Marijuana Business Magazine August 2019

During the past 20 years, industries such as food and beverage have seen local and craft sectors take off. Today, cannabis growers and retailers are working to apply the trend to their own burgeoning industry. Those looking to create a craft cannabis brand should keep these things in mind: • Industry experts say quality, scarcity, price and sustainability all play a role in craft cannabis. • Hand-trimming and long cure times are widely thought to be crucial to developing craft flower. • Craft infused products often contain ethically and locally sourced ingredients. • Some states have developed legislation to encourage small- batch cultivators to join the industry—though there is more to craft than being small. • Retailers looking for craft products should seek out vendors who offer transparency into the growing and production process. Marijuana Business Magazine | August 2019 46 In a marijuana industry landscape increasingly dominated by big companies, there remains a place for small, craft cannabis producers selling high-end products ranging from flower to edibles. In fact, if the industry evolves under the right conditions, small marijuana business advocates say, craft will be the future of cannabis. But under the wrong conditions, they warn, craft will die, leaving the industry to a handful of large, multistate marijuana companies. “Right now, we are in danger of rushing into implementation of this large industry so quickly and in such a way that it crushes the craft industry that does exist. That is the main danger … that it will get crushed,” said Adam Smith, president of the Craft Cannabis Alliance (CCA) in Oregon. Averting that type of future is possible but will require lots of work and savvy on the part of small marijuana businesses. Small companies that want to survive and credibly brand their products as craft cannabis will need to: • Compose a compelling message about their brands. • Be persistent and creative in relaying that message to retailers and consumers. • Consider co-ops, partnerships and other avenues to reduce costs. Cyril Guthridge farms 160 acres using permaculture techniques and biodynamic methods at Waterdog Herb farm in California. Bobby Cochran Photography Small-batch Business Craft producers say scarcity, quality and attention to detail set their product apart and command higher prices By Omar Sacirbey