There’s a social component to smoking pot—puff, puff, give—and now some of the industry’s purveyors are taking this collectivist philosophy to its marketing approach.
Despite some of the smoke and regulation the cannabis industry faces in advertising, nine cannabis tech companies are coming together with hopes of redefining how an industry can collaborate and partner. In a new movement dubbed the “Future of Cannabis Retail,” various companies across the cannabis spectrum— like Baker, an ecommerce platform for cannabis, and Lightshade, a Colorado dispensary—have created an exhibit, website, social media campaign and short film created by film and animation company, Postmodern.
This consortium was first revealed in April and is officially going out into the wild at the MJBizConNEXT conference in New Orleans on May 9. In addition to working with Lightshade, Baker partnered with Hypur, Confident Cannabis, Trellis, Headset, Cova, Rootery and StickyGuide to start the movement.
The concept of the campaign and film originally began in January when Baker was approached by MJBizConNEXT to create a large and influential presence on the exhibition floor. The company’s co-founder, David Champion, decided to focus less on Baker and instead came up with an immersive, IMAX-like experience where attendees could watch the film and see where the cannabis industry has come from and where it’s going to.
“With a piece like this, we’re presenting that modern, high-tech professional front that priortizes safety, transparency, education, all the elements that a consumer would expect from any kind of retail transaction,” Champion said.
In addition to bringing more awareness to cannabis, Champion wants to unite cannabis companies in ways that seem contrary to capitalism.
“How can we operate differently than the world we’ve seen and in other industries?” Champion said. “That’s through collaboration instead of competition and challenging and backstabbing.”
Lightshade is one of the nine partners in the movement that believes in this line of thinking.
“Things like loyalty and transparency and collaboration are valued greatly in this industry,” said Joanne Madrid, marketing and promotions manager at Lightshade. “Because it’s a new industry, I think that it’s also set up a dynamic where partners are able to be transparent and honest with each other.”
For Madrid, the campaign highlights how each of these companies wants to make sure the industry is “sustainable” and how much regulation and work occurs behind the scenes to operate a business in the space.
“We hope this message reaches the entire industry and those who are not perhaps yet engaging with cannabis,” Champion said.