When did you first become involved in the cannabis industry and why?
Although I started consuming cannabis when I was 25 as a way to unwind following 16-hour shifts in the hospitality industry, I didn’t enter the industry until ten years later, in 2017. I was working with the New Brunswick Liquor Corporation and was asked to join the project team to help design what legal cannabis was going to look like in New Brunswick. My team got to oversee branding, store design and more, and it was one of the pinnacle projects of my career to date.
I was fortunate to travel to Denver, Colorado and California as part of this team to research how cannabis was rolled out recreationally, and my perspective was changed forever.
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced when working with cannabis companies/brands?
The biggest challenge for me was trying to showcase internally to our founders that this isn’t a “build it and they will come” type of scenario like so many producers thought. We, like many companies have had to eat humble pie and realize that we have to do a lot more than simply put a good product out there to survive, let alone thrive. Egos are always one of the biggest roadblocks on the path to success.
If you could change one of the current Canadian or American marketing restrictions on cannabis, which would it be?
This plant has so many proven benefits – so being able to market the product based on those benefits would be a gamechanger instead of using “features”. We compete for disposable income with industries like beverage alcohol and gambling that have no benefits, yet they are able to sell them as if they had them.
In your observation, what marketing techniques or channels have been most effective for cannabis companies looking to connect with consumers?
Transparency and an unwavering commitment to quality have been amazing for small, craft companies like us. I love what I am seeing in larger, urban centres with more consumer-focused/sampling/education type of events.
Are there any other trailblazers in the cannabis industry that you follow?
We are here because of those that came before us, but if we don’t do all we can to keep that spirit alive while creating a sustainable industry, than we’ve failed, regardless of what anyone says.
What is one tip or piece of advice you would give to marketers looking to enter the cannabis industry?
Big data is great, but if you can find a way to put a face on some of those mountains of information with anecdotal feedback/information, it’ll help you a lot in the long run when it comes to knowing your customer/consumer.
Last Updated on November 13, 2023 by ADCANN