Justin Trudeau has officially announced that marijuana will become legalized in Canada this summer. Branding agencies across the country are getting ready for an influx of dispensaries, wholesalers and cannabis infused product manufacturers coming to them for marketing and branding support in light of the new laws.
How The Weed Industry Is Currently Marketed
If you’re in Vancouver and you do a Google search for “weed dispensary”, you’ll find no shortage of options appear via Google My Business, and this is even before it is fully legalized.
Beneath those results, you will find numerous organic search results too. These results are currently using phrases such as “medical cannabis” to stay in line with existing regulations. From this summer, we can expect these companies to grab the opportunity to grow their business by the horns and increase their investment in marketing to target customers who are looking to purchase cannabis products without a medical prescription.
Marketing Opportunities For Companies In The Weed Industry
Once the need to advertise weed products for solely medicinal purposes will be eradicated, companies in the industry will be able to update their websites to optimize their copy for new keywords. For instance, as consumers learn more about weed, they may begin doing online searches for certain types (or strains) of weed. If a dispensary sells this type, they may look to optimize their website for this keyword.
While it hasn’t yet been confirmed, it is expected that in B.C. there will be a mix of private and government run marijuana stores, like with liquor stores. Ontario has recently announced that their stores will be called Ontario Cannabis Store. They have also released their new brand and logo (which the Liquor Control Board Of Ontario announced cost them $650,000).
If you’re slightly underwhelmed by the name and logo, you’re not alone. People have been flocking to Twitter to mock the… simple, design and name choice.
Many private weed stores will be looking to work with a branding agency to produce a brand that will resonate with their target demographic and hold its own against their many competitors.
One of the most interesting things about the new laws is that cannabis infused products will also become legal. Vancouver based beverage company, Phivida has partnered with WeedMD to form Cannabis Beverages Inc. They will be producing a line of CBD infused drinks. CBD, also known as cannabidiol, doesn’t have the same psychoactive effects of marijuana but is said to promote a feeling of general wellness. Each new product like this will need a branding strategy if it has any hope of making its mark as a viable, money-making product line.
Most weed companies do have their own websites already, but not many have an ecommerce element. This is likely due to the current restrictions on who can purchase weed and how difficult it would be to control who uses their online shop.
Once it becomes legal for anyone (over the legal age limit) to buy weed products, an ecommerce website could be a great way for businesses to sell more product. Note our emphasis here on the “could”. In a recent blog we discussed why having an ecommerce website isn’t a good idea for everyone.
As we tried earlier, when Googling “weed” or “weed dispensaries”, you can see results on Google Maps and organic search results but there aren’t any ads. While we can’t be sure whether Google AdWords will allow weed ads to run, this could be a great way for weed companies to market themselves and get found by their target customer.
The legalization of weed is an interesting topic for both marketing and branding agencies, and the general public. So much so, Vancouver’s Daily Hive has a whole section of their website dedicated to it. Let us know your thoughts on the matter. Are you intrigued by how marketers will decide to promote weed products over the coming months? Share your opinions with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
If you too own a company in a rapidly growing industry, like the cannabis industry, and are looking for new ways to brand yourself, get in touch. You can call us, send us a message or stop by our marketing and branding agency office in Vancouver – we always have chocolate if you find yourself with the munchies 😉