How to Make Strong, Lasting Cannabis Distribution Partnerships

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The text 'How to Make Strong Cannabis Distribution Partnerships' is to the left of a cardboard box with a cannabis plant, prescription and vape inside.

Written by: Johanna Bloomquist

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NisonCo has been in the business of cannabis PR since before the United States’ first legal sale in 2013. In that time, we’ve helped our clients form long-lasting relationships with other operators in the industry and formed robust and long-term cannabis partnerships of our own. 

In this blog, we’re sharing insights from a few of our long-term partners about creating and maintaining distribution relationships to help your cannabusiness succeed. 


What Makes a Dispensary or Cannabis Brand Successful?

Industry relationships are among the most crucial building blocks of any successful business, especially in the tight-knit cannabis industry. Your connections with other cannabis professionals and companies can help you find more opportunities to operate effectively within the sector; no cannabis company can operate in a vacuum. 

The most successful companies in the cannabis industry also have a strong brand identity and defined cannabis brand strategy

What is a Cannabis Brand Strategy?

A cannabis brand strategy shapes the way your company presents itself. From aesthetic choices to communication with customers and industry peers, every outward-facing facet of a cannabis company makes up a small part of the overall brand strategy. 

A strong brand strategy can help your company create a defined brand image, which will help you attract customers and business partners alike. 


What is the Secret to Lasting Cannabis Relationships?

Having a defined brand image can help you form lasting business connections within the cannabis industry, but each company approaches industry connections differently. Below, we hear from four longtime friends and clients of NisonCo to learn how they approach building connections in the sector. 


Focus on Mutual Goals and Personal Connections

Dip Devices creates innovative portable cannabis consumption technology. We’ve previously connected with CEO Mike Bologna on the NisonCo blog, and he is back to share more insight on connections in the cannabis industry. 

“One of the most impactful ways to be successful in business, and it is no different in the cannabis business, is to identify other companies or individuals working toward the same or similar goals and build a mutually beneficial partnership. 

In my experience, knowing the people behind the company has been the most critical factor in evaluating a potential partnership, not the contract terms. When two groups can openly discuss their strategies and work together to improve without fear of disingenuous behavior, the impact is noticeable. 

Among our best product partnerships with Dip Devices has been Revelry and our distribution partners of CannaDevices, Day1Distro, and High Tide Inc. We have great personal relationships and a working business relationship that allows us to approach problems or hurdles as a team, increasing the likelihood of overcoming whatever we face.” — Mike Bologna


Work Within Cannabis Regulations and Partner With Great Salespeople

SOMAÍ Pharmaceuticals is a therapeutic cannabis company that formulates and produces pharmaceutical-grade cannabinoids. As the founder and CEO of an international cannabis company, Michael Sassano knows the importance of working with laws and regulations when connecting with salespeople. 

“SOMAÍ is in a unique position globally and relies on country-by-country distribution and sales networks around the globe. Each country’s regulatory path requires local knowledge and partnering for brick-and-mortar warehousing and distribution. 

Since the products are standardized as EU-GMP pharmaceuticals, they can be shipped from one local manufacturing operation — in our case, Portugal. [However, they then need] to be received and registered in another country. 

More mature global medical markets like Australia have vast distribution networks, multiple distributor relations, and a large sales staff. In smaller but significant markets like the UK, a good local partner and a single salesperson can serve the entire market. 

Proper partnering decisions can make or break your product distribution when dealing with many countries. However, sales teams driving the direct sales method will define your penetration success, as will having amazing products to offer!” — Michael Sassano


Prioritize Communication with Cannabis Connections

Sana Packaging creates eco-friendly cannabis containers for companies across the country. Co-founder and CSO James Eichner emphasizes the importance of clear communication in fostering long-lasting business relationships. 

“In our experience, the key to a successful partnership — whether with our suppliers, manufacturers, service providers, or customers — is to build a relationship on agreed-upon goals and then maintain said relationship with clear and consistent communication.” — James Eichner


Provide Incredible Customer Experiences

Emerald Farm Tours and Cannabis Bar Services are California-based companies offering cannabis-themed tours and mobile budtending services. Victor Pinho, CEO of both companies, says the key to success is partnering with companies that share your goal of leveraging industry knowledge to serve the customer above all else. 

“Our relationships to distribution channels and product manufacturers [are] critical to our ability to deliver on client requests for custom manufactured products for their events. We pride ourselves on our ability to go upstream to these products and distribution networks and secure the products that most make sense for our clients and their events.

An example of this is our relationship with Amplified Farms [in Sacramento] and Space Gem [in Humboldt County]. Whenever our clients rely on us for quality products, we make the best recommendations available to them based on our experience and expertise in the marketplace.” —Victor Pinho


A brightly colored impressionistic painting of a cannabis leaf on a paper bag.

Ready to make B2B cannabis connections with distributors? Click the image above to contact our experienced team of cannabis media marketing pros.


How Do I Find Distribution Partners?

Being an active member of the cannabis industry is the first step to forming business partnerships. To connect with other professionals, you should attend in-person cannabis industry events with a clear goal. You can also connect with the community virtually by interacting with cannabis professionals online and keeping up with your new cannabis contacts on LinkedIn.  

Since so much business is conducted via the Internet, you must polish your online presence and company profiles across multiple platforms to foster partnerships. NisonCo recently published a blog about optimizing your professional social media profile to give you a starting place. Additionally, a cannabis SEO firm can help ensure your company’s internet presence is effective by fine-tuning your website and optimizing your business’s presence across multiple channels. 

Finally, to make fruitful connections, you need brand awareness. You can’t connect with other companies or industry leaders if they don’t know about your brand. Raise your company’s profile by prioritizing public relations and meaningful media appearances. 


A Cannabis PR Company Can Help You Connect with Other Cannabusinesses

A cannabis PR firm can help you raise your company’s profile to help you make connections with other cannabusinesses. NisonCo has over a decade of experience helping cannabis companies succeed through PR, SEO, content creation, and meaningful connections with other industry members. To learn more about our services or set up a meeting to discuss a personalized plan, contact NisonCo today.

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