Marijuana is still a highly restricted product despite being legally accepted in a growing number of states. Legal access to marijuana products is limited to dispensaries that are manned by expert, “budtenders.” With over 8,000 marijuana strains to choose from, plus with the emergence of creative entrepreneurs — often referred to as “ganjapreneurs” — offering innovative marijuana products, the consumer is in a conundrum on what marijuana brand to get. For the cannabis market, branding gets most of the job done. Developing a good brand through good packaging design is a strategy that these entrepreneurs use to get around restrictions on marketing and advertising. How do these branded marijuana products move from the shelves and into the consumer’s bag? Here are a few strategies that these new wave ganjapreneurs are using.
Follow State Restrictions
The first thing to do is to know what the state regulations and restrictions are with regards to packaging marijuana products. Different states have different legal tolerance levels on the product. A common restriction is that the marijuana product should come in childproof packaging. Another restriction is for the product to either come in single dose sizes or be presented with single dose measure options. A re-sealable mechanism for multiple dose options is also required to keep the marijuana product in good condition for future use.
Listen to the Consumer
After taking legal restrictions into consideration, the next step is to apply insights from the consumer’s needs and wants into the packaging design. There has been consumer feedback wherein they want discretion in marijuana consumption. This insight has given rise to packaging options that offer portability and smallness: smaller packaging for pills, slim and sleek vape pens, single rolls and cigars, single dose infused coffee pods and tea bags. Since marijuana’s legalization, surprise sectors that are steadily growing are the female consumers and the wealthy older consumers. Women still buy most of the products needed for the home and family members. Baby boomers, the segment to which wealthy consumers belong, have bigger disposable incomes. Smart ganjapreneurs have cashed in on this insight by investing in packaging design that has a clean contemporary appeal. Design aesthetics range from luxurious to organic to homey to old school pharmacy, depending on the product carried.
Cannabis entrepreneurs are aware that the ultimate push they will get for their products is building the customer experience anchored on trust. The ultimate aim is to assure the marijuana product’s quality and integrity as validated by relevant scientific data. Some packaging designs capitalize on these features through a visual look that communicates the product as integral to one’s wellness and healthy living. Product education is integrated into the design through a listing of ingredients, active ingredient levels, manufacturer’s history, product strain story, and scientific test performance, among others.
The cannabis market is poised for remarkable growth within the next five years. Despite legal restriction in marketing and advertising, a variety of new marijuana products are starting to fill the shelves of the dispensaries. Packaging is the first medium through which consumers encounter the product. Smart packaging design that incorporates government mandates with stand out visual appeal will move the product from the shelves to the consumer.
A MarijuanaNewsOnline.com Feature