Before the internet, people spoke to each other. I don’t do that much anymore except on the potcast or the internet. For the most part, my day is my commute to and from work, the work itself that pays the bills, household work, video games, and drinking, sprinkle in writing when I can.
I am not a marketing expert, but I did take a class in the Navy, and before that, I worked in retail. Cannabis is a business of culture that will eventually happen in every state of America; it’s only a matter of time.
Each state has its own underground culture with its heroes and villains. Some are nationally known to rock the microphone, others not, but are just as important if not more so because cannabis culture of the past included a secret handshake.
Once you figure out the groups of people willing to stand against the archaic law, you have to figure out who in that group is the respected, the influencer. What horse to put your dollar on for whatever impact you’re trying to make.
Besides using trusted voices, are you making the most of an online presence? You are your own best advocate; This is true when it comes to court and business.
The great thing about legalization light is that people are no longer meeting in back alleys or having to hang out in a stranger’s apartment. Instead, we meet openly in convention centers or event spaces, trading cannabis experience and products while consuming close at an undisclosed location. I had the luxury of attending one such event, lights at the end of the dark tunnel known as prohibition.
The Marijuana Venture Interchange is a yearly event held by Marijuana Venture Magazine in Renton, Wa., a chance to mingle and promote your farm, store, and ancillary businesses. The peer to peer format in person is a priceless one and a win-win for attendees and sponsors.
How to outreach?
Companies who directly deal with the plant face the most bias. As social media page takedowns come in waves, a cannabis company doesn’t have the same advantages as other products. There are specialty media companies out there that will put your product in front of different eyes, as well as cannabis-based websites like CLN, where there will be no takedowns.
Besides social media, where else should one look? I know for a fact many cannabis companies are going through PornHub with stellar results and some choose to have a cheap Googleable presence like a Yelp account, if you’re in a legal state, you can have a Yelp account.
Metrics and Food For Thought
What are useful cannabis analytics? I can’t give you all the answers here, but I can give you some food for thought. Who are the consumers? They are young, old, black, white, brown, it’s not color nor nationality, it’s a cannaseur. Someone who smokes for wellness, whether that’s battling a disease or a case of the Mondays, cannabis use is about wellness.
Cannabis consumers are your average human who seeks quality and knows that’ll cost extra, so most of the time is willing to accept quality mids at a reasonable price. The plant sells itself, you don’t need flashy packaging, but it doesn’t hurt to have a logo and a social media presence or blog. This helps you interact with the customer and get your company’s message out at the same time.
A consumer is going for a desired result from past experiences, if each time I use your product and get a positive experience, I will now forever associate that logo with the good vibes I had.
Cannabis is a consumable, so holiday metrics will always see a spike in sales of the product like alcohol. I use this as a reference because if you’re familiar with trends, this one is easy to follow.
Lastly, there’s the culture and the history of the culture. Lives are still being ruin in prohibition, and non-prohibition states, Americans are still being detained, incarcerated, children taken, fired from jobs, all due to years of propaganda and lousy legislation. Citizens remain ignorant on cannabis as they did race due to misinformation provided by their Government.
Cannabis prohibition is a continuing conspiracy theory, a law that has no legal basis and has ruined more lives than saved. I bring all this up because prohibition remains a blemish on American history and Justice. I mention the blemish because some in the industry don’t champion for those that came before them or the fundamental liberty that legalization brings, and this is how you can stand out.
Not only be a part of your local community with food drives and other community charities but also the cannabis community. Become a member of NORML, write a letter to someone incarcerated, do something above the rest, and encourage others.
I can go on for days on how to reach people or shape your product for the greater good, so instead, I will leave you with critiques of some cannabis brands I’ve had experience with.
Do’s and Don’ts, and It Can Get Better
Mad Mark, this is one brand that lured me in with the label. When I502 became the law of the land in Washington, marijuana was still tabooish. Mad Mark embraced the Mr. Yuck logo, making it clear that this isn’t for kids. I’m even more pleased to say. This weed is fire.
If one comes with the name Top Shelf, they better be pretty good, and to their credit, I haven’t smoked one bad batch. The niche branding here is not only do they provide that Top Shelf cannabis, but the glass it comes in can double as a shot glass. The whole brand is a double entendre with good weed.
I never saw this brilliant business base coming with quality cannabis in mind. I had the honor of being one of the first to help promote Legit Prerolls. We did a photoshoot and live-streamed as I smoked and critiqued this bomb ass infused preroll. The company started as an infused preroll company only. All contents are from their farms in Southern Washington.
The Silver series consists of flower and bubble hash; the Gold series adds shatter for the ride. All made from the same farm. It’s been over a year since the photoshoot, and original article, but Legit prerolls are still my go-to, as an asthmatic this says a lot.
Washington Bud Co. has excellent weed. They are pesticide-free and well taken care of, with all that said they had shitty prerolls and by shitty I mean way to small and tight. I shared my concerns with Shawn DeNae, and she considered them and changed the rolls, now you can experience this quality cannabis without having to suck the chrome off a muffler.
Liberty Reach PreRolls, not all cannabis is created equal. I’m not sure of the farm associated with them, but they are the lower cost prerolls on the market and you par for what you get. I don’t write this lightly, I tried their product twice, and both times my lungs and eyes burned from bad smoke.
Freddy’s Fuego, the name rolls off your tongue and should be something I embrace with a name like Fuego, but instead, I think it’s malo. One thing that turns me off from this brand is their mascot. I think they were trying to go for some sort of pirate but instead ended up looking like a racist bandito caricature. Besides the bad taste of imagery, the weed isn’t that fire.
Celebrity Brands in Washington
One of the predominant names here in Washington is Willie’s Reserve. I’ve seen occasional collabs with artists like Stick Figure and Green Barn Farms, but there is no consistent celebrity brand here except for Willie’s Reserve.
Green Barn Farms has excellent practices, so it must have been a no brainer for Stick Figure to partner with them. Willies Reserves partners with multiple Farms, but so far, their quality assurance process has teamed them up with good farms.
In the end, you’re consuming the efforts of farmers, not celebrities. Good luck with building your empire.