Marijuana Business Magazine August 2019

Marijuana Business Magazine | August 2019 6 From the CEO | Cassandra Farrington O n one of my recent non-cannabis industry wanderings, I was asked: Is there really going to be a role for small growers to fill as legalization takes hold across the country and around the world? My answer was an immediate and definitive “yes.” Why? Because of craft cannabis. This area of the industry is one for which, thankfully and for once in our history, we are not cutting a brand- new trail. The farm-to-table movement has been underway for many years now. The beer and spirits industries have celebrated a craft segment for decades. These concepts are already established and understood throughout the consumer value chain. The terms do not need to be explained to a mass market of consumers; rather, consumers prioritize and seek out craft products in their purchasing decisions. And, perhaps most importantly, buyers are willing to pay for them. From flower to infused products to retail experiences, craft brands can command a premium price. Yet, tapping into that premium price segment is not as easy as simply claiming to be unique. Consumers— particularly the typical craft cannabis consumer who generally purchases through legal channels seeking a wider variety of safe, tested and quality-controlled products—will quickly see through hype and make their own determinations about the quality and suitability of a product for their own personal wants and needs. Because that’s what craft is all about: matching an exclusive, curated experience to a niche consumer audience. It’s far different from a mass-market play, and it requires an entirely different business savvy to pull off. This issue of Marijuana Business Magazine explores the whats, whys and hows of that required business acumen. Read on to discover best practices in branding and marketing, lessons learned from the wine industry regarding varietal differences by appellation, selecting specialty ingredients for infused products, and more. The craft path has been paved for us. It’s up to us to apply these lessons wisely to create outstanding, curated consumer experiences from flower to infused products to retail. Enjoy the issue! Give Specialty Consumers What They Want Cassandra Farrington Co-Founder & CEO, MJBizDaily