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Cannabis Execs Tackle Branding, Pot Stock Valuations: 'Dispensaries Are The Brand'

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Cannabis Execs Tackle Branding, Pot Stock Valuations: 'Dispensaries Are The Brand'

No significant brand exists in the cannabis space.

That was the eye-opening statement JW Asset Management President Jason Wild made Monday at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference in Miami Beach. 

Wild's rationale: when a brand drops out of any dispensary, the store won't see a change in sales, since consumers are not yet loyal to any particular brands. 

“Dispensaries are the brand,” Wild said during a VIP panel that included Vireo Health International Executive Chairman Bruce Linton; Rob Sechrist, Pelorus Equity Group's co-founding president; and Jim Kirsch, senior managing director at Alliance Global Partners. 

Agreeing To Disagree On Cannabis Branding

The branding situation in Canada is even more extreme because regulators don’t allow for strong branding differentials in product packaging, Wild said.

The panel joked about how consumers move their cannabis products from their original packaging to the more interesting packaging that came with medical marijuana products before the time of adult-use legalization.

Alliance Global's Kirsch disagreed. 

“I’m a firm believer of brands, and I’ve seen the power of brands,” he said.

Yet cannabis is still an emerging market and many brands are striving to become dominant, Kirsch said. He expects the introduction of the beverage industry in the cannabis space to become a major driver of brands in the sector.

Tickets to the next Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference April 1 in Detroit, Michigan are available now.

Cannabis Industry Outlook For 2020

Panel moderator Tim Seymour, the founder and CIO of Seymour Asset Management, asked the group's opinion on the recent drop in cannabis stock valuations.

The U.S. stock market continues to be the most efficient and transparent market in the world, Kirsch said.

“There’s definitely access to capital, in a rational manner," he said, adding that “the irrational exuberance of the cannabis business has passed.”

For Vireo Health International Inc's (CSE: VREO) (OTC: VREOF) Linton, the industry should not be focusing on how cannabis is decelerating, but on how it's moving forward.

Today's low charts are an opportunity to reset and go even faster, said Linton, who is also the executive chairman of Gage Cannabis Co. and the former CEO and co-founder of Canopy Growth Corp (NYSE: CGC) and Tweed.

Trying to solve many small problems is much harder than solving one big one, he said. 

For this reason, Linton said he advises companies to merge and ally in order to look for solutions together, rather than apart. 

Moderator Tim Seymour, left; Rob Sechrist; Bruce Linton; Jason Wild; and Jim Kirsch speak Monday at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference in Miami Beach. Photo by Shelby Jones. 

 

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