American cannabis brands continue to break into the mainstream through a variety of means. Although restricted in some senses, US-based cannabis companies can utilize many forms of traditional marketing and advertising. Billboards, events, artist and influencer collaborations, social and charitable initiatives, radio ads, and even television commercials are all tools that these brands have used to increase their awareness. In 2020, a few of these entities separated themselves from the pack and are now experiencing exponential growth. Let’s take a look at the American cannabis brand finalists as voted by you, the ADCANN community.
As the first cannabis producer to open a municipally permitted facility in California, Canndescent “empowers adults to turn down the noise, unlock the moment and transform their lives” with ultra-premium products. Canndescent has been referred to as the #1 selling cannabis brand in California and the #1 luxury cannabis provider.
The brand was the first ever to popularize effect-based marketing. They pioneered this type of branding by abandoning traditional strain names and launching their Calm, Cruise, Create, Connect, and Charge product categories. The company is well-known for its creative packaging design and distinct orange color scheme. In 2020, Canndescent launched an important and timely sub-brand known as Justice Joints, a first-of-its-kind entity that donates 100% of its profits to social justice initiatives.
”At Canndescent, we strive to help consumers turn down the noise, unlock the moment, and transform their lives with our ultra-premium, luxury cannabis. It is with deep gratitude that we thank ADCANN for considering Canndescent 2020 brand of the year.Sam Arellano, CMO
Cookies may be the only cannabis brand in the world that needs no introduction. The company was founded by Bay Area-rapper Berner and Jai “Jigga”, a geneticist that bred some of North America’s most popular cultivars. Cookies is a chain of cannabis and clothing stores, a clothing brand, a line of cannabis strains and products, and ultimately, a lifestyle.
Cookies’ light blue mylar bags are instantly recognizable by any self-respecting cannabis enthusiast. Their packaging, storefront design, and strain branding are all consistent and inspired by luxury and hip-hop culture. Cookies has gained a significant amount of brand awareness through its partnerships with famed rappers, actors, and celebrities. This year, the brand opened several more stores including a lounge and lifestyle location in Spain. Cookies also launched a heavy-hitting line-up of new strains and continued collaborations with artists like Run The Jewels and Rick Ross.
Delivering health and happiness is the main goal of dosist, an award-winning vaporizer brand. The company offers both THC and “THC-free” blends in their proprietary “dose pens”. dosist is a globally recognized company that is focused on “introducing a new way to cannabis” through a dose-controlled experience that gives the consumer full control.
dosist is a design-focused brand with a sleek, modern aesthetic. In the United States, dosist primarily markets their products for wellness, performance, and therapeutic purposes. Their products are divided into effect-based categories including bliss, sleep, calm, relief, and arouse. dosist refers to the benefits of their products as “cannabis therapy”, targeting professionals, athletes, and wellness seekers.
Gage Cannabis Co.
Gage Cannabis Co. is a Michigan-based cannabis company that operates in both the medical and recreational markets. Gage also operates a brand under the same name across Canada. The company operates three growing and processing sites along with over 13 retail storefronts.
Gage has become one of the most recognized and highly-sought-after brands on the East Coast through its store openings, highly-anticipated product launches, and exclusive partnerships. Gage sells its own branded flower in-store along with other hype brands like Cookies and Lemonnade. The company aims to set the standard for quality cannabis products, bar none.
Lowell Farms is a California-based organic cannabis producer and brand. Although primarily known for their best-selling pre-rolled joints, Lowell also offers dried flower, hashish, rosin, edible mints, and vaporizer cartridges. The company presents itself as an artisanal, small-batch producer with an emphasis on craftsmanship and authenticity. Lowell is known for various ground-breaking marketing efforts such as their “Finally” commercial (that featured Bella Thorne) and having previously launched the first cannabis consumption cafe in California.
The brand emphasizes their commitment to product quality and states that their employees have a deep understanding of and respect for the plant. Lowell’s imagery features farm fields, wooden crates, and nature. They have a humble, authentic, honest, working-class-yet-aspirational brand ethos. In response to COVID-19 lockdowns, the company established “Lowell Direct”, a D2C service that will deliver their products straight to your door. Even throughout all of the challenges that 2020 brought on the industry, Lowell continued to establish itself as one of America’s top cannabis brands.
American Cannabis Brand Trends
Retail In-House Brands: Four out of five of the 2020 brand of the year finalists also operate retail stores under the same name that their products are branded under. With some limitations on marketing in the industry, retail stores have an advantage because they are able to interact directly with the consumer and completely immerse them in their brand experience. You can really get a sense of what Cookies, Dosist, Lowell Farms, or Gage’s brand is about by visiting their flagship retail locations and purchasing their products directly from the source. As retailers continue to be the gatekeepers of the cannabis industry, in-house brands will only continue to grow in popularity. Likewise, the largest and most well-funded cannabis brands will likely continue to open up their own branded storefronts in order to build deeper relationships with consumers.
California Is Still The Epicentre of American Cannabis: The majority of the top brands in this year’s category are either based in California or inspired by the state. California has long been setting the trend for the cannabis industry and culture in America and worldwide. As one of the first and most populous states to legalize for both recreational and medicinal uses, California’s cannabis companies have established themselves as household names across the country. Many brands in other states are watching The Golden State and its operators for inspiration and insights.
Premium and Quality Focus: All of the names listed have built a lot of brand equity with their customers by providing high-quality products. All five brands have a focus on premium and luxury market positioning, generally commanding a higher price point than their peers. The word “quality” is frequently utilized in communications, especially by flower-focused brands like Gage and Cookies. Many heavy cannabis consumers that smoke dried-flower still primarily care about the “quality” of cannabis – including the aroma, flavour, potency, genetics, moisture, and bud structure. These brands are speaking to these consumers in a language they understand. Similarly, Dosist talks about the quality of their hardware and devices, communicating their value proposition to novice and sophisticated consumers.
Last Updated on December 30, 2020 by ADCANN