Best locations to brand marijuana around
Best locations to brand marijuana around

Brands Won't Win the Marijuana Branding War, Growing Locations Will Be the Ultimate Winner

Your celebrity, packaging, and colors won't put your brand on top, where your weed was grown will be more impressive!

Posted by:
Thom Baccus on Saturday Nov 13, 2021

Brands Won’t Win the Marijuana Branding War, Growing Locations Will Be the Highest Premium Products and Prices

the marijuana branding war

Celebrity brands will fade away, but where your weed was grown will command higher prices.


I have a branding hair across my butt.


I get to be the branding curmudgeon of the marijuana industry. Millennials who grew up worshiping at the alter of Nike and Apple hate me for telling them weed is not a tech product, it is fancy broccoli. Branding agencies and marketers hate me because I tell them cannabis is a commodity, it will have a future’s contract at some point on the CBOT, it grows in 12 weeks, indoors or outdoors, anywhere in the world, it is not product of scarcity on the planet earth. It is only a product of scarcity due to archaic laws, and when those laws come down, consumers will rush to the best value brands, ie, what does it cost, and does it do the intended job.


The majority of society either shops at Walmart or Amazon, sorry.


Branding and marketing people hate me.

I tell them Budweiser products make up 95% of beer sales in America.  Microbrews get niche headlines, but in the end, value and desired effect win out.  What is your favorite brand of lettuce? Remember, not what type of lettuce do you like, iceberg, romaine, etc, but what brand of romaine lettuce do you like best? Crickets. Every consumer survey done to date in the marijuana industry shows that consumers can't remember what brand they bought, what it looked like, or how much they used, but they do know and remember how much they paid and if had the desired effect.

So, is there no hope for brands? Will branding not matter at all in the end when cannabis is Federally legal, and then legal worldwide? Is the marijuana branding myth real or will consumers actually be loyal to a brand regardless of price?


Cue the 2001 Space Odyssey music, for all you youngins, pull it up on YouTube as you read the next part.


Yes, some cannabis products will be sought after and command a premium over the Bud and Bud Light cannabis products you will eventually find at your local drug stores and dispensaries, but they aren’t what you think. It will not be your “reserve”, “limited edition”, or “small batch” MSO grown weed.


Premium pricing and the “ahhhhh” moment in cannabis products will be centered around where the cannabis was grown, not which celebrities' face is on the front of the package. Geo-branding will be much more successful than celebrity branding, just look at the industry that is used as a comparable to cannabis the most, the wine industry.


Do you want a nice Zinfandel from Sonoma Valley, California? A nice Bordeaux from the Bordeaux region of France? Perhaps a nice Chilean cabernet?


Notice something already? People pay up for the location of the grapes, it implies quality, prestige, and in some cases, luxury. 


The same thing will be what makes cannabis “brands” valuable, not Biebs on a pre-roll package, but where that marijuana strain was grown.


Location-Based Branding in the Future of Cannabis


What locations have the historical relevance to carry a brand? What areas and regions carry the “wow” factor in cannabis? The rules are the region must have the historical cache to make people want to pay more for the product grown there, and it has to have the right climate in general, including soil, air quality, water, and  humidity, to carry the higher price tag it will cost to get that product to where you live. Here is the list of the 5 best branding locations for cannabis in the future, starting the countdown with #5 and going up to #1.


5.  Acapulco, Mexico – Ever hear of Acapulco Gold? A revered strain from the 70s and made famous in Cheech and Chong movies. Just check out the longitude and latitude of Acapulco as well, right in line with the perfect growing climates like Guatemala, Honduras, and Costa Rica.  With plenty of cheap labor, water, and electricity, the price per gram will be rock bottom, perfect for exporting around the world and still making a profit after taxes and shipping costs.  Would a consumer pay more for a strain or product stamped and labeled as grown in Acapulco?  Maybe not carrying as much cache as our other members on the list, but yes, it will get an extra dollar or two.


4.  Kentucky – The head-scratcher, wildcard on the list! Yes, Kentucky!  When the Feds finally get all this stuff straightened out, Kentucky farmers have a long history of growing hemp and marijuana. Kentucky hemp farmers are already a few years in, and based on grasses and plant growth in Kentucky, marijuana strains like Kentucky Blue Grass lawn seedlings will be coming. Like your bourbon from Kentucky?  Do you pay extra for a Kentucky bourbon, and does it look cool at a party or on your shelf?  You bet!  At some point Kentucky grown premium cannabis will have a spot on the high-end shelf at the dispensary.


3. Thailand – The growing conditions are perfect; the strain “Thai Sticks” and other spinoffs have been legendary since US servicemen were over in Vietnam and brought the seed back to the US.  While having the harshest drugs laws in the world until just recently, the country is quickly opening to medical marijuana the idea of exporting their premium grade cannabis around the world is just too appealing to the Thai government right now. Look for that snooty friend who shows up at your dinner party to be bringing some imported Thai sticks instead of wine in about 2025.  With ultra-low costs of labor, water, electricity, and the perfect climate, it fits all the criteria as a geo-branding winner.


2. Emerald Triangle/Humbolt County – Yes, of course this area of Northern California will command massive respect around the world. Between the sea salt air and volcanic soil, no place on earth can make claims about better weed than the Emerald Triangle. Certified grown Emerald Triangle cannabis will be the top shelf cannabis around the world, the high-end scotch if you will, of future dispensaries. There may not be much of a discount on labor, water, and electricity, but waking into a dispensary in London, Bangkok, Shanghai, or Sidney, Humbolt County grown cannabis will be where worldwide consumers will look at it as the highest-end marijuana. Ever save up and buy a $200 bottle of scotch or wine? This will be the same consumer experience around the world.

1. Jamaica – Based on its history of cannabis made famous in movies and songs by the likes of Bob Marley, Jamaica may prove to the ultra-cannabis high end brand due to the small size of the country in general, and the lack of technology and industry on the island. The island folklore will tell you the black volcanic soil and ocean seawater is the key to the best cannabis in the world being growing in the hills of Jamaica. The plant itself is a big part of the Rastafarian religion on the island, and it is considered a religious plant with mystical qualities to heal the soul.  Jamaica got the number #1 spot over Humbolt due to scarcity and supply. For example, a craft or small batch of Humboldt’s finest may still yield hundred of pound of cannabis, whereas Jamaica may be able to put together 50 lbs of a special grow. The scarcity factor will cause Jamaican marijuana to be a delicatessen around the world, where high end demand could easily outstrip supply. Throw on some Marley tunes and open up some Jamaican indica and you are legendary are that party.


Remember, when in doubt, think wine. When you want to go to the dinner party or that date and movie night at home, what do you do? Do you get the usual $10 bottle, or do you splurge to make an impression on your date or social group and get the $40 bottle?  The “wow” factor bottle will impress people. They will wonder if that is what you always drink, and if you are that wealthy. The same will hold true for cannabis.  Having that fancy dinner party or date, you can’t get the standard dispensary brand of pre-rolls, go get the Jamaican black volcanic-soil Kush, limited-batch pre-rolls, 5 for $100.  Now, you are making an impression!

Do you want to know what cannabis brands will command premium pricing and have higher margins? Don’t try to figure out who Brad Pitt’s agent is, go buy farmland in Thailand or Jamaica if you want to make a smart 10-year bet on who wins the marijuana branding game.








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