As cannabis and CBD products flood the retail landscape, commerce and content site Miss Grass is retooling its strategy to emphasize curation.
This shift is coming to life two ways this month: first via its merchandising and then through its pop-up debut. For holiday, the company has developed multibrand kits based on six need-states, including beauty, sex and sleep. Each features non-endemic cannabis products from companies like feminine toy company Dame and sleepwear brand Lunya. Secondly, Miss Grass is opening its first offline experience, which launches in New York’s Nolita neighborhood on Nov. 27. The pop-up will feature programming events with its top brands, like Beboe, Foria, The Good Patch and Plant People, each focused on the above need-states. Miss Grass would not disclose annual sales, but shared that it saw a 300% growth in total revenue from November 2018 to November 2019. In June, the company secured a $4 million funding round.
“We have been listening to our community actively, and we have found that the same questions around products and efficacy keep coming up: ‘I’m having trouble sleeping — what would you recommend?’ ‘Will CBD help with joint pain?’ ‘I’m trying to integrate cannabis into my sex life. Where do I start?'” said Miss Grass co-founder and CEO Kate Miller. “We think shopping and educating by need is the way to curate the best of the best for our customer.”
Forty percent of its customers are aged 25 to 34, and 21% are aged 35 to 44. Though the company would not share its total site traffic, it saw 400% year-on-year readership growth between 2018 to 2019. Its content-forward strategy appears to work for its largely female audience: Miss Grass’s organic Instagram engagement is 12%, and its email open rate is 30%. (The company sends at least two emails a week.)
Miller said the company is centered on the “conscious consumer,” and while there have been inroads in cannabis adoption, thanks to the legalization of hemp within the 2018 Farm Bill, there is still mainstream confusion.
“We know why the interest in cannabis has reached fever pitch — it is because there is a large business opportunity attached. But the consumer is vulnerable,” said Anna Duckworth, Miss Grass co-founder and chief content officer.
“This industry is still new and pretty unregulated. There is not one retailer or platform that is taking an education-led approach. Brands have largely been responsible, but they need help,” she said.
Miss Grass’s pop-up is an attempt to bring that online experience to real life. The store will sell an accessories line co-created with Edie Parker, and it will host workshops throughout its month-long run on topics like sleep and sexual health.
While Miss Grass, which is also in the midst of developing its own line of branded products, has the opportunity and resources to up its merchandising assortments to compete with bigger retailers, Miller said the company is not actively looking to add new brand partners. Instead, the business is hoping to build deeper relationships with the 30-plus brands it already stocks.
“We’re not trying to be the Amazon of cannabis,” she said.