The team at Emerging Insider recently conducted research on 600 highly affluent current cannabis users to understand their wants, behaviors, spending and sentiments on the quickly developing industry.
The luxury cannabis products and services market is about to get an influx of activity as the landscape continues its massive growth across new U.S. states and countries and begins targeting high net worth audiences with novel brands, products, and accessories. As products begin to undergo more traditional differentiation across unique categories, the sentiments of different audiences will begin to form complete market research for luxury cannabis startups as well as larger brands moving into the space.
Key findings on cannabis users with over $150K HHI?
-74% of respondents would be willing to spend over $300 for new cannabis products or accessories while 31% of the total respondents claimed they would spend between $500-$1000
-Cannabis strains that were considered to be either rare or were from a well-known brand were of highest interest to the affluent respondents with 41% willing to spend more on brand-name strains and 36% more open to spending on a rare strain
-Privacy is important to affluent cannabis users. 78% would only smoke at home rather than outdoors or in any potential designated businesses in legalized states.
Want more? Check out our infographic: EI Affluent Cannabis Infographic
Last Wednesday the team at Emerging Insider held the first in a series of events on the Future of the Legal Cannabis Industry. As a cannabis PR agency, we’re on the front lines working with startups and companies in the booming cannabis trade. As the sector flourishes even under an uncertain regulatory landscape, we brought together industry insiders and experts to discuss current challenges and the exciting growth to come.
Sharing their insight with the crowd was Alex Valassori (Co-founder and Chief Compliance Officer at Complia), Kirsten Velasco (Medical Cannabis Program Public Speaker at The Medical Cannabis Community), Kurt Akers (Co-founder and CEO of Kannatopia) and Dave Robin (Agent in Charge MOCA Modern Cannabis).
The resulting discussion was lively and varied, from regulatory challenges and innovation to the plight of medicinal patients to the opening up of the California and Canadian markets. While the panelists acknowledged the current challenges facing the legal cannabis trade, ultimately the tone was one of hope for the future. The panelists varied in their responses, but most agreed that there would be significant pro-cannabis legislation on the books in the U.S. (at least in regards to medical cannabis) in the next 12-36 months. This would then lay the groundwork for further legalization, and a recognition of the plant’s medical uses as well as a rough equivalence to other adult-use products such as alcohol or tobacco.
For industry updates, discussion, networking and more, make sure to stay tuned for the date of our next Future of Legal Cannabis event.
The legal cannabis industry is filled with all manner of trials and tribulations for marketers and their agencies. Even with immense growth and potential in many traditional marketers, 57% of marketers won’t even take on clients in the space as learned via a research study done by our team. For those that do, the challenges can be mitigated, but require in-depth knowledge of nuances that can occur. We will provide a series of in-depth posts based on the below topics.
1) Work the Lexicon: Cannabis has a plethora of terms used to denote it: marijuana, weed, pot, ganja and countless others. Interestingly, differing terms are used in differing ways via search engines, for social sharing, and for the media. While Cannabis may the most common way the media in Canada refers to the plant, this is not the case for the U.S. And within the states, the south is different than the southwest. The term weed is most shared on facebook on Thursdays, while marijuana is Wednesday’s choice and people prefer varying content lengths depending on the term.
Bottom line, the top PR tip for the cannabis industry is to dive deep into Google trends, social analytics and content analytics before planning any marketing. (Stay tuned for our Cannabis Marketing White Paper on this very topic!)
2) Be wary of regulations: Across states and countries, messaging and format types, regulations vary for marketing cannabis products. While one social platform may ban an organization even for organic social posts, another may be open to all manner of advertising without limit. On the legal front, what may be legal advertising formats in one state may be illegal and open to repercussion in another. This is key to keep in mind when it comes to targeting and mass market advertising platforms. Any marketer engaging in advertising, including native/content driven formats, must be diligent in their research, targeting, copy and creative. (Stay tuned for our upcoming articles on targeting secrets!)
3) Embrace specialists, but beware of opportunists: When a new industry begins to hit scale, many agencies and service providers will dedicate specialist groups to focus on them. These should always be embraced as they can provide a higher level of expertise. The double-edged sword here is that for every legitimate and skilled service provider that establishes a new core focus, an opportunist exists capitalizing off of an increasingly “cash-grab-able” buzzword.
These opportunists will usually appear flashy, have only one core focus (in this instance cannabis) and make more noise about their industry focus than real-world examples of their capabilities. A good service provider should have years of expertise and often showcase this ability across a few primary focus areas. If your cannabis PR agency has never had a client in another industry, they may be missing out on crucial media relationships. If your cannabis marketing firm has never run ad campaigns on certain social platforms, they may be missing key data and intel. Bottom line, be wary. (Watch this space for our guide to identifying buzzword opportunists!)
4) Comparables provide context: The press deeply wants to cover the cannabis industry, but many are still traditionalists and do not understand the impact, potential, and trends of the landscape. The key to achieving positive media and press attention from not just the small group of cannabis-focused journalists, but across the mainstream consumer and business media is providing contextual comparisons. It is often not enough to present a compelling story: you have to provide examples, comparables, and data from other industries to show the larger picture. While mainstream media may understand these items in traditional industries, it is up to startups, or a cannabis marketing agency, to spoon-feed in these nascent days. (Our latest cannabis case study will be out soon!)