The 5 Most Important Steps to Launching Your Cannabis Brand
With cannabis legalization and sales on the rise, it is becoming increasingly important for emerging cannabis companies to set themselves apart as they bring their brand to a larger market. This article focuses on the top 5 ways a new brand can set itself apart during launch.
1. Familiarize yourself with (your) cannabis industry.
First familiarize yourself with the cannabis industry in the state(s) where you intend to sell products. Until federal legalization, each state will continue to follow its own rules and regulations. With each state being its own “island”, understanding laws specific to your state is critical and important for long term success.
Brands should analyze state specific regulations before making any brand decisions. It’s also important to decide your target market and make decisions that will appeal to that customer base. Strain names, colors used, and language can have an impact on business, and you’ll want to consider these factors even if they don’t seem important to start. You’ll also want to weigh your long term goals of serving as a multi-state operator or a single-state operator.
2. Differentiate your brand from the others.
This is arguably the most important step for launching a cannabis brand, especially in states like California with a more saturated market. You can go about differentiating your brand in multiple ways: you can tell your company’s personal story, develop a unique selling point, create attractive labeling, diversify product offerings, and so much more. Use your initial state-specific research to determine the best way to differentiate your budding brand in a way that is appealing to your target clientele and customers.
3. Build an attractive website for consumers and clients.
It comes as no surprise that in today’s climate, brand websites matter to consumers. Clunky and outdated pages are unlikely to appeal to customers who may be interested in your brand while shopping online, or to those that might have some knowledge of your brand.
That’s why you should take the time to invest in building a visually appealing site, even if that requires outside help. A seamless social media launch can do wonders for your brand when it is ready to appear on shelves.
4. Protect your intellectual property.
Because of ongoing federal cannabis prohibition, emerging businesses in the cannabis industry face additional IP challenges that don’t exist in other industries. Since cannabis is still illegal at the federal level, federal trademark registration for the plant is still unavailable. That said, federal trademark law does not prevent the filing a trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Therefore, by filing an application, you would form a “publication,” creating an official record of your attempt to assert rights under the trademark law, which could “secure your place in line” once cannabis trademarks are permitted down the road.
Additionally, certain legal cannabis-related activities may achieve federal trademark registration such as clothing items featuring a cannabis-related trademark. Some examples include t-shirts, and cannabis-related content like “educational information, news, blogs, and entertainment (like podcasts).”
Therefore, it may be a smart move for brands to secure a federal trademark for legal cannabis-related activities, as it may assist the process of securing trademarks for other cannabis products and services down the road.
5. Ensure you are complying with cannabis branding.
Most states have regulations that specifically apply to cannabis branding and it will be important to understand these rules before making marketing-related decisions. For example, Governor Newsom of California just vetoed a bill that would have allowed cannabis businesses to advertise on billboards along state highways. Additionally in California, as well as many other states, there are specific requirements as to what brands can and cannot say in marketing materials.
If you’re looking for assistance with launching your own brand, Greenbelt offers full c-suite concierge services, including:
- Concierge Consulting Services
- Social Equity Support Services
- Brand & Product Development
- Operational Development
- Due Diligence & Investment Support
- Vendor Referral & Partner Placement
- Licensing & Application Development
- Regulatory & Compliance
- Land Use & Development
- Property Identification & Referral
- Talent Recruitment
Regarding branding, through our collaborations with industry-leading cultivators, manufacturers, distributors and dispensaries, we are able to launch high-quality private and white label products into any adult-use market in the US. Our turnkey solution provides clients with access to a network of cannabis vendors to ensure that your product will achieve successful entry into the marketplace.
Additionally, Greenbelt has cultivated relationships across the entire cannabis industry nationwide that our clients utilize to source legitimate and suitable manufacturers, distributors, cultivators, retailers, sales partnerships, and laboratories with the ability to support and grow your cannabis operation.
As for compliance, we analyze applicable state cannabis laws and regulations and provide a suggested strategy for the ever-changing cannabis landscape no matter the size of your operation. Our team will serve as your "on call" Compliance Support Center to provide you instant guidance regarding operations, best practices, and ongoing compliance matters, whether it is facility management and product display or packaging and labeling of products, our compliance team is fully equipped to handle complex matters. We also have exciting news debuting tomorrow about the launch of our brand new compliance platform. Make sure to subscribe to our social media to be the first to know!
You can reach out to us here for more information or to submit a business inquiry.