My new column is live in The Drum:
Cannabis has come a long way since I fell asleep watching basketball at an early 2000s college party after going one toke over the line. It is becoming big business.
In the US, cannabis is illegal under federal law but states and cities are increasingly legalising it. In Canada, the plant is now legal but regulated. In the UK, it is illegal to use, possess, grow, distribute or sell, but medicinal use under strict regulations was legalised last year.
Cannabis products range from the plant itself to infused food and beverages to cannabidiol (CBD oil) that contains no THC and does not get the user ‘high’. For this column, I interviewed sellers and promoters on the best marketing practices in the industry for the 4 Ps.
The marketing strategy for cannabis
Approved cannabis programmes have a licensed and regulated cultivation, production and dispensement system. Users sell or donate a plant to an official facility that will cultivate more. Producers then manufacture products. Official dispensers sell them. Cultivators, producers and distributors must each have licenses similarly to what bars and pubs need to sell alcohol.
But that is where the similarity ends.