Business insights from the cannabis industry
The cannabis industry is knowing that you are in a room full of people who love Mary Jane. You can talk about marijuana in a normal voice without the room getting quiet around you. It’s incredibly freeing to be recognized as a professional and strive for excellence while talking about marijuana and cultivation. It’s a field in which technical knowledge is still confined to a few because of its illegal past—most people have little basis from to distinguish a great product from snake oil, so a huge part of our company mission is to educate. Our company actively avoids stoner clichés like dark backgrounds, cartoonish or graffiti-like designs, or the pot leaf itself because it leads people to think of other stoner stereotypes like laziness and flakiness. In everything we do, we give the lie to those stereotypes by showcasing the best of what the cannabis industry can be. It was great to see other small businesses doing the same at the New England Cannabis Convention this past weekend in Portland, ME.
Everyone loves smoke breaks and it is a relaxing and intimate form of networking, often a chance to try a new strain or product. Different weed cultures from different places all come together. In Worcester, people tend to smoke straight weed. In other places shatter, hash and dabs are more prevalent. Some people like to be part of a huge circle, and it can be very cool to watch. Personally, I’d rather mingle in a smaller group.
The cannabis industry is realizing that Superman has to be Clark Kent most of the time. Many people use pseudonyms because of the continuing stigma. The youth of the industry is great, because it allows room for entrepreneurs and innovation. But sometimes, it can be a negative—when you’re trying to find insurance for your company, or when you go to categorize your business on a new social media site and there’s no grouping that’s truly relevant. Does “Garden and Patio” really fit, when most of the people going to that section are more interested in lawn mowers?
The cannabis industry hasn’t yet been conquered by corporates in the sense that it retains the cannabis culture which is one of sharing, taking time to be with others, looking out for one another and of course, loving the herb. Those in the industry who are not part of the culture stick out, and not in a good way. While I don’t want to wax too idealistic, I am optimistic that the cannabis industry can continue to be different from mainstream corporate America.