September 28, 2017 /Industry


The Cannabis Opportunity

Last year, Forbes documented that the cannabis market could grow by 700% by 2020. This October, London will be hosting its first Cannabis conference. At the start of 2017, Well + Good shared that Cannabis is getting a healthy makeover and is manifesting into the increasingly growing trend for wellness.

Extracts from the plant have proven to treat mood disorders, chronic pain and inflammation. The prospect of further legalisation of cannabis provides opportunity for innovation for new businesses, particularly in the wellness sector.

In light of this, Sheridan&Co’s strategy team interviewed Phil Dépault, Founder of Maitrileaf to find out more about the cannabis market and what it takes to launch a successful Ganja brand.

Phil launched Maitrileaf following being prescribed medical cannabis daily to treat fibromyalgia symptoms that he suffered as a result of a catching a virus on a flight from New Zealand to Canada. Phil used to be a mountain bike athlete for the Canadian national team and has been physically active for most of his life. After catching the virus, he was no longer able to compete. Prior to receiving medical cannabis, Phil was anti-cannabis as an athlete. However, he now has a cannabis brand and will soon have a line of apparel made from hemp in 2018.

Medicinal cannabis was legalised in Canada in 2001 and recreational usage will be legalised in 2018. As of last year, medicinal and recreational cannabis was legalised in some US states including California, Maine, Nevada, Alaska, Oregon and Washington. However, despite this, there are challenges and obstacles to creating a successful brand in a bourgeoning cannabis industry.

Phil believes that true innovation in the cannabis market rests in design, simplicity, democratisation, new products, new molecules and new technologies in order to process cannabis.  Well + Good shared earlier this year that a key challenge for brands hoping to launch in the cannabis market is to move past the negative stereotype associated with cannabis users.

In light of Phil’s comments about innovation surrounding design, The Die Line shared a student spotlight that focused on packaging for the cannabis industry last month. Due to the fact that cannabis is an essentially new market, there is no previous barometer of a standard of branding to compete with. This means that brands have the opportunity to create something innovative and give cannabis a totally new brand identity.

As an industry, the cannabis market is ripe with opportunities for new products, brand and retail identities. Already the market is manifesting into wellness, feminism, retail, food and beauty. As the market grows, we expect to see it provide more opportunities or brands.