Jan 05 2017 . 4 min read





By Mark S.A. Smith

Adult-use cannabis is coming to Nevada and as we anticipate the Nevada Legislature acting quickly so as to begin collecting the willingly-paid tax revenue, you can begin to adjust your business plans to capitalize on the correction of a failed prohibition on cannabis.

Continue Focusing on Medical Consumers

While you may be tempted to rapidly shift focus to recreational users, keep in mind that we don’t know how long the Legislature will take to issue retail licenses. Until then, work on growing your medical patient market.

Medical patients will most likely be more frequent buyers and more consistent customers as they seek relief and benefit from cannabis’ curative properties. They can be a dependable, consistent base on which to grow your recreational business. This means continuing education about terpenes for specific health outcomes, various dosing methods for differing social and medical situations, and helping those who have been resistant to using cannabis because of its legal status learn how to find relief and healing.

Develop brands that target middle-age consumers and seniors. While a hip granny will be down with smokin’ a bowl of OG Gold Kush, she may be more willing to share her experience with a reserved sounding brand and conventional consumption method. Sweet Slumber, Rhum Relief, or Appetizer might be more appealing, especially when provided as a small-dose edible or topical.

For many potential medical users, smoking isn’t an option. They don’t want to “smell like a stoner” and they don’t like the harshness, especially if they aren’t tobacco smokers. Helping them understand alternative administration methods is the key to them embracing medical cannabis.

Build on Medical for the Adult-Use Market

What’s the difference between weed and cannabis?
Lab testing.

With Nevada’s stringent requirements for lab analysis, we’ve set the standard on what high-quality cannabis means. It translates into a predictable, pleasant experience instead of an unpredictable and potentially un-fun outcome. And with active ingredient labeling, a customer no longer needs to guess what the results will be: Am I going to have a great time or get couch locked?

You can create true branded experiences with your products by educating adult-use customers on the generally expected effects of terpenes, CBDs, and THC dosages. While each person’s experience will vary, you can finally lead them in the right direction.

Sophisticated customers don’t just want to get high, they want to enhance their social experiences. With the elimination of most of the unregulated growing practices, customers experience few deleterious aftereffects common to poorly grown product. After your customers have tried the high-quality growth that Nevada raises, they won’t settle for other moldy, weedy product.

The Cannabis Cocktail Lifestyle

Many of your prospective customers want to use cannabis like they use alcohol to relax and enhance their social experiences. They’d much rather enjoy a controlled dose of cannabis then do cheap shots. Even the very best cannabis is way less expensive than a typical Vegas bar tab -- and you’ll feel so much better in the morning.

When you consider the drink selection at a cocktail bar, every bottle behind the bar contains ethanol, the alcohol that makes us feel good. The difference between the least expensive and most expensive drink is everything else that’s in — or not in — the bottle that enhances the ethanol. That’s why a glass of red wine makes you feel different then a shot of tequila, and a fine whiskey feels different from a shot of cheap vodka.

You may wish to draw parallels to the cocktails customers enjoy with the products you offer. Most
cocktail drinkers know how much they can consume for the effect they want. With dosing information, in short order, your cannabis consumers can have the same predictable experience.

Mark S.A. Smith helps business executives create disruptive and comprehensive business strategies and marketing plans. He publishes weekly business articles on LinkedIn (http://MarksOnLinkedIn.com) and is writing his 14th book “Selling Disruption.” Contact him at Mark.Smith@BijaCo.com