This week’s Trailblazer is Elizabeth Becker, CEO of HiBnb. HiBnb is different than any other marketplace. They list accommodations and experiences in different communities that allow (and encourage) Guests to Get Hi, Play Hi, and Stay Hi.

Questions with a Cannabis Industry Trailblazer

When did you first become involved in the cannabis industry and why?

When it became clear that cannabis would be legalized in Canada, I immediately knew I wanted in. I started getting involved in late 2017 / early 2018. At that time I was working in payment processing and I saw a great opportunity to develop relationships with the dispensaries to help them transition to the legal market. No one realized at that time that the transition for them wouldn’t be that easy.

What has been the biggest marketing challenge you have faced when working with cannabis companies/brands?

Not being able to market or promote to the general public is difficult because there aren’t many opportunities where you know an audience is age gated. It’s also very challenging to deal with Facebook and Instagram because although cannabis is legal in Canada, it’s not the same in the US and Facebook is an American company.

If you could change one of the current Canadian or American marketing restrictions on cannabis, which would it be?

I wish I could send every single HiBnb Host a welcome basket that included a sample of all of the products from our advertising partners. Companies are able to send a bottle of wine easy enough – why can’t we send cannabis?

In your observation, what marketing techniques or channels have been most effective for cannabis companies looking to connect with consumers?

Having a winning product with imagery and branding that is uniform across multiple channels stands out from the rest. I also find that some brands are more accessible than others – they respond to emails and phone calls, and are more engaged with the community rather than hiding in the corporate space. Shelter Cannabis, for example, are everywhere. They are a friendly brand and because of that, word of mouth and support for them is strong.

Are there any other Trailblazers in the cannabis industry that you follow?

I am a fan of Darren Bondar and the Spiritleaf stores.

What is one tip or piece of advice you would give to people looking to enter the cannabis industry?

I’ve got my head so far into the development of HiBnb, I’m not looking too much at what other people are doing. But one tip I’d offer is to make sure you touch down in the real world with events, branded merchandise giveaways, supporting grass roots communities and are accessible to the general public. This creates word of mouth and resonates with people. Existing on print and in the digital space alone creates a gap between you and the consumer.

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Cannabis Marketing Trailblazers

A big thank you to Elizabeth for participating as this week’s Trailblazer! Stay tuned for another interview with a cannabis marketing Trailblazer next Thursday in the ADCANN blog.

Interested in working with one of these talented cannabis marketers? Check out our Agency Directory for a list of all the agencies that specialize in working with cannabis companies.

Last Updated on October 14, 2021 by ADCANN

Spencer Tropea

Spencer Tropea

Spencer Tropea is a seasoned creative and certified cannabis sommelier with 15 years of experience in PR, design, and photography. He's worked with several prominent cannabis brands across North America, using his unique skills to craft engaging narratives that breathe life into the industry and the passionate people invloved.