New Trending Topics in Cannabis: Summer 2017

Cannabis culture is always in flux. With a community that spans nearly every possible consumer demographic, it can be hard to nail down trends, but a glut of new products on the west coast has shed some light on the cannabis industry’s not-so-distant future.  

Read on for our favorite new trends – ones we believe will continue growing well into next year. 

Microdosing

We have talked before about the trend of super tiny doses that is picking up steam all across America. The euphoric high of THC doesn’t appeal to everyone, after all, so it’s only natural that low-dosage mints, candies, baked goods and beverages are beginning to fly off the shelves in every market. 

No matter who your brand appeals to, it’s possible for you to embrace the microdosing trend in some way. Offering a more diverse product line will only strengthen your longevity as a cannabis company, as you’ll be accessible to a new demographic. 

Customization

Modern cannabis consumers don’t want to be sold to. They want to create their own routine with useful cannabis infused products. That being said, a high dosage of THC won’t always be enough to woo patients and recreational users, who are continuing to learn more about minor cannabinoids. Custom ratios of cannabinoids, for example, a 1:1 THC:CBD strain or tincture, are appealing more and more to discerning buyers with healthy and active lifestyles.

If your company isn’t all over the latest cannabinoid science, and coming up with ways to utilize this new knowledge, you’re going to miss out. 

Discretion

As the rest of the world is finally beginning to recognize slick vape pens and edibles for what they are, the most discreet cannabis consumers are looking to go incognito. However, they also want their products to work just as well as if they had smoked a big joint.

Some of the most popular up-and-coming medical marijuana product types are water bottles, mints and transdermal patches worn under the clothes. These are branded to look like everyday objects we use all the time, making them ideal for travel or workplace use.


Set your product up for success in the evolving marketplace – contact our team to schedule a cannabis industry marketing consultation. 

How to Elevate the Cannabis Buying Experience

When we talk about an “elevated experience” in the cannabis industry, we’re not just talking about getting high. It’s a phrase that embodies the community’s mission to eliminate negative stereotypes through responsible consumption and education.

Think of it as brand strategy with the consumer in mind; you always want patients to feel comfortable, confident and informed when they’re considering buying your product to take home. Start giving back today with these tips.

Provide Facts

A full ingredient list and laboratory test are just the bare minimum of what should be included on your product’s packaging and your website, too. This would be a good start, but the truth is that patients typically want to know a lot more than simply what’s inside.

They want to know, as much as possible, what the onset time will be and how they will feel after using the product. Should it be used morning, night or all day long? How long should they wait before re-dosing? Think of an answer to every possible question a new cannabis consumer might have, and make it an integral part of your branding. 

Care About Details

High-end aesthetics and practicality are extremely important. This is true with both product and packaging design! Cannabis consumers really do care about the little things. They want to feel confident when they leave a dispensary that the product in their bag will work as advertised and provide a pleasant experience. If the consumer can’t gain that confidence simply by picking up the package, then it’s time to go back to the drawing board. 

Some specific small details that matter to connoisseurs and newer consumers alike:

  • Beautiful packaging which provides a clear product description, and a sense of the intended mood or effect. 
  • Clearly marked dosage meters or perforations on edible and drinkable products. 
  • Air-tight sealed packaging for cannabis flower, with appropriate humidity control. 
  • Proper labeling and lids on topical containers so they can be handled.
  • Current lab test labels on the outside of every package.

Promote Responsibility

Always do your best to inform the consumer – directly on the package – of everything they’ll need to know. After all, you or your sales reps will not be in the store with them when they are checking out your product. Don’t rely on dispensary staff to educate patients about safe and effective ways to use your particular product. The burden is on manufacturers to make that information part of their packaging, labeling and overall branding process. 


Elevate your brand to the next level with consulting, integrated campaigns and real, proven results with Social Media Unicorn, based in the thriving legal cannabis market of Las Vegas. 

The Best Types of Posts For Each Social Media Platform

When it comes to social media, far too many brands make the mistake of posting the same exact content on every single platform. This is ill-advised because there are so many diverse groups on social media, and they all hang out in different social environments – and respond to different stimuli as well.

We put together a guide for DIY marketers to help you plan your approach to each top platform. 

Facebook

From humble beginnings, Facebook has become extremely diverse and dynamic. Not only is every demographic present on the platform, it’s also now been segmented into Groups. People and brands providing quality content to their audiences are holding on to their organic growth and influence on the platform, even as Facebook continues to try and monetize almost every interaction. 

One thing is for certain about the Facebook algorithm – it favors video posts. Heavily. A strong video content strategy will help you acquire more fans organically. Otherwise, set aside a small budget and learn to optimize Facebook Ads with amazing photography and graphics and some clever copy. 

Instagram

It’s changed a lot over the past year, but Instagram is still the place to be for the hippest and most social-savvy people in the world. It’s where trends are made, and visual content is king. You can repurpose some of your Facebook content here, but really make the captions pop. Professional photography is almost a must these days as outstanding “pinch-to-zoom” resolution photo posts are becoming the norm (especially delectable close-up photos of  cannabis products).

There are lots of “tricks” and theories out there for how to hack this platform, but really, Instagram runs on a few key principles. If you engage genuinely, post regularly, and utilize the proper hashtags. How you get there is up to you – as long as you make it absolutely beautiful.

Twitter

The original microblogging platform is far from dead – in fact, Twitter remains one of the most active platforms for breaking news and commentary on current events, as well as conversations amongst journalists and influencers.

That being said, all your content on Twitter should be newsworthy and put on display the unique voice and vision of your brand. Image and video posts, polls, memes and hashtags are essential parts of the Twitterverse you should know about. Research hashtags being used by your target niches, incorporate them into your tweets, and remember to always engage authentically.

Snapchat

On Snapchat, anything goes. The people following you are doing so for one reason: to catch a glimpse into what you’re doing all day. Again, authenticity is key. Using Snapchat gives you the opportunity to build your brand its very own personality from scratch – or, start building your personal brand as a living, breathing embodiment of the company.

So, in short, you should always share the awesome adventure that is your business with the world. Having partners in the industry who know the rules and trends on each platform will strengthen your influence even more. 

Hire us today and learn to finally rock social. 

What Makes a Marijuana Brand “High-End?”

Is your cannabis brand “high-end?” If so, how do you justify that classification? As rapidly increasing numbers of consumers try cannabis for the first time, and the market continues to segment, it’s vital to know where your product stands on the “luxury scale.”

Many business owners mistake luxury for something that a hip millennial would purchase. While this can sometimes be true, we’re here to set the record straight about cannabis marketing once and for all. 

The following qualities are what truly make a cannabis brand high-end: 

Audience

Before you can be considered a luxury brand, you’ve got to target the right kinds of people with your marketing. In other words, if you think your product fits the interests and profile of a 40+ woman making over $100K per year, don’t cater your marketing to the college aged Coachella-bound crowd. 

When your product catches the eyes of your audience on social media, you want them to know it was made for them; not wondering whether they should do their research first. That’s the difference between luxury and generic brands. 

Sourcing

What goes into your product is just as important, if not more so, than the way it looks on the outside. Luxury consumers crave a few things from their health and wellness products, including potent active ingredients, natural or organic components, and sensations that are pleasing to the touch, taste or smell. 

The takeaway here is that if you use only the highest quality flower to start your process, then your concentrate, edible, or topical product will automatically rank among the high-end. 

Presentation

One of the most important finishing touches on your brand is the final presentation – how your product will be packaged, displayed and sold. The colors and symbolism of your brand must match up artistically and aesthetically to other luxury brands on the shelves of your favorite high-end boutiques. 

Now, whether you want to follow in the footsteps of the fashion industry, specialty food products, apothecary and beauty store styling, or the stark, scientific stylings of the pharmaceutical industry, is all up to you. That’s the fun of branding! 


Playing by these suggestions will help you prepare your cannabis brand for the luxury market, but in reality, there are no strict rules to creating an amazing new product. Part of the beauty of marijuana is the spectrum of new and innovative ideas being developed from the plant and the culture that surrounds it. 

Ready to groom your product for the spotlight it deserves? Get in touch with Social Media Unicorn today and put one of our stellar cannabis marketing Unicorns to work for you. 

4 Cannabis Brands Using Photography To Their Advantage

We love to talk about sharp branding photography for cannabis because, in today’s social media universe, it can truly make or break your communication strategy.

Product or lifestyle photography for your brand should embody as much of your identity, personality and colors as possible, while inspiring creativity or new ideas in the person viewing the photo. Instead of just thinking, “that’s a pretty photo!” your goal should be to stimulate in the viewer a newfound desire to incorporate your brand into their existing lifestyle. People in the cannabis community hold their routines and rituals in high regard; show that your product understands that. 

These four companies have been #killingit with their social media photography lately, and savvy cannabis consumers are taking notice. Take a leaf or two out of their book! 

Dipstick Vapes

Coming up in the personal vaporizer market against major competition that’s been in play for years (think PAX vs. Firefly, Dabado vs. Dr. Dabber) isn’t easy for most brands to strategize.

Dab & Puff 💨💨 #HappyDipping #TossTheTorch #Dipper #Dipstickvapes

A post shared by Dipstick Vapes (@dipstickvapes) on

Dipstick Vapes handles the pressure with style, using gorgeous professional photography of their sleek metallic devices and full, luscious puffs of smoke to attract the eye. Their Instagram account is new, but already wooing high-end vape customers to their portable “nectar collector” for easy concentrate consumption on the go. 

Humble Flower Co. 

A topical company with roots in California’s famed Humboldt area, this brand brings the outside in to create a beautiful and appealing social media photography strategy.

All of Humble’s product photos are staged with colorful wildflowers, herbs and shrubbery in contrast with the clean and modern lines of their packaging. 

The Kush Queens

Already well-known for their Instagram imagery that is female-friendly and full of memery, The Kush Queens are putting their photo prowess to good use now that they’ve launches their very own products.

Come visit us in the @sol_distro Village @hightimesmagazine #Cannabiscup #thekushqueens #TheLitKit #soldistro

A post shared by Kush Queen™ (@thekushqueens) on

Earlier this year they released The Lit Kit, a pretty box filled with a pre-rolled cone, small chocolate edible and medicated bath bomb for the perfect night in. The professional-looking package has inspired hundreds of fans to create their own Instagram photo content around The Lit Kit – a social media gift that keeps on giving for its creators. 

Remedy

Remedy, out of Las Vegas, continues to stun the market with packaging and brand marketing that is ahead of its time. Clearly they are gearing up to serve the exploding 21+ market come summertime.

From color-coordinated pill cases for their cannabis capsules, to their sleek black-and-white vape case, to their brand symbolism of hands in their lifestyle photography, and even the close-up shots of their golden oils and top-grade flowers, Remedy is one of the top brands to watch in Nevada. 


What are your favorite cannabis brands putting out first-class brand photography? Share a link with us in the comment section. 

Marijuana Legalization Affects Real Estate: Here’s How

Industry publications cannot stop talking about marijuana legalization and its impact on the real estate market. And when we say that we don’t just mean marijuana news outlets.

The mainstream business and investing communities have really taken notice of legalization, and the conversation is building as new policies form nationwide. Experts and investors now believe they can project what will happen to the real estate market once a state passes a medical or adult-use legalization measure. 

Here’s what we know so far about what happens to real estate values in emerging legal cannabis markets

Heavy Competition

If you know about the licensing process for cannabis companies, then you probably know there are a ton of zoning regulations involved. These can vary by state and even by city, but they usually limit dispensaries and manufacturers to extremely limited areas of town. The jist of the rules is that policymakers don’t want cannabis to be cultivated, processed or sold near schools and parks, residential zones and other sensitive areas. 

That being said, finding an appropriate operations site can be stiff competition for license applicants. This allows property owners in industrial and other ideal zones to ask a premium price or rent for their cannabis-friendly real estate, which in turn bumps up prices close by.

Exodus

Something else to consider about new legal cannabis markets is that many people from out-of-state will soon be clamoring to move there. Be they “medical refugees” who can’t access cannabis in their home state, budding entrepreneurs and job seekers following the opportunity, or enthusiasts who would simply rather enjoy their hobby in peace, they’re all looking to find a place to live. 

More demand for real estate always drives prices up. The cannabis movement just happens to be one of the strongest uniting movements driving visibly huge demand for real estate.


Increasing the value of real estate is only one of hundreds of ways that cannabis legalization stimulates our economy. Regulated cannabis markets create jobs and livelihoods for thousands of people, provide affordable and effective medicine to our most vulnerable and provide a healthier way for people of legal age to recreate and enjoy their lives.

Ready to position yourself as a serious player in this industry? Call our genius team of marketers at Social Media Unicorn today. 

10 Ways Lab Testing Helps Make The Cannabis Brand

Let’s get one thing clear: lab testing cannabis is an absolute must.

Though most legal markets require it by law, really, the only ones who still have to catch up to modern times are operators in California. It’s because of the west coast market that lab testing requirements in states such as Nevada are as strict as they are now. No other state wants to take chances on pesticides and molds! 

If you think getting your product tested at a lab is just a chore, read on to learn why it could actually make or break your brand. 

Builds Trust

Lab testing your products proves to the world that you are a legitimate operator in the cannabis space, creating products that are free of toxins and dangerous chemicals. Congratulations on putting drug dealer stereotypes in the past! 

Shows Transparency

Customers aren’t the only ones who are going to want to see your lab tests. By always having them current, you’re appeasing local and state regulators, too. The more we share with the world about the contents of medical cannabis products, the more progress we will make collectively as an industry. 

Displays Quality

You already think your product is the best – don’t you want others to think so, too? From the terpenes, to the humidity levels, to the major and minor cannabinoids, your trusty lab test should definitely make your product shine. 

Educates Patients

Not every patient or adult-use consumer is aware of the chemical composition of their cannabis. For those who are interested in learning more, it’s nothing short of fascinating to peruse the various lab tests at the dispensary. Make sure yours is one of them.

Proves Potency

Simply saying that your flower, oil or edible is the strongest just doesn’t hold much water in today’s cannabis economy. A certified laboratory test is the only way to prove to retailers and customers that yours is the real deal – and worth the price. 

Creates Consistency

What makes a cannabis consumer come back again and again? A product that looks, smells, tastes and works the exact same way every time. Of course, there will always be slight variations between batches of cannabis products, but your lab tests will help you keep them as consistent as possible to please your biggest fans. 

Helps Retailers

By viewing the lab tests on your products, dispensary managers and staff should be able to discern a few things. First, it will help them figure out how to price and display it among their other inventory. Second, they will be able to appropriately direct patients to the right product for them based on the chemical composition of each product. 

Supports Industry

Bottom line, cannabis testing laboratories need to make money, just like the rest of us in this space. Make a friend and ally for life by developing a value-based relationship with your lab that goes beyond just the “bare minimum” testing requirements.

Calms Opposition

In this industry, we are always trying to counter fear-based arguments from prohibitionists. Lab testing cannabis shows that these products are safe and therapeutic – making them the ultimate tool in the fight against anti-cannabis trolls. 

Boosts Legitimacy

All in all, testing your product makes the cannabis industry and the people in it look a whole lot better to the outside world. We hope you take it seriously as all of our clients do!

The Top 3 Growing Demographics for Cannabis Users

No matter where you stand in the business of cannabis, you’ve simply got to know who’s out there consuming it.

Dated stereotypes of the marijuana user no longer apply. At first glance, to the naïve marketer, it may seem like only young, hip city folk are using the latest and greatest cannabis products. We like to look a little deeper than that. 

Get to know the three fastest-growing groups of consumers in the cannabis world right now: 

Baby Boomers

There’s no question about it: the generation of people born post-WWII are a dominant buying force in the U.S. economy. That means that as legalization spreads from state to state, Baby Boomers remain the fastest growing group of patients and consumers, tossing aside the old stigma for a new lease on health and wellness. 

Rising health care costs and low satisfaction with prescription medication treatments are leading more and more aging people to give cannabis another try – often for the first time in decades. 

Millennials & “Gen Z”

Not only have Millennials had the privilege of growing up around changing attitudes about cannabis, they’ve also led the charge in making marijuana a mainstream wellness product. 

The subsequent generation of youth consumers, dubbed “Generation Z,” are now quickly approaching legal age to purchase their own vape pen or edible in one of several regulated adult-use states. Time will tell just how involved this generation will be in the modern cannabis culture, but you can bet their tastes will be refined by lifestyle influencers and top-quality products they’ve seen on Instagram. 

The Elderly

Don’t discount the impact that elderly people will have on legal cannabis markets in the next few years – especially as curious Baby Boomers begin to see their health care costs skyrocket even higher as they age.

Medical cannabis is providing comfort to more people than ever so that they can live out the rest of their years in health and happiness. Through various channels, the word is getting out that pot beats pills any day of the week.  


If you are an entrepreneur launching a product or service in the cannabis space, you need to figure out who your customers are.

We can help! Hire one of our Unicorns today to put your brand on the map. 

How To Talk To Anti-Cannabis Believers

One of the most challenging aspects to cannabis advocacy can be how to talk to anti-cannabis believers. Every cannabis advocate has their own story of how they came to believe that cannabis was a powerful medication for wellness. I didn’t try cannabis until I was 30 years old, after having had my two daughters and having spent three decades firmly planted as a small town born and raised card carrying young Republican, Christian, and NRA member. Not quite the vision of a hippy you had in mind, is it? Just ask my best friend from junior high, Summer, who I clearly recall giving the “marijuana is a gateway drug” speech to in seventh grade. I believed with my whole heart that Summer was just a puff puff pass away from the mean streets of heroin abuse, destined to a career of prostitution or homelessness. <Side note: we’re both successful entrepreneurs these days.> I think it is this background that allows me to understand where anti-cannabis believers are coming from. I get it. I believed for thirty years and was sure I was right. Here are some helpful tips to make it easier for you to connect with folks who don’t share your viewpoint. 

START WITH AGREEMENT: Anger comes from fear. Trolling a troll or playing their game will only serve to further entrench them in their beliefs. Begin with the fundamental understanding that they are scared. Fear is a powerful thing. Perhaps they are worried that their children will lose all ambition or that the structure that gives them security will fall apart. These may seem like irrational fears to those of us with the knowledge of what a regulated cannabis industry looks like and feels like, but if I’m living in my small town in a state without that experience or knowledge, it just seems scary. When I moved to Las Vegas years ago I was shocked that everyone assumed I was a stripper or that I spent all my time in a nightclub. The reality is that I was in an office like most 20 somethings building a career and my Sunday mornings were spent in a church pew. When you begin with the understanding that these are very real fears for people, it gives you insight into their motivation. As an advocate you will begin to understand why they are so passionate about their stance against cannabis. 

SHARE YOUR STORY: Advice and opinions are tricky things because they aren’t right or wrong. They just are. I do my best not to offer up either, even when asked. Instead, I share my story or stories of experiences I have had. I share what happened to me, what led to my change in beliefs, and why I believe what I believe today. My pastor told me years ago that no one comes to faith thanks to a guy holding a sign and screaming about Christ on a street corner. Live in such a way that people are drawn to you and inquire about why you choose what you choose. If you are truly trying to make a positive impact in someone’s life it doesn’t matter that they agree with you. When they hear your story they can choose to make the decision that is right for their life. It’s a lot harder for anti-cannabis believers to generalize about all cannabis users being lazy stoners when they meet a hard working, award-winning entrepreneur and mom like me. 

OFFER TO BE THEIR GUIDE: For 4/20 this year our team hosted 500 industry leaders in a private residence to celebrate the holiday. There were guests from 21-90 years old, all education and career levels from cannabis trimmers to lawyers and doctors, and the property was in mint condition by the time it was over. Not one guest was inebriated or unsafe and many used our custom Lyft code to make sure they did not consume and drive. Of course I’m proud of our event and my team, but I share this because sometimes the people who most need a reality check about what regulated cannabis looks like aren’t the ones in the industry. We’re surrounded by the diversity of our industry every day, so we forget what it can be like to be on the outside thinking it’s filled with risk. There are some great resources the Drug Policy Alliance offers if you need facts and figures to share. 

I have always approached cannabis advocacy in the same way that I advocate for all of my beliefs: with kindness and a heart of service. The best cannabis advocates are educators. We are educating the general public with each interaction about who cannabis users are and what the industry represents. When someone is educated and has had their own experiences they are fully armed to make their own decisions about what is best for them, their family, and their community. 

 

8 Cannabis Brands That Are Working It On Social Media

Everyone has been a victim of hanging upside down, off the edge of our beds, high AF! On the most usual occasion we marry this act with scrolling through Instagram after puffing on the finest cannabis around. 

So in the sake of scrolling, here are the 8 coolest brands that will make your experience that much better.

@karl_kronic: Whoever Karl is , he know exactly what he is doing! The content that is posted on the page makes cannabis so appealing. This is a must follow!

@weedstagram420: We literally laughed for about 30 minutes straight scrolling through this timeline. In that time our friends got tired of us sending them posts, haha.

@thehighcircle: On their page they show you how to make a bong out of an airhead. Um what else is there to life?

@headyhawaii: The best bongs in town! hands down!

@nugshots: Its all about the strands with this brand! They post the weed we all should be smoking at least once a day!

@therealdank: Hey to all my hardcore fellas, we think you will appreciate this one.

@masterbong: This is some amazing content. Def tumblr worthy.

@dankshire: yeah, its about that time to roll up after this one. you have seen nothing like it before.

Okay so that is our list for the best cannabis brands on instagram for OBVIOUS reasons!