Cannabis Business Times has caught on to what Meg Sanders was saying in her recent editorial about the realities of the industry, as well as the industry at large.
The feature “Inside the Cannabis Market in Massachusetts, Operators Find (Cautious) Optimism” builds upon Sanders insight and experience in the legal industry, going back to the earliest days of legal recreational cannabis in Colorado, and interviews Sanders at length to expand upon her tentpole strategies and overview of what new cannabis entities must do in order to face what’s coming in 2023.
Here’s an excerpt:
“We’re a craft grower, so we have concerns,” Sanders says. Canna Provisions is a vertically integrated operator, and this may be one key to navigating these tough economic challenges: An operator can control the supply chain with every link in vertical integration. But Sanders is quick to point out that “craft,” as it were, can only scale so much.
Out on shelves, Sanders describes what many other growers are describing: There’s premium flower and there’s value flower. Both have a place in the market, but growers are the ones stuck trying to thread the needle. Consumers are often willing to pay for the more nuanced, chemically diverse premium flower—but first they must be educated on what, exactly, that means. And still other consumers are often willing to purchase value flower—but there’s so much of it in the licensed market, how is anyone supposed to develop brand loyalty?
“There’s plenty of average-quality flower out there, and that is definitely the most sensitive as to how much the wholesale cost will be—because it will just sit,” she says. “If it doesn’t have something unique, i.e., high THC or massive terps or something that really creates a buzz about it, it will just sit. And then it becomes a retailer problem, like ‘Even though I bought it for cheap, now I’ve got to lower the price to get it out.’ As you know, everything expires in cannabis.”
To counteract that problem, Canna Provisions leans into the craft market. Craft-vs.-premium: It may appear like a false dichotomy, but increasingly the market is nudging operators in one direction or the other.
This inverse bell curve—where most growers will fall either to premium or value cannabis products—is maybe the defining strategic driver of 2023.
Read the entire feature here.