One of the most difficult tasks for public relations is the reversal of the historically negative stigma. Changing perceptions of the marijuana industry is one such task; with an expanding legalization campaign across the country, however, it is a task that no PR pros should be looking to avoid. Indeed, just six years after the first state attempt to legalize recreational marijuana use, there is an emerging national cannabis industry that has grown to include bespoke products of all types.
While the tide of public perception of marijuana use appears to be turning in favor of the industry, federation restriction and regulation remain two key hurdles to the growth of the industry.
Here are some hot topic issues to stay abreast of:
California fell $100 million short of its projected annual tax revenue in the wake of marijuana legalization. The fact that the state has high taxes on the drug is not a coincidence; the close to 40% tax rate appears to be encouraging consumers to return to black market products. On the other hand, forcing high taxes on businesses- rather than the consumer- can short the supply of marijuana in the market.
Marijuana is already legal in several states; this, however, does not mean that marijuana is available for purchase in all municipalities. Furthermore, not all municipalities allow sales of legalized recreational marijuana; as you prepare your clients for legalization, be sure to steer clear of pot deserts.
Marijuana can, and does, fail lab tests. A product may fall short for a number of reasons, including anything from mislabelling to pesticide contamination. As the industry evolves, the costs associated with these tests could range from anywhere in the affordable to distinctly expensive range. This situation may leave producers with products they cannot shift, increasing the risk of supply to the black market.
Embrace Lab Testing
It is an easy thing to agree on: states that legalize marijuana should retain a vest interested in ensuring a supply of safe marijuana. Therefore, it is critical that states create a comprehensive infrastructure for lab testing. If regional labs are not well-equipped to handle rising demand markets will notice and customers will be left dissatisfied.
Don’t Overlook the Importance of Distributors
At present, it is not legal to hold a distribution and retail license at the same time. Even so, small scale businesses can legally produce and distribute products to retailers, making it vital that enough distributing licenses are issued to prevent the emergence of a gap in the market.
Single Supply Chain Tracking Systems
The supply chain is one of the biggest complications for businesses looking to enter the marijuana market. As such, entrepreneurs must think outside the box when maintaining oversight over their supply chains. With the development of blockchain technology, for example, a new form of product management has emerged. The marijuana industry is still in its early days, but this does not make good PR and business management skills any less important.