Cannabis Diaries Week 50: Brand Prognostications.

Winding down my diary with a few thoughts about brands:

The Health Canada marketing regime will relax incrementally – and too slowly for brand value to develop. 5 years min before marketing is the driver it can be.

(This will be accelerated if US federal legalization occurs, otherwise Canadian brands will be left in the dust.)

We already see where store growth is heading, towards an Alberta model. I reckon there will be pull back in AB – it doesn’t need 500+ stores, especially if and when beverages go into the liquor retail system (see last week’s post).

Further store rebalancing as stores align with LP brands. Independent stores will be gobbled up by the majors. The CPG-backed LPs and other brands will buy up retail chains too. How many chains does Canada need? 5-7?

Like alcohol, there will specialty stores with a cool brand/vibe; and ubiquitous, transactional big-box stores.

Brands have been increasingly focused on THC and cost, in order to differentiate in any way from the 500 other products available in a store. More brands (product and store) will rebrand around “value / cheap” products (like Deep Discount – see image).

Canadian cannabis will not be known globally for its marketing category design. Sad.

This Much We Know.

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