As IBM CEO Thomas Watson once observed, "good design is good business." The cannabis industry is enthusiastically taking note.
Gone are the days when cannabis packaging was limited to boring, green color schemes and predictable, cartoon-leaf logos. In 2015, the offerings from dispensaries and edibles manufacturers need to keep pace with the trends. Here are five brands leading the way in chic-yet-hip design - and proving that the product can be beautiful, as well as, ahem, fun.
1. Kiva Confections
Nathan Sharp and Jamie Lee are the masterminds behind the crisp, clean fonts and throwback Kraft-paper wrapper for Kiva Confections, a California-based collective specializing in high-end, cannabis-infused chocolates. Each square of milk/dark chocolate is stamped with a cannabis leaf and dosage information. They've even been featured on Design Envy.
2. Phat Panda
Phat Panda, the brand name for Grow Op Farms in Spokane, WA, is distributed at Main Street Marijuana, New Vansterdam and The Herbery. Phat Panda VP Johnny Wilson tells Cannabis Chronicles their pop art-inflected labels were created by the company's Michigan-based owner. As for the 50 strains they've produced: hot ones include, Golden Pineapple - with a pattern of cute/funky pineapples adorning the functional mason jar - and OG Chem, which gets some trippy, impressionistic blue/pink swirls.
3. Leafs by Snoop
The bold-yet-sophisticated boxes for Snoop's new line, Dogg Treats, were the brainchild of Pentagram - the same folks who designed store interiors for Christian Louboutin Selfridges, and identities for the likes of Verizon and Saturday Night Live. The packages feature some of Snoop's key mottos. "Smoke Weed Every Day" and "Puff Puff Pass" get an elevated treatment with impressionistic images of landscapes and flora.
4. Auntie Dolores
Mouthwatering THC and CBD-infused Savoury Pretzels, Cheesy Biscuits, and Glazed Pecans would blend in on the shelves at Marks & Spencer. Sleek packaging keeps the goodies fresh, looks great, and is environmentally sustainable. Both the ingredients and the high-quality product canisters are sourced from ethical suppliers. Once you've polished off the contents, the canisters can either be recycled or re-purposed: leftover/dry goods storage, a cool pencil holder, whatever.
5. Dixie Elixirs
Dixie had to jump through some serious hoops to get their packaging compliant with state law: according to Strainz, they basically invented a bottle that was a) child resistant b) re-sealable c) held carbonation and d) contained a measuring mechanism for dosing. CEO Tripp Keber explains, "Instead of settling on inferior packaging, we made the decision to remove the Elixirs, which represent about 40 percent of our revenue, from the market while we waited for the new bottle to arrive." Looks like they succeeded: the matte metal finish of the new, single-dose Dixie One is eminently refreshing.
Honorable mention? The (fictional) brand No. 420, which Liquid Agency created as an April Fool's joke in 2015. The prototype design - while, disappointingly, is not real - looked sweet enough to fool the folks at Smokd.