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“Research for the greater good” With Len Giancola & Jared Gray

I’d love to help the world value science-based thinking as it once did. I believe that science will solve a lot of our problems and we currently don’t invest enough money in research for the greater good. A lot of large corporations are funding research projects for their own interest and profitability but there aren’t […]

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I’d love to help the world value science-based thinking as it once did. I believe that science will solve a lot of our problems and we currently don’t invest enough money in research for the greater good. A lot of large corporations are funding research projects for their own interest and profitability but there aren’t enough organizations or people doing scientific research for the greater good for mankind. The reality is that climate change should be top of mind for all of us and that includes scientists who are looking for potential solutions to help take better care of the world and help slow global warming.


As part of my series about companies who are helping to battle climate change, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jared Gray, Director of Marketing for CLICK.

Jared Gray has built a career engaging consumers in a way that moves them to action. He spent the majority of his career in New York City putting his fingerprints all over the advertising world. It is there that he found his love for marketing while shaping the consumer retail experience and growing the online presence for a well-known women’s fashion label. After a few years in women’s apparel, Gray transitioned to a traditional advertising agency where he really sharpened his skillset. He honed his craft at several top tier global advertising agencies, including Adweek’s Agency of the Year for three years running. He has had the pleasure of molding and growing many multimillion dollar brands within the beauty, fashion, food, tech and healthcare industries. Along the journey, he knew there was more out there for him. So in 2016, he relocated to sunny southern California to test his hand in the start-up world with Click.

Harnessing all of his life experiences, Gray has built Click from the ground up as a true consumer lifestyle brand. He has been at the helm since day one serving as the brand’s Director of Marketing.


Thank you for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I started my career working in advertising for big agencies and companies such as Grey Group and Victoria Secret in New York City. I moved to California four years ago to slow life down a bit for me and my family. My wife and I just had a son before we moved here, and I quickly found myself in the startup technology space learning about which industries were on the rise. Through this, I became involved in cannabis, connecting with leaders in the space who were able to show me that cannabis was moving quickly in the direction of a legitimized marketplace.

I’ve battled sleep issues since college and cannabis, specifically CLICK’s Dream spray, is the only thing to ever have a sustained and beneficial effect. I’ve also had several family members who have battled cancer and cannabis helped them significantly with pain management.

What is the mission of your company? What problems are you aiming to solve?

CLICK’s mission has been to create a fast-acting, discreet, and consistently-dosed cannabis product that could easily be adapted to consumers’ everyday lives. We saw an opportunity to own an uncharted space of the cannabis industry and use the industry’s recent scientific advancements to create a product that would be favored by seasoned cannabis users and new users alike.

Can you tell our readers about the initiatives that you or your company are taking to address climate change or sustainability? Can you give an example for each?

We are very conscious about the plastic that we are putting back into the world. By partnering with GAIACA, the nation’s first and largest licensed cannabis waste disposal in the US, we have found a way to neutralize that impact. Just like many medical products, it’s not easy to just throw into a normal recycling bin. Through this partnership, we have found a safe, legal, and efficient way to recycle our products and have then reimagined as other useful products.

Every dispensary that carries CLICK’s products will be offered a collection box to collect recycled CLICK Sprays that will be sorted at GAIACA’s facility in Del Rey Oaks. The company hopes to provide its customers with data on the number of sprays being collected and what their sprays are being turned into later this year. We are creating an incentive program to encourage customers to bring back their empty CLICK Sprays to the dispensaries that they are buying them from.

How would you articulate how a business can become more profitable by being more sustainable and more environmentally conscious? Can you share a story or an example?

As a society, consumers are demanding more of companies in terms of social justice and sustainability. They’re not just buzz words anymore. These principles of social responsibility and environmental care should be built into the onset of a company’s foundation from the onset. We have corporate responsibility for becoming a sustainable brand with a sustainable product and as more companies start to believe that as well, it will become more economically feasible. We know that a lot of work must be done to move the needle of change to drive the price of becoming a more intentional business society, and we want to be at the forefront of that tipping point.

The youth-led climate strikes of September 2019 showed an impressive degree of activism and initiative by young people on behalf of climate change. This was great but there is still plenty that needs to be done. In your opinion what are 5 things parents should do to inspire the next generation to become engaged in sustainability and the environmental movement? Please give a story or an example for each.

  1. I’m a father of a five-year-old and one of my most important parenting goals is to teach my son how to incorporate sustainability into everyday life to the point where it becomes second nature to him.
  2. One thing we do is teaching him the importance of having and using what is necessary and giving back what we don’t need. For example, if he gets a new piece of clothing or a new toy, we make him pick out something that we’re going to donate in its place. If you’re fortunate enough to have what you need, you have an obligation to society to give back and help others.
  3. Another thing we do is lead by example. While we’ve been at home permanently due to the pandemic, I found a few old wooden pallets and turned them into strawberry beds. We can sustain ourselves at home and also show him how to take care of the strawberries. We sometimes joke that he’s going to become a strawberry farmer because he loves it so much.
  4. We also want to teach him that creating a sustainable life must become a priority, even though it’s not always easy and it often takes extra time. We’re all geared to move at light speed — wanting things fast and now. I hope that the backside of the pandemic helps people slow down and think “Is this the life I want?” and “Is this sustainable to me and the world?” We want to teach our son to be creative and find new ways to approach his environmental impact.
  5. It’s never too early to learn to recycle. As a kid I had a recycling business. This was long before we had curbside recycled waste pickup. My brother and I would distribute bins to our neighbors for their cans and bottles. Every other week we would pick them up and take them to the recycling center. We were doing something good for the environment, learning the lesson of hard work and we got our first taste of entrepreneurship. I shared this story with my son and he asked if he could do the same. After some research, we learned that we can actually recycle our cans and bottles for money. Over the last 12 months, he has learned the valuable lessons of doing good in the world, the value of hard work and hopefully it leads to a passion for being an entrepreneur.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?

  1. There are so many opportunities within the cannabis industry that you can’t even fathom half of them before getting involved.
  2. The cannabis industry is ever-changing, ever-evolving and the speed at which things are shifting is unlike anything I had ever experienced before. Advances in technology, medicine, science, and commerce are moving at lightning speed and to be successful you must do your best to try to stay ahead of it all, or at least at the same pace.
  3. There is a lot of room for elevating the cannabis industry. There’s the opportunity to bring it mainstream, which we’ve shown great progress on in the past two years. We’ve gone from recreationally illegal in California to being deemed essential during the COVID-19 pandemic. At least in California, it feels like the cannabis community is becoming more accepted, and we are breaking down many social and economic barriers. Many of us grew up listening to people who had stigmatized cannabis and made it something to be afraid of but in recent years we have seen many of those stigmas go away.
  4. I had no idea how much kindness and comradery existed in the cannabis industry. We’re a tight-knit group of people who want to help bring wellness to the world and it doesn’t feel as cutthroat as other industries I’ve worked in.
  5. I was pleased to see how much the industry has grown up in terms of professionalism over the past decade or so. At the same time, many people are still creating brands but don’t have the experience or knowledge to do so in a way that someone in a mainstream business would have. There are far more opportunities than I imagined for streamlining the business.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful to who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

There are two people who I would like to mention. First, my grandfather. He was someone who worked all the time, so much that he would miss out on celebrations, any of my childhood events, and other activities because he was committed to the work. He never sat me down and told me about how hard he was working, he showed me. My grandfather worked until he was 88 years old and it defined him. Anyone could tell that he held importance in the value of work. He would often say, “Don’t just do it, do it right,” that is something that I’m now teaching to my son and am expecting that of my colleagues as well. That lesson has carried me further than by anyone else in my life.

The second person I would like to mention is the president of the Miami Ad School in Atlanta. He challenged me to question everything around me and push past what I thought I could do. He taught me the value and power of being a communicator as well as the responsibility of communication. He knew how to get the best out of people and the experience of being around him changed me.

You are a person of great influence and doing some great things for the world! If you could inspire a movement that would bring the greatest amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I’d love to help the world value science-based thinking as it once did. I believe that science will solve a lot of our problems and we currently don’t invest enough money in research for the greater good. A lot of large corporations are funding research projects for their own interest and profitability but there aren’t enough organizations or people doing scientific research for the greater good for mankind. The reality is that climate change should be top of mind for all of us and that includes scientists who are looking for potential solutions to help take better care of the world and help slow global warming.

Do you have a favorite life lesson quote? Can you tell us how that was relevant to you in your own life?

My father always had quotes from different people on a variety of topics around since I was little. He may have been a motivational speaker in another life. A few years ago, he actually printed off all his favorite ones and gave it to me in a large binder.

My favorite quote would have to be, “Communication is not what you say, it’s what others hear.”

To disseminate a message, it takes a communicator and a receiver. The communicator, just like an artist, has an intention on what they’re trying to say but once they’ve given that to someone else, the meaning can change (and often does). This quote always reminds me to think about who’s listening and who I am trying to make a difference with.

I love this quote because it’s the root of my occupation — communicating a message to someone I’ve never met before and harnessing the power of communication, whether that be written word, spoken, or subconscious comes with a lot of responsibility.

What is the best way for people to follow you on social media?

https://www.instagram.com/clickspray/

www.facebook.com/clicksprays

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