As legalization becomes a reality, more lifestyle and luxury cannabis brands are emerging. Consumers are splurging on high-end products from gold-foil-tipped marijuana cigars to rare strains and custom paraphernalia. Made in Xiaolin, for example, has a $1200 set of “cannagars” made with premium flower. The founder compares his products to top shelf liquor brands and is targeting the Aspen, CO party scene as his next venture. With more and more companies popping up, businesses are trying to find ways to remain competitive. Oregon and California have also been experiencing oversupply since marijuana was legalized and need to find new ways to market their products.
As marijuana is becoming more accepted, consumers are starting to care more about aesthetics. Similar to other luxury products, companies are packaging their strains in stylish jars and offering unique accessories. The style of other cannabis brands is medical or rustic which doesn’t appeal to many recreational users. The line called Flower by Edie Parker, offers cherry cheesecake (a heady indica strain), pineapple rising (an energetic sativa strain), and banana jam (a hybrid described as “a unique hostess gift for any dinner party”). The THC levels are not very high, and the production is all small batch.
Another company, Flow Kana, was approached by a New York fashion brand as their story helps to mainstream cannabis. Flow Kana has also helped a cannabis-inspired clothing brand to branch out to sell actual cannabis. Cannabis is part of a greater culture and community and brands need to speak to that culture. Tailored cannabis lines should have a different high and aesthetic to other brands just as Lululemon is different from Monster Energy. There is a great deal of money to be made and those that will be successful are those that are able to harness what consumers want and are looking for.
There are still many barriers for companies and laws differ by the state which limits how much a consumer can buy and how the product can be distributed. The price of high-quality weed is also increasing as a pound could cost up to $13,000 in California. Lower quality weed is becoming scarcer and ranges from $500 to $3,500 per pound. Creating customer joints isn’t really beneficial for companies, but they will do it for celebrities if it will help to promote their brand. Custom products make more sense for smaller boutique companies that are being pushed out by big players. For example, a company could grow a special strain and sell it in personalized packing and received 10% to 20% more return.
Many top brands are now considering cannabis products where they never would have in the past. Celebrities from Martha Stewart to Jay-Z are partnering with companies to create awareness and assist with brand strategies. The extension from actual cannabis to accessories in the next logical step, especially for lifestyle brands. Fashion companies and already established brands will have the best edge as they can use their signature colors and designs. They can determine price points and color palettes and then work backwards to find or create the strain or product. Exciting and shocking new products are sure to emerge and while many of us may not be consumers, it is interesting to follow or be a part of the culture.