- Cannabis companies are venturing into these virtual worlds to explore marketing opportunities they don’t currently have on other platforms.
- The only problem for now is that the low traffic that exists limits the sales of the stores that have acquired land and set up their businesses.
- The bet of the firms is in the medium term when they hope that there will be enough users in the metaverse to acquire marijuana products.
Cannabis processing and marketing companies are beginning to test the effectiveness of the metaverse to promote their products and educate consumers about the use of weed in its different presentations.
Like other companies from different economic sectors such as JPMorgan Chase & Co., Miller Lite, Estée Lauder or Wendy’s, companies dedicated to the marijuana trade plan to create virtual stores for the promotion and sale of real-world products and even market non-fungible tokens.
Cannabis sellers have seen in the metaverse an opportunity to market their products more freely than on other platforms like Facebook, Cannabis Marketing Association executive director Lisa Buffo told The Wall Street Journal.
“It’s a wide open space in Web3…”
That is if the virtual platforms can continue to operate under a totally flexible and decentralized framework as they have been up to now. "It's a wide open space in Web3... regulators haven’t wrapped their head around it yet," Buffo said.
Several companies have been operating in the metaverse since last year. This is the case of Higher Life CBD Dispensary LLC, which operates in partnership with Saucey Farms & Extracts LLC and is hosted on the Cryptovoxels virtual platform.
The store is visited by about 1,000 people daily, according to Higher Life CEO Brandon Howard. Although virtual visitors cannot buy CBD products directly there, they can purchase them by accessing a link to the Higher Life website.
The second floor of the store is occupied by Saucey. From there, visitors are also directed to the company’s official website, where they can purchase other types of products other than the cannabis products that Higher Life sells.
Company co-founder Alex Todd acknowledged that his business has sold little so far, but he’s confident that as traffic grows in the metaverse, his real cash register will start ringing.
Todd hopes that in about five years, cannabis can be easily sold throughout the metaverse. He believes that during this period the laws related to the sale and marketing of marijuana will become more flexible in the United States.
NFTs Are Going to Be “a Great Tool for Cannabis”
The businessman sees NFTs as a very valuable resource to promote his brand. Especially when the number of users in the metaverse grows and they start looking for clothes and accessories for their avatars. “It is going to be a great tool for the cannabis space,” he said.
Another cannabis brand that entered the metaverse last year was Kandy Girl, owned by Boyce Capital LLC. The company that sells a THC-infused gummy throughout the US has acquired land in Decentraland in order to promote its business and sell NFTs.
Kandy Girl has been selling and giving away virtual wearables, including marijuana-themed NFTs. So far, the brand’s NFT sales on Decentraland are around $30,000.
The only problem for the companies in the sector that are marketing in the metaverse is the scarcity of users.
"When there’s a million people logged into a metaverse at any given time, that’s when it is going to make sense to staff [a virtual] dispensary with a real live human being," said Kandy Girl marketing director Ben Boyce.
On The Flipside
- The advantage of the metaverse for cannabis companies is the relative freedom that all brands enjoy to promote and sell their products without any kind of regulatory control.
- Brands can use marketing techniques and tactics that are prohibited for marijuana products and other recreational drugs on digital advertising platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Google.