When did you first become involved in the cannabis industry and why?
I discovered CBD as a therapeutic alternative to SSRIs when managing various symptoms of anxiety and insomnia. It really changed how I felt and responded to life’s challenges. This inspired me to dive deeper into the industry, meet the people behind the plant, and pay it forward with my own expertise in media.
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced when working with cannabis companies/brands?
Teetering the line between creativity and playing nice with the regulations; the most creative ideas were often the hardest to make a reality.
If you could change one of the current Canadian or American marketing restrictions on cannabis, which would it be?
Cannabis and Alcohol should be on a level playing field when it comes to marketing. In general, anything age-gated and governed by a regulatory body, should follow consistent rules. I don’t understand why alcohol can be marketed the way it is allowed, and cannabis cannot.
In your observation, what marketing techniques or channels have been most effective for cannabis companies looking to connect with consumers?
Direct to consumer engagement; personifying a brand. Understanding a core demographic and getting in front of them. Stop being a jack of all trades, master of none. Also, you know, becoming a Lift&Co. partner and networking!
Are there any other Trailblazers in the cannabis industry that you follow?
D. Darryl Hudson (for what he has done on the science side of how we understand the plant). Trina Fraser, for her efforts in pushing new regulations. Matt Mernagh for being him. Abi Roach for championing retail and consumption in Toronto for two decades.
What is one tip or piece of advice you would give to marketers looking to enter the cannabis industry?
Don’t overthink it; but also, be sincere. People don’t want to be “sold” to; they want to feel a connection. Build a brand that is unapologetically itself and watch as consumers resonate towards a mission and purpose versus a cheesy overpriced logo.
A big thank you to Corey from Lift for participating as this week’s Trailblazer! Stay tuned for another interview with a cannabis marketing Trailblazer next Thursday in the ADCANN blog.