Penny Cook, Chief Operating Officer of Lemonhaze, a premier boutique events company that facilitates connections within the cannabis space. Lemonhaze events are designed to foster elite experiences.
Looking back at 2021, what were some highlights for the industry and/or your business?
The industry was able to get back to in-person events, which has been a highlight for all of us. For Lemonhaze, COVID forced us to look at new approaches to events, and coming up with the executive golf tournament turned out to be successful and easily replicated in multiple markets. The market responded overwhelmingly positively because there wasn’t anything else bringing the industry together in such a meaningful and focused way. They’ve proven to be fun and valuable for everyone involved.
Besides legalization/decriminalization, do you have any cannabis-related forecasts or predictions for 2022 that you would like to share?
We’ll continue to see acquisitions and mergers, allowing MSOs to get bigger and grow into more markets. We will see more boutique brands emerge like the craft alcohol and beer markets, with incredible niche products and great branding. And, mainstream companies like health care providers, HR companies, lenders, and technology companies who have started taking the cannabis business seriously will be creating segments in their businesses specifically for cannabis.
What are your thoughts on the return of in-person cannabis events in 2021?
The pandemic has allowed us to rethink the way events have been done, and we’ve come up with better and more effective events than we had before. As a result, we come out of this, helping businesses form deeper connections and more exciting and fun ways for the industry to grow together.
What are industry trends that need to disappear in 2022?
There’s been a long-standing stigma around cannabis that is beginning to fade away. People use it as a great wellness and health tool and a safe recreational alternative. There’s some great product development, branding, and innovative business going on around it. The stigma around it needs to go away as it finds its way into mainstream business and consumer markets.
Top 5 Business Learnings in Cannabis in 2021
5. Mainstream companies can help your business, and you need to look outside the industry for services.
4. Thinking outside of the marketing box is more important than ever due to no change in any advertising regulation anytime soon. As a result, companies are finding new and creative ways to get their names and businesses out there.
3. The move to smaller, high-end premium-level events connects you to more of the right people and has a higher ROI than investing in one large, all-encompassing trade event a year.
2. Product is becoming more commoditized, and companies with solid brand approaches are winning.
1. Waiting on the safe banking act to pass isn’t a viable business approach. Instead, companies are finding ways to circumvent financing hurdles and get the services they need.
The inaugural Lemonhaze Cannabis Industry Executive Golf Invitational has emerged as the most coveted invitation in the cannabis industry. Please visit their website to stay informed about other Lemonhaze experiences, including Virtual Upfronts, legendary Budtender Parties, and focus groups.