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EXCLUSIVE: Cannabis Companies On Importance Of Brands Going Mainstream, Entry Into Consumer Packaged Good Market

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Cannabis Brands Strive for Mainstream Appeal

Cannabis companies recognize the need to target both a mainstream audience and their core customer base in order to succeed. This was a prevalent message at the 2023 Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference panel on positioning cannabis brands as consumer packaged goods (CPG) products.

Moderator Michael Piermont led a discussion featuring Patricia Rosi (Acreage Holdings), Sandy Li (Wana Brands), David Knight (Jones Soda), and Luke Anderson (Cann).

Cannabis Going Mainstream and Driving Accessibility

Acreage Holdings Inc (ACRHF) Chief Marketing Officer Patricia Rosi emphasized the importance of cannabis companies entering the mainstream market to increase accessibility for consumers. For Rosi, this means creating a repeatable growth model and driving business performance. Acreage Holdings has long been focused on building a strong brand that can expand nationwide.

Cann, a beverage company, has taken a unique approach to going mainstream by positioning itself as a mainstream CPG product. Co-founder Luke Anderson explained that they wanted to create a brand that consumers could trust and find in everyday stores like Whole Foods. Cann’s goal is to position itself as an alcohol substitute and challenge the notion that alcohol is more widely accepted than cannabis.

David Knight, President and CEO of Jones Soda Co (JSDA), believes that successfully positioning a brand requires a combination of science, art, and magic. He stressed the importance of understanding the target consumer and ensuring that the brand is accessible in every store and for every occasion.

Key Factors for Branding Success in the Cannabis Industry

Sandy Li, CFO of Wana Brands, emphasized the importance of product development and key branding elements such as product quality, innovation, consistency, and transparency. Li believes that for the cannabis sector to thrive in the consumer packaged goods space, there must be consistent quality across the board.

Wana Brands aims to enhance people’s lives by catering to their specific needs. They prioritize their key customers and strive to provide the products that can help them.

Consumer Feedback and Data for Brand Success

Feedback from consumers and data analysis play vital roles in driving brand success. David Knight highlighted the importance of engaging in conversations with retailers, as these interactions provide valuable insights. Knight also stressed the significance of team members, partners, and customers as valuable sources of feedback.

Luke Anderson emphasized the need to collect and analyze relevant data that applies specifically to the target customers a company is trying to reach. Anderson advised that companies should focus on feedback exclusively from their target customers.


The cannabis industry’s move towards mainstream appeal and entry into the consumer packaged goods market holds significant potential. By carefully positioning their brands, focusing on branding outside of cannabis, and paying attention to consumer feedback and data, cannabis companies can secure their foothold in the broader market.

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