Cannabis, Wine and Luxury : A New Reality


For more than a year now we have been working on the creation of a European luxury brand based on cannabis. By cannabis of course we mean CBD (the abbreviation for cannabidiol), a molecule present in cannabis that has no psychotropic effects and, therefore, is not considered a narcotic, unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). 

In truth, this strategic brain-storming around a luxury brand has nothing to do with wine. Although right now some are combining CBD directly with wine to produce an alcoholic drink, claiming: “We’re keeping the classic effect of alcohol but adding a relaxing aspect,” this project is completely different. Dietary supplements, oils and cosmetics – the high-end offer is very broad. So why then call on consultants who are highly experienced in putting together luxury brand strategies for the top names in wine in the world? Quite simply because the strategic vision of such a brand includes thinking about the world of wine. Here we’re not targeting wine per se. We are targeting moments of consumption. What the client is looking for is not knowledge of wine, but information about patterns of consumption and the psychology of the wine drinker. What they want to know is how they can convince young wine drinkers to try new products. And, going even further, how they can persuade lovers of fine wine to experience a cannabis “grand cru”. Yes, you read that correctly, it takes in the world of fine wines too. Because, as a recent Financial Times article put it: Craft farming, terroir, tasting notes and appellations is the new language of getting high.

The target, of course, is a young clientele with significant disposable income, keen to try new experiences. And this clientele is to be found the world over. Cannabis and cannabidiol (CBD) are fast growing in popularity in a world in which health and well-being are major concerns; a world in which curiosity is attracting an ever wider public to “the new cannabis experience” and in which “sobriety” is very much on-trend (mainly among millennials who are less interested in alcohol). On the one hand, you have a plethora of existing pharmaceutical CBD products, and on the other, high-end brands that are beginning to develop. At a time when some think that the competition in the world of wine is other wines, this is something that should give pause for thought. Because a new competitor to wine is around the corner. Fine wines included.

(Guillaume Jourdan wrote this post. You can reach him via LinkedIn)