Cannabis Comes Closer To Circle K

Cannabis Comes Closer To Circle K

Original Article: Green Market Report: Cannabis Comes Closer To Circle K

[Canniseur: If 7-11 wants to be anti-cannabis because of some cultural craziness they might have, we’ll have to take our business to Circle K, which to my knowledge is mostly an east coast chain in the U.S., although I’ve seen some popping up in the midwest. There’s even one in Ann Arbor now! 7-11 probably needs to go if they can’t understand that their whole anti-cannabis policy is racist.]

The relationship between Fire & Flower Inc.  (OTCQX: FFLWF) and its strategic investor Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. (OTC: ANCUF) had signaled that someday the convenience store chain Circle K would get involved with cannabis. It seems the day is getting closer as Fire & Flower announced the openings of its first two cannabis retail stores adjacent to Circle K locations in the province of Alberta.

Fire & Flower’s plan is that it will gain from the high traffic at these Circle K locations that will be convenient for cannabis customers. The company said it believes it will maximize the benefit of the Spark Perks program and Spark Fastlane online ordering services at conveniently located stores.

“As we continue to build our relationship with Alimentation Couche-Tard, Fire & Flower is very pleased to be embarking on this initiative together,” shared Trevor Fencott, Chief Executive Officer of Fire & Flower. “We believe that combining convenient pickup locations with digital engagement offered by the Hifyre platform and Spark Perks program presents our customers with a differentiated value proposition in an increasingly competitive cannabis retail market. This approach to innovation in omnichannel and convenience-oriented cannabis retail differentiates Fire & Flower and positions us well to capitalize on both domestic and international opportunities.”

The company said the two stores in Calgary and Grande Prairie are expected to be the first of additional opportunities to co-locate cannabis retail stores in the future. The statement said that the co-located stores will be owned and operated by Fire & Flower and are separate from the adjacent Circle K in accordance with all applicable regulations. Alimentation Couche-Tarde said it has set its sights on the global expansion as new cannabis markets emerge.

In August 2019, Fire & Flower closed a strategic investment by Alimentation Couche-Tard. The company noted in its filing statement that this transaction allowed for Couche-Tard to obtain a controlling interest and provides more than $380 million of growth capital for global expansion. It provided significant, new possible commercialization and leadership opportunities for Fire & Flower’s proprietary Hifyre digital platform and access to Couche-Tard’s leadership team.

Convenience Stores

It has been argued that if cannabis is rescheduled and treated like alcohol or tobacco, cannabis products could end up in convenience stores. Products for adults over 21 like alcohol and tobacco are already sold in the convenience store model, so adding cannabis to the mix isn’t a stretch as long as the product is fully legal. A few cannabis companies had already begun to establish such relationships, if mostly behind closed doors.

The cannabis industry doesn’t want to discuss such an outcome as it would destroy the need for dispensaries. Plus, convenience stores typically only carry products from a small group of very connected consumer package goods companies. A look at the beer offerings demonstrates that only a handful of choices are offered. These beers, not necessarily considered the best the industry has to offer, are sold at high volumes.

This is the fear for many in the cannabis industry. The convenience stores may only carry a few big-name brands, that may not be the best cannabis, but is scalable cannabis. The winners of all this volume business will only be the ones picked by the convenience store chain. Cannabis brands will have to decide if they want to be a craft business or a volume business like Budweisers.

 

 

 

 

The post Cannabis Comes Closer To Circle K appeared first on Green Market Report.

Original Article: Green Market Report: Cannabis Comes Closer To Circle K

Recreational Cannabis Sales by Month in 2020 vs 2019

Recreational Cannabis Sales by Month in 2020 vs 2019

Original Post: Only 420: Recreational Cannabis Sales by Month in 2020 vs 2019

[Canniseur: Something is wrong with the numbers here. It’s subtle, but there are some issues between states. As an example, The population of Colorado is around 5.75 million people. The population of Oregon is 4.2 million people. That’s about a 25% difference. When you look at sales between the two states, the difference is less than 10%. Given that most populations consume cannabis at about the same rate, there’s a big gap between Oregon and Colorado sales. And Oregon is reputedly the least expensive state to buy cannabis. So what gives? The only answer that comes readily to mind? The black market. It’s going to be interesting to watch this develop.]

Original Post: Only 420: Recreational Cannabis Sales by Month in 2020 vs 2019

7-Eleven Is Waging War on Medical Cannabis Businesses in Oklahoma

7-Eleven Is Waging War on Medical Cannabis Businesses in Oklahoma

Original Post: Merry Jane: 7-Eleven Is Waging War on Medical Cannabis Businesses in Oklahoma

[Canniseur: Japanese-owned (Texas-based) 7-11 has canceled leases for all Cannabis dispensaries in Oklahoma, with very little notice. The corporation is anti-cannabis and harshly pulled the plug for these small businesses. It’s the abrupt canceling of leases and lying about it that’s rankling. If it’s not time to boycott 7-11, it’s certainly time to raise awareness of their anti-cannabis actions.]

Several medical cannabis businesses are being forced to look for new homes after 7-Eleven Incorporated bought the buildings they rented and refused to renew their leases.

This past January, 7-Eleven Inc., the Dallas-based convenience store giant, bought out Oklahoma’s local 7-Eleven franchise and took ownership of several buildings in Oklahoma City. At the time of the sale, the company’s property manager sent an email to all of the buildings’ tenants explaining that the takeover would not change anything regarding their lease assignments.

Many of the tenants’ leases, including several medical marijuana dispensaries, processors, and grow facilities, were set to expire on July 1 of this year. Based on the previous email, the tenants expected their leases to automatically renew. But on June 16, each cannabis business renting these properties was notified by phone that their leases would not be extended.

Effectively, the company’s decision is forcing these businesses to find a new home within the next two to six weeks — during a global pandemic. The decision affects several medical marijuana dispensaries, including Nurses Station and Gayle’s Dispensary, as well as cannabis processing and cultivation companies including JKJ Processing Inc.

“I couldn’t believe it, to be honest,” said John Koumbis, owner of JKJ Processing, to The Oklahoma Chronic. “It’s utterly ridiculous of them to shove that onto us at this kind of short notice, and the worst part is, there are several hundreds of us that are going to be impacted by this. The space we occupy was empty for 13 years before we leased it from them, and I’m not sure what they’re thinking with this, honestly.”

Koumbis asked the property manager why the company had made this abrupt decision, and was told that 7-Eleven is refusing to work with any cannabis business. “They don’t believe in it, and they’re not renewing any leases going forward with anyone who’s in the marijuana business and leases from 7-Eleven,” he explained.

Other medical marijuana business owners received similar answers from the property manager. Starla Norwood, owner of Nurses Station — a dispensary that primarily serves patients age 50 and older — told local news outlet KFOR that 7-Eleven considers state-legal pot businesses to be engaged in “criminal activity and money laundering,” despite the fact that “there are 300,000 Oklahomans with medical cards.”

Christian Oliver, owner of Gayle’s Dispensary, told KFOR that “there wasn’t any kind of written notice, there wasn’t any kind of attempt at dialogue. There wasn’t any kind of approach to investigate it. It was just like no get out… The new owner does not want to lease to the cannabis industry. It’s a company out of Texas so I have until July 31 to vacate the premises.”

During his call with the property manager, Koumbis discovered that the company actually hid its plans from these businesses. According to the manager, corporate executives decided to kick cannabis businesses out in January, but did not notify them of this decision until two weeks before their leases expire.

Koumbis told the Chronic that the company’s decision was especially abhorrent given the fact that the building his business rented “sat empty for over twelve years before we leased it… It took a lot of time and money just to get it up to code, and so many other mom and pop shops are in the same boat. They’ve sunk their life savings into these places, and they’re just getting pushed out now.”

Although Oklahoma is already in the midst of re-opening businesses after the COVID-19 quarantine, these businesses are struggling to find new homes with such short notice. “We’re trying to look for a new place but it’s difficult. It’s not an easy thing to do,” said Norwood to KFOR. Many places will refuse to rent to a weed business, and “the ones that are available want really high rent… It is devastating. This is just heartbreaking for my entire family.”

Despite these setbacks, Oklahoma actually boasts one of the most progressive and robust medicinal cannabis industries in the entire US. The program, which was approved by voters in 2018, allows doctors to prescribe pot for nearly any condition, and the program has been growing by leaps and bounds ever since. In April, the state sold $73 million worth of medical pot, a record figure even exceeding the monthly sales of some adult-use states.

Original Post: Merry Jane: 7-Eleven Is Waging War on Medical Cannabis Businesses in Oklahoma

Why Employee Training is Your Key to Financial Success

Why Employee Training is Your Key to Financial Success

Original Post: Cannabis Industry: Why Employee Training is Your Key to Financial Success

[Canniseur: Training is key in every industry. Why should cannabis be any different? I worked the corporate training industry for about 20 years and saw first-hand how companies got back 10-20 times their investment, including employee time. If you own a cannabis business and aren’t training your employees, you’re missing out on increased traffic in your store and profits. If you aren’t training your most valuable asset, what is your reasoning?]

So, there you are, pondering your finances, there are many expenses and costs that go into running your business and when your budget is already tight, should you add or increase training to the expense list? Why frustrate yourself, looking for ways to train people, when you could be focusing on things like technology, product development or sales that help with business growth?

We all know that product development and sales are important. But what differentiates training from other expenses is that while on the surface training might appear as an expense, it’s not.

Think about this analogy: We know one achieves a greater plant quality and yield by using advanced cultivation practices. That said, the quality of the plants also greatly depends on the lighting, the nutrients and the nurturing they receive. The training and development of your people depends on the quality of effort you give them. Therefore, it is not so much a cost as it is an investment in the growth of your people, and when your people grow, you experience business growth.

Why invest in continual training?

The answer as to why continual training is important can be summed up in four points:

  1. Well trained employees = happy and loyal employees.
  2. Happy employees = educated and happy customers.
  3. Happy and educated customers = customer loyalty.
  4. Customer loyalty = increased business revenue

Any break in the chain breaks the relationship with the customer. There isn’t any business right now that can afford to lose a customer over something as intuitive as keeping people knowledgeable and happy.

This approach does, however, come with a caveat. Your training needs to be amazing and it needs to stick. You need to be willing to give your people the tools they need to succeed, and amazing training doesn’t come with a low-price tag. It requires not only a monetary investment but the investment of time and energy of the entire team.

Consider this, according to a Gallop research paper, happy and well-trained employees increase their value, and dedicated training and development fosters employee engagement, and engagement is critical to your company’s financial performance.

In short, this means your happy people will be earners for you. They will help you exceed industry standards, sell more and hang around longer. This means lower turnover costs.

Who doesn’t want that?

Educated and loyal employees lead to increased financial results

According to another Gallup study, businesses that engaged workgroups in continual development saw sales increase and profits double compared to workgroups that weren’t provided with development opportunities. The pressure to succeed among competitors of the cannabis industry is intense and rewards high. Having a good product is a start, but if your customer does not trust you or your employees…then what?

You can have the best product in the world, but if you can’t sell it, you still have it.

Can your business survive without trained people and loyal customers? The growth rate for legalized cannabis will be $73.6 billion with a CAGR of 18.1% by 2027. Plus, total sales of illicit cannabis nationwide were worth an estimated $64.3 billion in 2018, projections call for the U.S. illicit market to reduce by nearly $7 billion (11%) by 2025.

Those customers are going somewhere, will they be coming to you? Are you and your people prepared to earn potential customer trust and build critical relationships? Can you afford to miss being a part of this growth because your people were not carefully trained and your customers were uninformed about you, your product and your services?

A common adage is, “What if I train them and they leave? What if you don’t and they stay?” – where does your business stand?

Time for non-traditional approaches for high-impact training

With the rapid growth of the industry with ever changing regulations, new types of edibles, better product with exponentially more options – your customers will demand higher quality standards and expect your people to be in-the-know. This requires “just-in-time” knowledge as opposed to formalized training delivery.

Disappointingly, only 34% of businesses feel their overall training is effective. So, as the industry continues to evolve, it is important to know how to make your programs as effective as possible for your people. The traditional training that has failed corporate America is not the answer for this non-traditional cannabis industry. The need for new and non-traditional training methods will be critical for your people to be efficient, productive and adaptable to react to fluctuating business needs.

Six areas to focus your non-traditional training

1) Build a strategy

As the gap begins to widen and the competitive “cream of the crop” starts rising to the top, you will need to take the initiative in training and upskilling employees. This means planning future training efforts and reimagining current ones.

The steps involved in creating a training plan begins with establishing business goals. Ask yourself what business factors and objectives you hope to impact through training? You will also need to decide what critical skills are needed to move the business forward. Start your training focus with high-impact skills. These are the skills, if mastered, that will lead to customer loyalty and education. Ultimately impacting your bottom-line.

2) Target skills that build relationships

Building relationships is often placed in the category of, “soft skills.” However, this is a misnomer; “soft-skills” are core strengths you will need for your business to stand apart from your competition. This goes beyond smiling at the customer. Your business requires adaptable, critical thinkers who can problem solve and communicate effectively. Soft skill training is never “finished.” Therefore, consider how reinforcement is going to be delivered and how coaching will evolve.

3) Personalize training to individuals

Many traditional training programs approach people with a “one size fits all” mentality. Just put all the people in all the classes. This is a common failed approach. Each person on your team has individual skills and needs that require attention. This means creating and planning the delivery of training programs to address specific strengths and skills challenges. Not everyone will be at the same level of knowledge. If you are hiring for culture (which you should) rather than specific skills this means providing ongoing support at different times. This requires developing a training plan that allows people to choose their training path.

4) Create digital learning spaces

Ensuring employees make time for learning was the number one challenge talent development teams faced in 2018. One way to combat this challenge is putting training in the hands of people through platforms they are already using. Most notably, their cell phones and mobile applications.

Training should be created and delivered through multiple platforms (mobile and on-demand), where the training can be personalized, and offer ongoing job support. For example: Consider training to be delivered through mobile apps, text messaging or instant messenger. This type of training is targeted, direct, can be tracked and supports “just-in-time” delivery of help. Help when the people need it and when the business needs them to have it.

5) Make training interesting through gamification

There is a general misunderstanding about how gamification and training programs work. Many business owners discard the idea of gamification because they believe it means turning training programs into video games. Understandably, owners do not want critical and regulatory compliance training to be like a game of Candy Crush. What is important to realize is that gamification is a process of building a reward system into training that imitateschallenge games. Allowing people to “level-up” based on skill or knowledge acquisition. The use of badges, points and leaderboards encourage participation in online experiences. Thus, making training interesting and more successful.

6) Plan to educate your customers

As stated, providing customer training around your products or services is a fantastic way to differentiate yourself from competitors. It also boosts customer engagement, loyalty and enables them to gain more value from you.

Customer training is now considered a strategic necessity for businesses in every industry and within the cannabis industry, education programs will play a critical role in attracting new customers. Although, keep in mind your new customers do not need “training.” They need educational awareness. Consider the education you are providing customers as an onboarding process. Thoughtfully designed educational content can help customers make the right decisions for them, and you are there every step of the way.

Choose a different path for your training efforts

Your business needs a non-traditional training plan to help your people to be better, smarter, faster than your competitors and to gain customer trust and loyalty. Cannabis is a non-traditional industry, why box your business into traditional corporate training models proven to be unsuccessful? Your business and your people deserve better.

Contact Learning Rebels to learn more about what we can do for you to help you develop training tools and resources that will make your people stand above the rest.

The post Why Employee Training is Your Key to Financial Success appeared first on Cannabis Industry Journal.

Cannabis Sales Continue to Soar Through The Pandemic

Cannabis Sales Continue to Soar Through The Pandemic

Original Post: 420 Intel Business: Cannabis Sales Continue to Soar Through The Pandemic

[Canniseur: It’s not surprising that cannabis sales are up during the time of COVID. And now, in several states, the economy would be helped by the addition of the revenue from legal cannabis. Oklahoma (in spite of the quality issues) seems to be going full-bore into cannabis sales. Now the state needs to get adult-use legalized.]

Every day, people across the United States demonstrate how legal cannabis could save the nation’s economy from the virus-caused downtown. They do so by buying record amounts of weed.

Almost all legal cannabis states made medical and adult-use dispensaries essential businesses that could stay open as lockdowns began. The lone exception, Massachusetts, has since changed course. This is good news for industry workers in the state since it now has more cannabis industry employees than hairstylists and cosmetologists. Most legal cannabis states release numbers each month that prove how right they were in making the choice to keep dispensaries open.

Oklahoma provides a great example. Only in the last year becoming a hotbed for cannabis advocates, the state clocked its fourth month in a row of record sales in May. Consumers spent $73.8 million on medical marijuana in April. The sharp rise in sales started with the COVID-19 pandemic, according to The Oklahoman.

And sales could have risen even more in future months. In May, state lawmakers from both parties voted for a bill that allowed dispensaries to deliver weed and for people from out of state to buy cannabis with a 90-day temporary card.

Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, vetoed the bill.

Marijuana still has a long way to go for acceptance in some parts of the country.

Some parts of the nation have still not learned the lessons driven home by the War on Drugs. It’s a mindset best exemplified by former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who famously said: “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.”

This stigma against weed seems like one major component holding nationwide legalization back. Experts agree more research is needed on the effects of cannabis. But plenty of research has been done on alcohol and cigarettes. Both are linked to thousands of deaths each year, and both are legal from coast to coast. And there’s no such correlation with marijuana.

While the stigma persists, consumer actions during the lockdowns have shown the financial windfall for businesses and governments. Oklahoma dispensaries, for example, sent the state more than $5 million in taxes in April alone.

Seeing this, state lawmakers in New York have asked Gov. Andrew Cuomo to make weed legal in the Empire State. The state, hard hit by the virus, faces a $60 billion budget shortfall. Cannabis can’t cover all of that, but it also would not hurt.

New York State Sen. Jessica Ramos told the New York Post: “It’s not enough to say the state doesn’t have money. We have to find it. I believe legalizing marijuana can help.”

The benefits of legal marijuana are being seen across the nation.

All states must deal with the economic havoc caused by the coronavirus. But those with legal weed have seen some help because of record sales. Some of the record sales include the following.

  • Oregon residents bought $89 million in adult-use and medical marijuana in April, a 45 percent increase over April 2019. It’s the largest amount of single month weed sales in Oregon history.
  • In Ohio, medical marijuana sales reached $12.9 million in March and $14.2 million in April. That’s a high mark for sales in the state. It’s also a big jump over February ($10.7 million) and January ($9.6 million)
  • In Arkansas, 40 percent of all medical marijuana sales for the past 12 months came after March 1. People have bought almost $30 million in weed since that date.
  • The amount of medical marijuana sales in Florida, which reports sales weekly, has steadily increased since the COVID-19 outbreak.

It’s not all cannabis and roses. In Nevada, some predict a sales drop as the virus continues to impact tourism. However, now that casinos are open, that could change quickly. Experts also expect a lack of tourism to impact places with legal adult-use marijuana, including Colorado and Alaska.

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Original Post: 420 Intel Business: Cannabis Sales Continue to Soar Through The Pandemic

Oregon Marijuana Sales Spike During Pandemic, But Officials Expect Market To ‘Mellow’

Oregon Marijuana Sales Spike During Pandemic, But Officials Expect Market To ‘Mellow’

Original Post: Marijuana Moment: Oregon Marijuana Sales Spike During Pandemic, But Officials Expect Market To ‘Mellow’

[Canniseur: In all States with legal cannabis, dispensaries have been a shining light during this COVID-19 lockdown. Although economies all over the U.S. are hammered, cannabis is selling more than ever. Oregon is only one State, but I’ve read stories about all the legal states. Will cannabis save the day for the U.S. economy? Interesting statistics here.]

Amid one of the sharpest economic downturns in state history, Oregon marijuana sales continue to roll along at a healthier-than-normal pace. State budget officials say that shelter-in-place policies and economic stimulus programs have kept marijuana sales “quite strong” during the pandemic so far.

Since March 1, the sales of adult-use marijuana products are up 60 percent compared to a year ago, the state Office of Economic Analysis said in its latest quarterly budget forecast published last week.

“These increases are not only related to the stockpiling consumers did after the sheltering in place policies were enacted,” the report says, “but have continued through April and early May.”

Oregon marijuana sales during COVID-19

In April alone, consumers bought $89 million worth of legal cannabis products—a record amount—thanks in part to what officials described as a “4/20 bump.” While the boost in sales figures are due in part to rising prices, state budget analysts said that “underlying demand is up as well.”

“The increase in sales for other marijuana products, like concentrates, edibles and the like, are due to significant gains in consumer demand as prices are flat or down,” analysts reasoned.

The June 2020 budget forecast estimates that the current increase in marijuana sales will yield an extra $9 million in state tax revenue during the 2019-2021 budget period. It’s a rare bright spot in the overall budget report, which state analysts described as “the largest downward revision to the quarterly forecast that our office has ever had to make.”

Oregon marijuana demand

But even the marijuana sector’s boost may be time limited.

“Expectations are that some of these increases are due to temporary factors like the one-time household recovery rebates, expanded unemployment insurance benefits, and the shelter in place style policies,” the report says. “As the impact of these programs fade in the months ahead, and bars and restaurants reopen to a larger degree, marijuana sales are expected to mellow.”

Demand for marijuana is also expected to fall in coming years due to a lower overall economic outlook, which is projected to reduce Oregon’s population and cut average incomes. “A relatively smaller population indicates fewer potential customers,” the report notes, “and lower total personal income than previously assumed indicates less consumer demand.”

Oregon population forecast

The projected slowdown in sales isn’t expected to make an impact until the next budget period, beginning in 2021. At that point, the forecast says, sales will begin trending down by 5 percent relative to the current period “due to the lower economic outlook” associated with COVID-19.

The pandemic has also changed how Oregonians are making marijuana purchases, the report found, though perhaps not as much as one might expect. The share of sales completed by delivery services more than doubled in recent months, but it remained relatively small, making up just 1.4 percent of total sales. As the Office of Economic Analysis observed, “Consumers still prefer to shop in store.”

Oregon is one of a handful of states looking to legal cannabis sales to help buoy tax revenues. A report published last month by cannabis regulators in Michigan, where legal sales to adults began this past December, forecasts annual marijuana sales in that state to top $3 billion as the market matures. That would mean another 13,500 jobs and roughly $500 million per year in taxes to state coffers. Factoring in the effects on peripheral businesses, the state found, the “total economic impact is estimated to be $7.85 billion with a total impact on employment of 23,700.”

Although tax revenue from cannabis sales will help pad budgets in many legal states, the Oregon report doesn’t mince words: The pandemic’s hit to the state’s economy will be drastic. Oregon’s current recession is “the deepest on record with data going back to 1939,” according to state analysts, and it hit with virtually no warning. “The path looks more like what happens to economic activity during a labor strike or in the aftermath of a natural disaster.”

Oregon incomes over time

For its part, Oregon’s Office of Economic Analysis predicts a relatively swift recovery. “While this recession is extremely severe, it is expected to be shorter in duration than the Great Recession,” analysts wrote. “The economy should return to health by mid-decade.”

New Mexico Governor Says Legalizing Marijuana Would’ve Funded Programs Cut Due To Coronavirus

The post Oregon Marijuana Sales Spike During Pandemic, But Officials Expect Market To ‘Mellow’ appeared first on Marijuana Moment.

Oregon Marijuana Sales Spike During Pandemic, But Officials Expect Market To ‘Mellow’ was posted on Marijuana Moment.

How to Grow a New Cannabis Business Amid a Pandemic

How to Grow a New Cannabis Business Amid a Pandemic

Original Post: Cannabis Industry: How to Grow a New Cannabis Business Amid a Pandemic

[Canniseur: Not to sound cavalier, but the COVID-19 crisis has shaken things up, creating voids. Where there is a business void, there is opportunity. In addition, we need regulators to revisit cannabis regulations and put rules into effect that better support small businesses. Read these business tips on how you can adapt to this fast changing business environment.]

By understanding where the challenges and opportunities lie, cannabis businesses can thrive. Using sound marketing, PR and e-commerce tactics can be the key to weathering the storm.

The COVID-19 crisis is plunging the global economy into recession, changing consumer behavior and the world of business. Cannabis businesses are no stranger to operating in a challenging landscape. The constantly evolving legal status, regulatory hurdles and social stigma has forced founders in this space to be nimble and more financially wise with their capital.

While the market has experienced a seismic shift that has already attracted investors to inject capital into the cannabis industry and seen neighboring industries, including tobacco, alcohol and pharma, come into the fray, COVID-19 will change key industry structures and operations. To succeed and cultivate value, cannabis companies must adapt to the new realities of the marketplace to be well positioned for continued growth after the pandemic subsides.

With social distancing guidelines suddenly forcing brick-and-mortar retailers to move their businesses and customer experiences online and disruptions to the supply chain due to international travel and business directions, some businesses will struggle to stay afloat.

As consumer behaviour and online shopping patterns adjust to a new way of living (affecting B2B sales, online ordering, deliveries and manufacturing), leadership and strategic thinking will be paramount.

By understanding where the challenges and opportunities lie, cannabis businesses can thrive. Here are some focus areas and tactics to consider:

  1. Targeted consumer segmentation through social media

When starting a cannabis business, it is key to understand who your core consumers are and what they want from their products. This has become even more acute because of the pandemic with consumers flocking to all sorts of health-focused products including CBD.

With everybody spending more time online, social media use is on the rise. Executing a social media plan to include influencer outreach can increase brand visibility, build a solid consumer base and create brand advocates.

Instagram is essential to a cannabis business building an online presence but it’s important that it doesn’t become a “hard sell, please buy me” channel. Plan and make Insta-worthy content that educates and entertains followers to increase engagement, click-through rates and leads. Brands may want to pair with an influencer on either a gifting or paid-for basis which will mean the brand appears in a potential customer’s feed as they interact with their favourite accounts.

PlugPlay, a California cannabis brand, stays relevant with creative posts like these.

The art is finding key influencers whose audience is one that you would like to interact with. This type of positioning will allow cannabis businesses to reach a new audience or group of people.

  1. Marketing and PR

In times like these, many companies choose to pull back on communication activities and expenditures for fear of spending too much for what they perceive as little return, however, marketing and PR, when executed well, can be the lifeline of any business.

With so much noise in the market about the “next best thing in cannabis”, effective marketing and PR can distinguish brands that are credible and offer a strong value proposition to those that are all smoke and mirrors.

The current needs of businesses and consumers are much different than they were just a few short months ago, so it’s important to understand these needs and spending habits while combatting negative perceptions of cannabis.

As cannabis companies are not able to advertise like mainstream companies, a strong public relations and marketing strategy will enable firms to communicate their identity, build trust, shift perceptions through media coverage, enhance reputations and reach customers, partners and investors.

  1. Cost cutting

Businesses in every sector are cutting costs to keep their businesses afloat. This needs to be done strategically and requires senior leadership teams to explore cost reduction strategies and streamline non-essential costs.

This may mean further consolidation of cannabis companies and supply chains to manage cash flow and maximise resources. Companies may even look to create strategic partnerships with complementary businesses in the industry or push some firms towards mergers and acquisitions.

Business models will evolve as cannabis companies identify inefficiencies and reconfigure their operations and messaging. This could range from assessing their R&D capabilities, agricultural assets, manufacturing chains or route to market.

  1. E-commerce capabilities
Pivoting to e-commerce is nothing new, but getting creative with product offerings and marketing initiatives will set you apart from the typical CBD retailer

The postponement of countless CBD Expos, trade shows and cannabis conferences are creating new demand and opportunities for businesses. To reach prospective wholesale clients, investors and connect to their customer base, firms are entering the digital marketplace. Digital events, Zoom investor pitch panels and email marketing and sampling is on the rise and expected to grow over the coming months.

CBD brands should work in parallel with their retail partners to influence product samples in digital offers and create a touchless transaction. Buying products online is going to become a permanently entrenched habit, even when restrictions are fully lifted so it’s worth looking at how technology can support and enhance sales while offering a smooth customer experience.

  1. Industry Relationships

Everyone in the cannabis industry will be affected by COVID-19 so maintaining positive relationships is vital in these tough times. Calling investors or partners to tell them what is going on with your business or checking in on others in your ecosystem means information can be shared to iron out any issues and help generate ideas to future proof the business. “A problem shared is a problem halved!”

COVID-19 is creating incredible business challenges. As we navigate the new normal, it’s important to adapt and grow. As more products come to market and brands/services develop distinguished offerings, expectations will change so cannabis businesses need to be ready for greener pastures.

Pasha Partners with Indiva to Bring High-Quality Artisanal Cannabis to Market

Pasha Partners with Indiva to Bring High-Quality Artisanal Cannabis to Market

Original Post: CFN Media Group: Pasha Partners with Indiva to Bring High-Quality Artisanal Cannabis to Market

[Canniseur: This is, more or less, a promotional piece. It’s being published because they are taking the concept of ‘quality’ in cannabis to a different business model. If the cannabis is better and has a better effect or a more directed effect, then it’s going to be worth it to see how players in the cannabis business promote lower yeild, artisnal growers, although they never spell out what artisnal means.]

New partnership highlights the expertise of Canadian micro-growers

Source: Pasha Brands Ltd.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, May 13, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Pasha Brands Ltd. (the “Company” or “Pasha”) (CSE: CRFT) (OTC:CRFTF) (FSE:ZZD1) is pleased to announce it has signed a master processing agreement (the “MPA”) with Indiva Limited (“Indiva”) (TSXV:NDVA) (OTCQX:NDVAF) to manufacture and distribute pre-rolls and jarred flower curated from Pasha’s wholly-owned subsidiary, BC Craft Supply Co Ltd.’s, vast national network of artisanal cannabis growers. This partnership intends to elevate the premium cannabis playing field by highlighting the skills of Canada’s micro-growers and making their unique and beautiful flower available to consumers from coast-to-coast.

“This partnership represents a significant step for Pasha in realizing its vision to bring high-quality micro producers into the legal market and to provide an avenue for those products to be available on store shelves,” said Matthew Watters, Pasha’s Chief Executive Officer. “Our partnership with Indiva will leverage their world-class manufacturing capabilities, and equally strong distribution network within Canada, to produce pre-rolls and jarred flower that sets new industry standards. We take a lot of pride in our network of micro producers and are excited to work collaboratively to bring their artisanal cannabis to market, particularly at a time when quality product is in high demand.”

The MPA is for a one-year renewable term. The partnership expects to begin processing cannabis by late May 2020. Pasha and Indiva will share in the net revenue from the MPA after costs are recovered by each respective party.

For further information, please contact Pasha’s Chief Executive Officer, Matthew Watters, at (604) 687-2038.

About Pasha Brands

Based in British Columbia, Pasha is both North America’s largest network and aggregator of craft cannabis and Canada’s only prohibition-era brand house firmly rooted in the culture and made up by the people that created the original cannabis industry. With proven capabilities in cannabis cultivation, genetic research and development, product processing, and retail, Pasha is uniquely positioned in the new legal cannabis market through its network of hundreds of craft cannabis suppliers under the Pasha umbrella.

Pasha subsidiary, Medcann Health Products Ltd., is a Health Canada licensed cultivator and processor with a licence to sell medical cannabis products in Canada.Pasha, and its subsidiary BC Craft Supply Co. Ltd, assists micro cultivation farmers in bringing craft quality into the newly legal cannabis market in Canada by assisting them in both gaining access to licensing but also through its proprietary quality assurance and testing platform known as Craft Labs™, a proprietary platform bringing quality assurance to the craft industry, BC Craft Supply is driven to assist craft growers in obtaining security clearance and licensing to grow as micro-cultivators, specializing in education and compliance to bring growers into the regulated cannabis supply market.

Pasha’s common shares trade on the CSE under the symbol “CRFT” and on the FSE under the symbol “ZZD1”.

For more information, please visit www.pashabrands.com

Neither the Canadian Securities Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the Canadian Securities Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this press release, which has been prepared by management.

This news release includes certain “forward-looking statements” under applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable, are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause the actual results and future events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.  There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements.  Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.  Pasha disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

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The post Pasha Partners with Indiva to Bring High-Quality Artisanal Cannabis to Market appeared first on CannabisFN.

Original Post: CFN Media Group: Pasha Partners with Indiva to Bring High-Quality Artisanal Cannabis to Market

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