Cannabis Trends To Watch In 2018

By Kathy T. Cooley

Enthusiasm for Cannabis has grown exponentially in recent years, from the legalization of it as a recreational drug in California and Maine to its potential for medicinal use. While medical research is scant on exactly what marijuana can do, the tides are set to change rapidly for the popular plant as the market warms up to its potential. The cannabis trends in 2017 may have included the creation of a variety of different products, from extracts to concentrates, and its decriminalization in New Hampshire, but what does the future hold for the newly booming industry?

According to a report from Arcview Market Research, the number of marijuana sales in North America grew to $6.7 billion in 2017, representing a 30% increase from the previous year. Amazingly enough, this growth is expected to continue since there’s more in store for cannabis in the coming year. With celebrity strains set to become more popular and the branding of CBD oil and cannabis as solutions for body ailments, the sky is the limit when it comes to the substance.

From trendy chocolates that contain CBD oil to more funding for the medical use of cannabis, here are some of the marijuana-related things you might see in 2018.

Increased Funding for Medicinal Research

lab beakers

Amy. Bio Lab. 2010. Flickr.com. Web. Nov 22. 2017. 

The Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Sativa plant varieties have been used for a number of years to help those undergoing chemotherapy deal with the treatment’s side effects. However, due to cannabis’s classification as a Schedule 1 drug, which can be prone to abuse, it’s been difficult for marijuana to be studied for its medical potential. Fortunately, as time goes on and the legality around the drug changes, so will our knowledge of its true medical potential. According to a report by Salar Media Group and Civilized, “The trend here is that cannabis is now being treated as a medicine with specific benefits and applications to specific diseases. This research will only continue to expand in the years ahead.” With medical marijuana in greater demand than the stuff used for recreational purposes, there’s too much possibility to be ignored.

The Branding of Cannabis 

Farmer Tom Honest Cannabis

Farmer Tom Honest Cannabis

Small batches have become popular for everything from craft beer to jam to coffee, but as cannabis continues to enjoy its more prominent reputation, there’s going to be a lot more market appeal for unique, sought-after strains. While there are sure to be some celebrity brands that appear in the coming years, big brands will likely stay away from the product until it has mass appeal, leaving the door open for marijuana-specific brands like Diego Pellicer, Toast and Recreator. While this economic boost will create a lot of expensive marijuana options that are unique in strain and luxurious in style, with so many producers there will still be options for every pocketbook. 

The Success in CBD Oil

Cannabidiol is the part of the cannabis plant that doesn’t cause the familiar effects associated with marijuana use; as a result, it’s often used in medical marijuana to treat pain or the symptoms associated with chemotherapy. Fortunately, with the ever-changing marijuana map and the bump in research of marijuana as medicine, the CBD oil industry is set to see a huge boost in profits over the next few years. Hemp Business Journal estimates a growth of $2.1 billion in sales by 2020, a figure that represents a 700% increase in sales from 2017. Not only that, consuming CBD oil in some of your favorite products will also be more common. Sakara Life, a Gwyneth Paltrow approved brand, is now producing delectable CBD chocolates, made with cacao butter, coconut sugar and CBD oil.

Marketing the Marijuana Seeds

image3

“thöR. seedz. 2010. Flickr.com. Web. Nov 22. 2017. 

While CBD oil is projected to make itself known on the marketplace in the short term, one can also make a bet that marijuana seeds will be showing up in a variety of other marketable products. Given the low concentration of THC (the compound that provides the familiar high) in marijuana seeds, they should be showing up in a few more corners of the world, from beauty products to well-known food items and CBD water. With the sales for a company like Medical Marijuana Inc. at approximately $8 million in 2016, a figure that has more than doubled from $3.4 million in 2013, the market is changing rapidly. With the falling prices of cannabis and marijuana seeds, this product is set to be more economical and readily available than ever before.

Delivery, Anyone?

Nurse Nancy on call 24/7

A Ring Brings Marijuana

Options for marijuana use may be more attainable than ever before with producers popping up all over the place, but alongside this newfound prominence you can also look forward to getting your pot like you would your pizza! The cannabis delivery company Eaze just recently received $27 million in funding to become a home delivery service that caters to all your cannabis needs. And not far behind them, other companies like Buddha Blossoms and Kind Courier are also following the potential for this up-and-coming delivery service. With Oregon and Alaska already set to allow the delivery of recreational marijuana, more states will likely follow suit in the coming year, with the delivery start-ups right behind them.

 

 

 

POTN Branding Unprecedented Exposure at Mayweather Fight

NEVADA: It was a night of historic firsts.  Last week’s Foyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor ‘Money Fight’ in Las Vegas between created unprecedented paydays for the two biggest fighters on the planet, and generated record-breaking gate and pay-per-view figures.  Viewership of the Showtime PPV event exceeded expectation, intermittently overwhelming transmissions in some locals. Collectively, nearly one in six Americans watched the fight, in addition to millions of viewers worldwide.

All those eyeballs presented an outstanding branding opportunity for POTN and Diamond CBD, who sponsored a couple of the contenders in fights leading up to the featured bout.

“In consideration of what is paid for a 30 second commercial spot, during a comparable sporting event, we believe that this is one of the most exciting opportunities for public exposure that Diamond CBD and POTN have ever experienced,” said Gary Blum, Chief Executive Officer. “We are proud to have been part of this event through these sponsorships. We enjoyed joining the millions of viewers during the event, and are pleased to have successfully executed this aspect of our marketing strategy.”

Tommy Chong To Launch Innovative Content On Cannabis Club TV

CALIFORNIA: Cannabis Club TV, which bills itself as the first Direct Out Of Home (DOOH) and Over the Top TV (OTTtv) portable broadcast network devoted to the cannabis industry — at retail, in your pocket and at home — has announced it has signed Tommy Chong to host a travel show, one of  twenty new channels with a variety of different shows from sports to cooking, that the network plans.

Chong’s show will follow a format reminiscent of popular outlaw chef Anthony Bourdain, and will showcase the best cannabis flower and concentrates from the world’s top growers — from Humbolt to Amsterdam to Nepal to Kentucky.

“I’m excited to announce that I’m developing a cannabis travel show, where I explore all the unique cannabis cultures this planet has to offer. I love to have a Cannabis Club TV channel playing while I’m carving and testing my handmade water pipes,” says Tommy Chong, cannabis pioneer.

Cannabis Club TV has retained Damanant to be their official agency of record.

WSLCB Issues Changes to Marijuana Advertising Laws

WASHINGTON: Effective July 23, 2017, marijuana licensees will see changes and additional advertising restrictions, mainly around signage and billboards. These changes come from the passage of ESSB 5131 during the legislative session. The LCB will follow with additional communication regarding potential clarifying rulemaking, however, we wanted to make licensees aware so that they can comply with the law changes.

The information below summarizes some key points. For the full text of the law, which contains additional restrictions, see Laws of 2017, Chapter 317 (ESSB 5131, Sec. 14).

Business Signs and Outdoor Advertising

  • Licensees are limited to two signs (maximum 1600 sq. inches) that are permanently affixed to a building or other structure on the licensed premises.
  • Other forms of signage/outdoor advertising are prohibited, such as sign spinners, sandwich boards, inflatables, persons in costume, etc.
  • Signs are limited to the following information:

o   Business or tradename,

o   Business location, and

o   Identifying the nature of the business.

  • Signs must contain text stating that marijuana products may be purchased or possessed only by persons 21 years of age or older.
  • Signs cannot contain depictions of plants or products (ex: leaf = plant, joint = product), or use movie or cartoon characters, or any other depiction that might be appealing to children.
  • Signs may contain:

o   Images – Will be further clarified in rule, but images cannot be plants, products, appealing to children, etc.

o   Logos – Logos may not contain plants, products, or be appealing to children, etc.

Billboards
Licensed retail outlets may use a billboard solely for the purpose of identifying the name of the business, the nature of the business, and providing the public with directional information to the licensed retail outlet.

  • Billboards are limited to the same restrictions as outdoor signs (listed above):

o   Billboards must contain text stating that marijuana products may be purchased or possessed only by persons 21 years of age or older.

o   Billboards cannot contain depictions of plants or products (ex: leaf = plant, joint = product), or use movie or cartoon characters, or any other depiction that might be appealing to children.

o   Billboards may contain:

  • Images – Will be further clarified in rule, but images cannot be plants, products, appealing to children, etc.
  • Logos – Logos may not contain plants, products, or be appealing to children, etc.
  • Billboards must contain all of the warnings required for advertising under WAC 314-55-155.

Other Advertising Restrictions

  • Transit advertising is prohibited on or in public or private vehicles and at bus stops, taxi stands, transportation waiting areas, train stations, airports, etc. This includes vinyl wrapped vehicles, logoed delivery vehicles/company cars.
  • All print advertising must contain text that marijuana products may be purchased or possessed only by persons 21 years of age or older.
  • Licensees are prohibited from engaging in advertising that specifically targets persons outside the state of Washington.

Local Authorities
A city, town, or county may adopt rules of outdoor advertising by licensed marijuana retailers that are more restrictive than the advertising restrictions imposed under this chapter. Enforcement of restrictions to advertising is the responsibility of the city, town, or county.

 

The Wink In Weed: Woodstock Nation Goes to Pot

By David Rheins

It’s early for a Saturday in Seattle, but I’m German and so I am the first to arrive. Entering the swanky lobby of the downtown boutique hotel, the vibe is New York City chic, appropriate enough for my introduction to New Yorker Michael Lang – the once and still cherubic face behind Woodstock.

Michael is making the rounds of the cannabis business community, looking for partners for Woodstock-branded weed, and a mutual friend has arranged for us to have coffee.  It is our first meeting, and I’m happy to speak with a generational icon.  What I notice first is his smile – still boyish despite 72 years as a celebrity rock promoter – followed quickly by his still impressive head of hair.  I am reminded of the famous photos, Lang on stage, or riding his BSA Victor motorcycle.

Michael on his BSA

While I’m too young to have partied in the mud at Max Yasgur’s farm in upstate New York, the album, the Warner Brothers concert film, and the iconic photographs of the event were deeply influential to me growing up, and I tell him so.  There is no brand that resonates more solidly with baby boomers than Woodstock.

Unlike the appeal of Snoop Dogg, Willie Nelson and Tommy Chong – the Holy Trinity of stoner celebrity cannabis brands –Woodstock’s cache transcends mere pot celebrity. Not just an historical festival featuring all the hippie heavyweights, Woodstock was the first gathering of the rainbow nation. An “Aquarian Exposition,” a happening, and a coming-out party for America’s disenfranchised long hairs, who came together from all corners of the country to let their freak flags fly during 3 days of peace, music & pot smoke.

Woodstock branded weed is a no brainer – it is hard to imagine a brand with a more canna-friendly image, and initial consumer demand is likely to be high, particularly with the hoopla surrounding the planned 50th anniversary concert in 2019.

I was part of the 1994 Woodstock II celebration.  Spin magazine, where I served as associate publisher, was media sponsor, and we rented a large house next to the festival grounds.  We used our sponsorship as an occasion to demonstrate to our advertising partners the power of music and youth culture.  Woodstock was nostalgic even in 1994, and its mystique had less to do with the music of Jimi Hendrix and Country Joe than it did with the power of community. That experience transcends generations.  The masses of Generation X celebrants, covered in mud, crowd surfing and smoking pot to Metallica we felt the same spirit of tribal communion as the 1969 crowd did, and the photographs of both are almost indistinguishable.

woodstock1994

The Woodstock Nation is now in its 70s, and the quaint marijuana of the 1960s has grown up into a sophisticated consumer marketplace. Today’s cannabis comes in all shapes and sizes, flavors and forms.  Competing with a super market full of canna brands for shelf space and consumer mind share won’t be easy – even for an iconic brand.

Woodstock will likely feature old school strains, and Lang is leaning toward classic 60s strains like Panama Red and Acapulco Gold.  His task now is to find local farmers in each market whose product can live up to expectations for such a legendary brand. To succeed he must create consistent experience worthy of such a pedigreed name, a challenge made more difficult as each state will have its own growers, who’ll operate under unique rules and standards.

Uneven production can quickly diminish the value of an entire franchise.  Other licensees have seen that when you rely on third party producers, product quality and potency can be inconsistent from crop to crop, batch to batch, and certainly state to state.

Now more than ever, the key to success for cannabis producers and processors lies in brand differentiation, a topic I’ll be discussing at CannaCon on Friday, February 17th at 10am. We’ll be examining Marijuana Marketing, and how pot culture is quickly becoming pop culture.