Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Respectability Branding of Weed/Pot/Ganga

bob marley quote about bob marley smoking quotes weed bob marley ...smoking weed quotes bob marley quote on marijuana and music quote life ...

"First, we take away any of the vernacular such as 'weed', 'pot', 'ganga'. In terms of imagery, we skew away from any green leaves or even the word marijuana."
Olivia Mannix, Cannabrand, Colorado cannabis product branding group

"We're very excited to bring Marley Natural to Canada. Yeah, mon!"
"We have the same values [as Privateer Holdings, Seattle]; social change, environmental sustainability, and to actually build a professional, responsible and legal cannabis industry."
"Daddy's message was unity, personal freedom and social justice. It is what he sang about, what he fought for, and how he lived. It's timeless, and it still resonates."
Cedella Marley, daughter of Bob Marley

"We set out on this old-fashioned, boots-on-the-ground adventure to go to places like northern California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, British Columbia, Jamaica, Israel, Spain, the Netherlands, trying to understand the status of the cannabis industry."
"We set out to create our own brand at Privateer. We chose to wear suits. We weren't going to use the typical slang words and cliches.. We weren't going to use the leaf all over the place or the colour green."
Brendan Kennedy, CEO, Privateer Holdings, Seattle

"I remember leaving that meeting and thinking two things: One was, if these guys are right, this is probably the biggest opportunity we've seen come through Heckler's [public relations/branding/advertising] doors since Starbucks."
"This plant had been demonized for a long time. There were conceptions of the consumer that were fairly inaccurate. So for me from a branding perspective, coming into a situation where you really have some things working against you, and to see how you could really work in a marketplace that had these strong preconceptions [was appealing]."
"We are literally witnessing the beginning of the end of cannabis prohibition worldwide, and the healing of various nations and economies worldwide in terms of job creation and tax benefits."
Scott Lowry, brand director, Privateer Holdings
Willie Nelson.
American country singer Willie Nelson takes a drag off a joint while relaxing at his home in Texas circa 2000. (Liaison / Getty Images)

With the aromatic scent of the use of marijuana losing its illicit status as the year-old Liberal administration in Canada is on track to legalize marijuana use beyond its health/medical application for those who can acquire the go-ahead from Health Canada, buying their medical marijuana from licensed dealers, there is so much profit to be made by generally retailing marijuana that pot shops have opened in all major Canadian cities -- illegally, since the weed is not yet in that legal status -- risking police raids and shut-downs.

There is so much money to be made from the sale of this product that has so many strains and presentations that celebrities are lining up their own profit margins, buying into the production and sale of pot, lending their famous names to the enterprise in exchange for a boost in their bottom line. Marley Natural, a line of hemp body products and smokeables is just one such example; a winner since of all celebrities the late Bob Marley's name and reputation was inextricably wound into that of ganga's attributes that has attracted so many to the habit.

The dearly departed Marley aside, celebrity licensing has gone into overdrive with Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg, Nick Lachey, Whoopi Goldberg, Wiz Khalifa and Melissa Etheridge all leaping into the lucrative business of hawking cannabis under their imprimatur. Investors in the steadily emerging and runaway market may be enthralled with the use of marijuana themselves and see no reason why everyone shouldn't have easy access to their particular brand, most of all, because it will make them rich.

Brands, according to Brendan Kennedy of Privateer Holdings, a private equity firm raising capital to invest in the "cannabis space", won't emerge resulting from regulatory change, they are, conversely set to "fuel the cultural change" taking place. His investing venture and his partners invested time and energy in scoping out the market before they took the plunge to commit to fully engaging in it. What they emerged with was the impression that an image problem lingered around the drug's use, and they set about to change that, to make it respectable.
Now, words matter. Take for example, the very word 'Marijuana', it is henceforth to be referred to as 'Cannabis'. And the word 'dealer' with its uneasy connotations of trafficking has become the much more respectable 'budtender', a riff on bartender, ha-ha. 'Paraphernalia' has surrendered to 'ancillary items', so much more innocent in sound if not intent. And goodness me, 'stoned' now is to be referred to as 'deepened perception', infinitely more acceptable. The pejoratives 'pothead' and 'stoner' now merely refer to 'enthusiasts'; how anodyne can you get?
Among other initiatives they undertook to make everything more publicly civil, aside from investing in a proven online cannabis resource, was to land one of Canada's coveted medical cannabis licences; legal and respectable. And they opened a production facility in Nanaimo, British Columbia, branding it "Tilray", an innocuous name with no connotations hearking back to ganga's grubby antecedents. And, of course, they brought aboard the Marley Natural brand; a trifecta of meticulous planning.

Although it remains illegal to patent or trademark psychoactive edibles or cannabis smokeables in the United States in view of marijuana's classification as a Schedule One drug along with heroin, by bringing aboard a high-profile celebrity figure, a social patent is achieved, readily given to being touted on line through all the tentacles of popular social media. Say an Instagram post or a Tweet, so far-reaching that millions across various states, territories and countries can be alerted to its availability even though advertising is prohibited.

Snoop Dogg
Snoop Dogg exhales lungfuls of blunt smoke on stage at WaMu Theater in Seattle, Wash. on April 19, 2014. (Jordan Stead / / The Associated Press)

There's no stopping this train; it's full speed ahead!

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

()() Follow @rheytah Tweet