Marijuana-related businesses are focus of Michigan communication firm

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Two West Michigan women are ready to cannabis businesses to the next level. 

Roberta King, of Muskegon, and Dottie Rhodes, of Grand Rapids, founded Canna Communication together this month, in response to what they saw as a gap in the market. 

“We believe our professionalism will help elevate an industry that has long been neglected by services like ours,” King said in an email. 

For the partners, cannabis represents freedom of choice, promotion of a natural alternative to pharmaceuticals and a stand for social justice, according to a news release. 

“Cannabis, in Michigan and beyond, presents a tremendous opportunity for us to do work we love with people who are passionate,” King said. 

Canna Communication is prepared to work with people involved in growing, processing, testing, transportation and dispensing of marijuana, in addition to support industries, such as legal, accounting and insurance, according to the release. 

Canna offers communication, public relations, marketing, writing, social media and packaging, and has partnerships with designers and web developers. 

King has served in communication leadership for the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, Mercy General Health Partners, Grand Rapids Art Museum and the Muskegon-Oceana Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Rhodes is the former owner of award-winning Grand Rapids design firm Plenty.

Canna believes that communication strategy will be crucial for cannabis businesses, especially after the state of Michigan begins requiring people working in the industry to apply for licenses later this year.

Another complication for those in the cannabis industry is that municipalities can decide whether or not cannabis businesses are welcome within their limits. 

Two Muskegon County communities – Norton Shores and Fruitport – have already taken action to keep dispensaries out. 

As of September 2016, about 4,300 Muskegon County residents were medical marijuana card holders. In Michigan, there are 218,556 patients with a medical marijuana card, plus 38,057 caretakers.

Michigan voters approved use of medical marijuana in 2008. A petition drive is under way to put a proposal on the November 2018 ballot to legalize use of recreational marijuana in Michigan. 

So far, 29 states and Washington, D.C., have legalized medical marijuana, and nine states have legalized recreational marijuana. 

“Without a doubt, the normalization of cannabis is happening,” Rhodes said in the release. 

Canna will start with a focus on Michigan’s medical marijuana businesses, and will pursue clients in the other 28 states and Washington, D.C., later.

“We’re busy connecting with growers, processors, labs, transporters and provisioners; as well as the professions that serve that serve the cannabis industry,” King said. “We’ve had conversations companies in Oregon, too, but it’s taking time to gather steam. The cannabis community isn’t huge and personal connections are essential, so we’ve been focused growing that aspect of our work thus far.”

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Source: 420 Intel – United States

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