-BY RICK KILEY, originally published on Advertising Week 360
In my 20+ year marketing career, I have never encountered a product or service category that offers a more intriguing challenge than cannabis, and I seriously doubt I will encounter another. It’s Shakespearean in its contradictions: it’s medicine, but also recreational. It’s vilified by some and celebrated as a miracle by others.
The plant has myriad uses beyond human ingestion, from textiles to building materials. It has chemical properties that positively impact our biological systems (cannabinoids). One can create products that aren’t psychoactive (think CBD creams and lotions), and others that are (THC). Depending on the product, it might be viewed through a pharmaceutical lens, as an agricultural product, or a controlled recreational drug; and, subject to different compliance standards – many of which vary state by state.