Big Bud vs Craft Bud – Who will win the market?
Over the next few years, as cannabis continues to expand its reach within our society, we will be faced with many choices. In essence, the future cannabis marketplace will break down into numerous niches, from edibles, smokeables, concentrates, textiles, medicine…you name it.
The recreational aspect of marijuana will not be the predominant sector within the industry as a whole. It will most likely be the industrial applications of hemp that will reign supreme. The medical sector within the cannabis industry will also be a giant money-maker, however, those making money will most likely be big businesses that have millions, if not billions to spend on R&D and so forth.
Within the recreational marketplace, things will be slightly different. We’ll essentially have two main players within the marketplace – Big Bud vs Craft Bud.
What this means is that there will be two profiles of cannabis businesses; those run like a corporation and those run like a Mom & Pop Shop. This doesn’t mean that the quality of business will reduce, it simply means that some “individuals” will have a stake in the marketplace, whereas other “corporations” will have another.
In all likeliness, the corporate run bud sector will be the majority stake holder in the cannabis marketplace. The craft cannabis sector would probably be much smaller in terms of market share.
The question is, who will win the marketplace for good?
It won’t be won…Craft will endure!
I for one am much more in favor of buying weed from people I know as opposed to some faceless organization. This is something that Craft cannabis will be able to offer. These are folks from the very communities they serve.
If we think of cannabis in terms of food. People are starting to “support their local farmers”. It’s a trend that has been growing over the past few years.
While corporate cannabis (big bud) will most likely have more accessible cannabis in more locations at a reduced price, Craft cannabis will have a “personalized, local” feel to it. This type of branding will attract a certain type of cannabis consumer.
Just like wine drinking, some people are very peculiar about what they are smoking. Understanding the different nuances to cannabis consumption, Craft Bud will cater to the higher end folk that know what they want.
These might be specialized strains, unique growing techniques, etc. Big Bud can’t do this because their model is based on mass-production. They will opt in for the most efficient way of growing, finding the “median strain” that will be good enough for the masses.
As a result, the “masses” will buy the weed as a cheap and accessible option. However, these cannabis consumers will also be interested in spending a few extra dollars on the “really premium stuff”. This is where the Craft Bud niche can definitely take the lead.
Overall Market Dominance – Big Bud
One thing that Craft Cannabis cannot do is cater to the masses. A single farm will not be able to grow enough cannabis to satisfied the insatiable appetite of the cannabis community. This is where Big Bud will dominate.
As mentioned, Big Bud is looking for the most efficient method of producing cannabis. For them, volume is the key to wealth. In all likeliness, they will have strains ranging between 8%-15% that are quick to flower and can be mass produced.
They don’t really need to worry about what type of strain they are peddling. A “good-enough generic strain” is more than enough to motivate the average consumer to buy it. Especially if it’s at a very accessible price point.
They will also be able to create consumable products for everyone. This is especially true if they start teaming up with other industry leaders such as Coca-Cola or Pepsi [it will happen].
This doesn’t mean that Craft Bud won’t have its share in the edible department, they will simply not have market dominance. Corporations will rule supreme in distributing to the masses.
A Peaceful Coexistence
Some of my cannabis friends are wholeheartedly against corporate cannabis. They believe that when corporations jump into the mix, the entire essence of what cannabis truly represents as a “culture” will vanish.
In some ways, they are correct. But it won’t vanish. It will evolve. I believe that Big Bud and Craft Bud will coexist. Just like we have Craft Beer, there are pockets within the industry that can only be filled by individuals who have a passion for cannabis.
For me, I would have no problem buying from either participant. If I’m in a city that I don’t know and there is some place selling some “okay-generic weed” at a good price…trust me, I’m buying it.
However, if I’m at my home and know of someone who grows the absolute best weed known to mankind, but it’s a bit pricier…I’ll buy that too. I would feel much more confident in helping someone who is passionate about weed expand their objectives than supporting the big faceless corporation.
But what happens when my personal grower doesn’t have weed? What happens if there was an infestation, ruining the crops? You buy “Walmart weed” of course.
Of course, this is still in the making, however once the dust settles post legalization, you’ll notice that the market will continue to evolve until all players have reached their market position.
So don’t worry about Big Bud muscling in on the market, if you have something that is uniquely yours, you’ll still be able to make a living doing something you are passionate about.
CRAFT MARIJUANA OR CORPORATE, READ THESE…