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Why Leveraging Opportunity Is Vital for Cultivation Start-Ups

5 minutes reading time (1046 words)

Launching a cultivation start-up presents entrepreneurs with the opportunity to spread awareness among potential customers and establish their business as a valuable contributor to society.

But like alcohol and tobacco, most jurisdictions have laws that prohibit the marketing of cannabis products, so companies must be creative about reaching potential customers.

Consider leveraging the following opportunities to help strengthen your company’s relationships within the community and gain positive publicity in the cannabis industry.

Important people

The mayor can be one of your best allies. Long before selecting the production site, you should have received municipal permission to operate, and in the process, became acquainted with the mayor’s office.

Don’t let this relationship fall to the wayside now that you’re occupied launching your business.

Instead, keep the relationship alive and leverage this connection to your benefit. Invite the mayor and other city managers to a ribbon-cutting event to publicly launch your business, and periodically invite them back to view the progress of your cultivation site.

If the economy is poor where you’re doing business, emphasize the jobs that your business will create. If the economy is strong, highlight the high wages or excellent benefits that aim to improve the quality of life for your employees and their families.

Your relationship with the local police chief should also be leveraged to gain positive publicity.

The police chief is a key individual you should have met early in the land or facility selection process. An ongoing relationship with the chief will help mitigate any concerns from the community about the impact of a new cannabis business in town.

Invite the police department for a tour of the facility and emphasize the measures you have taken to ensure the safety of your employees and the surrounding community. Draw attention to the security of the facility and the various protocols in place to deter employee theft and diversion of product into the community.

With fencing, cameras, security guards, and biometric readers at each door, make it obvious that breaking into your cultivation site is near impossible.

The Media

Your new cannabis business is newsworthy, so leverage this opportunity by letting everyone know about it.

Get in the habit of constantly reaching out to both local media and cannabis industry news outlets. If the advertising of cannabis businesses is prohibited in your area, the media is often the only way of spreading awareness about your business.

Television, print, internet, and radio coverage from popular news outlets can provide you with much better exposure than you could ever achieve through traditional advertising, and it’s free.

Invite the local news station for an exclusive tour of your cultivation facility. If you can time their visit with that of the mayor or police chief, even better!

Draw attention to the cleanliness of the facility, from the anti-fungal construction materials to the air filtration systems. Boast about the state-of-the-art irrigation system that will result in zero fertilizer run-off into the environment.

Explain how every employee must shower at the facility before their work shift and demonstrate the uniforms, dedicated footwear, hairnets, and gloves that each employee must wear when working with the plants.

Walk them through the process of cultivating cannabis from mother plants and cloning to the trimming of dry flower. This information can be fascinating to people not part of the cannabis industry, and if legal cannabis is new to the area, it’s definitely newsworthy.

Leverage this opportunity with cannabis-specific news outlets as well. Contact industry magazines or offer to speak at cannabis conferences to discuss something novel you are doing at your facility.

Offer your business as a case study. Speak about a particular challenge that you faced, what you did, and how it’s going so far. Talk about a new technology you’re utilizing, or a novel method of cultivation you’re implementing, or groundbreaking steps you’re taking to create a healthy work environment for both plants and people.

If you have a diverse workforce or offer employee ownership, both are rare in the cannabis industry and certainly newsworthy.

If you have an indoor cultivation site, let people know your facility has one of the smallest carbon footprints in the industry. If you’re growing in a greenhouse, highlight how you’re using good bugs to fight the bad bugs. If you are farming outdoors, emphasize how your cultivation methods will enrich soil health and encourage local bee populations.

Special events

Sponsoring local events will help to further leverage the media’s appetite for newsworthy events.

However, make sure to avoid sponsoring anything remotely related to children. Optics are important, so you must have tact when involving your business in community events. A cannabis cultivation business that sponsors a Little League tournament does not look good!

Instead, sponsor a summer concert series, a marathon, or a bicycle race that raises awareness for cancer. Sponsor community beautification projects and have your employees participate while they are on the clock. Initiate a “greening of the city” by purchasing, installing, and maintaining hanging flower baskets on Main Street. It’s a fun play on words and falls right in line with your company’s expertise as horticulturalists.

Host a free lunch for locals to formally introduce your business and thank them for welcoming you into their community.

Explain that tours are not possible since the risk of crop contamination is high from outside visitors. Instead, create a presentation that walks viewers through the entire production process, which they can view while they eat lunch. Tapping into a live feed from one of your security cameras inside the grow room could provide fascinating insight to those unfamiliar with the cultivation process.

You could also help support the community as they adapt to the changing regulations and the normalization of cannabis in our culture. Donate to organizations tasked with educating children about cannabis use or offer to support campaigns that work against intoxicated or inebriated drivers. Groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving also have educational campaigns aimed to prevent driving while high.

By leveraging existing contacts, sponsoring special events, and reaching out to the media, new cultivation businesses can legally and successfully enter the public sphere and begin spreading their story.

The post Why Leveraging Opportunity Is Vital for Cultivation Start-Ups appeared first on Cannabis Business Executive - Cannabis and Marijuana industry news.


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