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Doreen’s Top 5 Tips for Product Development in The Cannabis Industry

Doreen’s Top 5 Tips for Product Development in The Cannabis Industry

Today we’ve got a video for everyone out there interested in product development —especially product development in the cannabis industry—although these tips can apply to any industry!

You may not know this about me, but I design, source, and manufacture all of the vases we sell here at My Bud Vase, including our Signature Collection & one-of-a-kind Artisan pieces. And after years spent creating dozens of products, I have gleaned much wisdom that I’m so excited to share with all of you!

So today I’m giving you 5 tips for how to add value to your product without spending too much…because the last thing you want to do is run up your cost of goods!

Generally, in product development, you’re trying to find the perfect balance between keeping costs lower (to preserve healthy margins!) while still creating a product that is high quality, beautiful, and functional.

Let’s get to it! Here are my 5 tips for creating an amazing, and profitable, product without breaking the bank…



1. Add Extra Value in the Little Things

Our first tip is to add value with the little things. As they say, the devil is in the details!

I’m currently working on a new version of our Mermaid bong, so I’ll be using it as an example in our talk today.

We have the gorgeous porcelain bong itself, but I wanted to add a little something to amp it up.

So I added a coral flower poker and a cowry shell tied with some hemp wick. Simple and straightforward (and there’s a story behind the shell too, which we’ll talk about later in this blog!)

These 2 accessories may seem small, but they add a tremendous amount of value for the consumer….and visual appeal! All without running up the cost too terribly much.

High value, low cost. That’s the sweet spot you’re aiming for!


Doreen Sullivan Smiling Holding Blue Mermaid My Bud Vase Bong


2. Shop Around

When developing a product, you want to give yourself the freedom to source things from multiple vendors….if nothing else for inspiration!

Don’t limit yourself because when you shop around, you find new items that can be repurposed and added to your product that you may have never even thought of before.

And if you come across an item that you think may come in handy later, buy it right there on the spot! Oftentimes, one manufacturer may tell you something isn’t possible to do…

BUT if you’ve already got physical samples from someone else doing it, you know for a fact that it can be done. 

Just by shopping around and seeing what others are doing, you and your manufacturer will be able to push the envelope and try new things you may not have otherwise.


3. Get Physical Samples

Say it with me: You can’t develop a product on a screen!

You need to know what your consumer is going to get, and the only way to really do that is with physical samples.

What texture does a new feature add to the product? How does the new addition change the weight? How does it look in different lighting?

You’ll only know if you’re working with items in the flesh.

As an example, I’m currently working on a new tagging system for our Mermaid bong, and I’m hoping to make the new tag a seashell—die cut into our Flower of Life logo shape—with our name printed on it.

But how do I know that a seashell can be die cut and printed on? I didn’t at first….until I found two physical examples of die cut shells!

And now that I have them in hand, I can put them next to the Mermaid and see how they look size-wise, is it proportional? How does the tag lay on the product? Do they look right together?

It’s only possible because I shopped around, picked up samples, and am working with the physical items together!

Caveat: If you can’t get a physical sample yet, print out a picture and put it on your fridge and look at it all week in different contexts, different moods, and mindsets. It’ll reveal a lot, trust me!


4. Test It in the Market

The only way to ensure product-market fit is by actually testing out your product in your target market.

How can you do this if you don’t have money to invest in fancy focus groups & market research?

Leverage the people all around you! Ask your friends, family, or you may even consider putting out feelers on social media and see who you can connect with!

Once you get the product in their hands, make sure you follow up with questions: their feedback is gold & may reveal blindspots in your strategy.

Did the product function as intended? Did it add value to their lives? Do they care about it? 

Take what they share with you to heart, and don’t be afraid to pivot accordingly.


5. Make Sure There’s a Story Behind Your Product

Having a story behind your product is one of the most effective ways to market it! 

People don’t form an emotional connection with product features and specifications—they form connections to stories! 

And creating that story begins as early as the product development stage by choosing items that have MEANING.

Let’s go back to our Mermaid bong as an example. As I said before, I added a cowry shell tied with a hemp wick.

I chose this shell not only because it’s beautiful and thematically matches the bong, but because of what it symbolizes!

The cowry shell represents the feminine. One side represents the yoni, the other side represents the pregnant belly.

So it not only makes sense because this is an ocean-themed bong, but because it adds another layer of rich symbolism to the product that I know my target audience appreciates.


Adding value to your product doesn’t have to break the bank. It’s all about being creative, a little scrappy, and staying connected to the consumer experience.

If you’re always keeping their wants & needs top of mind, you can’t go wrong!

Have more questions about product development? Submit your questions here by July 31, 2023, and you could win a free 30 minute 1:1 consult with me to discuss your product!

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