Five lessons from the growing pains of cannabis brands


Legal cannabis is quickly ripening into big business, but brands and marketers are still figuring out how to navigate it.

Ad Age brought together executives from Barneys, Cannaclusive, Sherbinskis, Greenlane, Quarter and Dosist at its Inside Pages conference on Tuesday to speak about the state of the cannabis industry, what brands have learned so far and how to create luxe retail experiences that are inclusive as well as educational.

Here’s what we learned:

Luxe experiences but affordable prices
In March, luxury retailer Barneys opened cannabis lifestyle shop “The High End” on the fifth floor of its Beverly Hills flagship store, with plans to open similar shops in San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and eventually New York. The store sells around 40 different ready-to-use cannabis-related items and high-end accessories, such as CBD vape pens, rolling papers, cases and pipes. Barneys has found that the items flying off the shelves have modest price points, even as it sells things like The Grande Fete Gift Set, a package of cannabis accessories, for almost $9,000. (That’s right, $9,000.) Matthew Mazzucca, creative director of Barneys New York, said its $60 precious stone pipes are constantly selling out. “We are really starting to see what the customer is reacting to, and price point is really driving that,” he said.

At the same time, Mazzucca said customers enjoy the luxury of having a representative from the Beboe brand on-hand; the rep is a “cannabis concierge” who can educate customers about the plant and someone

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