PR Professionals: How to Prepare for the Legalization of Marijuana

It has been more than six years since the first attempt at the legalization of recreational marijuana in the states of Colorado and Washington, and the market has already transformed from one of “reefer madness” to bespoke brands.

The speed at which the market is evolving is nothing short of remarkable.

Marijuana legalization is a battle that has been raging for a long time. There have been many victories for supporters of legalization, and there have been countless setbacks.

Some victories have been thanks to good PR strategies reversing stigmas attached to the drug, solid commercial distribution plans, and support from courts passing bills for the legalizing of medical marijuana.

So, in the ever-evolving world of marketable marijuana, what can budding entrepreneurs do to get a piece of the action?

Think Like a Brand

Be sensible while choosing a company name.

Many businesses use “cannabis” and “marijuana” in their brand name, without realizing that a company name can carry both positive and negative connotations. At the same time, companies with similar names can thereby be forced to coexist, and differentiate their similarly-named brands in other ways.

Furthermore, PR professionals should choose company names with SEO and digital marketing purposes in mind.

Plan the Future of Your Business

There are plenty of resources out there to help a business plan in the early stages. Savvy PR professionals will continuously reassess the market, and make a future-proof plan for their clients. Reassess the Market, Your Alliances and Financing The marijuana industry is rapidly expanding.

Even then, the number of players in the game are small in number. If you are preparing for legalization, be sure to re-evaluate and re-assess everything- this will put you in a good position to provide tough competition to other entrants.

Remember that Laws are Complicated

The most important thing for your business is to adequately understand your state’s marijuana laws. Laws can vary from state to state, and it is vital that you stay abreast of the grey areas that even authorities are not yet sure about. In many states, marijuana is still illegal despite groundswell support for legalization. Act accordingly.

Understand Your Tax Status

Cannabis has a weird tax status at present. It’s a good idea to plan adequately for the future because you won’t be getting any tax breaks in the near future. Be Careful About Your Target Marketing It is vital that you build a good website, with good SEO content. Be sure to promote the website on your social media channels, and stay on the right side of the law by marketing to customers of legal age.

Treat marijuana laws like you would alcohol regulations- as communications professionals, be sure to encourage the responsible use of pot products. When it comes to marketing marijuana, PR companies must think out of the box. In an evolving marketplace, it pays to stay abreast of market trends.

5WPR CEO Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is CEO & Founder of 5WPR & one of America’s most notable PR executives. He is the Author of best-selling PR book, “For Immediate Release.“

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