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That’s a snappy title isn’t it? For the record – as a business and as a consumer – I don’t feel that way. I candidly wanted to stir up an emotional reaction based on limited facts so that you would click on the blog…. BUT what I do want to talk about or rather, what have I been thinking about is how mainstream is cannabis?

How beyond stigma are we? I, a dues paying member of the millennial class, has had the opportunity to see cannabis go from “oh my god is that weed?” to “they have delivery services that will drop it off now…with a full menu” to even “there is a giant dispensary and weedmaps billboard right when you pull out of SFO.” Regardless of my personal take or stance on consumption or responsible consumption by a fully matured adult*, the landscape for cannabis and its acceptance has altered completely. Viceland on TV has a few programs dedicated solely to gourmet consumption, and even Netflix has multiple original programs from sitcoms to documentaries to cooking contests focused on cannabis. With all of this stimulus and visibility for the green rush – how do consumers want to incorporate cannabis into their daily lives? Not so much from a consumption perspective but more so – how does it fit as a piece of the puzzle of day to day life?

Will tie dye, smiley faces and reggae music always be synonymous to this industry? Does that detract through the association of negative stigma? Enough highly successful people have come forward and celebrated cannabis publicly so that most people truly in the know don’t assume everyone who enjoys THC is a modern day caricature of the stoner guy from Dazed and Confused (which one!!!)

I think the next few years of branding will be interesting – cannabis may mean and serve a different purpose for Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers…if they are all buying the same product – what will be the mechanism or story to get them to buy? What will be the messaging or outfitting that generates that first click from a new consumer or entices someone to get past the “porn shop shame” and visit a dispensary?

Brands and products are going to have to rely on companies like Safe-Reach.com to reach these audiences and they will have to rely on speculation and market feedback on what to talk to these audiences about. Understanding regionalization, demographics, economic buyer profiles will be prudent in outreach and analysis on successes or failures within the industry and its isolated state to state markets.

So while cannabis hipsters may be looking for a new past time as the mainstream acceptance for this industry grows, I for one believe were just getting started into the cool and exciting evolution of a massive yet infantile opportunity.

Adam Schlett