Here’s How Cannabis Brand Eaze Has Adjusted to a Post-CCPA World

Privacy management is a 'thankless job,' says marketing lead Sheena Shiravi

sheena shiravi's challenger brands panel
Eaze is navigating the highly regulated world of cannabis sales.
Sean T. Smith for Adweek

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The implementation of the California Consumer Privacy Act has meant another complex layer for the legal department of the California-based medical cannabis brand Eaze.

Eaze, which was founded in 2014 which has already been working to navigate the highly regulated world of cannabis sales. Sheena Shiravi, the senior director of marketing at the San Francisco-based brand, said the company made a privacy hire to help the company comply with California’s regulation, which gives customers the right to see and manage the data that brands collect about them.

Since the law went into effect on Jan. 1, about 1,700 people have requested that Eaze delete their data, Shiravi said at Adweek’s annual Challenger Brands summit in New York on Wednesday. An additional 500 people have requested to review the data Eaze collects on them, she told Adweek tech and media editor Josh Sternberg onstage.

“It’s kind of a thankless job,” Shiravi said of the privacy lawyer’s role at the company. “Nobody wants to stop building a business to go make sure [we’re complying], to do all of this extra work.”

Nonetheless, Eaze takes the regulation seriously. The company, which connects licensed cannabis dispensaries to California customers who want cannabis products delivered, has a Do Not Sell My Info section on its website, which includes information about how customers can opt out of certain data collection.

“Our lawyers really wanted to make our privacy terms of service super clear, so it’s really easy to go look at what we collect,” Shiravi said.

Eaze has also asked its web of partners about their own CCPA compliance plans. “We are asking all of them, ‘What is your CCPA plan?'” Shiravi said. “What are you guys doing to make sure that you’re up to snuff?”

CCPA is just the latest regulatory hurdle for the San Francisco-based cannabis brand. Because cannabis is still illegal federally, Eaze has had to navigate a web of rules and guidelines on advertising platforms that don’t often allow for cannabis advertising at all. The company already takes a careful approach to its creative, running “every piece of content” through the legal team, and relies heavily on affiliate marketing and SEO.

The company has also just started working with a cannabis-specific ad network, which has been a successful test so far, Shiravi said.

Old-fashioned word-of-mouth referral remains a key component to Eaze’s growth, Shiravi said. It’s so important, in fact, that the company offers coupons, credits and other giveaways for people who refer new customers to Eaze.

That approach, though, has been complicated by CCPA. “There’s some referral fraud,” Shiravi said,” and if you delete your data, we can’t track [fraudsters].”

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