It’s no surprise that marijuana legalization in the United States has become a growing topic in recent years. With Colorado and Washington being the first two states to legalize the recreational use of the plant, its revenue potential has become blatantly clear – Colorado is expected to collect $134 million from its first year of legal pot sales. This being said, entrepreneurs and marketers alike are realizing the potential of this untapped market.
The federal government still considers cannabis as a Schedule I controlled substance, according to AdWeek. Because of this, pot startups, otherwise known as “ganjapreneurs”, are hesitant to jump full speed into the market. Despite more relaxed views on pot, both from the public as a whole (58% of Americans favor legalization) and from elected officials, legalization is still an issue. In the upcoming years, many states are predicted to allow some form of legalization, so the national potential for the plant will grow exponentially. Until that time comes, marketers are working on branding pot like they would any other product. Putting a name and logo on pot would allow it to be recognized and allow users to shop for their favorite brands, just like they do with clothes, electronics, etc. However, this isn’t an easy task because many consumers don’t view pot as a product – atleast not yet. With marijuana startups working on everything from packaging to exclusivity, this will change very soon.
These startups are competing to make a name for themselves in this soon-to-be booming market. The potential is there, however, complete legalization is not. So basically it comes down to a balancing act – how can these ganjapreneurs continue to build their brands but still remain out of the hands of the law? The options for branding cannabis are limitless, so it will be interesting to see how this market catches fire in the upcoming years.