As we look at the emerging sectors across today’s business landscape, the cannabis industry rises to the top for its rapid growth and prominence. In fact, the global legal marijuana market is predicted to reach $43 billion by the end of 2025. As is the case with any new and high-growth market, some brands will rise above to serve as champions and changemakers within the space.
Read on for Rocket’s Sector Snapshot of the cannabis industry and learn about the latest trends and how companies are leveraging their assets to create social change.
Three Leading Examples
Sana Packaging: a supplier of packaging made from 100% plant-based hemp plastic that just last year launched a line of packaging made from ocean plastics through a partnership with Oceanworks.
Flow Kana uses solar as one of its sustainable growing practices. They are part of the Sun + Earth Certified program that works to support cannabis farmers in sustainable growing practices
Pure Beauty saves water by extracting moisture from the air to water their cannabis plants.
According to Marijuana Business Daily, approximately 81 percent of cannabis business owners or founders are White, while only 4 percent are Black. Cannabis companies have created programs to provide funding and mentoring for those interested in entering the cannabis space.
EAZE: Created the Momentum Program, a business accelerator focused on underrepresented founders in the cannabis space and provides resources, education, and funding to support them in becoming successful entrepreneurs.
Curio Wellness: Connects diverse investors with up to 50 aspiring women, minority and disabled veteran entrepreneurs, providing $30 million in capital funding.
Given the geographic operating restrictions, cannabis companies tend to focus their giving to address
the needs of local communities where they draw customers.
Bloom Farms has a one-for-one model: for every product sold, Bloom Farms donates a healthy meal to someone in need. Since 2015, they have donated three million meals.
Green Thumb has established the LEAP program to support aspiring entrepreneurs in their local regions.
creative collaborations to address social issues
Whether it be B2B or nonprofit partnerships, marijuana entrepreneurs have emphasized how essential partnerships have been and continue to be when it comes to their success. Brands can both collaborate in emerging social purpose developments within the space and also play a part in bringing new technology and innovative ideas to the forefront of a rapidly emerging industry.
Calivia x Calexo: Caliva, a California cannabis delivery company, established with Calexo, a sparkling cannabis infused drink, use their designs to deconstruct white supremacy, emphasizing their commitment to racial justice.
Cookies x Amplifier: Cookies, a leading cannabis brand has teamed up with Amplifier, an organization that specializes in connecting community organizers to create messaging and artwork that amplifies grassroots movements for social change. Together, they created a campaign focused on restorative justice and selected The Hood Incubator as a partner to support efforts toward a more equitable future in cannabis.
committment to criminal justice reform
Many cannabis companies use their philanthropy to address the impacts on the war on drugs. Specifically, around cannabis convictions, mass incarceration, and the disproportionate rate of incarceration.
SF roots, strives to break the systemic racial inequalities through the Cannabis Equity Program, which re-invests in communities most heavily impacted.
LeafLink, recently partnered with Last Prisoner Project (LPP), a nonprofit organization dedicated to cannabis-related criminal justice reform. Through this partnership, LeafLink will support the nonprofit’s initiatives using a platform that powers more than $3.3 billion in annual orders, or 35 percent of U.S. wholesale cannabis commerce. By leveraging its e-commerce platform, LeafLink is setting a new standard for marketplaces and business-to-business tech companies that are looking to give back.
* Identifying ESG goals in developing sustainable product and strategy
* Pushing supply chain and business partners to adopt CSR
* Going beyond CSR to not just identify but activate on systemic rooted issues
* Consider partnerships with emerging brands in order to maximize your organization’s impact efforts.
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