Part 4 of 8 of the 2018 Cannabis Trends: Welcome to Hollyweed
Another emerging trend in the cannabis industry is the growing level of comfort between Hollywood and cannabis. Although it’s no secret that many Hollywood stars have been known to indulge in cannabis use from time to time, most have been reluctant to publicly open up about their affinity for cannabis. But now that recreational cannabis is legal in California, it seems like every celebrity with even a modicum of fame is rushing to cash in on the legal cannabis industry.
Before recreational cannabis became legal in California, there were already a handful of daring celebrities that launched their own cannabis brands.
As an ardent medical cannabis advocate, Montel Williams was one of the first celebrities to dive feet first into the cannabis industry. In 2016, Williams launched the medical cannabis lifestyle brand Lentiv; which sells hemp-based CBD supplements and cannabis oils.
Melissa Etheridge was also one of the first celebrities out of the gate; in 2014 she released her own brand of cannabis wine called Know Label. Although marketed as a wine, Know Label is technically classified as a tincture as current California law forbids the selling of products that mix alcohol and cannabis.
As legalization spread throughout the country, becoming more of a question of when than if, more celebrities have come out of the woodwork. Willie Nelson has Willie’s Reserve, Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand Goop recently teamed up with the cannabis dispensary chain MedMen, and Whoopi Goldberg has Whoopi & Maya.
Not every cannabis loving celebrity wants to start their own brand, however, some just want to consume it. For those famous folk, a whole host of high-end luxury cannabis brands have started to take Hollywood by storm.
To start, the boutique hotel group Standard International has teamed up with the edibles maker Lord Jones to open a retail cannabis shop in the lobby of the Standard Hollywood, located on Sunset Boulevard. Once open, the shop will be stocked with high end cannabis products; both edible and smokeable.
During this year’s Academy Awards, the artisanal cannabis distributor Flow Kana became the first cannabis brand to hand out cannabis gift bags at the awards ceremony. Each bag contained several pre-rolled joints and jars of cannabis.
While stoner comedies have been a staple of Hollywood for decades, the same cannot be said of television; that is, until the last couple of years. The web series High Maintenance, which centers on a cannabis delivery man in New York, was picked up by HBO in 2016 and has been met with rave reviews.
Similarly, the streaming giant Netflix has already produced two cannabis-centered television shows, Disjointed and Cooking on High. Although neither show has been met with particularly favorable reviews, the fact that its subject matter is no longer controversial demonstrates the far reaching mainstream appeal of cannabis.
For all intents and purposes, cannabis has gone mainstream in Hollywood. In the short-term future, look for more celebrities entering into the cannabis industry, either with their own brand or as a partner with an existing company. Most of these brands will either fail commercially or simply fail to distinguish themselves; although the brands that lean into the luxury market will have a better chance of survival. Expect to see more awards shows and elite events embrace cannabis and don’t be surprised when joints become as common as a glass of champagne.
In the long-term, however, expect to see cannabis become boring. With more celebrities coming out about their cannabis use, more television shows about cannabis being produced, and more cultural institutions generally embracing cannabis; smoking a joint will no longer be seen as cool or edgy or anything other than normal.
Part 1 of 8 2018 Cannabis Trends: Female leadership on the rise.
They say the future is female, and there are few places where that is more apparent than in the cannabis industry. Once thought of as a male-dominated industry, women have quickly claimed their place as leaders in this burgeoning industry.
According to Marijuana Business Daily, women make up approximately 27% of C-Suite level positions in the cannabis industry, which doesn’t sound like much until you realize that the national average is only 23%. What is unsettling, is that in 2015 women held 36% of executive control. That is almost a 10% loss of leadership positioning in less than 3 years.
As the market matures, and continues to begin attracting more institutional capital, female entrepreneurs will have to work at keeping the industry a level playing field. And collectively, that is what the trends reveal that they are doing.
For women in cannabis, it has become a badge of honor to know that within their new burgeoning industry ready to take the globe by storm, they hold the largest percentage of ownership, management and control of any industry in the world for their gender. Therefore upon recognition of the possibility of losing that title, the women have begun to band together and work toward the goal of making cannabis the first industry in the world to achieve 50% female control.
When you drill down into specific segments of the cannabis industry, you start to see even more women in leadership positions.
For example, among cannabis dispensaries, women make up approximately 35% C-Suite level positions. That number rises even higher for ancillary cannabis brands, of which women comprise approximately 42% of executive level positions. Canadian medical cannabis company Tilray has the first female majority board of directors in the industry.
But the board room is not the only place in the cannabis industry where women are shining. Over the last few years, there has been a groundswell in the number of cannabis industry organizations made for and by women.
Perhaps the most well-known industry group for women in the cannabis industry is Women Grow. Founded in 2014 by cannabis personality Jane West, the group’s original goal was to help make the cannabis industry the first women-led billion dollar industry.
When initially launched,Women Grow was massively successful and soon dozens of chapters began sprouting up all across the country. But in recent years the organization has run into trouble; chapters have been closing and key leaders have left. Women Grow is currently in a transitional period. Hopes for a healthy, strong future have become possible for the organization with a new leadership team in place. However, the obstacles that Women Grow have faced has not stopped others from stepping in and helping to fill the void.
There are credible organizations that were created to help women in the cannabis industry in a general capacity, such asEllementa, andIndustry Power Women (IPW), that specifically bridge the gap between female entrepreneurs and the resources they require to succeed in business. Other organizations have been created to specifically help women of color, likeSupernova Women andWomen Abuv Ground.
In addition, women have come together and organized their efforts, creating groups that promote support, collaboration and solidarity. These networks are being forged through platforms like Facebook. The most popular one,Women Entrepreneurs in Cannabis, spearheaded byKadin Academy and the creator ofCannabiz Connection, provides an exclusive environment for industry-specific discussions. Members of the network are approved for inclusion based on a set of criteria intended to keep the group focused and beneficial to women in cannabis business.
Conferences and events geared specifically towards connecting and advancing a sense of camaraderie among women in the cannabis industry have increased significantly since the beginning of 2018. Workshops such as those conducted by theCannabis Women’s Empowerment Society are frequently conducted to help women navigate operation of all aspects in running a cannabis business.
On the consumer side of the cannabis industry, women are also starting to take center stage. One survey by theCannabis Consumers Coalition found that 53% of respondents were women, compared to 42% for men. Although the survey did not provide a complete snapshot of cannabis, it nonetheless underscores the growing importance of women as cannabis consumers.
Not only are there a growing number of women-oriented cannabis brands, there’s also a huge uptick in the number of investment opportunities for women. Since its founding in 2011,Pipeline Angels has helped more than 50 female-owned companies raise more than $5 million. Other services, likeEllevest, help provide the tools and assistance for women to become the investors themselves.
Recognizing the increased power of women investors, some sites have even taken to aggregating women-centered investing resources; such as37 Angels andCrunchbase.
According toForbes, fewer than 6% of decision-makers at venture capital firms in the United States are women. In 2016, while male entrepreneurs received more than $58 billion in funding, female entrepreneurs received 1.46 billion, approximately 2.5% of what men received.
In the short-term, expect to see women take charge and become drivers in the cannabis industry. This is a trend that you can see in almost every aspect of the economy, but its presence is felt most in the cannabis space where there are fewer entrenched interests than in other industries. The long-term projection for women in the cannabis industry is more or less the same as the short term. Women will continue to grow their power and influence in the cannabis industry and will most likely achieve greater equality than in other sectors of the economy.
Whoopi & Maya are continuing their expansion across the country with Colorado becoming the latest state to carry their products. While many companies are focusing all of their efforts in California because of the size of the market, Whoopi & Maya have conquered California and are moving east.
“We should be in Colorado starting November 15,” said Whoopi Goldberg, one of the co-founders of the company. “Oregon and Nevada are next and Maybe Canada.” The Whoopi & Maya line of medical marijuana products are mostly topical products created to help women alleviate pain from monthly menstrual symptoms. According to the Brightfield Group, the Whoopi & Maya products are number two in market share in the state of California.
RMZ Colorado is the company that will be helping to produce the line in the state. “They share the same goals and they love the product,” said Goldberg. RMZ will make the full line of Whoopi & Maya products. They will be sold in the following stores:
● GroundSwell Cannabis Boutique – Colfax Ave., Central Denver
● Sweet Leaf Pioneer – Eagle
● The Kind Room – South Denver
● Life Flower Dispensary – Glendale
● Colorado Green Stop – Eastern Colorado
● Bonfire Cannabis Company – Denver
● Simply Pure – Highlands
● Ajoya – Louisville
● MiNDFUL – Berthoud
● MiNDFUL – Colorado Springs
“With its focus on women’s health, quality ingredients, and elegant presentation, the Whoopi & Maya product line aligns perfectly with the values of RMZ Colorado. As former dispensary owners and managers, RMZ Colorado recognizes the growing demand for medicinally focused cannabis solutions, and we’re thrilled to introduce Whoopi & Maya to both medical and recreational patients in Colorado,” said Don Novak, CEO of RMZ Colorado.
Goldberg has been very vocal about the need for medical marijuana products for women and she quickly dispels the idea that the products are merely a way for women to get high without the stigma. “They can go use Weedmaps and get pot if they want to get high,” she said. “People use our products for relief from cramps and pain. I find it even helps me with muscle spasms.”
The Green Market Report focuses on the financial news of the rapidly growing cannabis industry. Our target approach filters out the daily noise and does a deep dive into the financial, business and economic side of the cannabis industry. Our team is cultivating the industry’s critical news into one source and providing open source insights and data analysis