Alcohol, CPG, & Cannabis Marketing: Differences, Similarities, and What We Can Learn from Established Industries
As Vice President of Marketing for Native Roots Cannabis Co., Dutton develops, implements and oversees all marketing and media strategy, customer research, event sponsorships, and internal branding for Colorado’s leading independent network of cannabis dispensaries. Among other things, Dutton develops long-range and seasonal omni-channel marketing strategies across all product lines and retail brands and ensures all visual representations of Native Roots align with company values and purpose. Dutton brings years of high-level corporate marketing experience to Native Roots, including leadership roles within a global Fortune 50 consumer products goods corporation. His specialties include crafting scalable strategies and processes to drive growth; centering brands on the consumer experience; prioritizing creative product innovation and launches; promotion strategy and pricing; visual merchandising; strategic planning; CRM and social media strategy; data analysis; sales management; and agency management.
Darnell Smith is a CPG and alcohol industry veteran and cannabis entrepreneur, innovator and advocate. Smith is the founder and CEO of MXXN, a non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused spirits brand that is evolving today’s cocktail culture and disrupting the alcohol and cannabis industry. MXXN is the first product launch of MOJO Ventures, which is part of the digital + creative consultancy MOJO he founded that has done extensive work for Procter & Gamble Ventures, Barcardi’s Incubation group, Pepsico and more. Prior to founding MXXN and MOJO, Smith was a senior digital transformation lead at Infosys Consulting working with the likes of Adidas, Ralph Lauren, AB InBev, Novartis, GSK, Pfizer, AMEX and more. Prior to that, Smith worked for over a decade in various agency and client side roles focused on innovation and commercialization for the likes of Diageo and Pernod Ricard.
As a Black entrepreneur working in the cannabis industry, Smith is extremely passionate about being on the frontlines of creating a more equitable space. He is committed to working with a diverse set of vendors and supply partners within his companies and always looks to partner with organizations that have demonstrated a commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Smith earned his Marketing degree from the University of Notre Dame, where he played football as a defensive end under legendary coach Lou Holtz.
Ashley Fields is the VP of Marketing & Communications at Cann where she has built the company’s creative, marketing and comms functions from scratch, growing it from a team of one to 20 in less than six months. Under her leadership, Cann has launched globally-recognized integrated marketing campaigns that drive brand awareness and adoption; propel Cann’s multi-year reign as the #1 microdose THC drink in America, and delivered seven Cannabis Clio Awards.
Prior to joining Cann, Ashley engineered global omnichannel marketing strategies at Dyson in the brand’s newest categories (beauty and air purification), successfully driving a sweeping shift in brand perception and double-digit Direct growth.
Start-Up Exec and Co-Founder with deep experience in Operations, Management, Business Development, Strategy, Marketing, Sales, and M&A.
Specialties: Marketplaces, Scaling Operations, Business Development, Strategic Partnerships, Strategy, Marketing, Branding, Online Advertising, New Media, Negotiation
Joe Hodas serves as Chief Marketing Officer for Wana Brands where he is responsible for generating revenue by creating innovative and refined marketing campaigns for the organization while helping to grow Wana’s brand, market share, and customer loyalty. An early professional marketer in the cannabis industry, Hodas drove the marketing strategy for Dixie Elixirs as its first CMO, helping build it into one of the most recognized national marijuana brands. Prior to joining Wana, Hodas was CEO at Gofire, an innovator of hardware and software IP designed to change the face of plant-based medicine and mainstream healthcare. As CEO, he guided Gofire’s marketing, product development, software and sales, helping to bring the company’s first metered-dose inhaler to market, while developing the company’s next-generation products intended to redefine how mainstream medicine could be delivered and monitored for adherence and efficacy. Previously, Hodas served as COO for General Cannabis Corporation, a publicly-traded company consisting of several ancillary businesses. Hodas’ experience also includes positions as Sr. Director of Corporate Communications for Frontier Airlines, as well as agency experience at Vladimir Jones where he was a partner and Ogilvy Public Relations. Hodas has also taught as an adjunct marketing professor at the University of Denver Daniels College of Business. He graduated from the University of Denver, receiving his master’s degree in mass communications and public relations after earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas.