By Barinder Rasode
The “Made in Canada” label typically needs no elaboration, as our country is known around the world for producing high quality products. And that’s particularly true when it comes to our global reputation for producing great cannabis.
As our country prepares for legalization, there are numerous companies—big and small—that are striving to produce the best of the best. But how will they stand out from the crowd? Customers are not just demanding quality—they also want information on why one product is superior to another.
More than ever before, consumers are keenly interested in how cannabis products are produced, and in quality attributes such as terpene, cannabinoid and moisture content. This need for knowledge is transforming the way people think about their product choices.
It takes time to cultivate consumer conﬁdence, and lip service alone will not do the job. Quality not only needs to be built into product development at every stage, it also needs to be communicated in a trustworthy way. It’s not enough to just produce a good-quality product—people need to believe that the quality exists. Companies must be active in contributing to perceptions of quality, because it is those perceptions that encourage people to choose one product over another. Successful branding triggers a psychological response, and is tied to our emotions and beliefs. That connection creates a reason to buy and a reason to stay loyal.
When it comes to cannabis—and the growing number of options on the marketplace—it’s becoming increasingly clear that it is recognition of quality cannabis that will create that much sought after customer loyalty. That’s why the National Institute for Cannabis Health and Education (NICHE) helped launch CannabisWise, Canada’s ﬁrst national cannabis certiﬁcation program designed to promote quality assurance.
CannabisWise has formed a product review panel and consumer guidance group responsible for assigning the “Cannabis Wise” seal of approval for products grown across Canada. The seal will let Canadian consumers know with certainty that products not only meet Health Canada’s strict safety standards, they also are produced with the highest grade of quality.
Cannabis Wise will create a trusted brand with nationally recognized standards and best practices, and indicate to the public which speciﬁc ﬂowers have been grown, processed and cured to meet the traditional quality standards expected by the experienced consumer.
Quality should be customer-driven, and consumer demand will help drive the need for continuous improvement and shape the future of our industry standards. Consumers want to be more aware of the products they are consuming. Those businesses that communicate openly and honestly about their product quality will create a lasting reputation that will distinguish their companies from the rest, and will play a critical role in building their long-term success.