Massachusetts’s Legal Cannabis Marketing is on the Rise

By Mario J. Quinn

CLS Holdings USA, Inc. (OTCQB: CLSH) announced on Wednesday plans to acquire 80 percent ownership interest in CannAssist LLC. The partnership further advances CLS in the rapidly expanding market in Massachusetts.

Jeff Binder, Chief Executive Officer of CLS Holdings USA said in a recent press release, “The market dynamics in Massachusetts are compelling for large scale cultivation. The current cultivation in Massachussetts is approximately 800k square feet, while demand is expected to exceed 8,000,000 square feet.”

Massachusetts is ideally positioned for many cannabis cultivators looking to expand in the quickly growing industry. The state hosts a population of 6.9 million people and is with in a 100-mile radius from Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Hampshire and Vermont. With less than 50 dispensaries in the entire state, the room for growth is sizeable.

Last year Massachusetts brought in USD 106,218,199 Million of legal cannabis sales. By 2021, medical sales in the state are expected to increase to USD 238,400,000 Million. While adult use sales are anticipated to grow to USD 929,300,000 Million the same year.

With very few dispensaries across the state and none located in Boston, the supply and demand of cannabis could be unproportionate. Since the inception of recreational use of cannabis in Massachusetts, it has faced many regulations and limitations.

Under the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) there can be a maximum of 75 cultivators In Massachusetts up until October 2019, with no limit after that. The CCC limits each cannabis producer to 100,000 square feet of property for cultivation.

Obtaining a license for cultivation in the state requires an initial application fee of up to USD 3,000, while the license for a marijuana cultivator costs up to USD 15,000 and a license for a marijuana testing facility can cost up to USD 10,000.

CLS’s partnership with CannAssist optimally positions them to become a “significant entity” in the Massachusetts cannabis market.

Ontario-based CannAssist is a producer of pharmaceutical grade cannabis for medical use. The Company has applied for a state cultivation grow license with the City of Leicester, for plans to execute a 86,000 square foot facility on 88 Huntoon Memorial Highway.

At that size the facility will become one of the top three facilities in Massachusetts. It is expected to produce its first harvest in the first quarter of 2020, yielding 28,000 pounds of flower along with 240,000 grams of extract.

CLS is expecting to generate substantial positive cash flow from the facility, as total revenues are anticipated to surpass USD 100 Million. Jeff Binder continued to comment on the partnership,“This opportunity fits into our stated objective of entering markets that are on the cusp of implementing a robust adult use market.”

 Marijuana business hopefuls are eyeing different ways to market their products in Massachusetts as they face increasing competition, along with a strict regulatory structure.

There are nine open retail shops and dozens of medicinal marijuana dispensaries in Massachusetts. With additional shops and dispensaries in the regulatory pipeline, marketing has become a bigger focus for people in the industry.

Victor Pinho, the California director of the Cannabis Marketing Association, moderated a recent panel of four industry leaders in Boston’s Seaport District. “We’re building this industry as things are changing along the way,” Pinho said. Find source link here.

Sam Tracy, the government relations director of the cannabis consultancy, 4Front Ventures, noted how regulations in Massachusetts are tighter than in states such as California and Washington.

“In Massachusetts, your logo can’t have the image of a marijuana leaf on it, you can’t do branded T-shirts or other promotional items, you can’t hand out free samples,” Tracy said. “You have to make sure that you’re not running afoul by these regulations just by thinking, ‘All right, if you can do it with alcohol you can do it with cannabis.’”

Felicia Gans, the digital producer for the marijuana section at the Boston Globe, detailed which public relations and marketing tactics worked.

“The things that really work are pointing out trends and pointing out products that are really new and unique,” Gans said. “I can easily sense a press release from people who know cannabis and those who do not, people who talk about it like it’s an actual product for active consumers and not like it’s a novelty instance help treat it as a legitimate industry.”

Holly Alberti, who works at Mayflower Medicinals, which has a dispensary located at 230 Harvard Ave. in Boston, was asked if they used the dispensary’s namesake as a marketing tactic, a nod to the historic ship used by Pilgrims, in order to appeal to locals.

Mayflower Medicinals is named after the flower, but it does resonate really well with Massachusetts residents, and you can see in the Massachusetts’ market there’s a few other companies that tie in the ‘commonwealth’ into their branding,” Alberti said.…