Last year was a big one for cannabis in the US. It’s now recreationally legal in 11 states and medically legal in 22. With this year being an election year, it will be interesting to see the impact on the growth of the American cannabis industry. The results of the 2019 Advertising Awards demonstrates which brands, people and products effectively flourished in the ever-expanding US market to create positive experiences for consumers. Here are your US ADCANN 2019 Winners:
Best Packaging Design – Cookies
Best Storefront Branding – Gage Cannabis
Best Social Media – Trees By Game
Brand Of The Year – Cookies
Marketer Of The Year – Rama Mayo
Campaign Of The Year – Weedmaps – Museum Of Weed
Agency Of The Year – Green Street
Best Packaging Design - Cookies
Cookies has helped set the trend for cannabis packaging for several years. Easily recognizable from their light blue colour, Cookies bags are some of the most sought-after cannabis products among the enthusiast community. Their packaging displays colourful and playful logos that pertain to each specific strain. Georgia Pie features an image of a peach with the Atlanta skyline in the background. The Cereal Milk strain packaging displays an image of cereal. Gary Payton features a picture of the NBA Hall of Famer Gary Payton. The images are attractive to the eye and interesting to look at.
Cookies has effectively claimed the baby blue colour in the cannabis space. When you see that colour on the shelves of a cannabis store, it’s impossible not to think of Cookies. Additionally, creating packaging that is strain-specific was a great way to capitalize on the rare and sought-after genetics that Cookies is able to produce. These images are very colourful and are fun to look at. Cookies packaging is minimal, playful and instantly recognizable.
Best Storefront Branding - Gage Cannabis
Gage Cannabis Co. has stood out this year for a variety of reasons. With several new stores opening, Cookies strain drops and dispensary collaborations and even a shoutout from Bruce Linton, Gage had an amazing year. Gage storefronts are clean, sleek and minimal. The stores feature beautiful hardwood panels and classy scent jars. The storefronts are stocked primarily with Gage in-house strains and Cookies products, which are two brands known for their quality.
Gage offers the highest quality cannabis experiences at provisioning centers throughout Michigan state. Gage has locations in (or is planning to open up by early 2020 in) Ferndale, Adrian, Detroit, Bay City, Battle Creek, Lansing, Kalamazoo, Center Line, Traverse City, Saginaw, Grand Rapids, New Haven and more.
Gage Cannabis Co. is a licensed cultivator and cannabis storefront that operates over 150,000 square feet of cultivation space and a state-of-the-art processing facility to supply its 13 provisioning centers. To supplement a wide range of proprietary products, Gage partners with a deep roster of internationally and local renowned brands to bring cannabis culture to life. Throughout 2020 and beyond, Michiganders will enjoy the economic benefits provided by Gage’s operations and its commitment to local charities and neighborhood programs in its host communities.
Learn more at gageusa.com
Best Social Media - Trees By Game
Trees By Game is the cannabis venture of rap icon The Game in partnership with top cannabis branding agency Green Street. Trees By Game product offerings include clothing and apparel, rolling trays, tobacco wraps, cannabis flower, vape pens, edibles, topicals and more.
The brand invites you to “change your game with premium hand picked cannabis from West Coast Hip Hop Icon, THE GAME.”
Trees By Game social media is very cool. Their Instagram feed is a combination of product shots, nug shots and images of The Game smoking his own product. Trees By Game at the time of writing has 41,000 followers on Instagram, one of the largest social media followings in the cannabis space. Having an audience that big is impressive and useful in an industry that is restricted from buying traditional and digital advertising.
Trees By Game social media is run by The Bevel Group, a creative agency based in Long Beach, California.
Brand Of The Year - Cookies
Cookies is the first American brand to win two different categories in the same year in the ADCANN Awards.
We won’t beat around the bush here, Cookies is the pinnacle of cannabis marketing. They are the brand that all other brands look at for the newest trends. Berner has created the equivalent of Supreme New York for cannabis products. The “#cookiescampoutcrew” is a thing. People line up down and around the block for hours (sometimes even days) when Cookies opens up a store in a new area or drops a bunch of strains at one of their partner dispensaries. It is no surprise that Cookies has been voted “Brand Of The Year” in the ADCANN 2019 Awards.
Curated for the connoisseur, the Cookies brand leads global cannabis culture from its headquarters in the Bay Area, California. Born from humble beginnings in a San Francisco Mission District garage, and dedicated from day one to excellent genetics and authentic culture, Cookies was officially founded in 2012 by the top-selling, award-winning Bay Area rapper and entrepreneur Berner, and his partner Jai, a leading Bay Area cultivator and breeder of Girl Scout Cookies, Gelato, and other top-selling strains of contemporary cannabis.
Subject to constant knock-offs and counterfeits, Cookies has the most in-demand, fast-moving, premium-priced cannabis products in the world. They have a library of over 50 cannabis varieties and product lines including indoor, outdoor, and sungrown flower, pre-rolls, vape carts, edibles, and gel caps. Cookies’ flagship stores across the United States are stocked with elite, designer, high-end cannabis varieties grown in-house for unparalleled product quality control. Cookies’ ensures excellence and authenticity—from product execution to the final consumer retail experience. Cookies’ deep talent roster gives them an edge over new market entrants that lack Cookies’ decades of combined institutional knowledge of both the plant and the culture.
Marketer Of The Year - Rama Mayo
Rama is business partners with cultural icons 2 Chainz, Gary Vaynerchuk, The Game & Juicy J. He runs the award-winning creative agency Green Street to service the needs of those brands plus more. He’s a co-founder of the #1 cannabis B2B show in California, Hall of Flowers. Preferring to stay behind the scenes, he enables cannabis & non-cannabis brands to connect with cannabis consumers.
Currently Rama is curating Green Street’s first building project; 718 South Hill St., a 67,000 SqFt business & social center in Los Angeles, soon home to the world’s leading cannabis brands. Originally constructed over a century ago for The Los Angeles Furniture Factory, decades later renovated into a jewelry factory, then a featured location in the 1984 blockbuster Terminator, the building will now serve as a professional and social hub for entrepreneurs & creatives.
Before Green Street, he worked on projects for Disney, Beats By Dre, Deckers & Universal.
Campaign Of The Year - Weedmaps - Museum Of Weed
The Weedmaps Museum of Weed took visitors through the storied history of cannabis by moving through the many varied locations and time periods where it has typically, or stereotypically been consumed. Here, we celebrate the victories and shed light on the most damning moments throughout the last century. It opened in early 2018 in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California and closed in early 2019.
The 30,000 sqft experience featured seven immersive exhibits, interactive art installations, artifacts, a Plant Lab, as well as amenities such as a full cafeteria, gift shop, snack/coffee bar, and plenty of interior and exterior lounge spaces.
Exhibit one took visitors through the “Pre-Prohibition” era of cannabis history. The second exhibit was titled the “Age of Madness” which explored how cannabis was used as a tool to fuel hysteria and racial tensions through propaganda. The third exhibit explains the “Counterculture Revolution” of hippies that rebelled and encouraged cannabis use. The fourth exhibit, “Behind Closed Doors”, explores the War On Drugs and the key players behind it. Exhibit number 5, “Entrapment”, takes a look at police enforcement. Number 6 “Dose of Compassion” encapsulates the period of time that cannabis became mainstream in the 90’s through the rise of the acceptance of cannabis as a medicine. The final exhibit is titled “Legalization” and brings us to the current day.
Founded in 2008, Weedmaps is a leading technology and software infrastructure provider to the cannabis industry. Their suite of cloud-based software and data solutions includes point of sale, logistics and ordering solutions that enable customers to scale their businesses while complying with the complex and disparate regulations applicable to the cannabis industry.
Agency Of The Year - Green Street Agency
Green Street is the industry’s leading creative & compliance branding agency. Co-owned by business icon Gary Vaynerchuk, Green Street is staffed by proven brand builders who have developed branding, operation, and marketing campaigns for Fortune 100 & 500 companies for decades that are now 100% dedicated to Cannabis.
The company is a House of Brands with a focused, 20 year, in-house plus M&A plan. Green Street are co-founders of Hall of Flowers, the industry’s leading B2B trade show. They exclusively represent some of the world’s biggest celebrities. Currently Green Street is creating a cannabis epicenter in Los Angeles, California.
Brands and personalities that they work with include Apothecanna, Bhang, Eaze, Hemper, The Herbal Chef, Rae Sremmurd, Snoop Dogg, The Game, Care By Design, Cookies, Cypress Hill, Dixie Elixirs, Wacka Flocka flame, Pantry, Gas by 2Chainz, Shaboink, Trees By Game and Vacation.
Learn more at greenstreetagency.com