Blazed Cats: Commanding the Weed NFT Space and Supporting Mental Health

Blazed Cats is cute, but these kitties have claws—the claws of social justice. Check out what one of the creators had to say!
Blazed Cats
Artist: Gabe Weis x Andrew Hamm

Blazed Cats is ready to switch things up in the weed NFT space.

The weed NFT space mirrors that of the wider cultural phenomenon currently happening with the medium—innovation eventually gave way to people looking to make a buck, but through the haze surrounding weed-themed NFTs, we’re sure that the money Blazed Cats has raised to support mental health charities is a dope thing. 

We chatted with rug, a longtime cryptocurrency enthusiast with an affinity for lowercase letters; he serves as a member of the core team for the project. He was first exposed to the NFT scene via the wildly successful Crypto Punks and Crypto Kiddies, and the various cat themes already popping off at that moment. Right around the New Year, rug found himself going all-in on NFTs. In the process of that jump, he would be along for the ride when NFTs surged hard in late winter and early spring. 

Blazed Cats
Artist: Andrew Hamm

As for comparing that move into NFTs with his previous time in cryptocurrencies: 

“I mean the biggest difference for me is that barrier to entry because people were really still practicing the fundamentals of like trading in a market, but they don’t really understand it because there are cute cat JPEGs, that are at the forefront of it,” rug told High Times. “But regardless, there’s still a lot of things being traded and a lot of market activity. It’s really neat. For me, it’s neat because a lot of people will liken this to the traditional art space; this is more like an intro into how to trade assets and how to really understand the long term value of assets and that it could change over time.”

From rug’s perspective, it seems a lot less tech-savvy people are jumping into the NFT space than did the cryptocurrency right off the bat hoping to be along for home runs. He believes that’s exciting because regardless of the outcome the people taking part are in turn bringing people into crypto. 

“We’re still getting people interested in these concepts like blockchain immutability and so on and so forth,” rug said. “So, regardless of where the door is that people are coming in, it’s still good that we have attendance.”

After watching the space for a bit, rug had a couple of pivotal moments as he moved all his chips into the pot on NFTs. The first was when he quit a pretty plush marketing industry gig.

“I think that’s like the quintessential story, like you quit your job, you got to go do something. And we had a generative project that was called NFT Figs,” rug said.

NFT Figs was probably a little too early for the marketplace, but rug believes you’re seeing a lot of concepts from it gaining steam now. 

As rug and Blazed Cats’ other creators participated more in the space, they became deeply critical of the cut-and-paste cash grabs of the moment. While some were certainly trying to be on the cutting edge of digital art, plenty had more financial intentions. 

Blazed Cats
Artist: Sabet

Blazed Cats Give Back

Enter Stoner Cats, the NFT-funded show backed by Mila Kunis that’s been able to score a ton of A-List voice talent like Chris Rock and Seth MacFarlane. When Stoner Cats dropped, the community felt it may have been a bit of a cash grab.

“Blazed Cats is another response to a work the community was seeing as a celebrity cash grab,” rug said. “We saw a Twitter thread that said, somebody could do this overnight, and us as a team, we’ve never worked together on the project, but we were on a thread and decided fuck it, let’s see if that’s something we can do.”

They accomplished their goal in 16 hours and Blazed Cats has now done over a million dollars in transactions. The team earmarked 25 percent of the initial mint and 100 percent of future royalties to Mental Health America. So far, the donation is over a quarter-million dollars. From the numbers, it would seem charity took a roughly three times bigger cut than the team members did individually.

rug feels like in the process of accomplishing their mission and making a bunch of money for charity, they also used the moment to demand actual progress and innovation in the NFT space, 

“We are showing that if you could do something like this overnight, maybe we should kind of take a step back and demand at least some kind of innovation with these projects before we’re just like, ‘a potion with a random Discord name, you are now a millionaire.’ It’s a weird concept. I mean, I’m fully willing to make some money off of people’s willingness to do that, but at the same time, I want to make as much of an impact as I can, and I know the team behind this because I’m just one of five. We all share that same mentality.”

Blazed Cats
Artist: Andrew Hamm

One of the team members is just 13 years old, but most of the team didn’t even realize it at the beginning. He was just another person in the chat room, and then everything came out.

“It wasn’t any revelation; this is a person that’s relevant in a space; it’s just like, wow, he is working, to a degree I want, in the software development business. I hire and fire developers pretty much constantly, and he works better than most of the people that I have to hire or fire. His dad’s in communication with us on this and is completely aware, completely fine with the work that he’s doing and he’s going to do other projects in the space.” 

So, while weed NFTs are still a mystery to a lot of folks, the good work Blazed Cats is doing continues to make waves. 

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