Whether the Mile-High City wants it or not, the Colorado Cannabis Summit is coming to Denver on May 22. Despite the name, the summit isn’t meant to be a party ground for the residents of Colorado who’ve been enjoying perfectly legal marijuana since it was decriminalized on January 1. Instead, it will be one of the first big opportunities Colorado pot farmers, distributors, and marketers have to actually talk about the business of getting high.
Legalized Pot Has Been a Huge Success for Colorado
Since January, the State of Colorado has collected an estimated $4.2 million per month in taxes from the sale of recreational marijuana in the state. Despite being well shy of early estimates that the state would rake in as much as $8.9 million a month, the slow start does nothing to belittle the success legalizing pot has been so far.
Of course, where there’s an opportunity to make more money, businesses, in this case pot businesses, will find ways to do so. Colorado had originally estimated that 2014 would see $1 billion in sales of marijuana, and if those in the wacky weed business have anything to say about it, they’ll hit that goal and keep on pushing.
“It’s an Entirely New Industry”
The biggest challenge so far has been trying ways to effectively market cannabis on legal markets. Just as beer, cider, and liquor all have huge marketing, quality assurance, research, and safety machines making their industries go, so, too, does the cannabis industry need that sort of infrastructure.
And that really cuts to the heart of what the summit is about. In an interview with Denver Westword, Stan Wagner, CEO of the summit and the Red Thread Creative Group, outlined the challenges and the objectives of the event perfectly. “It’s not just about grow houses, but everything that goes into them,” Wagner says, “[it’s] construction, manufacturing of the products, packaging: all that jazz.”
One topic of discussion you can expect to see? How to use social media to market marijuana. As of Q4 2013, the average return-on-investment for marketers using Facebook, for example, was 150%! When you consider that social media is mostly used by progressive Americans who don’t harbor the stereotype of pot being a bad thing to do, it just makes sense for marketers to tap into a series of platforms that seem ready-made for their products. Just exactly how the cheeba industry will shape its packaging, social media outreach, and overall marketing campaign remains to be seen, but we’ll find out on May 22, when, just for a little while, the Colorado Canabis Summit will bring the Mile-High City just a little higher.