2021 is proving to be a significant year for psychedelics, cannabis and CBD. On Feb. 1, 2021, Oregon became the first state in the United States to decriminalize possession of hard drugs. On March 22, 2021, the USDA introduced its final ruling for the domestic production of hemp, which allows growers more flexibility when cultivating hemp. Today, in the midst of the ‘shroom boom’ and the green wave, we realize now more than ever before that there is great opportunity to strategically and successfully market clients in the psychedelics, cannabis and CBD spaces through PR and marketing tactics.
With more than 20 years of experience, we at Fort Lauderdale- and Aspen-based Durée & Company know what it takes to create a winning strategy for emerging industries. Below we provide key takeaways for brands interested in capitalizing in the psychedelic, cannabis and CBD space.
First, it’s important to understand the roles these markets play and their limitations within the U.S. federal system.
Psychedelic products, including Psilocybin and Ketamine, are not yet federally regulated. A form of Ketamine, which is a Schedule III substance, was approved by the FDA to treat depression. Today, it’s used ‘off-label’ in clinical settings. Psilocybin (magic mushrooms) is a Schedule I substance and has been used in medical settings for treating anxiety and depression. Celebrities including actress Michelle Rodriguez and former NBA player Lamar Odom, have publicly discussed how they’ve incorporated psychedelics into their healing practices. We are living in a modern psychedelic renaissance. With the industry projected to reach $6 billion+ by 2027, it’s important to think about it from an opportunity angle.
The 2018 Farm Bill was the first piece of federal legislation that legalized hemp. It also removed hemp as a Schedule I controlled substance, its former DEA designation. As a result, the CBD industry has grown exponentially yet still requires a good deal of consumer education. Not federally legal, both medical and adult use marijuana is regulated on the state-level. This is not to say that the FDA is not aware of the growing interest surrounding cannabis products to treat a number of medical conditions – which is why it supports sound scientific research.
Then, once armed with information, we utilize the available communication channels to successfully market psychedelics, cannabis and CBD.
There’s no question that the cannabis and CBD retail landscapes multiply by the day. The same with psychedelics, with the first-ever psychedelic-focused company, COMPASS Pathways, filing its IPO in Summer 2020. To keep up with the new research and developments, the growing number of businesses and media entering the space, and collective interest surrounding these industries, the time to market is now.
There are limitations in place to market psychedelics and cannabis products, like social media, Google and even on broadcast networks. There are, however, opportunities to capitalize on safe and approved communication channels.
Many print publications and online outlets with large and diverse audiences are open to discussing these emerging markets, like Forbes and VICE. In addition to editorial opportunities, other avenues of engagement include contributing thought leadership articles; publicizing scientific-backed studies on social media pages; participating in industry events to network with like-minded individuals; and joining virtual communities that understand the culture and lifestyle that the psychedelic, cannabis and CBD markets lend themselves to.
There are even national holidays in place for psychedelics, cannabis and CBD, from National Cannabis Awareness Month in April and 420 Day on April 20 to Global Magic Mushroom Day every Sept. 20. After all, they exist in an effort to build acceptance and start conversations surrounding these emerging markets.
It’s important to research the opportunities that are available, as change does happen, and opportunities do open up. Despite such limitations, companies can still strategically market themselves while exercising caution.
As trusted PR professionals with a dedicated division for psychedelic and cannabis clients, we understand the stakeholders and media we should be connecting with; the organizations we should be active in; and the competitors we should be aware of.
About Durée & Company, Inc.
Durée & Company, Inc. is an award-winning, full-service public relations, marketing and special events firm founded in 1999. The firm has offices in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Aspen, Colorado. Durée & Company serves the corporate, agency and nonprofit arenas for local, national and international clients. Services include public relations, social media, marketing, digital marketing, content development, advertising, special events, branding, radio promotions, affiliate marketing and more. Durée & Company clients include well-known names in yachting, business, real estate, hospitality, travel, health and wellness, cannabis and psychedelics, art and culture, fashion, nonprofit organizations, cryptocurrency and technology, legal and professional services. Durée & Company is a member of PR Boutiques International™ (PRBI), an international network of boutique PR firms. To learn more, call 954-723-9350; go to dureeandcompany.com; cannabismarketingpr.com; or psychedelicpr.com. Join the social conversation and follow Durée & Company on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn at @DureeCoPR.