, that the music at my local Portland dispensaries has either been completely lacking or very badly chosen.
The number one rule: Never let staff choose the soundtrack of the day. It’s a rule that seems to have bypassed most dispensaries I’ve wandered into. And a blast of Metallica on a Wednesday morning will set the likes of me backtracking out of the store at high speed.
As any supermarket chain, fashion store or restaurant/cafe will tell you, well programmed, chosen and managed music is going to improve sales. And it can also help you manage your customers, their buying patterns and your foot traffic throughout the day.
I’ve been surprised to see bad music choices in one of the music capitals of the US and the city with the most sensible approach to recreational pot, Portland. Nobody has yet seen the opportunity to match interesting, inventive, different and fun music with marijuana retail.
I’d suggest that marijuana retail could become a great arena for introducing new music from new artists. In a world where it’s impossible for the new and the different to be heard, what better environment to surprise people with something they’ve never heard before.
Studies have shown that people actually respond better to well chosen unknown music in a retail environment and will stay longer shopping, browsing and engaging with the business.
So what should you be playing?  That depends on a range of factors – and I suggest first looking at the demographic of your customers and how they change during the day and over the period of a week. 
Depending on your location you will notice patterns. One pattern I’ve seen is that there are many Baby Boomers and older people purchasing weed.
And there’s a lot more playlist ideas for you here (!playlist-samples/c10g1)
Here’s our current top 5 of tunes we think sound great after a toke or two:

Christopher Rau – Money $ex
Funky little dance tune that sneaks up on you with a surprise bit of dialogue for smokers

Parquet Courts – Stoned & Starving
Great indie rock song about the munchies

JJ Cale – Ride Me High
Any smoker worth their salt will know this one

John Holt – Police In Helicopter
Classic Jamaican rebel song

Harlem Underground Band – Smokin’ Cheeba Cheeba
Does it get funkier than this?

Sean Hocking
Collie Tunes

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