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Industry Development: Recreational Cannabis Market Growth Exceeds Expectations | Sponsored

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PITTSFIELD, Massachusetts – Much like the repeal of the 18th Amendment that banned the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcoholic beverages, new state-to-state laws that legalize the recreational use of marijuana are creating a booming industry.

To date, cannabis use is legal in 19 states, Washington, DC, and Guam.

A growing majority of Americans believe that recreational marijuana should be legal. A Gallup poll conducted in October 2019 found that 66% of US adults believe the drug should be legal. A poll by the Pew Research Center and the General Social Survey conducted by the impartial and objective research organization NORC at the University of Chicago found similar support for marijuana legalization.

With the change in mindset, The Herbalist was born.

“The goal was to give meaning to this rapidly expanding new industry and to give both old hands and curious newbies a glimpse into cannabis culture,” wrote editor Kimberly Kirchner in the debut issue. “We had two main goals with the Herbalist: to provide a safe place to advertise for pharmacies that didn’t have a lot of opportunities in 2019; and educate readers about the “intricacies” of legal cannabis so they feel safe enough to go to a pharmacy on their own, “she added in a recent interview.

But the ever-increasing demand for products and information related to the new industry made The Herbalist administration realize that cannabis was not just a niche product or interest of a limited audience.

“To do this, we focused both the magazine and website content on basic information that was accessible to occasional users, in contrast to the existing hobby magazines, which were aimed at a much more experienced audience,” says Kirchner, who also specializes in specialty products. The Editor for New is England Newspapers Inc.

“We quickly realized that this was on a much larger scale, and we decided to give people what they want,” said Letty Acosta, regional director of digital strategy & revenues for New England Newspapers.

That development is now Home Grown New England, a news and information platform that leverages print, digital, video, social media and outdoor electronic advertising to meet the needs of a growing consumer base.

“In terms of branding, our goal was to use retro design (where, based on the Berkshires age demo, most of our readers would have been young adults in the 60s and 70s) while maintaining a modern, classic look didn’t lean too far in the direction of the ‘dark, questionable smelling head shop’. The general tone in our promotional material and on social media was chatty and a little disrespectful, ”said Kirchner.

Without abandoning its core concept, Home Grown New England will be present in a wide variety of media rather than being limited to a quarterly magazine. Legislative news, lifestyle trends, cannabis tourism, product development, and a variety of other areas of interest are examined.

“Today’s cannabis supply is richer, more diverse and more specialized than ever,” says Kirchner. “Instead of settling for what your cousin’s friend’s roommate happened to have tucked away in their sock drawer, consumers can now choose their perfect marijuana experience, from shape to taste to potency. This wide range is exciting, but it can also be intimidating. “

Another area that will be a factor is limitless reach.

“Although we’re based in Massachusetts, we’re not geographically restricted,” added Acosta. “With so many more states, cities, territories and countries enacting laws that allow recreational use of cannabis products, we can all achieve them.”

Pharmacy retail sales are or are about to make them legal in all states where the drug is legal except Vermont. Retailers there will receive licenses from October 2022. The District of Columbia has yet to set up a recreational cannabis regulator, and officials in Guam have changed, according to the US. Their guidelines for owning a cannabis company through June 2021 News and World Report.

“UpCountry Magazine, Vermont News & Media and New England Newspapers are media partners who know their audience like no other. With VNM, we know our readers have questions about cannabis, and UpCountry and New England Newspapers have the answers to help make that vital link between Vermonters and the greenery they want and need in the state of Green Mountain, ”said Noah ., Editor-in-Chief of Vermont News Media Hoffenberg.

In the decade since the first two states – Washington and Colorado – legalized recreational marijuana use, the topic has caught on in political, social, and ethical discussions.

Although cannabis is still illegal at the federal level, national support for state legalization of cannabis has increased every year. According to a 2018 survey by Statista, a national research and marketing company, the 18-34 age group has the biggest proponents, with 78% supporting the legalization of marijuana.

Home Grown New England aims to retain its current audience while addressing new perspectives, and plans to be even more diverse.

“The erosion of the stigma surrounding cannabis has brought about many changes,” said Morgan Fox, media relations director for the National Cannabis Industry Association. “It’s legal and socially more acceptable than ever, and consumers are incorporating it into their lifestyle.”

Fox warned that it was a mistake to paint all cannabis lovers with a brush.

“They still have the ‘stoner image,’ but that’s just one type of person who enjoys marijuana,” he said.

The developing market is spawning experts who judge competitions for journalists with a particular cannabis beat.

“It’s more like the craft beer market,” said Fox. “There are breeders and product manufacturers who appeal to consumers who are looking for a specific taste, aroma, potency, etc.”

Fox suggested that a successful release will treat this emerging industry like any other.

“Know your audience and target your demographics,” he said. “Use research to get a feel for preferences and use other areas to incorporate these lessons.”

Just like publications that focus on food and wine, cannabis has boutiques, professionals, connoisseurs, and industry insiders.

Acosta agreed.

“In terms of market reach, NENI’s digital cannabis solutions are unrivaled in terms of geography, demographics or consumer attributes. For example, our recently deployed Herbalist digital widgets deliver 3 to 4 million qualified impressions per quarter to participating advertisers. There is an example of NENI’s range! “

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