BLK sheep

Booth No. 709 drew a lot of attention during Lift & Co.'s recent Vancouver cannabis convention — not all of it good.

The booth belonged to Kelowna's BLK MKT cannabis brand. The name, itself a reference to weed’s legacy market, has already drawn some scorn. Now people are reacting to BLK MKT's latest marketing slogan: ‘Once you go BLK…’

Some well-known social media cannabis personalities reacted swiftly after pictures of the booth were posted on Twitter. 

“This is disgusting and appalling,” reacted Rachel Colic, of Boss Ladies of Cannabis.

“Lift & Co. should be embarrassed that they promoted this brand and the people who created this brand should be fired. The name was bad enough, but these headlines are racist, not edgy.”

Her sentiment was echoed by others.

BLK MKT responds

The online pushback was enough to nudge a reaction from GreenTec Holdings Ltd., the Kelowna-based licensed producer that operates BLK MKT through Alberta Craft Cannabis.

“The BLK MKT brand was conceptualized and built by three individuals, two of which were people of colour,” says the statement.

“The brand was considered relevant, interesting and ‘edgy’ in that it references the legacy cannabis market. When we solicited feedback on this brand concept from our employees, friends, family and industry experts, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Moreover, while it should be obvious, we would highlight that this brand has absolutely nothing to do with race.”
GTEC says they ran the idea by men and women of various ethnic groups, “including those of African descent,” and that they received no negative feedback.

“For the most part, other than a group of individuals on Twitter, it was well received.”

The company says that of the thousands who passed by the booth at Lift & Co., only one person expressed they weren’t OK with the phrase.
“Notwithstanding our position on these issues, we do want to clarify that the company has no plans to continue using this marketing tagline in the future.”
The company cited its own diversity in its statement, saying their CEO is Chinese, CFO is Female, and Head of Marketing is of East African descent.

Here's a tweet in response by the GreenTec's founder and CEO:
Read the rest of the company's statement here.
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Quick hits

So much growth
Global cannabis sales rose 48% to $15 billion in 2019, driven by growth in sales in Canada and seven U.S. states that saw sales more than double.
Sold out
The Ontario Cannabis Store was entirely sold out of its new edible products about five hours after they went on sale online Thursday morning.
2nd Cheeba Cheebas
Cheeba Cheebas Premium Cannabis in West Kelowna officially opened Wednesday, making it the company's second location in the Okanagan.

Dad jokes

What's a thousand times better than Instagram?
Why did Stalin only write in lower case?
He was afraid of Capitalism.
I thought my dad spent all his savings on an expensive wig.
But one look and I realized it was a small price toupee.
We chatted this week with the Cannabis 101 Podcast, where host Dean Millard and the oz.'s David Wylie discussed 'This Week in Cannabis News.' 

We talked about:
  • Aphria's latest earnings — is the company a cannabis unicorn?
  • Beer vs. cannabis — a 3% hit may not sound like a lot, but it is when you're talking billions of dollars
  • Filing a Better Business Bureau complaint against an illegal Mail Order Marijuana company in BC
  • How we've experienced the rollout of Cannabis 2.0 in Alberta and BC
Listen here (at 38:45 if you're cheating by skipping ahead).

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