Marijuana Business Magazine - March 2018

the benefits of cannabis and how to enjoy microdose products. Those in-store meet-and-greets have turned consumers into advocates for its low-dose Terra Bites and Petra Mints. But there are limits to what those in-store visits can offer. Unlike wineries and wine shops – which can offer tastings – California’s new cannabis regulations don’t permit manufac- turers to offer product samples during in-store visits.That’s a challenge for businesses like Kiva. “One of the challenges with cannabis-infused products is that they can be so strong,” Knoblich Palmer said. “People have negative experiences with them all the time. …When you’re in stores talking with people one-on-one, re-educating them and changing how they think about edibles, giving them a taste of a product has been incredibly effective. We’ve had to adapt [to new regulations], but we won’t stop having a presence.” ◆ TEACHING THE ABCS OF LOW-DOSE EDIBLES C onsumer education is critical to the suc- cess of low-dose edibles. “The biggest challenge is educating your demographic or client (about microdos- ing) because something I always hear is, ‘That’s not enough to get me high,’” said Mskindness B., the founder of California’s Elixirs by Kindness. “You have to explain the product isn’t for get- ting high. You have to explain why they should be using cannabis as a baseline for health.” Elixirs by Kindness reaches consumers through Mskindness B.’s in-home cannabis education events called “Kind Socials,” where potential consumers learn about the benefits of cannabis and the company’s product line. At Dr. Norm’s, the tagline “Dr. Norm Says … Know Your Dose” has been effective in com- municating the California company’s brand, said Dr. Norm’s co-founder Jeff Koz. “People get it immediately,” he noted. It “really is about education and helping people under- stand that eating an edible is very different from smok- ing a joint,” said Jeff’s sister, Roberta Koz Wilson, who co-founded the edibles company. Humor has also been an effective marketing technique for Dr. Norm’s, said Jeff, a former advertising execu- tive. “On some of the company’s signs and T-shirts, the siblings have used an illustration of a man passed out with the phrase, “Don’t be this guy!” – the goal being to remind consumers to know how much THC they’re consuming. “No one takes a prescription without knowing the dosage, and no one goes into a bar not knowing how many drinks they should have,” Roberta said. “But people have been ingesting (edibles) with no idea what they’re taking in. That’s why it’s important to establish our brand, ‘Know your dose,’ and educate people about starting slow.” At in-store events, California-based Kiva Confections’ brand ambassadors share information about microdosing with consumers. “When we’re talking with someone who’s brand new to cannabis, we really wouldn’t recommend more than 5 milligrams to start,” Kiva co-founder Kristi Knoblich Palmer said. “We’ve received a lot of feedback that with such a low dose, the effect is subtle and sub- psychoactive,” said Christie Strong, Kiva’s marketing communications manager. “It’s a beautiful combination that helps people focus. Cannabis is typically known for making users feel scattered or unfocused, but the truth is that’s only in high doses. Our whole philosophy is to educate and train consumers to enjoy a subtler, more relaxing experience.” – Joseph Peña Mskindness B. is the founder of California’s Elixirs by Kindness. Photo courtesy of Elixirs by Kindness Starting at 5 milligrams of THC per serving, Dr. Norm’s Chocolate Chip Therapy cookies are made with distillate- infused, unrefined coconut oil. Photo courtesy of Dr. Norm’s 46 • Marijuana Business Magazine • March 2018