Cannabis has officially gone mainstream. With a 21% sales increase expected in just one year, every business out there is eying the cannabis industry, dreaming of new innovative ways to get a piece of the pie. Some non-cannabis companies are straight out investing, buying cannabis stock or launching their own marijuana-laced products. Celebrities are not getting left behind. Even regular Joes with or without skills can find a way to make money of the cannabis industry if they dream to.
For some companies, jumping in the cannabis investment wagon is not viable. However, that doesn’t mean they’re not eager to capitalize on its market. And, while a cannabis investment might be out of their business plans, many corporations seized 4/20 as an opportunity to address the newly formed marijuana audience.
Can we blame them? After all, according to a recent survey, at least one in seven American adults is an active marijuana user. That’s a market of almost 37 million people from all walks of life. Brands who successfully find a way to relate to this demographic will earn points of sympathy with their customers. This translates in one simple asset which is not-at-all easy to achieve: brand loyalty.
Getting a smile or two from the new stoner generation could bring even better earnings in the future than buying Aphira stock. So, now that we’ve understood why corporations decided to leverage on 4/20, let’s have a look at how.
Ben & Jerry’s
The ice cream brand went beyond the typical 4/20 munchies campaign. The company decided to address the issue of marijuana convictions in color populations.
Ben & Jerry’s decided to partner up with San Francisco Bay-area dispensary Caliva. Customers who placed orders on 4/19 and 4/20 got a free pint of ‘Half-Baked’ ice cream with their weed.
But the action went further than that, looking to bring consciousness to the injustice behind marijuana convictions.
4.2 percent of the earning made by Caliva on those days were donated to Clear My Record. This project, developed by Code for America, has the objective of getting rid of unjust criminal records that weight on many citizens’ daily lives. These include marijuana charges.
The brand made specific emphasis on how black people are almost four times as likely to get arrested for marijuana charges. It also placed detail on the fact that the booming cannabis industry is dominated by white folks.
The transportation company also addressed a social issue. ‘Don’t Smoke and Drive’ was the motto behind this 420 campaign that gave away $4.20 in free credit to stoners in eight US cities. The brand released a promotional video performed by the cast of the Super Troopers 2 movie with the rhyme “If you get high, call a Lyft ride.”
This effort appears to be a move to position itself as the go-to designated driver for impaired conductors everywhere.
The sneaker giant placed a new milestone in its tradition of 420 limited editions. Following the 2016 hemp shoes and the 2017 space-themed kicks, Nike’s new 4/20 release left some stoners in doubt. Although releasing a shoe on 4/20 is a clear reference to the plant, the ‘Walk the Dog’ sneakers have some ambiguous factors. The ‘Green-Grass Suede’ could be a clear reference to weed, but it could also be another symbol for a man’s best friend. Whether these dog-styled sneakers are purposely meant to confuse potheads, we’ll never know. What’s certain, they definitely caught the attention of the cannabis community.
The bold energy-drink-slash-malt-beverage company released a special hemp-flavored drink on April 20th.
The drink’s slogan is ‘Tastes like Mother Nature Intended’, and it’s a part of the brand’s innovation series products. Although the alcoholic drink tastes like hemp, it doesn’t actually include any cannabis content, not even isolated cannabinoids. It does, however, contain 12% alcohol, so users drinking it won’t be found missing a high.
By releasing this cannabis-inspired beverage, Four Loko managed to reach the cannabis audience without getting into the whole cannabis law compliance inferno.
The 4/20 weed-munchies association is already a classic. But the California-based fast-food franchise managed to cross a line no major fast food chain has yet crossed. On April 20, Carl’s Jr. introduced a CBD burger. The ‘Rocky Mountain High: CheeseBurger Delight’ debuted as a part of the restaurant’s menu. It’s expected to remain a regular addition if sells go well.
For now, the Rocky Mountain High: CBD will only be available at one chain location in Denver, Colorado. It’s going at 4.20 a piece and has a two-burgers-per-customer limit. Although the hamburger only contains about five-milligrams of CBD and will not get customers high, many regulars attended the release. The store manager told a media outlet that over 30 people were already lining up before the gates opened on Saturday 4/20.
The PepsiCo-Frito-Lay owned onion-flavored snack made its way across LA streets on 4/20.
Funyuns fans had two ways of earning their free munchies-relief. One was to check the company’s Instagram and Twitter pages for instructions. Those lucky enough to win the online prize got bags of Original Funyuns, Flamin’ Hot Funyuns, sunglasses and snack bowls.
However, those Angelinos who decided to put down their phones and enjoy their 420 out in the open, also got handouts of Original and Flamin’ Hot Funyuns. Funyuns trucks drove around the city’s most popular neighborhoods delivering free crunchy, oniony joy.
The Mexican food chain created a special promotion. Customers who said “half baked” when ordering got the restaurant’s recently launched nachos for $4.20.
The franchise also handed out branded Dos Toros lighters to the first 100 customers to be a part of the 4/20 deal.
Special Mention: Pizza Hut
The Pizza giant released a 4.20 promo on Twitter. But it’s not what you’d expect: they’re regular brownies.