It’s become increasingly clear that rolling a joint is no longer limited to a lazy Sunday afternoon. Our favorite herb is already widely known and medically proven for its many medicinal, pain-relieving qualities.

Medical marijuana advocates and some research studies suggest that marijuana, or more specifically CBD, of the cannabinoid constituents of cannabis, can be effective in treating chronic pain, as well as conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder, epilepsy and the side effects of chemotherapy. It’s less addictive than many pharmaceuticals, with no risk of death from overdose.

As more states like New Jersey continue to expand their medical programs or consider legalization altogether, the use of medical marijuana continues to expand greatly.

Twenty-nine states, plus the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico, now allow marijuana for medical purposes. Of course, only a small sliver of the population in those states actually uses medical marijuana, anywhere from 0.01 percent to 3.2 percent, according to the Marijuana Policy Project. The number of users depends on the restrictiveness of a state’s program.

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By 2022, we’ll see close to 340,000 full-time jobs in the medical marijuana industry. As of now, the number stands at 125,000 to 160,000. This is an estimated 21 percent growth in a span of just 4 years.

People have started to become more open to the idea of marijuana as a medical drug. Back in 1997, only 62% were favor of this, but this year, surveys conducted have shown that it’s grown to nearly 83% in favor of the use of this drug in the field of medicine.

Looking Ahead – Medical Marijuana Trends

The legalization of medical marijuana in developing countries is expected to drive the demand for medical marijuana as an alternative to traditional medicines. It makes the medical marijuana industry more accessible for the new players with fragmented company profiles, the majority of them are situated in the U.S. and Canada.

The gradual lifting of prohibition for CBD, medical and adult-use products is overall good news for the industry as the regulatory shift can alleviate supply chains and compliance burdens for growers and distributors. However, legalization will still bring virtually the same level of legal oversight, if not more as the concerns over the cannabis industry’s effect on consumer segments remain. cannabis businesses in areas being opened to adult-use must contend with exposure to new audiences and compliance pain points that come with them – namely ensuring that product marketing and distribution does not affect minors.

Marijuana is fighting a battle, and it looks like we have a winner (good old Maryjane, of course!). If you plan on stepping into the medical marijuana industry, then this is the right time to do so.

 

Despite the impressive growth that the cannabis industry is seeing, cannabis entrepreneurs, face many challenges such as developing a business plan, building a team and acquiring customers just to name a few. Often, one of the most substantial challenges, however, is raising capital for their business.

On October 21st, professionals from Israel’s rapidly growing cannabis industry met at CannaImpact’s monthly meet up to discuss the many challenges and opportunities facing this sector. More specifically, the meetup focused on investments and fundraising in the cannabis industry, and what today’s cannabis entrepreneurs need to know.

The talks brought out 4 main cannabis industry guest speakers.

Laura Herschlag Co-Founder at  Yarok Medtech

Laura shared a talk titled, Follow the Money: Investments in the Israeli Cannabis Industry.

During her talk, Laura from Yarok Medtech shared an overview of the types of cannabis companies that have been funded, the size of raises, and investment over the past several years.

Saul Kaye, Founder and CEO, iCann

Saul shared insights on why it’s crucial to know your investors.

He also shared his thoughts on why having a great idea and why a pitch deck doesn’t close funding/. Additionally, he shared tips on how to position your company for investment.
iCAN is a globally recognized Israeli company focused on the medical cannabis industry

Kfir Kachlon, Investments Principal and Cannabis-Tech Lead at OurCrowd

Kfir shared a talk titled: Cannabis Investments: The Pot Of Gold?

During his talk Kfir gave a very detailed review of the current investments trends in the Cannabis space, globally and locally.
OurCrowd is an equity crowdfunding platform built for accredited investors to provide venture capital funding for early-stage startups.

Wrapping up the meetup from the entrepreneurial side was Keren Shechner, Co-founder and Biz Dev at Growee.

Keren introduced Growee to the audience, who’s unique value proposition is – Connecting growers to their Plants. She also shared her vision on how Growee’s technology will change the way growers grow their crops.

The response and feedback following our 3rd meetup were massive, so we’re kicking it into high gear by planning something BIG for our next ‘end of year’ meetup.

Here’s your opportunity to join our 400+ members where top industry leaders will share creative solutions to pressing challenges facing the rapidly growing cannabis sector.

Spaces will be very limited, so make sure you’re on the list. We’ll be announcing the full details very soon. Register Today – http://bit.ly/CannaImpactMeetup

Every company, from early-stage startup to well-funded businesses require marketing. But what do you do if the business in question is related to cannabis?

Cannabis has a social stigma attached to it, so much so that more than half the world’s countries still classify it as a  class B drug. With this being the case, most cannabis industry entrepreneurs are in a dicey situation.

Make no mistake. The U.S. cannabis industry is here to stay. It’s one of the nation’s fastest-growing industries. Over 50 percent of the states now allow for medical cannabis.  Nine states permit its use recreationally. Four more states are anticipated to allow for medical or recreational cannabis by the end of 2018.

To give your cannabis venture’s marketing plan a winning edge, we’ve put highlights that will help you navigate these treacherous waters.

ABIDE BY LOCAL LAWS

Always abide by the law. This should constantly be at the back of your mind, especially when dealing with something like cannabis. Make sure you set up your business only in a state that has made cannabis legal. Get yourself an attorney to guide you through any procedures that will be required. This holds good for both cannabis as a recreational drug as well as for its use as a medicinal drug. The last thing you need is a court case or lawsuit slashed over your company, or worse, the complete shutdown of it. Provide all the necessary legal documents. No one is above the law, there are no two ways about this.

There are people who love cannabis. It has changed their lives for the better, making them more creative and introspective. There are people who need cannabis. Like people who are suffering from depression or anxiety. And then there are people who must simply stay away from cannabis because they have no idea what they are dealing with. These include people like minors, who, according to law, need to steer clear of drugs. There are a lot of people out there who are raising concerns over the use of marijuana and addiction of the same among minors. Your marketing strategies have to be far from the reach of minors. You don’t want people questioning your ethics.

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UNDERSTANDING THE SOCIAL MEDIA LANDSCAPE

The digital marketing advertising landscape presents its own challenges – particularly when such advertisements cross states lines triggering federal laws. For example, the Controlled Substance Act specifically prohibits any advertisement that promotes the sale of a Schedule I substance, such as cannabis.  Therefore, in the eyes of the federal government, all cannabis advertising is illegal.

Each social media channel also has its own internal regulations as it relates to cannabis. Instagram, for example, prohibits any cannabis seller from promoting their business by providing contact information (phone numbers, street addresses, e-mail) or by using the “Contact Us” tab in Instagram Business Accounts. It does, however, allow cannabis advocacy content as long as it is not promoting the sale of the drug.  Conveniently, the policy does not prohibit the listing of one’s website which would – theoretically – allow you to drive customers directly to your website where all of your contact information is provided.

Facebook’s policies are also incredibly vague. Advertising for drug-related products falls under the prohibited Content (section four) of the guidelines that you can see here: https://www.facebook.com/policies/ads/

Ads may not directly or indirectly link to landing pages where people can purchase drug-related products. Your Ads must not promote the sale or use of illegal, prescription, or recreational drugs. Keep in mind that you always have the option to appeal a disapproval using this form.

Meanwhile, social media platforms like Weedmaps and MassRoots, which cater exclusively to marijuana enthusiasts, have emerged, ready to take the ad dollars that Facebook, Instagram, and others are so ready to give up.

BE DIFFERENT

Your business or startup needs to stick out like a sore thumb – but in a good way. The cannabis industry, in spite of the taboos that shroud it, is picking up at a fast rate. Why should your target audience or customers choose you over other marijuana companies?

What is so good, or so different about your brand? Make sure your marketing strategies stress on how you are the differentiator. Cannabis is looked down upon by people who don’t understand it. Maybe your company can change that mindset. Or maybe your company can be the one that has the best innovative cannabis products in the market. You need to find what it is that is unique to your company – your very own Unique Selling Proposition.

RESPECT COPYRIGHTS

You would not like it one bit if someone infringes on your copyrights. The same holds good for everyone else. Come up with your own ideas. Don’t steal the intellectual property of any other industry.

CONDUCT RESEARCH AND MARKET ANALYSIS

You need to know what you are dealing with and who you are dealing with. You should be aware of what the market looks like, on any given day, especially considering that things can change overnight. Knowing where you stand with respect to your competitors gives you an edge as you will focus on your pitfalls and work on them. I cannot stress enough on the importance of knowing who your target audience is. This is easily one of the fundamentals of marketing. Know who your target audience is, and hit the bull’s eye.

CAPTURE ATTENTION WITH A GREAT BRAND AND STORY

Big companies don’t need anything – their logos do all the talking. Make sure you settle for nothing but the best when you come up with a logo for your company. Your logo should speak volumes. Try to make it meaningful. A story behind a logo adds to the human aspect, making people respect and relate to your company.

Keep these marketing tactics in mind and kickstart your cannabis business.

The cannabis industry is growing rapidly, and competition is getting fierce. From a marketing standpoint, most cannabis consumers are not yet familiar with the selection of brands available especially with CBD products, which makes the process of defining and designing the packaging of cannabis-based products even more crucial.

This challenge, however, also creates a big opportunity for new brands to establish themselves in the rapidly changing market, by developing a branding strategy which attracts more attention, and potentially more customers.

In fact, packaging is one of the most important tools to make your brand stand out among others within the retail space. Gone are the days when you simply pack your product in a bag and deliver it to customers. Today, packaging needs to do a lot more than that to create repeat customers and brand loyalty.  

When there are so many products on the market you need to do something exceptional, and the way you package your products can be a game changer.

So, what is “good” Cannabis packaging and design packaging?
Let’s break it down into actionable insights you should be aware of.

CONVEY ALL PACKAGING INFORMATION

All cannabis products need to have specific, regulated information and local laws present on their packaging before they hit the market.

This includes:

  • Your brand’s name
  • Net weight
  • The type of product
  • Batch info (THC/CBD content, batch numbers, etc.)
  • Warning symbols

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STAND OUT FROM YOUR COMPETITORS

No matter which type of cannabis product you are sending in the market, (whether it has medical or recreational uses) you want it to stand out above your competitors.

Think about the successful products. What about their brand makes them stand out?

What to consider…

  • How do you want this container displayed?
  • Will it be on a shelf, or hang on a hook?
  • If it’s oddly shaped, will it be a pain for tenders to stock? If so, they may not want to push your product to avoid dealing with restocking it.

THE GREEN LEAF CLICHE

The pointy leaf by now has certainly become a cliché but that being said, it’s also an instantly recognizable icon; it’s the fastest way to make a product identifiable in stores.

While many brands continue to use the cannabis leaf in their logos and packaging designs, they are usually doing so with a twist. Logos may use a modern, stylized version of the leaf, different colors or they may combine it with other elements to modernize the design while still playing on this familiar theme.

COLOR SELECTION

White containers are practically designed for medical and healthcare fields, while shiny black packaging can lend an air of luxury. Browns, greens, and other earthy tones tend to be used to pack more natural, unrefined products, particularly in a matte finish and may appeal to consumers who tend to shop organic.

Any color selection can become an identity mark part of your brand if it is consistently used for your packaging and makes your products easily recognized on dispensary shelves.

PROVIDE A CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

Your ‘sales’ experience shouldn’t end once you’ve sold your product to a customer with your awesome packaging. Once they’re home, the unpacking of the product also creates an opportunity to take the experience to the next level.

What’s next?

Is the unboxing of your product living up to the experience you want them to have? Through packaging, you are providing an experience that makes your brand even more memorable.

Create packaging that provides a unique, interactive experience for your customers. If not, how will you go about expanding their experience and attract them to buy your products again in future?

REFLECT YOUR BRAND IDENTITY

One of the most important thing your packaging should display is your brand identity.

This means it needs to follow the same color scheme, use the same typography, and give off the same vibe that you try to market, in every avenue. Consistency is key when it comes to your brand, and your packaging should reflect that!

Through consistency in your packaging and design, you make your consumers a part of your brand community. They will always be attracted to your products when your products are easy to recognize.

 CONCLUSION

With a solid packaging and brand design strategy, you and your customers can both rest easy knowing that they’re walking out of the store with a quality product and that they will buy it again and again.