Terra Tech recently placed a letter in the form of a full-page advertisement in the Wall Street Journal, asking President Donald Trump for help in allowing states to regulate cannabis before Canada takes too much of the market share away from the United States.
“Dear Mr. President, we need your help!” the ad declared. “The rapidly growing American cannabis industry represents an extraordinary economic opportunity for our country, yet Canada is threatening to deprive American farmers, workers and businesses from the prosperity that rightly belongs within our borders.”
The ad goes on to describe that the legal cannabis sector in the U.S. has a proven track record of stimulating the domestic economy, as well as reducing the abuse of opioids, but that cannabis businesses still struggle with access to traditional banking and financing.
“As a result,” the ad said, “several Canadian companies are taking advantage of U.S. investor interest in cannabis to raise and deploy significant capital to acquire U.S. assets. Regrettably, this will put what should be one of our homeland’s greatest economic drivers in foreign control.”
The ad’s messaging is indeed rooted in current cannabis industry trends, according to Dustin Iannotti, co-founder and chief creative officer of marketing agency Artisans on Fire, especially when it notes Canadian companies seeking U.S. companies for investment opportunities to further their reach in the market.
“The advertisement was very well-written and angled, given that it seems to very well align with many of the staple platforms that the president ran his campaign on, bringing jobs and big industry control back from foreign soil to the U.S.,” Iannotti said. “I think from my side of the industry, which focuses on marketing in the cannabis space, this ad serves a dual purpose of both positioning [Terra Tech] as a thought leader in the industry, speaking for all cannabis owner rights, as well as a great way to incite a rally-cry from new company loyalists and customers that support the contents of the ad.”
“I think [Terra Tech CEO] Derek Peterson’s recent ad in the Wall Street Journal was a concise clarion call,” added Steve Gormley, CEO of International Cannabrands. “Peterson points out that the U.S. is ceding a multi-billion-dollar industry to Canada. Bay Street in Toronto is now the ‘Wall Street’ of the cannabis industry. It will take Wall Street half a decade to catch up.”
So far, it remains unclear if and how Trump or federal lawmakers will respond.
“If there’s one thing we’ve seen from President Trump, it’s his willingness to pander if it elevates his image and public support,” said James Bradley, chief marketing officer of Fohse, Inc. “And to be called out so blatantly in the WSJ? I’d be surprised if he didn’t at least take to Twitter to respond. As far as tactics go—brilliant move on Peterson’s part.”
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