Legal Marijuana Is Blowing It.
The recent article by James McNab regarding Netflix was premised on the streaming industry’s attempts to placate public demand. This, in turn caused me to think about weed of all things — the kind people like. The entire West Coast is likely to be marijuana legal this time next year. That’s a large nation-size population. So what to the people want ? Will the new industry give it to them? Does the industry care?
Do you know the difference between blueberry cookie and black jack? Which one helps you sleep? Which one helps you get pyrotechnical grade sex? One should not need a bud tender to explain your desired efficacy much of the time.
Not being a marijuana business professional, I can only comment as an industry outsider:
First, no one really knows what the people want. All you have is anecdotal evidence from what sells most. Perhaps the best funded players jointly fund a very large study of users ranging from casual to those psychologically dependent to see what your customers want. Give them your recreational pot. All strains. Get their responses in real time. Within a few years you will a good bell curve to gauge what most people like and don’t. Think of this study to which you all contribute as a goodwill enterprise and loss leader. The payoff will come soon enough.
Second, you folks in the business to a terrible job of educating a basically uninformed populace. There are millions of people who think they can eat an entire MJ chocolate bar. Almost as many think smoking is no different than vaping in terms of long term well being. And don’t get me started on sativa v. indica, which only your customers can discern and very few of your future customers — who will swamp the current ones in numbers one day soon. It’s a mistake to think you can outsource this important job to government. Trust me. I’m part of government.
Third, you have no “demonstrable” quality control. Most of you have it. But it remains a mystery and unexplained in lay terms for a lay populace. Good reviews won’t cut it when the liquor and pharmaceutical industries start thinking about crushing you, something in which they have dabbled but not yet with full force. I have an island to sell if you don’t think your industry rivals, the corporate media, and certain Federal allies are beyond peddling unfettered lies and falsehoods.
That the law bars tv advertising, and the Feds won’t even allow normal banking yet should not be obstacles to effective communication. Social media is the create equalizer, completely untapped by the nascent industry.
In short, knowledge is power. But for the legal marijuana industry to thrive it must empower its consumers. As a parent and citizen, that means my kids one day, my friends and family, and perhaps me if I get sick, don’t want to home grow, and would rather purchase from a local shop rather than a distant MMJ shop. I’m a taxpayer too. I want financial well being for my State and, indirectly, me. An industry disguised behind incomprehensible labeling, nomenclature, and terms of art cannot reach that lovely state well being, which ironically is exactly what it’s designed to sell.
Ray Davies said, give the people what they want. In the alternative, at least arrive at uniform labeling and grading system that informs the people what you have.