By: Lulu Cohen, Benzinga.com
My father (an Emmy-winning producer) said that we should be able to visit our local grocery store and buy a pack of marijuana cigarettes. He believed the country would benefit. His eye opening foresight made me think: How will the next generation make this happen?
When hemp was legalized in the US last December, it ushered in boundless business opportunities and opened up the American market to new unchartered territory. Companies selling cannabis and CBD products gained access to accelerated financial development. The floodgates are beginning to shift for legal pot and the fever for CBD (as a wellness product) has reached an all-time high.
Most recently, the passing of the Marijuana Banking Bill is a truly historic event — financial institutions will now be protected under law. The bill is set to become the first marijuana reform bill ever to clear a chamber of Congress. The legislation, if ultimately made into law, would protect financial institutions and ancillary firms that serve marijuana businesses from criminal prosecution and other consequences. A long awaited move, the bill would create stability and security for the multibillion-dollar cannabis industry.
Powerhouse corporate startup CannaTrac is an important part of the future of legal cannabis. CannaTrac takes out the cash aspect of weed, offering free re-loadable gift cards. Money is added to the card and used at retail locations where marijuana is legal. This takes the cash out of the dispensaries, making it safer to do business. Consumer friendly, the CannaTrac card is versatile. If you enter a CBD shop in a city where recreational use isn’t legal, you can use your card there also.
On the no-frills direct marketing side, medium sized company, CBD Essence launched their line in 2014 and got a good jump on their competition. “We never spent a lot of money on marketing and always worked with referrals. Currently, we employ digital marketers and bloggers who work with us to further develop our online presence. Our new Hemp Taffy line is exploding and we’ve logged additional sales because of the launch this year,” says Don Ballou, Founder and Creator, CBD Essence. The company has seen a significant jump in the past year, citing CBD capsules as their best seller.
Kaneh Co offers gourmet edibles and was launched in 2016 by CEO, Rachel King. Based in Southern California, and Oakland, Kaneh Co was born because of personal relationships. Friends came together, believed in the product and put their own money in to start the bakery. “We went door-to-door, dispensary to dispensary, and sat with budtenders in each store, asking them to recommend the product. Once we had raised enough capital, we utilized billboards and targeted specific cities,” says Kaneh CEO Rachel King.
As the march toward federal legalization continues, cannabis companies face tighter regulations, stricter compliance, social justice and equity laws.