Integrating Cannabis Luxury and Social Good

Apple has become one of the highest-value companies ever, partly because of its great margins on products. We pay between five-to-eight hundred dollars for a device that costs $8-to-$25 to produce. Could you imagine buying directly from the production factory in China? The brand identity and its appeal would be different.

For all products, every process after end product productions to getting into your finger-tips is noise. Many cannabis brands describe products as high-end, luxury, or premium, amongst the cliché words, while others dive into the shallow end of the cannabis health and wellness pool. The catchy cannabis brands respectfully assimilate the liking of well-known influences.

For traditional consumers, the packaging doesn’t matter. Unimpressed by packaging is true across retail and wholesale. Laboratory test results are essential in cannabis. A consistent potency result for branded products works well for medical consumers. Overall, consumer good luxury brands produce special and limited releases for products, using scarcity tactics and ultimately re-release to build culture.

Building a “high-end” marijuana brand is much more than packaging or images on social media. Marijuana has been readily available across many communities, so communicating on scarcity or product features isn’t enough. Luxury in cannabis is giving. It is, knowing that there have been populations harmed by prohibition and doing business with brands that have good taste in social responsibility.

Companies have to match their brand identity with a positive impact plan as a licensed marijuana establishment in MA, governed by state regulators. The purpose of each impact plan is to adopt procedures and policies to promote and encourage full participation in the regulated cannabis industry by individuals from communities disproportionately harmed by marijuana prohibition. Without duplicating efforts, if your social impact is already to improve these communities, you are ahead of the game.

Outside of cannabis, when luxury mixes with high corporate responsibility, we call it social entrepreneurship or a social enterprise. An organization like Certified B Corporations accredits and endorses businesses that meet high standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability, which balance profit and purpose.

Although they are iconic, tech giants like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple are so accessible that it’s hard to consider them a luxury brand. You could be low-income or jobless and still own an Apple device. Still, we can not say the same for a Ferrari mostly because the features are vastly superior compared to a Honda or other economical cars. Fundamental technologies (internet, phone, laptop, etc.) are now an economic necessity, much like marijuana in the community, regardless of its regulations.

There is plenty of luxury feel cannabis brands. They convey a solid message as outlined in Forbes — Meet Pot’s Most Prestigious Brands To Make The Luxury Meets Cannabis Conference Cut — these brands primarily developed on the west coast where the market for cannabis and marijuana is mature and saturated. As a highly regulated product with past harms, it’s essential to stitch in community plans into your luxury offering.

Originally published at on May 26, 2020.



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