Creative and compliant LP packaging
Licensed Producers of medical marijuana in Canada are strictly regulated when it comes to packaging. Cannabis and oils must be sold in child-resistant containers, limiting the number of choices that LPs have. However, some Licensed Producers have been able to create beautiful experiences for their customers through unique branding and add-ons. Here are a few of my favourite examples.
Leafs By Snoop x Tweed
In October 2016, Tweed teamed up with famous musician Snoop Dogg and his company, Leafs by Snoop. Together they selected three strains for the Canadian launch. The strains are named Sunset, Ocean View and Palm Tree CBD. The products feature relatively plain packaging with California-themed nature patterns and designs. The product comes with a branded instruction card that reads “Grind It, Roll It, Light It”. The jars inside look similar to other medical prescriptions.
StashLogix x Emblem Cannabis
Emblem Cannabis is an innovative new licensed producer that launched in the summer of 2017. The first 500 patients that ordered from them received their product in special packaging. The cardboard box it arrived in was branded and had some information about medical cannabis.
Emblem provided a free “Emblem carry case” which is a high-tech Stashlogix case. These are secure and discreet stash bags. They feature an integrated lock with a 3-digit code, adjustable dividers for organization, jars of all sizes, a strain journal and an OdorPax – which is activated bamboo charcoal wrapped in hemp to keep the smell in.
This creative marketing ploy garnered Emblem earned media and social media shares. It also helped in retention of current customers and improved brand image.
Hydropothecary is an upscale Quebec-based licensed producer. This LP won best packaging at the 2017 Lift Canadian Cannabis Awards. Hydropothecary is heavily focused on the luxury market and strives to create unique experiences through packaging for their customers. Prices for their high-end medical marijuana starts at $18 per gram. They have a wealthy customer base looking for top quality.
The luxury cannabis line arrives in a clean and simple white box with logos and branding. Each package is wrapped like a gift in an elegant black bow. The inside of the box is complete with protective foam to keep the glass jars of flower safe. Hydropothecary follows a strict glass-only policy so that marijuana is never stored in plastic. Each jar is branded with their “time of day” strain names and logos.
Tokyo Smoke x Aphria
Aphria is a Licensed Producer and Tokyo Smoke is a leading cannabis lifestyle brand and coffee shop. The two organizations teamed up to create a strategy called “Branded Cannabis”. Pictured above, the Tokyo Smoke kit costs Aphria patients a total of $250. The Kit includes 5 grams of 4 branded cannabis strains with custom crafted black jars and special welcome accessories. A limited edition version even offered customers a custom co-branded Tokyo Smoke PAX 3 vaporizer.
The four strains are in accordance to an array of TS product lines (including candles and coffee) that are linked to four emotive states. These states and strains are Go (sativa, energizing), Relax (Indica), Relief (CBD, stress relief), and Balance (1:1 THC:CBD).
Van Der Pop x WeedMD
WeedMD is a Licensed Producer and Van Der Pop is a female-focused cannabis brand and is the sister company of Tokyo Smoke. These two teamed up to create Branded Cannabis. These unique branded strains were chosen for their specific characteristics and cannabinoid profiles to best help women meet their health and wellness needs. The strain names are Eclipse and Cloudburst. The strains were officially launched in November 2017 at a “Women and Weed” event in Toronto. This is the first launch of an LP product tied to an event or activation. This is a unique collaboration and packaging project because of the associated event and cause.
The kit features each strain in childproof packaging, two sleek Miren jars (airtight, UV-protected), VdP rolling papers and other welcome goodies such as grinder cards. The jars are branded with Van Der Pop logos and assets but include all of the required information from WeedMD.
Cannabis companies will continue to face strict regulations under recreational legalization. Packaging is an important part of the consumer buying experience and is a great way for LPs to differentiate themselves. I believe that the trend of producers partnering with lifestyle brands will continue. Organizations that don’t directly sell the plant have more leeway when it comes to marketing. These lifestyle and ancillary brands may prove to be extremely valuable in the future market.