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  • Writer's pictureJovana Vranic

Cannabis brands are collaborating across borders

Updated: May 30

photo Elsa Olofsson and Unsplash

As the US moves slowly toward federal legalization, the borders dividing North America's cannabis markets are blurring.

Although it may be many years until cannabis is fully normalized, industry leaders are paving the way to accelerate this process through international collaborations.

Major Canadian brands are making moves across the US, hoping to capitalize on the shifting attitudes around cannabis that are driving policymakers to increasingly validate the legitimacy of the market.

Hemp (i.e. CBD) is already legal across the US, and states, where cannabis is legal, tend to have more lenient regulations than Health Canada and provincial distributors. By partnering with US companies and operating across various markets, brands are allowing themselves greater flexibility in research, product development, and marketing.

Cannabis wholesale and retail distribution in the US is privately managed. Cultivators and processors can open their own vertically integrated stores. In fact, most retailers often operate differently than their Canadian counterparts.

In some states, cannabis can be displayed outside of its packaging and prepared deli-style for customers. Stores can draw in new business with free product samples and outdoor signage. Sales, coupons, and loyalty points are also permitted.

Regulations around product promotion and marketing are significantly more relaxed, as well. US cannabis brands can more freely advertise online, and product packaging can be made more enticing to consumers.

The same product sold in the US and Canada can look remarkably different—just look at Wana's Mango Sativa Sour Gummies as sold in Colorado versus BC.

Notably, brands in Colorado and elsewhere throughout the US can use words like "inspire" to refer to their strains and products—descriptive promotions and product labels are less heavily restricted. Unsubstantiated health claims are, of course, prohibited, though there's a grey area around much of our understanding of cannabis while research in the field is still in its infancy.

To support brands in researching and testing label claims, companies like Strainprint Technologies are offering access to consumer data insignificant sample sizes, on a wide range of inquiries about the effects of different cannabis products. Strainprint compiles data from medicinal users, who track their experiences with treating conditions and symptoms, and recreational users, who track product effects and benefits.

Forward-thinking brands are capitalizing on collaborations and cross-border operations and pushing the boundaries of the legal market to drive change.

As a Canadian company, Flow Scientific is proud to partner with US-based clients and support the ever-evolving international cannabis industry. As experts in compliance, we're always prepared to support companies in navigating their state and federal regulations.

We custom terpene formulations for any variety of products, to help you build a brand recognized for a consistent, potent, and flavourful cannabis experience. Our products range from strain profiles to fruits, and consumer favorite flavors like root beer or grape limeade.

Working in combination with cannabinoids, terpenes contribute to the entourage effect, which makes broad-spectrum and whole plant cannabis formulations so effective. Experimenting with different terpene profiles is a great path for getting ahead anywhere in the North American cannabis market.

Contact Flow today for industry-leading support in innovative product development and compliant formulation.


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