The rise of the cannabis economy

1 in 5 American adults has access to legal marijuana. Colorado processed one billion in sales in just the first eight months of 2017. In fact, by 2020, the marijuana market is estimated to reach 22 billion in revenue.

Marijuana users have historically been viewed as college dorm stoners or perhaps baby-boomer hippies. But what we’re seeing is a whole new range of products aimed at the enthusiastic and hip millennial audience. So why should marketers care about this too? Well, for one we’re seeing these products being positioned in a radically different way and it’s being coupled with increasing normalization among consumers. Nearly 2/3 of Americans supported legalization in 2017 so you have a wide range of support for this. This number has nearly doubled since the 2000s so you’re seeing rapidly changing perceptions. And with that said, marijuana is now being positioned as a tool, as a therapy and a multitude of new different spaces.

So for example, High Times is supporting moms who get high and using either CBS oil or smoking cannabis itself as a way to manage the challenges of motherhood. Recently, sublingual nano-sprays have been introduced where the effects don’t last all afternoon so you can still do the school run, in theory.

All of this is a part of this general shift where we’re actually seeing marijuana being pointed as a lifestyle vertical. We’re seeing this also coupled with a shift in media, from celebrities to pop culture, everyone is really starting to celebrate and normalize pot and all its iterations as a part of everyday life. Broad City is probably a good example of that, High Maintenance HBO, and of course Vice Media.

We’re also seeing a whole wave of new brands trying to luxify the use of cannabis-related products. In fact, it’s gone so far the Business of Fashion which is a leading luxury in fashion business network pitched marijuana as the luxury industry’s next big opportunity.

One of the big shifts that we’ve seen with this recent explosion of marijuana is this notion of “Women and Weed” culture. Entrepreneurs and celebrities like Whoopi Goldberg who has teamed with a partner to create Whoopi and Maya, a medical marijuana line of botanicals that help with menstrual cramps. We have Foria, a tampon brand that also includes weed.

All of this is a part of a massive wave of creativity generally. Aspects of cannabis are being appreciated for more tangential properties and benefits and we’re looking forward to seeing how this market flourishes to more innovation and more startups and more cannabis-infused moisturizers in the future.




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Isufi Grese


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