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This week’s topic of conversation is a bit more locale than I usually address. I’ve grown up in New Jersey, run the company (mostly) out of New Jersey and have watched from the sidelines as states have moved forward with recreational cannabis while I watched from the sidelines in New Jersey.

Just this week I attended the “Cannagather” event in Hoboken, NJ – just one day after the recreational cannabis bill moved successfully past NJ legislatures. I have attended a few Cannagather events and they are always well run, well attended gatherings. Excitement was in the air for sure this past Tuesday,  and away from the wonderful chicken wings and great speakers here a few things I’m seeing from the space:

1. Advertising – no one has figured out any advertising outside of AdWords or Influencer Media on IG. Even with that, the experiences by some of the larger brands there are that of being shut down or undiscoverable, which makes this a less than ideal way to plan the growth of your business. This is why and where Safe-Reach will help offer audience extension to this industry!

  • There are a few companies who operate in the CRM and supply chain management space. Some of these groups are live today in current legal markets. Some other players, like Good Harvest Company, are working to bring retail technology to sellers and retail providers to leverage buying behaviors and customer intelligence to offer better products and services to the market.

2. Pick and Shovel Business – While no one can be outwardly growing or selling just yet as licenses and legal issues are being figured out, there are a good deal of vendors who are non plant touching that are positioning themselves well for the coming market:

  • Accountants – everybody needs a CPA
  • Security – Wherever you sit in the supply chain the reality is you’re going to be dealing with primarily cash and will be a hot target for bad actors looking to take advantage of this newly legal crop.
  • PR – This seems to be the cover for ad agencies, while media buying isn’t a thing just yet (Jan 2019!). Many companies are working on branding and positioning for when the market goes live. Any way to be discoverable online is a benefit for these companies.
  • Packaging – Eventually NJ will see the rise of a few major manufacturers, a few speciality packaging, and some more broad use packaging companies, who are making their presence felt to aspiring growers, cooks and product creators.
  • Legal – No one needs additional pre-amble here. Any business will need some legal advice and some very large firms are positioning themselves as the specialists in the US and NJ cannabis industry.

The last theme was social equity in the newly-founded cannabis industry. Minority communities are arrested at a rate exponentially higher than non-minority communities, and many advocates are pushing for legislation that offers advanced opportunities to these communities away from just expungement. It will be interesting to see how this factors into the legal cannabis market in NJ along with other states.

Thank you Cannagather – https://cannagather.com/ for the great night!