(Bloomberg) — How many brands of soft drinks can you name off the top of your head?
Nearly everyone can come up with Coke and Pepsi, but go further down the list and it quickly diverges, based on regional breakdowns and local loyalties. That’s what the nascent cannabis industry is dealing with, too. Cannabis firms that want to dominate the sector are facing a rule of numbers — there’s only room for a few big names in any category, and breaking into American households with name recognition is a monumental task.
In the CBD industry, products can at least sell across state lines, so becoming the “Oreo” or “Tylenol” of CBD is within reach for the most successful players. But for companies pitching products that contain THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, brand-building gets tricker. Because regulations vary by state, crucial brand-building elements like formatting and packaging can be different everywhere you sell.
Columbia Care Inc., a specialist in medical cannabis that has dispensaries across multiple states, ran into those issues as it prepared last week’s launch of “Seed & Strain,” which it’s pitching as a “national lifestyle brand” to appeal to recreational users. Chief Growth Officer Jesse Channon said in an interview that the company is aiming for a consistent flavor and experience that will give the name cachet among connoisseurs.