The Cannabis Agency recognized as Best of the Industry

The Cannabis Agency recognized as Best of the Industry


The ability to pivot and be adaptive is a large part of what keeps companies moving forward and encourages growth in ever-changing climates. The cannabis industry is certainly an ever-changing climate. Constantly burdened by changing regulation, limiting and revised guidance, and always on the verge of new information and understanding as a plant that has long been stigmatized and restricted is being studied and learned from.

Following the company’s recognition as Best Design or Creative Consultant by Greenway readers for 2023, Cannvocate rebranded in last year as The Cannabis Agency.

Despite a change in name, Greenway readers again named the team Best Design or Creative Consultant for the second year in a row in 2024.

Ahead of the Best of the Industry, Greenway sat down with Doug Hall, the visionary leader at the helm of The Cannabis Agency, to reflect on the transformative year of 2023 for the company and its innovative strides in the ever-evolving cannabis industry.

“The first thirty-four days (of 2023) felt like the tightening of a slingshot, and while rec day was fun, we didn’t go fully kinetic until February 9th,” Hall explained. “That was when DCR released their guidance document on samples and product give away. For the days following rec and leading up to that release, operators had lost their collective goddamn minds. We get it; it was a glorious time. But it was only a matter of time before the arthritic hand of the DHSS would wield its great power to write another letter. And with that letter, compliance and legal departments took the reins shuttering their marketing and sales departments mid-dab. And while everyone’s brand ambassadors were packing up their pop-ups and CMOs were re-writing their marketing plans, we went to work. Soulard Mardi Gras was quickly approaching and our client (Nirvana/N’Bliss) had a significant financial commitment to the event. And they, like us, weren’t the type to cut and run. Not to mention, figuring shit out is our jam. So, yeah, that was the first month and a half. And that is what shaped our strategy for the rest of the year.”

Hall and his team had been working with Missouri marijuana companies since the market’s inception, but it was the company’s response to regulation – creating new SOPs and ensuring that legal licensed companies had a compliant answer to the litany of issues created by new regulations and guidance.

A stellar reputation among industry operators and a history of success combined with the ability to answer questions that others often cannot has been the main differentiating factor between Hall and The Cannabis Agency and other industry counterparts offering similar services.

What makes The Cannabis Agency unique in the space?

Our greatest differentiator from any traditional marketing or brand activation agency is that we focus on sales as the final metric for our efforts. It doesn’t matter how many people open your email, show up at your event, or drive by your billboard if it doesn’t lead to a sale. We are obsessed with the message, the narrative, and whatever component, channel, or tactic that drives a consumer to choose our clients’ products over their competitors. That’s the ultimate win for us, when our client gets the sale, the shelf space, and the competitive edge via working with us. That’s what justifies our existence and why our clients and partners trust us with their brand activations and rollouts.  

What does the legalization of marijuana for adult use mean for your company?

It has definitely affected the interaction with the consumer (formerly known as patient). It hasn’t changed our position on education. In fact, it has increased our efforts when it comes to consumer education. Before it was purely medicinal education. Now we’re educating people on brands, products, consumption methods, as well as medicinal. It also means teaching people about the difference between actual cannabis and all the derivative dirt products that plague our c-stores and social media threads. Awareness of the facts about Delta-8 and Hemp Derived products has become a major talking point since we went rec. 

With the launch of adult use, what changes did your company see or make in 2023?

With the launch of adult use, we realized that peer-to-peer influence and direct engagement with the customer would be a much bigger influence for buying decisions than any budtender or billboard. We doubled down on our B2C endeavors including our RUN THC web content, ecommerce, and our consumer newsletter “the dose.” We also rolled out Hash-Up Mash-Up, the only weekly consumption friendly event in the state. These efforts have provided tremendous insight (and data capture) on consumer behavior and purchasing decisions as well as an opportunity to influence them. 

Can you tell me about some of the employees or leadership that help push your success?

I could. But I’d rather tell you about all of them. Our team and our culture is a big part of what makes our clients want to work with us. We take what we do seriously without taking ourselves seriously. And it gives me incredible joy seeing how well they all work together and treat one another. That’s rare in any organization and industry. We’re very proud of that. And, I am very grateful.

Can you tell me about the company’s community involvement? 

Our entire model is built on community engagement & education. We’ve gotten dozens of music venues, hotels, conventions and festivals to open their facilities or sponsorships to cannabis operators for the first time. Our multi-platform consumer engagement efforts have given us an active and leverageable cannabis community network. And we continue to educate, inform, and engage this audience about the brands, products, and cannabis experiences they’re looking for. When you add our involvement with producing a half dozen MoCannTrade events a year, it’s pretty clear we are an active part of the community.

What plans are on the horizon for the company?

We are very excited to be rolling out our sales brokering program this year. Like I said earlier, sales is the final metric. When we looked at what we are offering and actively doing for our clients in the space, the only logical conclusion was to over our assistance in closing the deal. What’s the point of activating a consumer lead if their local dispensary doesn’t carry the product? Now we are able to assist our clients at every stage of the customer journey. From seed to sales and sale to seed, we’re hyper focussed on perfecting that cycle for clients.