As more states and countries are moving towards cannabis legalisation – either for medicinal or recreational purposes – consumer profiles are changing and along with them, the type of product they demand. That is why more and more people are turning towards craft cannabis in the same way that more and more people are turning towards organic farmers, specialist breweries and boutique wineries.
What is craft cannabis?
Craft cannabis is not so much a definition as it is an ideal. Which is also why what craft cannabis is, is a pretty subjective thing and differs from person to person. But even though this is a bit of an oversimplification, a little like craft beer, craft cannabis is generally considered to be natural, handcrafted and traditionally produced by independent growers. So, basically, the good stuff, grown by passionate experts – without lights, without industrial equipment, without pesticides. Instead, each plant is personally and carefully tended to by the grower using organic methods and sunlight.
Craft cannabis is a growing niche
Generally speaking, craft cannabis growers have time to pay more attention to the details. Because their crops tend to be smaller, they can do the things that larger growers can’t. And because they are personally involved with each phase of the growing and production process, the end product reflects this. It is also this uniqueness and care behind craft cannabis that makes it so attractive to everyone from hipsters to hippies.
Similarly, as cannabis is gradually being legalised and becoming progressively more socially acceptable, so too is the landscape of cannabis users changing. The “you get what you get” mentality is being replaced with consumers demanding more from the product. And craft cannabis fills this niche by speaking to the ethos and identity of millennials whilst addressing the demand for premium products by the more discerning middle-aged medical marijuana user. Some of the reasons why craft cannabis is so appealing includes:
Quality & variety
Small batch farming and production – whether it is organic tomatoes, boutique wines or craft cannabis – tends to yield a higher quality product. The personal care and input also mean that the craft cannabis farmer can offer a greater choice and more variety in the type of product they deliver. And as in the case of Charlotte’s Web CBD, it also offers unique medical solutions that industrial sized growers (for the most part) cannot deliver.
Similarly, the difference between industrial and craft cannabis farming, by definition, requires different manufacturing processes. Take something like hand trimming versus machine trimming for instance. Larger, commercialised growers are increasingly using mechanisation to streamline their processes. This includes using machines to trim flowers. According to some, hand trimming tends to preserve more trichomes, meaning that the plant keeps more of its inherent characteristics and botanical properties.
Because small growers prefer the sunlight-and-soil way to grow their product, they tend to leave a smaller environmental footprint. Not using indoor growing methods and artificial light sources, craft growers use less electricity and create less waste.
Smaller growers, growing smaller batches of specialised product, also tend to be more personally involved in the entire process, thus making for better connections between themselves, their products and their customers. Being local, they also help to stimulate local social and economic activity – whether it be by through taxes or stimulating local employment opportunities.
Branding & packaging
In an attempt to legitimise and solidify their brands in the same way that estate wines and craft beers do, craft cannabis growers are changing the way in which they brand their products. Having exceptional packaging and attractive labelling is part of the appeal for many consumers. And appealing to the same demographics, craft cannabis – whether packaged in UV protected mini-mason jars or as elegantly packaged edibles – is now often occupying their place next to good food, beer and wine.
There is a coolness factor to artisan and craft style products and this trend is also picking up amongst cannabis consumers. For some, the uniqueness and exclusivity of craft cannabis are attractive. For others, the ethics and identity of a craft grower are compatible with their own and they want to be a part of that story. Yet, for others, simply supporting a local business, in the same way, they support their local farmer, is important.
But, in the end, we like to have choices. We like variety. We like to feel connected to whatever product it is that we consume. And this, in the end, is why craft growers will continue to thrive alongside their bigger brothers.
Lieze Boshoff is a Cannabis Content & Copywriter that mixes her knowledge of the cannabis industry, psychology and marketing strategies to help cannapreneurs & cannabusinesses establish their brand’s authority and grow their market share.
Want to see how she can help you? Contact her here for a free consultation.