Cannabis News

Is Your Cannabis Business Taking Advantage of Local Marketing?

Is Your Cannabis Business Taking Advantage of Local Marketing?

Is Your Cannabis Business Taking Advantage of Local Marketing? 1280 779 Herban Creative

Tips for Driving Traffic to Your Cannabis Business Using Local Marketing

Going local is an often-overlooked tactic when it comes to cannabis marketing, but it can bring in a heavy ROI if played right. 70% of consumer spending takes place within 15-20 miles of home or work1. Consumers value local businesses, and cannabis companies are no exception. Online cannabis retail tends to struggle due to strict regulation over digital sales2. So why aren’t cannabis companies taking advantage of local marketing? Read on to discover how utilizing local marketing can take your traffic to the next level.

There are several options within the realm of local marketing to consider implementing for your cannabis brand. While cannabis companies must act with careful consideration of the local culture around cannabis products—you may have a tough time sponsoring a Little League baseball team, for example—there are certainly ways to utilize all of these tactics for your business.

  • Send out mail to your neighbors with special deals or more information about cannabis to help educate, inform, and entice consumers.
  • Check into public festivals or other large local events and see if you can secure a table to show your colors to the community, offering closer looks at different products, purchase options, sales, and more. Or, host your own public event that encourages the local population to come out and learn more about your products.
  • Get in touch with local clubs or other organizations which may want extra funding and are open to cannabis companies advertising with them. A good place to start may be introducing more widely accepted CBD products in this advertising, so as not to associate the organization directly with the more taboo side of cannabis products.
  • Purchase local ad space to get your brand’s image out in the public eye. Use clever, clear ad designs to attract customers to your local shop without fear, like this trailblazing California dispensary ad campaign3. Just be sure to follow your state’s regulations when it comes to advertising.

Cannabis companies must lead the charge in local marketing in order to drive global change around the perceptions of cannabis, the regulations on advertising, and the amount of foot traffic being received by physical stores. Be mindful of your reach and of the makeup of the local community. This should help you find greater success in reaching new consumers by focusing on improving your local marketing techniques.

Looking to revamp your marketing campaign or product design? Here at Herban Creative, our team of experienced designers, copywriters, and digital strategists are ready to get your cannabis business the recognition it deserves while abiding by the FDA’s regulations. Contact us today for more information!

What the SAFE Banking Act Means for Legal Cannabis Companies

What the SAFE Banking Act Means for Legal Cannabis Companies

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Under SAFE Banking Act, Legal Cannabis Companies and Banks Find Room to Breathe

According to Rolling Stone1, the cannabis industry had a huge victory on Wednesday, September 25th as the House of Representatives voted to pass the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, a bill that would allow legal cannabis businesses access to banks without fear of punishment, bringing consumers one step closer to purchasing cannabis using credit and debit cards. The vote was passed by a strong margin of 321-103, sending the bill to the Senate for review.

If fully passed into law, the SAFE Banking Act would protect banks and cannabis businesses alike from government crack downs. Banks, which have previously been hesitant to work with the legal cannabis industry for fear of falling under federal money laundering laws, would be safe from consequences for treating state-legal cannabis companies like any other legal business. This also helps protect cannabis companies from needing to tailor their financial restrictions to cash-only, which has been a widespread issue in the industry, leading to tax evasion, robberies, and a general lack of financial security. Cannabis companies would now be able to open bank accounts, take out loans, deposit money, and accept credit cards.

For legal cannabis companies, this is an historic and welcome step from Congress, presenting a light at the end of the tunnel for those who may have been struggling to manage their finances safely and effectively. It also means that sales will become much more flexible for companies and their consumers. If passed into law, it’s likely that this bill will only increase the opportunity for legal cannabis companies to boost their business, bring in new customers, and feel secure in managing their income.

To keep yourself updated on federal cannabis legislation and what it means for your business, check out Herban Creative’s blog. We’re here not only to inform, but to help those in the cannabis industry market their business. Contact us today to enhance your website, branding, social media, SEO, and more!

Cannabis Packaging Design Tips for Your Latest Product

Cannabis Packaging Design Tips for Your Latest Product

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Follow These Cannabis Packaging Design Tips for Appeal and Balanced Regulations

Despite what we were led to believe as kids, people do judge a book by its cover. And, despite the quality of your product, not having an appealing and practical product design can leave your product stale on the shelves. Especially with cannabis products, coming up with a creative packaging design can be difficult when abiding by FDA regulations and all. Here are some cannabis packaging design tips that will please both the FDA and your customers.

Do Some Research

You might think your product design looks nice, but if your target audience doesn’t agree, then what’s the point? It’s essential to study your target audience so you can deliver an appropriate product design to suit their wants and needs. You can even do some audience testing to measure how receptive they are to your potential design ideas. This would also be a good time to study your competition. How are they designing their products? How is it working for them? The goal is to create a product design that sets you apart from your competitors.

Keep It Simple

Having a great product design doesn’t mean going over the top with design elements. Think of it this way, your customers’ eyes endure enough on a daily basis- give them something nice to look at. Consider a minimalist approach that aligns with your brand colors and identity, but still gives them all the information they need to make their purchasing decision.

Play Around with Typography

Not only should the text be legible, it should also compliment the overall design. Rather than cramping up the design space, remove superfluous text to make it easier on the eyes of your potential customers. If they have trouble reading your product text, they can easily reach for another company’s product.

Abide by FDA Regulations

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are heavier restrictions on what you can and can’t say in regard to labeling your cannabis product. Unless you want to get into trouble with the FDA, we suggest you read our article on language restrictions. For your packaging design, stick to claims1

that “describe the role of a nutrient of dietary ingredient intended to affect the normal structure or function of the human body”. For example, you can’t say that your cannabis product heals a disease, but you can say it supports brain health. Think of it as a supplement rather than a cure.

Keep in Mind How It Will Be Sold

Selling your product online means that the customers can’t make their decisions based on the touch and feel of the product. So, you can compensate for this by appealing to their other senses. Ideally, your product should stand out online and in-stores, especially if you’re planning on eventually selling them in stores as well.

Looking for a dynamic product design to reel in your target audience? The experts at Herban Creative are here to help you with everything from product design and 3D rendering to marketing your product online. Contact us today to learn more!

The Dangers of Accidental Franchising for Your Cannabis Business

The Dangers of Accidental Franchising for Your Cannabis Business

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Protect Your Cannabis Business from Accidental Franchising

As a cannabis business, your goal is increased brand awareness and growth. Naturally, mulling over the idea of franchising arises as a way to expand your market and brand presence. Franchising may seem like a golden ticket to success, but with all of the potential legal implications due to cannabis’ tricky relationship with the FDA and the complicated guidelines of franchising in general, it may do you more harm than good. Here are some things you should be aware of in terms of accidental franchising to keep your cannabis business safe.

What is Franchising?

It isn’t hard to see what makes franchising so appealing. It allows a business to gain exposure through additional store locations without having to spend anything out of pocket. The way it works is that a franchisor will give a franchisee a trademark license allowing them to own and operate their own cannabis business using the franchisor’s trademark and trade dress. The franchisee then gets to hire and supervise its workforce as long as it abides by the franchisor’s brand standards. On top of all of that, the franchisor is paid licensing fees off its top-line revenue. Seems like a good bargain for the franchisor, right?

The Risks

While cannabis may be legal in the state your business operates in, it is still deemed illegal under federal law1

. Because of this, banks, landlords, and insurance companies aren’t too keen to do business with cannabis companies that are more or less breaking federal law. While the potential for cannabis market growth is limitless upon its federal legalization, they must find ways around functioning without these unwilling service providers in the meantime. As if this wasn’t difficult enough to maneuver around, franchising laws themselves are complicated and extremely strict. If your cannabis business is caught selling a franchise without abiding by every fine point of franchising law, you risk having assets frozen, restitution orders sent, cease-and-desists issued, and more.

Accidental Franchising

Accidental franchising2

refers to any franchise sold that violates federal and state franchise laws. If you think you can get a free pass by saying you were unaware of the laws, think again. Franchise laws are strict liability laws that hold franchisor’s accountable regardless of whether the sale was intentional or not. Even if a business is operating under a different term, if it essentially acts as a franchise, it will be penalized as such.

The Bottom Line

As cost-efficient and rewarding as franchising may seem, the risks certainly outweigh the benefits- at least for now. Worry not, you have other options. The internet is a vast resource that can still help you gain the recognition and brand awareness you need to prepare your business for when cannabis is finally legal under federal law. And, as long as you follow FDA regulations for describing your products, you have much fewer risks to worry about.

Want to build your brand reputation? Let the experts at Herban Creative help you with everything from web design and development to social media marketing and SEO strategy, ensuring your products are placed in front of the right audience. Contact us today for more information!

Why Language Matters in the Cannabis Industry

Why Language Matters in the Cannabis Industry

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Why Language Matters When It Comes to Business and Everyday Use in the Cannabis Industry

Cannabis is a touchy subject. And, because it’s not legal across the board quite yet, it’s important to be highly selective in the words you choose to describe and market any cannabis derived products. It’s a tricky business to be in but can be quite rewarding if you have all of the technicalities sorted out. Here’s why language matters and is especially important when it comes to business and everyday use in the cannabis industry.

The Truth of the Matter

Cannabis, the botanical name for the hemp plant, has many names that we’ve all heard at one point or another- the most common of these probably being marijuana. Although marijuana offers several health benefits1

to those dealing with a number of diseases, it was first and foremost recognized as a pleasure drug associated with the lesser-than members of society due to propaganda and the spread of misinformation. This, coupled with the laws against it, established the judgmental views2

and negative stigma that the term marijuana still carries to this day. Cannabis, however, bears less of this burden because of its association with more medicinal properties3

of the plant. It’s important to understand the different associations with these terms when choosing names for cannabis derived products or creating a marketing campaign.

Managing FDA Legality

It should go without saying that the FDA is a force to be reckoned with. More specifically, it’s a force that you should not mess with. Period. It isn’t hard to play by their rules though; here’s how it works. The FDA determines what’s what based on how you describe the product. If your product’s description suggests that it is “intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or is an “article” (other than food) intended to affect the structure or any function of the boy of man or other animals,” it will be regulated by the FDA4

as a drug. But you can only make a drug claim if you get it approved by the FDA, which costs obscene amounts of money for clinical trials. If you make any claims about curing something in any aspect of your cannabis business, you’re putting yourself at risk for getting caught by the FDA.

You Can’t Label It a Dietary Supplement

If you think you can outsmart the FDA by claiming your cannabis product is a dietary supplement or food, think again. The FDA mandates5

that products containing THC or CBD can’t be sold as dietary supplements because they are also active ingredients in FDA-approved drugs. Active ingredients that are found in approved drugs can’t be re-introduced as a dietary supplement or food. You are also restricted from making any kinds of health claims in a similar fashion as one would say that calcium builds strong bones.

So, What Can You Say?

While it may seem that the FDA’s cannabis language regulations are barring you from saying anything about your product, you can find a small ray of hope in their structure and function claims rule. Under this guideline6

, “claims may describe the role of a nutrient or dietary ingredient intended to affect the normal structure or function of the human body”. Think of words like regulate, stimulate, maintain, restore, promote, raise, or lower. Keep in mind that you still have to specifically state that the claim is associated with a non-disease condition.

Looking to revamp your marketing campaign or product design? Here at Herban Creative, our team of experienced designers, copywriters, and digital strategists are ready to get your cannabis business the recognition it deserves while abiding by the FDA’s regulations. Contact us today for more information!

Developing Your Cannabis Site: A Website Checklist

Developing Your Cannabis Site: A Website Checklist

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A Website Checklist When Developing Your Cannabis Related Business

Getting the word out about your cannabis business, in comparison to other industries, can be difficult. One of the most efficient ways to spread the word, however, is building a strong online presence. At the center of all of this should be your website. Does your cannabis website tick everything off this essential website checklist?

Give customers a good first impression

Despite what we were told growing up, first impressions do make a difference- especially in an online setting. On your website, your home page is the first glimpse consumers receive of your business so put your best foot forward. This means aesthetically pleasing and consistent colors, fonts, and graphics. Your homepage is also an optimal place to feature special deals or offers you might have, as well as any other calls to action.

Make sure it’s functional and user friendly

At this point, people expect nothing but excellence from a website’s functionality. Apart from its visual value, it’s also important that it is functional and grants easy access to every kind of information your customers might need. Your menu should be displayed clearly and easy to navigate, making it easy for viewers to move from page to page. On each page there should be links to legal information, your privacy policy, your contact page, and to an FAQ page. Include links to return and exchange policies as well as supplier information pages. The less consumers have to do to get the information they need, the better. E-commerce features, if applicable, should also be displayed on each page (i.e. access to login, shopping cart, sharing buttons, email signups).

Add a blog or media page to increase site value

While your products may speak for themselves, maintaining a blog or media page can also amplify your site’s value. There, you can produce interesting and meaningful content to benefit your consumers. Not only does this give them a reason to keep visiting your site, but it also makes your site appear more reputable because of the regular activity and uploads. Having a well-maintained blog or media page can help you reel in potential customers seeking information about cannabis or your products. At the end of the day, this can strengthen your bonds with your customers and, in turn, build your brand reputation.

Optimize it

Okay, so you set up some stellar content- now it’s time to drive organic traffic online to see it. Using the calculated magic of search engine optimization (SEO), you can implement keywords or phrases into your content and across your site to rank higher on search engine results pages. This basically just takes words or phrases that are most likely to be searched for by your potential customers, and places them across your content so that they can be led to your site.

Need help getting your website started? Looking to do some web renovating? Our team of experts here at Herban Creative are energized to help you with all of your marketing needs from web development and graphic design to copywriting and SEO strategy. Contact us today for more information!

Can I Buy a Federal Trademark for My NJ Cannabis Business?

Can I Buy a Federal Trademark for My NJ Cannabis Business?

Can I Buy a Federal Trademark for My NJ Cannabis Business? 1920 1440 Herban Creative

Understanding the Regulations Around Cannabis in NJ and a Federal Trademark

Naturally, when starting a business, you want to ensure your brand and trademarks are protected. But, what can you do if your business sells products that aren’t legal in all states? With the legalization of marijuana slowly rising, those in the business of selling cannabis, or cannabis infused products, in states where it’s allowed are facing a new kind of legal issue. Here’s what you need to know about New Jersey cannabis regulations and obtaining a federal trademark.

The Situation in NJ

Earlier this year, there was talk of recreational marijuana becoming legalized in the state of NJ. After much debate, the amendments to NJ marijuana laws failed to come to fruition. But, worry not, the legality of medical marijuana still stands. Here’s how it works1

. First, people who have a qualifying condition (anxiety, chronic pain, migraines, Tourette’s Syndrome, etc.) must get certified by their physician. Upon getting this certification, they must provide personal information, proof of ID and, of course, a payment. Once your name is added to the New Jersey Department of Health Registry, you can visit your local treatment center to pick up your medical marijuana.

Obtaining a Federal Trademark

Alright, so here’s the deal with getting a federal trademark for your cannabis business – you can’t. Bummer, we know. The thing is, trademark law actually prohibits you from registering any products that can’t be legally sold across US state lines. Unfortunately for marijuana, as well as products infused with it, the federal Controlled Substances Act2

makes it illegal to sell it across state lines.

You Can Still Protect Your Brand

Don’t worry, there’s still some kind of silver lining for you and your cannabis business. While you can’t get a federal trademark, you can still obtain a local one to protect your business across your state (as long as it’s legal there). While federal trademarks still trump local ones, having a local trademark for your brand or products still helps protect your business from other local competitors. This does mean, however, that your business can’t fight companies in other states.

Another option is that you can trademark your brand for other products you sell that don’t include illegal substances. This way, you can still protect your brand name until you can take further action for your products.

Looking to establish your cannabis brand or maybe even revamp it? Our team of experienced web developers, graphic designers, and digital strategists here at Herban Creative are ready to help you with all of your digital marketing needs. Contact us today for more information!

Choosing a Lawyer to Represent Your Cannabis Business

Choosing a Lawyer to Represent Your Cannabis Business

Choosing a Lawyer to Represent Your Cannabis Business 2000 1300 Herban Creative

Choosing a Lawyer is an Important Step in Building Your Cannabis Business

Finding the right lawyer for your cannabis business can be tricky, especially since the industry is still developing. With its novelty comes confusing, intricate laws that require a depth of understanding to navigate. Here are some tips to help you when choosing a lawyer for your cannabis business.

Look for Someone Who:

Specializes in Cannabis Law

With the potential for business on the rise, it isn’t hard to stumble upon lawyers with empty promises to help your business. Cannabis laws are difficult – the legality for it varies from state to state and the laws are constantly changing. Hiring a lawyer who specializes in cannabis law helps to ensure you have someone who understands the ins and outs of their field rather than having their attention split across other industries in law. While this may mean that they have less experience considering that cannabis law is fairly new, it also shows that they’ve dedicated their time to solely studying cannabis law and the other relevant regulations more thoroughly in that time. At the most basic level, your lawyer should also have a deep understanding of the inner workings of state and local governments.

Is Versatile in Their Knowledge

Keep in mind that a lawyer specializing in cannabis law may not be as well versed in the legal side of business needs. When searching for the right lawyer, it’s important to make sure that your candidates understand not only cannabis and business law, but also the local laws where your business resides. Each company has different needs that must be taken into account to make sure the fit is right.

Shows Interest in the Industry and Your Business

Above all, it’s important that you find a lawyer who is open to communication and is honest with you. It’s much better to find someone who will admit they don’t know something than someone who will lie and fabricate information to seem smarter. A good lawyer will exhibit a willingness to learn about your business and about their industry in general. With all the new research being conducted, it’s vital that you find someone who’s willing to keep up with everything.

Has Good Interpersonal Skills

Often times, the officials passing the laws concerning cannabis aren’t exactly well versed on the subject. With this in mind, having a personable lawyer can help with negotiating regulations. While this does not concern bending the rules in any way, having a good relationship with regulators can give your lawyer a chance to educate them in a way that may work in your favor. It should also go without saying that your lawyer should have good communication skills to stay in contact with you and be of assistance whenever you may need it.

Looking to grow your online presence and build your cannabis business brand? The team at Herban Creative is here to help! Contact us today to see how we can guide your business to its full potential.

Do Athletes Lean on Cannabis for Better Muscle Recovery?

Do Athletes Lean on Cannabis for Better Muscle Recovery?

Do Athletes Lean on Cannabis for Better Muscle Recovery? 2000 1333 Herban Creative

Improved Muscle Recovery from Cannabis

As the use of Cannabidiol (CBD) and other cannabis products become regulated and socially acceptable, athletes alike are coming forward to support its benefits for muscle recovery. CBD, one of the many compounds found in the cannabis-family, is rumored to improve muscle recovery when used correctly. With little research on the subject, can we really know whether there is anything to gain from using cannabis for muscle recovery? Let’s take a closer look.

How Can It Be Used?

CBD can be ingested or used topically. Users have the option of choosing CBD-infused lotions, balms, oils, capsules, and vape devices, to name a few. Because the use of cannabis has psychoactive side effects that could alter an athlete’s concentration, CBD is often the preferred method of relief, as CBD doesn’t have these psychoactive compounds. In other words, CBD won’t give you the traditional “high” effects1

. President and CEO of Medical Marijuana Inc., Dr. Stuart Titus, states he’s finding more and more athletes turning to cannabis to treat issues ranging from pain to sleep issues. According to Dr. Titus, the patent assigned to The Department of Health and Human Services2

regarding the usage of CBD is the best source of information for its usage.

Does It Actually Work?

While the research has not yet proven that CBD usage3

speeds up muscle protein synthesis, it is still an acceptable treatment for inflammation due to Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). This relief can allow athletes to get back on their feet quicker. CBD helps treat conditions from pain to mental illnesses. However, the FDA has yet to acknowledge CBD as an approved medication, detailing it “has not found any such product to be safe or effective for the treatment of any disease or condition.” Still, smaller scale research studies support its usage to maintain an active, healthy lifestyle. A review of 132 original studies published in Frontiers in Neurology4

says CBD is “anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, antiemetic, antipsychotic, and neuroprotective.”

The Future of CBD Usage for Athletes

Given its anecdotal acceptance as relief for inflammation, DOMS, and improper sleep, it’s likely that more and more athletes will integrate CBD products into their routines. Jim McAlpine, founder of the 420 Games, a sporting-event series trying to change the stigma against cannabis said, “we all hid it. But the collective consciousness has changed to take that stigma away.” Now that the usage of cannabis and CBD products is becoming a topic of further research and discussion, athletes can come clean and offer advice to newcomers interested in trying it out. Companies can even begin to develop safe, new products for athletes to use as the market expands.

The usage of CBD is likely to continue to rise. If you are in the cannabis business, the team at Herban Creative can help you establish your brand. Contact us today to see how we can help guide your business to its full potential in today’s everchanging market.

Follow These SEO Tips When It Comes to Cannabis Marketing

Follow These SEO Tips When It Comes to Cannabis Marketing

Follow These SEO Tips When It Comes to Cannabis Marketing 2000 1328 Herban Creative

SEO Tips for Dealing with A Highly Censored Market

The cannabis industry, like any other industry, has to fulfill certain business goals in order to succeed. However, because cannabis on the market is still somewhat of a taboo subject, it can be difficult to construct a marketing strategy to cut through all the controversy. If you’re having trouble directing traffic to your business online, here are some helpful SEO tips to get you started.

Understand What Your Users Are Looking For

Any good marketing strategy is rooted in the understanding of what a company’s target audience needs. From these needs, they analyze how the users then go about fulfilling these needs (i.e. what they search for and how they search for it). For example, if your target audience works primarily on laptop computers, the keywords they search are often different than what they would search for on their mobile devices. Cannabis users, in particular, search primarily from their phones. With this in mind, you should use tools like Google Keyword Planner to run tests on which search phrases are most popular in their searches and then include those phrases on your website. If you know what your customers are looking for, you can then position yourself in a way that they can easily find you.

Google Analytics is Your Friend

Using Google Analytics is a great way to track important user behavior metrics. This includes how many unique users find your page from organic searches, which content is most popular, and, as mentioned above, which keywords are most helpful to include throughout your website. By actively tracking how people are engaging with your website, you can perform trial and error tests to see which strategies work best for you.

Optimize Your Site Speed, Usability & Design

Take a moment to think of how you’d search if you were in a hurry needed a last-minute item. Chances are, you wouldn’t be too forgiving if the website you clicked on took too long to load or was difficult to use. The thing is, even when people aren’t in a hurry, they’ll easily navigate out of a website if it didn’t load as fast as they expected it to. Ensuring that your website is optimized for site speed and proper mobile usage is essential to conducting successful business online. Your site should be user friendly, easy to use, and visually pleasing. A website that is properly designed can also be perceived as more reputable. User experience is everything!

Maintain a Blog

With the cannabis industry on the rise, more and more relevant content is being created with the potential to push yours further and further down the ranks. Having an optimized website means nothing if your content is old and is continually being outranked by newer posts. A great way to maintain an active media presence is by maintaining a blog. Here you can create informational articles that reel in customers by first providing them with useful information. Many people are looking for information about cannabis before deciding to use it. Answering their questions first on your blog could be the gateway to winning over more customers.

Still confused about how to employ effective SEO tactics for your cannabis business? The team at Herban Creative is here to help you perfect your SEO strategy and establish your brand. Contact us today to see how we can guide your business to its full potential.