3 Lessons Most Cannabis Companies Learn The Hard Way

Ben Owens
2 min readSep 6

In 2013, I launched my first weed business and began my career in cannabis.

Since, I’ve worked with a wide range of cannabis startups in a wider range of markets.

And, with all of their differences, the thing that the successful ones all seem to have in common is a deep-seated understanding of these 3 lessons:

Lesson #1: It’s not about you, it’s about them.

There’s a lot of prettier versions of this, but at its core, “they” are more important than “you.”

The person who buys what you’re selling is more important than what you’re selling and who made it.

Who is your ideal consumer? Be specific.

A brand like 710 labs that’s dropping limited release flower at a premium price isn’t selling out because it was a small batch; they’re selling out because they know exactly what their best customers want, which is access to exclusive options curated specifically for the connoisseur.

They’re not trying to sell that idea to the entire market, they only need their best customers on board.

Lesson #2: The problem matters more than the solution.

For whatever reason, there’s a mental block for many in the cannabis industry that happens when you say “problem” but you mean “use case.”

Ask most cannabis brands how people will use their product, and you’ll get “Well, they’ll smoke it?” or, slightly better, “Well, they’ll smoke it with friends.”

Alternatively, you have brands like “Dogwalkers” whose name encompasses their use case, while also suggesting an inherent benefit (this product can be used functionally in a short period of time).

Be more like the former and less like the latter.

Lesson #3: People will pay more for the right solution (and they’ll pay more than you think).

Buyer’s remorse isn’t a factor of price alone; it’s a review of value received for value given.

You’ve seen this in person if you’ve heard someone rave about something they enjoyed, and someone else counter that it was “overpriced.”

Perceived value vs. perceived cost.

To many, $1000 for a 2g jar of Ten Co x West Coast Alchemy rosin is “overpriced,” but to the true connoisseur who loves those terps more than any other strain and can’t get that same experience from any other vendor, $1000 is a bargain.


The point?

Quality and price alone don’t matter in the long run; if you’re talking to the wrong people, about something they don’t use, they’ll never see the value, bargain or boutique.


That’s a wrap!

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Ben Owens

Stop buying, start growing. | 🌱 Hobby Grower | Premium Ghostwriter for Cannabis Founders | DM for inquiries