The legalization of recreational marijuana in California has created a revolution within the cannabis business sector. As cannabis business owners prepare to adapt to the regulatory and financial overhaul of an entire industry, many are looking to the craft wine sector as a model of profitability in a highly regulated industry. Some ambitious entrepreneurs are even looking to combine the two in a potent combination of craft pairings.
The Craft Strategy
The overhaul of the cannabis industry in California is an expensive proposition, and many owners of smaller cannabis businesses simply do not have the resources to adapt their business model to new regulations. They are addressing this problem in many different ways. Some small farm owners are banding together to form marijuana co-ops, which will help all participants adapt to the changing industry. Others are borrowing the business model of the craft wine industry: by focusing on a specialized product which commands a premium in the marketplace, their profit margins increase dramatically.
Leafly reports on the case study of one Sonoma County grower who has eschewed the mass market strategy with great success. Sam Edwards grows loose, airy buds that have little value on the flower market, but are “absolutely great for extracts”. Indeed, his vape cartridges command a premium of nearly double the price of other cartridges. Edwards himself worked in the wine industry, and it was there that he learned this business strategy. By developing a high-end specialty product with local character, niche wineries were able to compete with large, mass-production wine companies. Edwards does the same to compete with mass market cannabis growers. Continue reading