InsightsPOSTED March 2, 2019

Crystal Ball 2019: Cannabis – what do we know and what’s to come

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Cannabis Communication

With 2019 ramping up, expect new trends throughout the news, social media, technology and more. At APEX and ruckus digital we will be sharing our predictions on some of these trends that we think will define 2019 (or at least part of it).

Chloe Matcham, coordinator at APEX PR, shares insights into of the evolving in Cannabis space to date.

Cannabis, weed, pot… however you’ve commonly referenced it, the point is you’ve referenced it – and recently.

Legal cannabis is one of the largest industries to evolve in our lifetime. For Canadians, we’ve got a front row seat and a fierce first mover advantage over the United States to establish brands in the European marketplace – the next largest existing cannabis market outside North America.

How many times have we been able to say that before?!

The pressure is on, and as such, I can’t help but track the nuances in this uncertain, highly regulated and quickly evolving space.

To date, there are 150 established licensed producers (LPs) in Canada, according to Health Canada and already, they’re navigating how to tailor communications to multiple stakeholders: governments, health care practitioners, capital markets, investors and consumers.

In attending a recent IABC interactive discussion on cannabis, Ashley Chiu, EY’s Cannabis Industry Research Leader shared that Canada can expect to see about 150,000 industry-related jobs emerge in the next few years – presenting huge opportunities for job growth and economic development. Growing sustainably in what feels like a race to the finish is proving very difficult for companies to tackle alone. As a result, get ready to see the emergence of strategic cannabis partnerships with behemoth industries; we’re talking tobacco, alcohol, food and pharma.

A few LPs have already been awarded with R&D licenses and it’s predicted these will be the most appealing for adjacent cannabis companies to pair with first.

While the black market may have had its most profitable year yet, education will continue to be the key to elevate the legal market. Brands must differentiate themselves to survive. We’re going to see this through niche market segments – whether it’s high-end concentrates, vegan/organic, discounted bulk purchases, edibles, or wellness treatments… each company’s value proposition must resonate with their audience, just as any other consumer goods marketing strategy would.

There’s still so much to learn – for everyone – but as our general knowledge improves, we will become better positioned to make the right choices. Still fresh into the New Year get ready for some big waves with branding, non-combustible consumption and standardization.

Chloe Matcham is a Coordinator at APEX Public Relations. Looking to create an integrated plan for your cannabis company? Visit our website or email us at bigger@apexpr.com

Check out more of our Crystal Ball series to know what other trends to expect in 2019.

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