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Marijuana Business Magazine Cover Stories

How to Compete With the Illicit Market

The illicit marijuana market is among the biggest and most complex challenges facing legal cannabis businesses—one that takes revenue from licensed companies and hampers the growth of state-legal MJ programs nationwide. Cannabis industry advocates continue to argue that legalization would eliminate the illicit market because … [Continue]

Alternative Enforcement Measures

While other industries with illicit-market issues can call on law enforcement to punish perpetrators by closing them down, fining them and even jailing them, that doesn’t work quite so well in cannabis. Why? Advocates of marijuana legalization campaigned partly on the promise that state-legal cannabis … [Continue]

Will Federal Legalization Smoke Out the Illicit Market?

As long as some states prohibit cannabis, there will always be an illicit market for marijuana. “Until it’s legal everywhere, we’re never going to really end the illicit market,” said Kris Krane, president of multistate vertically integrated cannabis company 4Front Ventures, which is based in … [Continue]

The Most Confounding Competitor

Checklist for Taking on the Illicit Market Target new cannabis consumers Provide good customer service and education Offer a wide selection of safe products that are readily available Deploy smart advertising Be a good corporate citizen Offer competitive pricing The illicit marijuana market is a … [Continue]

Using Packaging to Stop Fakes

Chinese manufacturers have been knocking off high-end products for years—think Louis Vuitton bags, Air Jordan sneakers and Rolex watches. Now, they’ve gone one step further: making counterfeit cannabis packaging that’s helping to bolster the illicit market. Often, the counterfeit packaging looks so much like the … [Continue]

Stumbling Blocks from Illicit to Legit

Debby Goldsberry, the CEO of Magnolia Wellness in Oakland, California, and a longtime champion of cannabis and social equity, had a realization while viewing videotape of looters robbing her store in June amid protests against the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. “I saw people … [Continue]

Flouting the Law

Marijuana growers have prospered in California for decades—and, more often than not, they did so outside the law. Two illicit cultivators agreed to speak anonymously with Marijuana Business Magazine about how they navigated the legalization of medical marijuana and, subsequently, adult-use cannabis. One of those … [Continue]

Products to One-Up the Illicit Market

The illicit market takes a large chunk of sales away from licensed cannabis businesses, but products that are difficult to replicate or require expensive equipment to manufacture generally are found only in legal marijuana shops. Manufacturing and selling such products is one way for legal … [Continue]

Recession Road Map

Welcome to the modern-day marijuana industry’s first recession. Will the legal industry prove resilient, as alcohol has? Perhaps. But this downturn is unlike any other. The National Bureau of Economic Research pegged the start of the recession in February, triggered by the lockdowns and massive … [Continue]

Getting in Fighting Shape

Recessions are a time for cost control, but they can also herald opportunity—especially if your industry proves as resilient as cannabis appears to be in the current downturn. Deciding where to cut costs and/or where to invest in times of economic uncertainty requires research and … [Continue]