Hit List: Five Emerging Cannabis Brands Lighting Up Marketing Spend

By Winmo Archives
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Predicted to reach $22 billion by 2020, the cannabis industry is booming with potential media and marketing revenue opportunities.  As the industry grows, so do the opportunities for those who can help cannabis brands overcome a number of hurdles, including regulatory ones and those of perception.  Though federal legalization is still far off, now is the time to be creating relationships before the market becomes over saturated.

To help you get a head start, we've hand-selected a list of five cannabis brands that have recently appointed new or first-time CMOs and are looking to grow their brand marketing in the near future. 

Cura

Following CEO shifts, Cura, one of the largest cannabis brands in the world, tapped new CMO Jason White, effective February, to drive awareness for the Select Oil and Select CBD brands.

Cura seeks to become the leading provider of cannabis oil in the legal U.S. and international markets.  Since it got started early in 2015, the company has already attracted $125 million in capital.  In the past year alone, the company has tripled its revenue and raised $75 million in funding.

With increasing difficulty in national marketing for cannabis products, Cura has not yet established a top spending period -- but agencies and martechs are encouraged to reach out as soon as possible to secure revenue.  The company primarily invests in social media and experiential with target audiences largely consisting of Millennials and Gen Xers.

Cura currently serves markets in Oregon, Nevada, California and Arizona so local sellers will have the advantage.  However, local sellers in other areas where cannabis is legal should keep an eye out as the brand has plans to expand.

Honeydrop Beverages

A cold-pressed raw honey lemonade company, Honeydrop Beverages launched a new line of CBD lemonades in December to capitalize on the growing cannabis industry.

In order to better market the new line, the company has promoted Andrew Lorig to the newly created CMO position and Mareill Kiernan to Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing.  With these promotions, it is expected that Honeydrop Beverages will be seeking outside agency help to catapult the brand's growth.

Agency and martech readers with beverage experience are highly encouraged to reach out.  We suggest focusing pitches on what differentiates Honeydrop from other ready-to-drink beverages.

Though the brand primarily relies on social media and it is expected to remain at the forefront of the company's spend, it is also expected that Honeydrop will break into more traditional digital formats.

Hill Street Beverages

Hill Street Beverages specializes in alcohol-free beers and wines and non-alcoholic cannabis-infused drinks. The brand believes in supporting those who want to live healthier lives, suffer from conditions that conflict with alcohol consumption, or simply don't want to partake in drinking. To pioneer this mission, the Hill Street hired its first CMO, David Pullara in April 2018.

its first marketing campaign led by Pullar, the brand is truly defining itself as a leader in the growing cannabis space. Pullara explains most brands focus on cannabis’ THC euphoria-including nature but forget about its medical properties. “Rather than take a pill, because you have chronic headaches, for example, you could potentially enjoy a glass of [alcohol-free and cannabis-infused] wine and achieve the same effect,” he said. Cannabis-infused product launches will also be underway as soon as the government allows.

Hill Street hasn’t allocated any budget towards national TV or digital display, but it's possible that will change up as Pullara reviews spend. With this brand still emerging, we encourage sellers to keep this brand on their radar for potential future opportunities.

Henry's Original

L.A.-based Cannabis farmer Henry's Original is currently seeking a head of marketing.  The new hire will oversee brand marketing activities across social and content, packaging, experiential, PR and dispensary marketing.  The company has previously partnered with One Tree Planted.

With products only being available in California, the brand has yet to allocate spend on TV or digital advertising.  As marijuana laws continue to pass across the U.S. there could be more opportunity here down the line, but for the time being we encourage California sellers and agencies to keep this company on your radar.

The new marketing head will likely review budget, relationships and strategy so get your pitches prepared and begin establishing relationships with Henry's team members to remain top of mind should ad revenue become available later this year.  It's expected that those who can provide high ROI across digital and earned efforts will have the advantage.

Hound Labs

The Oakland, CA-based maker of the first breathalyzer for cannabis, Hound Labs, has named Todd Grantham as its new CMO.

An outside CMO hire is the No. 1 indicator that an agency review is on the horizon, so B2B agencies should begin reaching out and preparing their pitches.  Additional opportunities became possible after Hound secured $8.1 million in a Series B round last year.  That combined with Grantham's onboarding indicates that the brand is ready to take marketing to the next level.

Sellers should also begin reaching out to secure campaign dollars targeting law enforcement and employers, the two first target audiences for Hound.

Winmo has always been "the plug" for new opportunities and verified decision-maker contact info, but we're taking it further this year by releasing monthly emerging industry reports.  For more potential opportunities with cannabis brands, download a free digital copy of our latest eBook, A Growing Industry: 10 Cannabis, CBD & Hemp Brands You Need To Know About.

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