Education and Differentiation

In the Cannabis Industry today we have a myriad of problems affecting our marketplace. These problems are trickling down to every area of the industry to the point where many of the largest companies in California have announced serious layoffs and deep budget cuts as we prepare to go into 2020.

Everyone knows that there are many reasons for this:

  1. State Regulation is very expensive and difficult to deal with, almost impossible for a small business.
  2. Depending on the municipality or county, the State Regulation difficulty can be multiplied by a large factor.
  3. The State is cracking down hard on operations in the black market making the supply more scarce.
  4. Prices have risen on the legacy market. The pound price this harvest is in many cases a couple hundred dollars higher than last year at the same time.
  5. People are rushing to capitalize on this legacy market opportunity while it is so difficult to enter the regulated market.
  6. There are many more reasons... etc. etc. etc...

For those of us who are still fighting on, believing that we can fix the problems created by the state, there is hope, if you can hunker down and hang on. Not only that, this is your opportunity to really see longterm and work to shape the next 40 or more years.

One major way to do that is through branding. Storytelling. How are people going to understand how fragile the flowering and harvesting and curing process is if we don't figure out how to tell them? How will they know that it matters that you let your flowers mature to get those trichomes nice and amber while your neighbor harvested the same genetic early while the trichomes are still clear? How are they going to see that you care so much about the details?

I will tell you how. YOU have to tell them. YOU have to do the writing. YOU have to publish articles on your site and share them to social media. YOU have to talk about your experiences and create new words and terms and share them with the community so we can all learn to use them. YOU have to devote a small portion of your day everyday to telling the story and pushing it to the world. YOU have to hear the feedback and refine the way you tell people so that you get better and better. No one is coming to save you. There is no secret formula. This is it.

As you educate people to your passion and knowledge, your branding will emerge. Who you are will become very clear, to them, to you, to everyone. What makes you different will become nearly impossible to miss. You will continue to gain market differentiation if you stay true to your core values and passions and you strive to communicate that to your customers daily.

I know it's hard. I know it seems like it's more than you can handle. I know you already put in 16 hour days. I know that you used to take off December to April and then work your Spring Summer and Fall relentlessly. I know that now, you don't get to take the winter off because that's how you stay ahead.

Keep going. It's worth it because we only have one life to live and spending it making sure the lives that come after us have a better world because of Cannabis, well, isn't that why we are all fighting so hard?

Jesse Barney