The effects, appearance, and personalities of cannabis strains are as varied as the people consuming them - and cannabis brands are evolving to become equally diverse. From athletes who use cannabis as part of their training or post-workout recovery routine, to high-rollers for whom blunts are part of the image, to back-to-the-landers who want organic, sustainably-farmed product farming, there's a brand to fit every niche. It's an amazing time to be a consumer.
So who are the people trying to sell you cannabis these days, and how are they making themselves stand out in an increasingly crowded marketplace?
Ross Rebagliati, who launched his cannabis brand, Ross' Gold, almost four years ago, tells Civilized he's endeavoured to create a product that speaks for itself.
"You need the product that you can get the brand behind," he says. "We're definitely on the athletic, medicinal side of things"
Says Rebagliati, "The brands - whether it's me, Tommy Chong, Willie [Nelson] - all carry different lifestyles behind them that people can relate to. If you're a triathlete or into extreme sports, you're going to go toward a brand that reflects that. If you just want to relax, you might pick Tommy Chong."
Marley Natural celebrates a respect for nature
Recently, children of Bob Marley announced the launch of Marley Natural, a cannabis line that celebrates "Bob Marley's respect for the healing power of nature, the beauty of the earth and the relationship we all share with it.
Marley's eldest daughter, Cedella, told Caribbean Life News the brand has, "deep roots in the life and legacy of our father [...] He's smiling at what's really happening."
Others, however, say the brand isn't being true to its roots, sharply criticizing Marley's estate for using American-grown, rather than Jamaican-grown cannabis, and prioritizing flashy L.A. launch parties over the plight of the farmers on the island who have fought for generations to grow legally,
But the Marleys are far from the only ones using an established brand to enter the cannabis industry. Multi-platinum-selling rapper Wiz Khalifa recently announced his partnership with RiverRock Cannabis on a line of regulated cannabis products, coinciding with the recent renewal of Khalifa's partnership with RAW Rolling Papers.
Kevin Smith has his own Tusk-branded strain
Gage Skidmore / Flickr
For those looking to break into the world of legal cannabis, it comes down to the quality of the product. "It's all about loyalty," says Rebagliati. "Cannabis includes all walks of life."
At the end of the day, as with all products, he says it's about portraying the desired image for the wide variety of cannabis consumers.
"You're not buying bottles of wine in reused 2-litre pop bottles, you're buying them in beautiful bottles with nice labelling," says Rebagliati. "People don't want to buy weed in a Ziploc bag anymore: they want a kick-ass, branded container. And it has to be awesome."