Although still not federally legal, state-licensed recreational cannabis retail stores have existed in America since 2013. Over the past seven years, we have seen several consumer brands and Multi-State Operators gain in prominence and popularity. This year’s Storefront Brand Of The Year category includes a variety of both medical and recreational-focused stores with finalists from all across the country. Let’s take a look at the American cannabis storefront brand finalists as voted by you, the ADCANN community.
If you haven’t already, be sure to vote for your favorite American Cannabis Storefront Brand in the 2020 ADCANN Awards.
Bud and Bloom
Bud and Bloom is a single location storefront Located in the heart of Santa Ana and has proudly served Orange County since 2016. Their mission is to deliver a wide variety of the highest quality cannabis products from vendors we know and trust as they invite both new and experienced cannabis users to come in and visit their shop.
Bud and Bloom take their position as OC’s most trusted medical and recreational cannabis dispensary seriously and prides themselves on supporting their community. They’ve recently hosted events such as “Holiday Cannabis Cooking & Gift Guide” and “Making Natural Cannabis Products”. They also offer daily deals to veterans, seniors, and healthcare workers.
VidaCann is one of the largest providers of medical cannabis in Florida, with a mission to help Floridians live their healthiest lives with the assistance of cannabis products. They have partnered with cannabis brands such as Stanley Brothers and Tikun Olam to offer exclusive products as well as their own brand of products.
VidaCann focuses on consumer education, as they believe everyone has a right to accurate, valid, and trustworthy information about cannabis. They have lots of information on the website, including the onset, duration, pros, and cons of each cannabis product category. These details are useful for educating both new consumers and those who haven’t tried each kind of product.
”We’re beyond excited to be nominated for Storefront Brand of the Year in the 2020 ADCANN Awards. This nomination is a testament to the hard work of our small but mighty team that strives every day to make our stores and products better for our customers. This journey hasn't been easy, and there is still a long way to go. But, we're happy to be recognized by our customers for the strides we've made thus far, and we can't wait to continue our growth in the years to come.Jeremy Guttveg, Marketing Director
Cookies is a chain of cannabis retail stores and a consumer brand that was founded in 2012 by rapper and entrepreneur Berner and his partner Jai, a leading Bay Area cultivator and breeder of Girl Scout Cookies, Gelato, and other famed strains. Eight years later, Cookies is likely the most well-known brand in all of cannabis. Cookies operates around 17 locations under their own brand name in three different states. They also have stores under their Lemonnade sub-brand, which has one location in Oregon and one in California.
Cookies’ flagship stores across the United States are stocked with elite, designer cannabis varieties grown in-house for unparalleled product quality control. Cookies has pioneered and defined what it means to be a hype brand in the cannabis space. They are the equivalent to Supreme New York for the weed industry, prompting re-sales and knock-offs of their rare strains and products. Cookies branding is easily recognizable with their signature baby blue color scheme and their drippy, semi-cursive wordmark. The stores are large, clean, open-concept, and high-end.
Gage Cannabis Co
Gage Cannabis Co. is another example of the vertically-integrated approach a brand has taken in the American cannabis industry. By operating three licensed cultivation and processing centers in Michigan that serve 13 provisioning centers throughout the state, they cultivate and curate experiences that empower patients to make the most of the plant’s benefits and amplify their lives.
They currently have four Gage locations open in Michigan (and one Cookies), with another eight opening soon. Each of the cannabis storefronts that are currently open have the uniform appearance of a big-box retail store, but their partnership with Cookies means their stores are stocked with some of the best cannabis products the US has to offer. They’re also nominated Best Social Media, and Cannabis Brand of the Year, so they must be doing something right!
Continuing with the theme of producer/retailer brands in the US, we have Trulieve, a brand of cannabis products and storefronts across four states. They provide products that are hand-grown and specially cultivated in a state-approved, climate-controlled environment to ensure purity and safety, as well as the dispensaries to purchase them in Florida, California, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.
Trulieve has 71 stores nationwide, with over 500 products being offered in those stores. Their storefronts range in shapes and sizes but are recognizable by the blue and green Trulieve logo. The brand strongly believes in community engagement, with specials such as the Freedom pre-roll with a portion of the proceeds supporting veteran organizations, as well as holiday toy and food drives.
”On behalf of all Trulieve employees, we are thrilled to be a finalist for ADCANN’s Storefront Brand of the Year. Our staff have their own personal and emotional connection with cannabis and we share that passion in creating our brand that is designed to help each patient find the best experience along their journey.Valda Coryat, Chief Marketing Officer
American Cannabis Storefront Brand Trends
- Medical vs Recreational
Uniquely, cannabis retail stores in the US are either medical-focused or recreational-focused. Most states initially legalized for medicinal purposes, which lead to a proliferation of dispensaries servicing the patient community. In recent years, most of these states have also legalized for recreational adult-use, which introduced a new set of rules, regulations, and business practices. Some switched from medical to recreational, some remained in the grey market and others are in states where medical is the only option. This means that cannabis stores across America are much more diverse than those found in a country like Canada, where recreational-focused shops are the only stores that exist.VidaCann is an example of a 100% medical cannabis store, with locations only in Florida where recreational sales are not yet permitted. Trulieve operates dozens of medicinal-focused stores but also has a few adult-use shops in its portfolio in states like California. Bud & Bloom bills itself as a medical and adult-use recreational store, having started in the medicinal market in 2016 and transitioning when California’s Prop 64 passed. Cookies is one of the most popular recreational-only store franchises with locations across the country. Gage operates both medical and adult-use stores across Michigan.
- Franchises and Chains
We are starting to observe some real large franchises and chains emerging in the American cannabis space. Companies like VidaCann and Gage have expanded to over 12 locations each within their respective states of Florida and Michigan. Trulieve has locations across 4 states while Cookies has a foothold in 6 (if you include their Lemonnade-branded Portland store). Bud & Bloom is the only independent single-location retailer on this year’s list of top retail storefront brands.
As companies become larger and expand into several locations, they typically make a few adjustments. Their marketing changes as now they are communicating to individuals in several different areas or states, potentially with different producers and products in each state. It is challenging for brand communications when a store is in both the medical and adult-use recreational markets. Additionally, many of these larger chains have launched their own private label brands as well.
- Private Label Brands
A trend that is prominent in the American cannabis industry is private label brands. Most of the stores in our top 5 finalist list offer their own cannabis products in-store under the same or similar brand name. In addition to being a chain of stores, Trulieve and VidaCann are both also medical producers of cannabis. Both companies sell products branded under the same name in their storefronts. Cookies and Gage both exclusively offer their exotic strains and products only in their own shops. Customers will line-up around the block overnight for a chance to buy these rare items. Cookies has also launched a variety of other in-house brands including Lemonnade and Fiore Genetics. This trend will likely continue as cannabis storefronts see the benefits of creating their own brands, whether that be through their own in-house production or through white labeling.
Which of these retailers has the best American cannabis storefront brand?
Last Updated on December 30, 2020 by ADCANN