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May 30, 2024
Esme Smith
On the Record: May 2024
Welcome back to On the Record – our monthly roundup of all things Purpose
It’s high time for the cannabis industry. A wave of legislation around the world has unlocked opportunities for a host of new and old brands, all racing to corner this emerging market. This month we spotlight the brands leveraging cannabis-for-good including the gardening company Miracle Gro, activist brand Pure Beauty, and regenerative producer Florist Farm, with a Next Revolution on Spliff Justice.
In agriculture, Sun+Earth is greenwashing weed cultivation.
The cultivation of weed can be resource-intensive and extractive. To maximise plant quality and protect our planet, brands will have to find responsible ways to source their cannabis. USA-based brand Sun+Earth has made a strong start.  

Sun+Earth is a nonprofit, third-party certification for regenerative, organic cannabis that launched five years ago in the USA. Cannabis certified by Sun+Earth must be cultivated on farms that strengthen soil and local habitats. The impact of certification stretches well beyond cannabis cultivation since many providers also grow other foods.

Not only do Sun+Earth drive social and environmental stewardship, they offer a differentiated space in a crowded marketplace.
Find out more here
In wellbeing, Miracle Gro champions edibles in gardening.
In honor of 4/20 (the unofficial holiday for weed smokers on April 20th), Miracle-Gro is positioning gardening as a wellbeing activity to do after taking an edible. Its social campaign makes a compelling case…

The ad is a plug for its latest product – a special edition gardening kit to grow your own edible garden at home. No cannabis plant seeds are included but the kit will help you grow some healthy munchies: swiss chard, carrots, beets and spinach.

The growing cultural salience of weed means more brands can enter the conversation in unexpected and entertaining ways. You don’t have to sell cannabis related products to play in the space. Nuanced understanding of overlapping passion points could be an untapped opportunity for marketers.
Find out more here
In activism, Pure Beauty repairs the harm inflicted by the drug war.
There are a host of new cannabis companies making sure the communities most harmed by the war on drugs will actually have an opportunity to benefit from legalisation.

Female and minority-owned Pure Beauty is a Californian brand that uses its comms to nurture a politically engaged community and raise awareness for the Last Prisoner project: a non-profit that focuses on shifting drug policies and restorative justice.

Listed on the packaging of every Pure Beauty product are instructions on how consumers can advocate for clemency for those facing life sentences for historic weed use.

Find out more here
The Next Revolution…spliff justice!
The era of the anonymous “baggy of weed” is gradually receding, replaced by a blossoming world of packaging, innovation and branding.

A recent spate of legalisations and increased cultural acceptance is driving a boom in the cannabis industry, with global sales projected to reach $55 billion by 2027.

Yes, the weed industry is experiencing incredible growth, especially in the USA where cannabis has been reclassified from a Class A drug to Class C at a federal level, but that growth is making mostly white men very, very wealthy. There is also a high risk of extractive monocultural farming methods given the sheer volume of land required to meet growing demand.

While some cannabis companies are turning to purpose to drive differentiation in a crowded marketplace, how big is the risk that the industry will replicate existing inequalities or will it find meaningful ways to overcome them?

To read the full report, click here…

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