Future Brands

The Future of Cannabis

Tess Robinson

The global Cannabis market continues to grow and 2022 is set to be a crucial year for Australia’s medicinal cannabis industry. 

Whilst Australia is only just joining the movement, the world’s growing obsession with cannabis and CBD products shows no signs of slowing down, mirroring our growing obsession with wellness culture and all things self care. Whilst Australia has not yet legalised recreational marijuana use, data from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) shows prescriptions for medicinal cannabis doubled from 2020 to 2021 (source). There have been more than 122,000 prescriptions written in the last year alone compared to just a few years ago when there were only 2,500 prescriptions for the entire of 2018. Data shows that the majority of current prescriptions are for chronic pain, anxiety or cancer-related symptoms.

As medicinal Cannabis use is growing in popularity and it is only a matter of time before Australasia push for the legalisation of recreational cannabis and CBD products. Personal use of cannabis has been decriminalised in the ACT since January of 2020, aiding the thinking that it is only a matter of time before other states begin to follow suit (source).

Consumers are more concerned than ever with their health and are forever hunting down new ways to de-stress from our ‘productivity above all’ way of life. With no shortage of choice, we’re no longer buying into a brand based on the curated lifestyle it represents. Instead, we’re drawn to the brands that represent a deeper set of values — those that mirror our own social, ethical, political and environmental ideologies. The appeal of Cannabis or CBD products goes well beyond medicinal benefits, it offers escape and relaxation to consumers who need help to slow down and avoid or recover from burnout (source).

CBD products are well and truly making waves in beauty, food and beverage as companies are rebranding cannabis as a remedy rather than a drug (source).

Whilst the Australian market is still well behind the US and the EU due to legislation, Medicinal cannabis manufacturing has been projected to become a $575-million industry over the next five years (source). As cannabis is becoming more socially accepted globally, governments will begin to face greater pressures around legalising both CBD and medicinal cannabis. Australia is expected to account for 79% of the Oceania region’s overall market by 2024, due to a comparably larger population and higher household disposable income than New Zealand and the islands across the region (source). This provides an exciting opportunity for Australian brands across an array of industries to tap into the wonder of cannabis to ensure future market share, relevancy and longevity.

Cannabis is making its way into categories well outside of the expected with great success. Wellness oriented Gen Z are consuming significantly less alcohol than previous generations prompting some liquor companies in the US to introduce CBD infused non alcoholic products (source). As well as trail blazing through the international wellness product landscape, Cannabis is also in the spotlight for its sustainable practicality. Hemp provides potential solutions to environmental problems such as alternatives to plastic or packing solutions, as well as providing great environmental benefits to the fashion industry.

Smack Bang recently partnered with U.S based Cannabis giant Justice Cannabis Co. to create four unique Cannabis brands, each with a distinct approach, product offering and particular market. Each brand was built with careful and strategic consideration to appeal to its appropriate target consumer.

As far as cannabis brand experiences go in the U.S market, the category is both flooded and lacking diversity. The team at Justice Cannabis Co. wanted to break free of the norm and create a house of brands that truly spoke the language of each of its market segments. Partnering with the JCC. team, we first concepted each of the four brand names, setting the foundation for each range and consolidating our early research and findings. We then got to rolling out the four visual and verbal identities steeped in distinctly different narratives. The research component was crucial in ensuring that each of these brands would meet this brief and not appear as another new CBD brand concealed behind a beauty aesthetic. We needed to create brands that would attract the true cannabis users, and withstand a CBD fad.

The fully formed and recently launched brands, Gr:in, Crops, Bullet Train and Bloc, are now gaining fast-tracked recognition and success for the Justice Cannabis Co. team. The strategy, brand guidelines and suite of assets created by Smack Bang help to craft a cohesive story for each branch, creating a new surge of loyalists.

While the future of cannabis in Australia is still in its developmental phase, it is a trend that we predict will see impact for most all consumer categories across the board.

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