Cannabis Companies Need To Infuse Good PR

Cannabis Companies Need To Infuse Good PR

Cannabis Companies Need To Infuse Good PR; With the passage on the ballots in nine states last Fall, cannabis is now legal in some form in 29 states. Everyone wants to get into the game and the cannabis rush is on. This isn’t just dispensaries or cannabis growers getting into the action, this includes more traditional bankers and Wall Street executives.

The need for a clear and concise message, along with astute company positioning and a winning traditional and social media strategy are imperative as the business landscape in cannabis becomes ever more competitive.

​Cannabis Companies Need To Infuse Good PR

So how does one go about getting this media attention? It always comes down to telling a great story. This is how you win your share of “ink.” Also going to the right cannabis reporter at the right time with that right story is key. Having the talking points and quotable quotes set to go to the right journalists when news is imminent or breaking is how you get into mainstream media, such as Bloomberg, US News and others.

​ Cannabis Companies Need To Infuse Good PR

Marijuana businesses need to have a plan at the ready to handle a product recall that could sink the company

By John Rebchook

Product recalls increasingly may be a fact of life for those who sell marijuana products, meaning that cannabis business owners need to have a plan at their fingertips to cope with questions and concerns raised by regulators and consumers. It might even save your business.

A crisis can strike at any time. But a good recall plan can help growers, infused product makers and other businesses head off a public relations disaster – and prevent customers from abandoning a company’s products.

In recent months, marijuana products have been recalled in several states as well as in Canada. A variety of products – ranging from edibles and medical cannabis to vape pens – have been recalled for pesticide contamination, higher concentrations of THC than advertised, mold and mites, packaging issues and other problems.

Experts agree that production snafus and recalls are not going to go away, and probably will increase as more states legalize marijuana. So it is essential to have a recall plan in place before things go south.

“You don’t want your client’s company going up in smoke,” said Janet Vasquez, principal of JV Public Relations in New York. “It is imperative to be ready for anything conceivable, especially a recall because it becomes a public health safety issue.”

Why You Need a Plan

Cannabis Companies Need To Infuse Good PR

Having a recall plan may be a requirement for doing business.

“Most states have laws around cannabis recalls that specifically state as part of the application/license process that a recall plan is required standard operating procedure,” said Karen Freese, principal of Freese Branding + Consultancy in San Francisco.

Even if they are not mandated, it would be crazy not to have a road map in hand for navigating a crisis, she said.

“CEOs have a fiduciary responsibility, which includes insulating the company from liability and minimizing risk. If they don’t have a plan, they are foolish,” Freese said.

The cannabis industry may be more likely to face recalls than other industries, she said. Not only is the industry growing by leaps and bounds, but medical and recreational marijuana products are not tested in a uniform manner – and that can lead to recalls. Regulatory issues also are at play.

“The recalls to date for cannabis have been largely due to the states not having a clear understanding of what is healthy and unhealthy from a parts-per-million (ppm) for pesticides, molds, etc. when inhaled or when plant material is extracted into concentrates, which magnifies the impurities,” according to Freese.

“Another issue is that lab testing facilities statewide can use different testing equipment that can yield different results on the same test sample. The laws for testing are not as much complex as they are knee jerk.” She said some regulators “set the ppm limits super low because they don’t know and have a responsibility to protect the public.”

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