Marijuana Business Magazine August 2019

Omar Sacirbey covers the cannabis industry for Marijuana Business Magazine. You can reach him at . Marijuana Business Magazine | August 2019 50 if we were just growing mediocre-quality cannabis with salt-based nutrients, we couldn’t compete.” CRAFTING A MESSAGE A key to craft success is creating a compelling message that resonates with retailers and consumers and then relaying it effectively through available channels, such as packaging, social media, alternative newspapers and the company’s own salespeople. To convey its craft brand, La Vida Verde stresses locale. “We put that on the package that all the cannabis and the ingredients are sourced from Santa Cruz County. When you buy one of our pre-rolls, the packaging will say, ‘Cultivated in Santa Cruz County,’” Berryessa said. La Vida Verde’s marketing efforts mostly come from in-house staffers, but the company also works with outside professionals who help with creating content, graphics and photography. Getting product onto retail shelves also requires persistence and a personal touch in a day and age when retailers are flooded with marketing calls from product suppliers. Sloat from Colorado-based AlpinStash said he and his business-partner wife would drop off samples, but that turned out to be a waste of time and product, because budtenders would just dump the samples in a big box with others. The couple didn’t stop with the samples, however. Rather than just dropping off samples, they’d request to spend a few minutes with a purchasing manager, just enough time to tell their story and talk up their product. According to Sloat, no meeting means no samples. “Then, we can talk about ourselves while the product is in front of them,” he said. “We only drop off samples if we know we can meet with the purchasing manager and establish that connection and present our story and brand narrative.” Craft Cannabis | Small-Batch Business Many of the key aspects that cultivators and consumers use to define craft cannabis are premium production methods that yield a high-quality product—and come at a price. This includes specialized inputs such as chemical-free pesticides and higher-cost production methods such as hand-trimming. While not all flower sold at a high price point could be considered “craft,” it’s likely true that most craft cannabis will be sold at a premium price. Looking at Colorado’s recreational marijuana market, where recent average prices for an eighth of flower have hovered around $25, the percentage of all eighths sold for more than $60 has risen sharply in recent years, even as wholesale cannabis prices in the state have been steadily declining. Though overall demand for flower is shrinking, the data suggests that consumers still in the market for flower—who are likely to be a more engaged, knowledgeable customer base—are willing to spend more for quality product. – Maggie Cowee and Eli McVey PERCENTAGE OF HIGH-END FLOWER SALES RISE AS WHOLESALE PRICES DECREASE IN COLORADO Source: Colorado Department Of Revenue, Headset Copyright 2019 Marijuana Business Daily, a division of Anne Holland Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Through May 2019 Average Market Rate per Pound of Wholesale Flower (as of Jan. 1 of each year) Percentage of Eighths Sold in Colorado for $60 or More