Law Makers Can't Stop The Cannabis Industry

For decades, law markers have sought to suppress the cannabis industry and despite these actions the cannabis industry continues to grow like a weed.

Welcome to Four PM — a daily newsletter that delivers cannabis industry analysis, interviews with industry leaders, and all of the latest news.

In Today’s Issue 💬

→ The U.N targets the legal cannabis industry.

Creating the perfect cannabis brand for Gen Z.

What do cannabis consumers actually want?

The U.N vs Cannabis

The U.N seeks to slow down legal cannabis sales.

Less than 7 months ago 27 member states of the U.N voted in favor of removing cannabis from Schedule IV (drugs with high potential for abuse) of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.

Yesterday, however, the U.N seems to have taken a very different stance when it comes to cannabis as they are seeking to impose a global ban on the advertisement of any & all cannabis products.

It’s important to note that this is a “recommendation”, and it will be left to each member State to implement and enforce such an advertising ban.

With Canada having created its own set of regulations for the advertisement of cannabis products in 2018 they will likely ignore this recommendation in favor of its current approach, however, it will be telling to see how this plays out in the U.S where cannabis remains federally illegal.

“A comprehensive ban on advertising, promoting, and sponsoring cannabis would ensure that public health interests prevail over business interests,” the U.N’s Office on Drugs and Crime wrote in its annual World Drug Report.

They added that cannabis “has almost quadrupled in strength in the United States of America and have doubled in Europe in the last two decades.”

Our Take

This will be a problem for cannabis companies in the short term should the U.S federal government impose this ban, however, with 36 States already having gone against federal law by legalizing medical cannabis it seems likely they would once again decline the invitation to follow the federal government.

Cannabis brands in Canada currently have limited access to the advertising capabilities of both Twitter & Snapchat, however, with both companies being listed on the NYSE they may have to stop working with cannabis companies.

In summary, this may create a lot of noise in the short term, however, I expect it to have a very limited impact on the long-term success of cannabis.

Cannabis and Gaming

An opportunity to build a cannabis brand for gamers.

Data suggests that there is clear potential for a very successful cannabis brand to be built by focusing on the gamers who are consuming cannabis.

In a report by brightfield, a staggering 53% of U.S cannabis consumers reported consuming cannabis before/while playing video games.

What’s even more interesting is that this research indicated that this number is as high as 69% for Gen Z cannabis consumers (21-24 years old) in the U.S

With this number having increased some 83% from Q1 2020 to Q1 2021 it would appear that the pandemic resulted in a large number of new consumers who began incorporating cannabis into their virtual experiences.

At this point in time, we can only speculate as to why cannabis is so complementary to gaming, however, what's crystal clear is that this creates a very large opportunity for a brand to be built to service this growing niche.

Our Take

Just as YouTube star Mr.Beast with 64 million subscribers has created his own restaurant chain & Nelk with 6 million subscribers has created their own alcoholic beverage brand I would be willing to bet we will see a popular gaming content creator owning this niche in the U.S in the coming years.

Riches are created in niches, and if gamers continue to incorporate cannabis into their virtual experiences then it’s only a matter of time until a brand is built to service this growing niche.

What Cannabis Consumers Want

100+ responses on what cannabis consumers actually want.

The supply of legal cannabis in Canada now exceeds consumer demand by a factor of 10x and shows no signs of slowing down.

With this, it might be time for every person who holds some decision making power at each licensed producer to ask themselves a fundamental question:

What do cannabis consumers actually want?

Of course there are many different reasons why consumers choose to consume cannabis and this thread which has received over 100+ responses very clearly highlights this spectrum of reasons why people choose to consume cannabis, and what they want from the legal cannabis industry.

Our Take

Reading this thread made it abundantly clear to me that there remain vast opportunities within the cannabis industry to focus on a very specific subset of consumers who have very specific needs that aren’t being met today.

From cannabis brands focused on gaming, to cannabis brands that focus on consumers who choose to consume cannabis before / during / after a workout — there are endless opportunities in sight.

I hope each of you has a great weekend. Talk to everyone on Monday.

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