Editor’s note: Sarah Browne is founder of Redmond Browne Research, London.

A multitude of states have legalized marijuana and politicians are introducing landmark bills. The question for many is no longer will new cannabis affect your business but when. In part one of this two-part article I looked at the industries most heavily affected by cannabis, along with research and recruitment challenges. If that article left you intrigued you may be asking, “How do I jump in?” In this article I’ll work to provide you with tips on recruiting, looking at medical vs. recreational cannabis as well as steps for managing your project.  

At the core of the cannabis zeitgeist is the stark difference between medical marijuana users and recreational, also known as adult-use. Some would label this segmenting as functional vs. fun. Despite the popular claim that many medical marijuana users are really recreational tokers in disguise, recruiters quickly discover that buying into this dubious idea wastes valuable time and money. Researcher Bethany Murphy Gomez, director of research at research firm Brightfield Group, stresses the importance of understanding these essential distinctions.

“As with recruiting in any industry, it is critical that you are highly specific with your recruiting criteria and the language you use in your questions. If you are surveying medical marijuana patients, they will get defensive if you refer to them as a consumer or discuss consumption the same way you would with recreational customers – which will kill your response rate,” says Murphy Gomez. “They are patients,not consumers – they are medicatingusing cannabis. This was the start of the cannabis movement and this plant is truly a medicine for hundreds of thousands of people with very real medical conditions. They do not appreciate being treated as if they are doing this for fun.”  

Carmen Brace, founder of Aclara Research, reinforce...