Bachman’s and weed: Bad for the brand?

The news today that the owners of Bachman’s Floral Gift & Garden Centers are interested in getting into the medical marijuana business will certainly present a challenge to the company, whose brand isn’t usually associated with pot, even if it’s legal.

“There are several family members that are interested,” company spokeswoman Karen Bachman tells the Star Tribune. That means there are several family members who probably aren’t. That’s challenge #1.

But challenge #2 might be whether customers have a problem with Bachman’s — one of the region’s more revered brands — being associated with the “m” word, even if it’s legal in the eyes of the state.

“Bachman’s, the company itself, is not including this in our core mission of delivering beautiful products at a real value,” Bachman told the newspaper in an attempt to distance the interests of the Bachman individuals from Bachman’s the company. That’ll be a neat and delicate trick.

But it figures that a company with relatively deep pockets would be one of the ones likely to emerge as one of the two manufacturers and eight distribution centers called for in last session’s legislation authorizing the use of medical cannabis for certain qualifying medical conditions and creates a task force to conduct an assessment on medical cannabis therapeutic research. Just applying to be included will cost someone $20,000, a fee which is not refundable.

The company obviously has the growing facilities and Bachman’s also already has a distribution system. Those petunias don’t get themselves to market, you know.

It also has a lot of college-age kids working for it, which is a strike against the idea. Nobody under 21 can work in a cannabis facility.

But the “m” word is still enough to make some people clutch their pearls, a demographic that tends to be really into gardening.

On the other hand, the marketing is ready to go.

  • moffitt

    Being raided by federal authorities is certainly bad for the brand. Unless federal law is changed, the very real threat that this will happen will always there. A big gamble.

  • moffitt

    Not to mention the risk of losing your relationship with local banks. Many banks won’t knowingly touch “pot money,” regardless of what the state says. Ask Colorado.

    • Kassie

      The Feds have eased the restrictions quite a bit for medical marijuana companies. And while many banks are still nervous, MBank in Oregon has just opened up to medical marijuana companies. And I thought the raids by the Feds had pretty much stopped recently?

      • Moffitt

        As long as the law is on the books, the risk is there. Consider how a President Romney might react.

        • Gary F

          Unlike President Obama using Operation Chokepoint to pressure banks that work with legal firearms manufacturers and retailers to pull their credit lines.

  • a_tribe_called_chris

    Best thing to do is form a separate entity. The horrible Minnesota law is due to Dayton and his opposition. The onerous start up costs and application fees will make it difficult to start up the grow operation.

  • Stina

    At least they are thinking about bringing the underground economy in to the light, with legal sales and distribution. Think of the $ that would enter our economy. Making m legal will benefit society in ways not yet realized.

  • Emery

    Momma Bachman didn’t raise no fools! “Bachman’s Greenhouse” sorta has a nice ring to it.