Thanks to an upward trend toward de-stigmatizing cannabis, the print industry is starting to get high on ROI, while cannabis companies get hooked on print.
As legalization grows, however, strict restrictions around social and traditional media are forcing brands to re-think how they market cannabis-related companies and products. With business ripe for the picking, confusion around these stringent advertising and promotion guidelines—as well as other stigmas associated with cannabis—has caused many printers to quickly shut the door on their chance to grab a share of this market.
Whether you currently have the capacity to serve this industry, are considering investing in the equipment or resources to do so, or are looking at partnering with companies who already have the capacity, the Cannabis industry is an opportunity for print and marketing providers to maintain growth during this period of stagnation.
Mainstream media has adapted to the various state, federal and provincial guidelines through age-gated cannabis websites, publications, magazines and newsletters. The rise of legal marijuana sweeping North America, along with growing demand for cannabis industry news and insights, has given magazine publishers a super-charged jolt.
According to the NCIA, growing mainstream acceptance of cannabis is attracting users from all different walks of life—the elderly, soccer moms, even Hollywood and athletic elites. Everyone wants in on the action. With new cannabis-focused media outlets popping up daily, smart businesses are becoming expert story-tellers—getting coverage and brand exposure through by-lined articles, interviews, news segments and event coverage—in both industry and mainstream publications. Cannabis buyers are hungry for premium channels and mediums for their content, and savvy printers are feeding them what they crave through printed magazines.
The cannabis media space is slowly starting to consolidate. High Times, a pioneer in the cannabis publishing market, has been making moves to acquire other successful cannabis media outlets like Green Rush Daily, Dope Magazine and Culture Magazine. As the industry becomes more sophisticated and saturated, Forbes expects to see investment dollars to start pouring into cannabis media.
Packaging and Partnership
The requirements for different license types, packaging and labelling requirements for cannabis products can and will change—with almost no grace period for compliance—overnight. For example, regulations between agencies in California allow manufacturers to package and label cannabis products like vape cartridges or edibles, while distributors can package and label cannabis flower without an additional license. Retailers are not permitted to do any labelling at all.
Print and marketing solutions providers who want to capture their share of this valuable market must empower themselves by keeping up-to-date. If you’re in the U.S., read and understand the state legislation of the geographies you serve. The NCIA has all the policies listed state by state on their website. If you’re Canadian, read and understand The Cannabis Act – Bill C-45.
Armed with the dos and don’ts of the legislation, shine a light on your value as a trusted partner by providing direction and guidance. Now more than ever, buyers tasked with promoting their brand could use a helping hand from their print and marketing partner. As print professionals and advisors, appreciate that clients have their own comfort level and offer solutions that give them peace of mind—while aligning to their objectives. Show them what’s possible—and help them avoid decisions that could hurt them in the long run.
By simplifying the process, you can spend more time developing new branding and campaign strategies together—and less time focused on bleeds and traps. How-to guides like tips to ensure your artwork comes out the way it should, converting RGB into CMYK, how to properly prep files for print, etc. will go a long way toward helping your new cannabis customers become hooked on print—while your business gets high on ROI.
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