Marketing in the Cannabis Industry

Did you know that Colorado voters approved medical marijuana laws in 2000 and also approved Amendment 64 to allow for recreational marijuana in 2012? As of January 2016 there were 424 recreational dispensaries, 1265 growers, and 370 edible manufacturers in Denver alone. Advertising for cannabis-related products or services is limited due to the Colorado Retail Marijuana Regulations. For example, television, radio and internet advertising are prohibited unless there is reliable evidence that no more than 30 percent of the audience is reasonably expected to be under the age of 21. This limits Cannabis company’s ability to have PPC advertising on AdWords, television or social media channels.

Other market industry trends include upcoming nation-wide elections for local and global marijuana and cannabis laws. In November 2016 Denver residents will vote on whether regular businesses like bars, cafes or yoga studios should be able to create indoor or outdoor areas to consume marijuana that their patrons would bring. In addition, 9 U.S. states will be voting in November on whether or not to legalize recreational or medical marijuana including California, Nevada, Arizona, Massachusetts, Maine, Florida, Arkansas, North Dakota and Montana. Currently 25 U.S. states allow for medical or recreational cannabis. Further, the legal marijuana market size in the United States is projected to grow to $7.1 billion in 2016, a 26% growth over the previous year.

I’ve recently taken a part-time job as a Brand Ambassador for Studio 420, a cannabis friendly creative agency in Denver specializing in branding, web design and digital marketing. I’ve had a chance to go to two educational cannabis industry networking events, Women Grow in Boulder and the CannaTech meet up in Denver.

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I’m really happy to be a part of a company that has an awesome mission and philosophy –

Studio 420’s mission is to “work closely with it’s clients to define and develop their identity, position and presence in their marketplace. We help clients achieve sustained growth through ideas, strategies and solutions that influence consumer taste and shape culture.” Their philosophy includes establishing credibility for clients in the cannabis industry and to raise standards in the entire market. They value a company culture that focuses on cultivation, growth and transparency by training their partners in their approach and processes.

And here is a slide I put together for my digital marketing communication class at DU this fall term, it really underlines some basic critical features of great web design and why it’s important to building and nurturing your relationships with your customers.

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References

Studio 420. 2016. “About Us.” and “Services.” Studio 420 A Cannabis Friendly Creative Agency. Last modified unknown. Accessed October 1, 2016. http://420digitalstudio.com/

The Cannabist. 2016. “Denver to vote on allowing social marijuana use in some businesses” Colorado News. Last modified 26 days ago. Accessed October 1, 2016. http://www.thecannabist.co/2016/09/01/denver-social-marijuana-use-initiative-qualifies-2016-ballot/62399/

Wikipedia. 2016. “Cannabis policy of Colorado.” Wiki. Last modified September 23, 2016. Accessed October 1, 2016. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis_policy_of_Colorado

Leafly. 2016. “State-by-State Guide to Cannabis Advertising Regulations.” Industry News. Last modified unknown. Accessed October 1, 2016. https://www.leafly.com/news/industry/state-by-state-guide-to-cannabis-advertising-regulations/

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Remember the Noble Truths

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Let go of the desires

oh all of the heartaches they sire

send them to sea ablaze funeral pyres.

Longings to make them proud

treasure me in the crowd

a full moon face with no clouds.

Childhood strings of attachment

put all these tears in a basket

turn them into daisies, joyous facets.

Ideas of what I should be

untangled to set foot free

so that I can be happy being me (remember there is no I only we).

Emily Dickinson and New Beginnings

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This spring brings wonderful gifts, not only the gifts of nature but new beginnings in my life, a new house and a new academic commitment.  As I was browsing through my books I came across ‘Final Harvest’ by Emily Dickinson, a book of poems I hadn’t opened in a while.  I was struck by the eloquence of Ms. Dickinson’s pithy vocabulary and unique rhetoric through syntax and style.  This poem resonated with me and decided it was worth resurrecting with my blog.

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If something makes sense to you then do it if it feels right.  Your endeavors will always come back to you no matter how long it takes, when the time is right it will happen.  That is what I’m taking away from this time in my life and in essence this poem reflects these feelings for me and with succinct splendor.

Delicate Winter Poem

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Sensitive as permeating

cold on bare flesh

winter’s icy breath

whispering on my neck

blood rushes to cheeks

relief and peace I seek.

I’ll look at piercing

reality glaring glittering

sun on pillowed snow

fear and doubt, don’t show; harsh

seasons that hardened my heart

sharpened my mind and art

it’s there I find shelter

surrendering into ancient forms

receiving survival peonies adorned

upon my crown bowed

frozen yet realizing

mindfulness is endowed

wisdom in frigid grace

acute white lines melt

into brown, gray, green

when I close my eyes

it can been seen.

Autumn Love Poetry

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Gold coins high against gray sky

a still morning

deadly quiet.

A burning orb emerges

reminding me of love

illuminated mysterious

light when he peaks,

beauty unfolding

blooming like a yellow rose.

I close my eyes

feel warm rays

gently massaging

my skin in a cold

house, a cold fall

day fading into

winter outside leaves

swirling

like colorful ballerinas

in a dance toward

death mulches frozen soil

soon layered with

frosty powdered white

a world with beauty

that’s much more so

with brilliant billows

spontaneous blazing streaks

your fingers,

a love as bright as the sun.

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Teaching English as a Foreign Language

I’ve always been interested in language learning so I decided to embark on earning my certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language or Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TEFL/TESOL).  I started 160 hours of online courses through TEFL Express early last year and completed the program earning my TEFL/TESOL certificate this last July.

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Last summer in June 2014 I traveled to Madrid, Spain to participate in VaughanTown, a week long volunteer program to teach English through relaxed  language immersion, it was mostly one-on-one conversations and some group activities with adults from all over Spain.  The program covers your room and board at nice hotels or campuses, three meals a day and you get to meet wonderful people from all over the world.  I met wonderful Spaniards and English speakers from the UK, Australia, South Africa and the U.S.  I had to teach the meaning of  idioms and helped the Spaniards practice their conversational skills and we had enough free time outside the curriculum to enjoy ourselves so it was a great intern experience!

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This year I signed up for another volunteer experience with My TEFL Experience a small English school in Valencia, Spain the first week of September, on the recommendation of a fellow TEFL teacher.  This time it was more formal classroom teaching, and most of the students were beginner to intermediate so I taught English grammar and lessons to practice reading, listening, some writing and speaking.  It was at times challenging  but I taught about 20 hours during the week and got to practice my Spanish, eat good Spanish food and do some sight-seeing outside of teaching at the academy so it was another great teaching experience in beautiful Spain!  Again I met some wonderful colleagues from the UK, Australia, Texas and the students were wonderful, they all really wanted to learn.

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So now I decided my next teaching experience will be at home here in Colorado.  I’m about to go through a short teacher training at Intercambio, a school in Boulder, Colorado that offers English and Citizenship classes to mostly Mexican immigrants.  It’s another volunteer experience and I expect to start in November or December for once or twice a week one-one-one in the Boulder county or Broomfield area for six months.

I have 9 years of experience working in the communications and business-to-business field so I’m happy to help individuals learning English for business or career reasons or for any reason really. It’s funny where life will take you if you let your interests guide you.

I’m also learning Spanish so traveling to Spain helped me practice Spanish and hopefully having some language exchanges in Boulder with new students will further my Spanish language learning, as well as hone my teaching skills.  Volunteering is it’s own reward and being exposed to new cultures, languages and people is personally enriching.  I’m so grateful for these experiences and excited for what’s to come!