It is evident that all businesses come with certain risks. But, the crisis in Marijuana business is more sensitive than that of other businesses in the United States. In the last few months, while social media went gaga over #PermitPatty trending, the former CEO of CBD Tincture, Ettel resigned from the company.
Ettel was found scolding and threatening a little black girl for selling water on the streets without a permit. Later on, Ettel dealt with backlash from the internet community, as well as a PR nightmare. From defensive apologies to shifting narratives including media appearances, he had to do everything. Unfortunately, this has turned out to be a nightmare for the company. It was inevitable that either you need to be careful or you lose everything like the Treat Well Health Company.
Experts in this industry are recommending strategic crisis communication planning. This will ease the crisis much more effectively for the business owners. In the USA, as the Federal Law is still not in support of legalizing Marijuana, the business owners face a lot of problems. Also, most of the businesses, especially the recreational and MMJ dispensaries transact with their customers through Cannabis merchant accounts as there is no proper banking channel for the same business.
The communication experts outlined a draft for the business owners in the cannabis industry on how they can respond to any crisis they face in future. There are few notes that one can keep in mind.
• Firstly, a crisis planning and response team should be identified.
• Secondly, gather all the crisis and related issues together. This could be production related, law enforcement related, public, and social cases related similarly to Ettel’s case.
• Thirdly, prepare answers for some of the questions that could be asked in a crisis. Questions such as How, Why, What, Where, Who and When should be prepared.
• Fourthly, prepare a proper list of investors and employees.
• Fifthly, communication channels and communication internal plans must be summarized in a proper manner.
• Lastly, a key message should be prepared for the audiences and the other parties who the business is answerable to.
Crisis in the cannabis industry can arrive anytime by any means. It is better to be prepared to face crisis communication problems by the business owners. As of now the lack of marijuana banking solutions and legalization of the substances are creating the massive crisis for most business owners within our industry.