When change comes, it comes fast. The rapid expansion of cannabis legalization, explosive consumer demand and increased cannabis acceptance, has lead to an entirely new industry. From the mountain farm to the city dispensary, adaptation to nearly daily change has become the norm. Overall though, there are some specific trends that stand out.
First of all, transparency coming to cannabis. Traditionally, a cannabis farm isn't something that you advertise, share, or grant access to if it can be avoided. Farms are usually in the countryside behind locked gates, or in nondescript warehouses with a serious amount of security cameras. Even in the legal market, the threat of being robbed for product or cash is very real. As time goes on though, this reality is slowly shifting, as the market demands transparency. More brands are showcasing their farms, facilities, and people, in order to show customers how their weed is grown. Access that previously would have only been granted to close friends or local business partners is available through Instagram. Transparency of operations and branding has even spread to LinkedIn: the platform traditionally focused on suits and resumes now features people selling everything from exotic distillate to mid flower. As time goes on, the daily operation of cannabis companies will become more visible to your average consumer. Are you ready to show off how you run?
Hey nice weed, wanna million dollars? While that statement may sound simplified, it's not far off the reality. Cannabis companies from cultivation to analytics have been raking in millions annually from investors. We are only beginning to understand the possibilities in this emerging market, and venture capitalists are betting big on companies they think will be able to discover and occupy those niches first. The areas of largest growth have been Point Of Sale, delivery, consumer analytics, and cultivation tracking. Like any hyped and explosively growing industry, there will most likely be some pretty high profile failures as value propositions are tested, regulations are ignored, and emperors are found to have no clothes. The main issue with this money deluge is that sometimes it's hard to find out where it comes from. There are many large corporate interests, especially big pharma and tobacco, that most people in the cannabis community do not want anywhere near the industry. This cultural friction around investment will always be present to some extent in the cannabis industry, so please- Do your due diligence on who's money you are taking!
With so much new growth in the cannabis industry, it's becoming hard to tell who is legit anymore. Even within the population of legitimate businesses, there are a significant portion of them who have zero history or cultural connection with cannabis. A big blindspot for many entering the industry has always been authenticity. You can have money, good supplies of herb, and connections, but you're still not authentic. Why does this matter so much? Because cannabis has been illegal for so long. If you were going to thrive in the traditional market, you had to be able to walk the walk and talk the talk, and to recognize the same in potential business partners. While the industry is legalizing, many of the main movers and shakers started out operating outside of the law. The culture of earned trust and authenticity in cannabis isn't going anywhere any time soon. The new change is that this appreciation for authenticity is being applied more at higher levels of the market. As entrepreneurs get more and more exposure to the industry and the people who founded it, they have to answer more difficult questions about where they came from and what their intentions are in the industry. At OmniCann, we support this due diligence: if you can't smoke your product with a business partner, why are you doing business with them?