The legalisation of recreational cannabis in Canada captured headlines around the globe last October. Despite the appetite for information, strict regulations surrounding the marketing of marijuana products presented challenges.
The regulations limit access to promotional content about cannabis to individuals over 18 and restrict the types of messages that can be conveyed. This makes it difficult for advertisers and marketers to target key audiences.
Cannabis Post — a weekly newsletter co-produced by the Financial Post (FP) and TheGrowthOp.com, Postmedia’s standalone cannabis Web site — provides insight into the business side of the nascent industry, the companies, the personalities, and the regulatory bodies that have shaped the early months of this new market.
Cannabis Post also creates opportunities for advertisers. The newsletter is 100% in compliance with the complicated rules surrounding the promotion of cannabis products and companies because subscribers must verify their age when signing up.
The FP had been covering the medical marijuana business since it was legalised in the early 2000s. In 2015, when the federal government announced it would legalise the recreational use of cannabis for adults, the FP ramped up its coverage in response to overwhelming demand for information from retail investors. It was one of the first media organisations in Canada to dedicate a full-time reporter to cover cannabis-related businesses, which were quickly scaling up and raising hundreds of millions of dollars in capital.
In June 2018, the FP’s parent company, Postmedia Networks Inc., launched TheGrowthOp.com, a standalone Web site that aimed to cover all things cannabis news, business, lifestyle, and culture. TheGrowthOp.com harnessed the power of the Postmedia network of more than 160 publications in cities and towns across Canada.
When the October 17, 2018, legalisation date approached, the competitive landscape became much more crowded, as other news organisations began to ramp up their coverage. To promote the great work that Postmedia journalists were doing, the FP and TheGrowthOp.com teamed up to launch the Cannabis Post newsletter as another entry point for audiences who couldn’t seem to read enough about marijuana.
Every Monday, subscribers receive their curated Cannabis Post newsletter, which includes a list of how the top 10 cannabis stocks by market cap performed the previous week, a look ahead at the cannabis business/financial related events, commentary on the latest trends or insights into the industry, and a tweet of the week showcase of various industry players’ comments.
The newsletter also features a single “big box” ad and a sponsored quote at the end of the newsletter. This quote allows the sponsor, typically a Canadian cannabis licensed producer or other cannabis company, to share thoughts on the state of the industry.
Cannabis Post has grown its subscriber list faster than any other newsletter in Postmedia’s history and now boasts a list of nearly 20,000 subscribers. The open rate has often been more than double the industry benchmark for similar newsletters in Canada. It has become a premier opportunity for cannabis companies to speak to their target audience and an invaluable source of news and information for readers.
While some competitors are charging upwards of C$999 for an annual subscription to a similar product, the Cannabis Post is free to subscribers.