Questions with a Cannabis Industry Trailblazer
When did you first become involved in the cannabis industry and why?
I first became involved in the cannabis industry in 2015 because I was recovering from a severe head injury and at the time I began to learn more about CBD and its Neuro-protective properties which were very groundbreaking for me. As a result of this, I continued to explore cannabis and its potential benefits for me medicinally as well as identify a passion for cannabis and a desire to participate in the Canadian Cannabis space professionally.
What has been the biggest marketing challenge you have faced when working with cannabis companies/brands?
The biggest marketing challenge I have faced when working with cannabis companies/brands has been the restrictions put on advertising Legal Canadian Cannabis companies on social media platforms as well as the repetitive deletion of cannabis company’s profile pages on Instagram. Also, finding brands on social media has been challenging because their company name and their social name often vary quite a bit.
If you could change one of the current Canadian or American marketing restrictions on cannabis, which would it be?
If I could change one of the current Canadian marketing restrictions on cannabis, I would change this part, “by presenting it or any of its brand elements in a manner that associates it or the brand element with, or evokes a positive or negative emotion about or image of, a way of life such as one that includes glamour, recreation, excitement, vitality, risk or daring. [Subsection 17(1)].”
I think this really restricts cannabis in a variety of ways because cannabis as a product does go beyond simple recreational use, and it does have a variety of health and wellness aspects and those go hand in hand with lifestyle and a way of life. It is currently very handcuffed relative to the way we can communicate about it.
In your observation, what marketing techniques or channels have been most effective for cannabis companies looking to connect with consumers?
From my observation, I have noticed podcasts are a great way to connect with consumers by sharing your brand story and how you and your brand are here to help consumers and the Canadian Cannabis space. I also think being present on the main social media platforms: Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn is a must so consumers can find and connect with your brand.
Are there any other Trailblazers in the cannabis industry that you follow?
Yes, there are a few trailblazers I follow in the cannabis industry, those individuals are: Michele Parrotta from Mimi Cannabis, Jacqui Childs, Tamara from Canna Lilly Consulting, Chef Jordan Wagman, Berner from Cookies Enterprises in the US, and Arjan from the Strain Hunters.
What is one tip or piece of advice you would give to people looking to enter the cannabis industry?
The one tip I would give to marketers looking to enter the cannabis industry would be, the industry has just begun so you must be patient, learn to play within the current rules and embrace the fact that the industry will improve and become a more open space in the near future.
A big thank you to Pedro 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.