Rebranding Pot is a series about the changing aesthetics of the cannabis industry.
Many branding agencies aspire to get into the cannabis space; some have already cut their teeth in the industry. If you are a cannapreneur building a new company or part of a private equity firm looking to improve a portfolio brand’s representation, consider companies that have already dipped their toe in this complicated, highly-regulated market.
Below is a list of branding agencies active in the cannabis industry. This list is organized in alphabetical order and mentions the city where the agency is based, names of the founders or CEO, and additional links that relate specifically to cannabis brands. Enjoy exploring!
“At Alight we work with businesses and individuals who struggle to gain a strong presence in a saturated marketplace and would like to grow their audience and their business. What separates our service from other creative agencies is that we focus SOLELY on brand development. Because of this our clients receive the foundation they need to bridge the gap between where they are, and where they want to grow to. After working with us they have clear, consistent branding that gives them the confidence to communicate effectively with their target audience.” firstname.lastname@example.org (586) 232–0236
“Our Boston-based team has decades of experience in web design and development, SEO, SEM, branding, social media marketing and content strategy. We have boosted exposure for clients in diverse industries both locally and nationally, and we can help cannabis-based businesses of all stripes, from cultivators to dispensaries to ancillary service providers, reach a broader market and succeed in this ever-expanding field.” email@example.com (855) 420–1812
White Plains, NY & New Brunswick, NJ | Stella Morrison
“CannaContent takes the expertise of journalists and big-brand creatives and applies it to the cannabis, CBD and hemp industries, with a focus on content-driven organic growth in an industry heavily restricted and regulated by third parties who don’t take their ad money or content. Our staff is made up of award-winning journalists who have reported extensively on the legal cannabis industry, creatives and SEO professionals who have worked on consumer brands from electronics to tools to beauty, and web developers who have spent their entire careers catering to emerging and evolving businesses like yours. We don’t just work in the cannabis industry, we believe in it. Our immersion and constant education in the rapidly-growing and constantly-changing world of cannabis, CBD and hemp gives us insight into the strategies that build winning brands. Our job is to deliver those insights to your doorstep.” firstname.lastname@example.org (201) 879–2644
Alameda, CA | Lilli Keinaenen
“Feel-good design, design for good. Changemaker Creative is a creative agency for nonprofits, green businesses, innovative new products, girlbosses, cannabis growers — and all kinds of other disruptors, rebels, and misfits. Located in the San Francisco Bay area, working globally.” Learn more. email@example.com (415) 489–8223
Portland, OR | Bria Brown
“Dopeafide works to make your life easier. By creating content, managing social media and marketing your brand, we get you back to doing what you need to: running your cannabis company.” Portfolio.
Oakland, CA | Daniel Stein
“We use creativity and our grasp of culture to make brands meaningful, profitable and famous. Here’s the truth: If a brand ignores culture, culture will ignore the brand. As a full-service agency, we partner with brands to help solve their business challenges by boosting their cultural relevancy. We do this with a signature approach that blends emerging technology, behavioral insights, digital trends and a core understanding of the digital native. Our job goes beyond the typical shout tactics of advertising. We develop press-worthy ideas, meaningful platforms, useful utilities and entertaining social currency that connect on an authentic and intimate level, resulting in natural participation, co-creation, sharing and good ol’ fashioned brand love. We don’t help brands join the conversation. We help brands be the conversation.” Cannabis-specific site. firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com (415) 948–6747
Denver, CO & Los Angeles, CA | Ricardo Baca
“What does a qualifier like journalism-minded mean for a full-service agency? It means showing your work: Choosing direct communication and accountable activation instead of over-promising and under-delivering. It means more listening and note-taking, creating content and social media calendars, conducting in-depth client interviews, managing relationships with media and investors, understanding a brand’s North Star, ideating compatible mission / vision / values, respecting and honoring deadlines, weaving together compelling narratives and managing unforeseen crises when they arise. At Grasslands, we employ the ethical standards we learned in newsrooms as we elevate our clients through informed public relations, thoughtful content marketing, contextual social media, savvy thought leadership work, impactful newsletter campaigns and outstanding event execution. Gripping narratives. Professional communication. Expert advice. Experiential activation. And thoughtful strategy from a seasoned team that’s well-versed and legit experienced in all sides of the public relations / communications / media paradigm.” How they work. firstname.lastname@example.org
Humboldt County, CA & Denver, CO | Raelina Krikston
“Haiikuu Design is a boutique graphic design studio exclusively for an industry which will not be named but rhymes with “spannabis.” (Just trying to play by some arbitrary rules set by a payment processor which shall also not be named). This plant that is arbitrarily illegal is often dismissed due to the negative stereotypes associated with its counter culture association. We think that it’s high time for that to change. Enjoyers do not want to be labeled with the classic tropes which surround that culture as we know it today. To compete in this new industry, you must take branding seriously to open your company to mainstream markets. We are eliminating pervasive stereotypes through thoughtful, minimalist design and elegant branding. Let’s elevate “the plant” to be “high-class.” We specialize in high-end branding, packaging design, brand launch packages, experiential and interactive design, infographics and especially education.”
“KindTyme is a one of a kind, employee owned, sustainable creative agency for cannabis companies. Our team crafts compelling visual and auditory experiences that resonate. From social strategy and design, to packaging, websites and commercial video production; we offer a full suite of marketing, design and media services. Your culture is your brand and KindTyme helps brands discover their culture, find their voice, figure out who they are and make it all look amazing.” Portfolio. email@example.com (844) 487–8963
Chicago, IL | Joline Rivera
“Joline Rivera is a skilled visual storyteller and food and lifestyle expert [with] more than 25 years of experience as a creative director. [She lends] her design expertise to clients like Food Network Kitchens, US Foods, Meredith Publishing, Crate & Barrel and more. She has also directed award-winning publications, including Food Fanatics, Sweet Paul and Uncrate. With Kitchen Toke, she turns her elevated eye to the world of cannabis. Drawing on Rivera’s years of experience in the publishing industry — as well as her long-standing connections to top chefs, writers, photographers, filmmakers and food stylists — Kitchen Toke provides a credible, refined resource that aims to change the way people think about cannabis. Joline’s network of award-winning colleagues makes up the Kitchen Toke creative team. They’re ready to help you launch a new brand, publication or campaign so people remember it.” Kitchen Toke Magazine. firstname.lastname@example.org
Portland, ME | Jennifer Whetzel
“Jennifer grew up working in her family’s regionally-famous Polish Sausage business learning early-on the power of a brand that forms emotional connections with its customers. Her career journey included retail operations and merchandising at 7-Eleven, a focus on PR on a military base in Japan, and a number of years branding businesses at advertising agencies. To round out her career she crafted strategies based on data at a consumer research firm, launched a dozen new animal-health supplements, and dabbled a bit in experiential marketing strategy. She got her medical marijuana card the day she moved to Maine in 2017 to help manage symptoms from multiple immune disorders. She credits cannabis and the friends she met in her local cannabis community as playing a key role in managing and healing from PTSD. As she spent more time in the community, she realized she could lend her expertise to busy cannabis entrepreneurs who were much too busy to focus on learning how to create a strong, memorable brand. She put her hard-earned and well-practiced branding skills to use and created a Brand Discovery Process that helps clients design their own Brand Character, Identity, Style and Strategy.” email@example.com (800) 683–8664
Turlock, CA | Kyra Reed
“Kyra Reed is a community-focused brand innovator and marketing/social media industry veteran. Reed brings a unique and fresh social-first approach to brand marketing and digital strategy… In 2015 Kyra began working with clients in the emerging cannabis market. Her expertise in branding and marketing has been featured in MJ Business Magazine and she writes a monthly Branding column for Cannabis Dispensary. She has been the preferred marketing speaker for the MJ Business Conference Crash Course and several other regional cannabis conferences. She is also the founder of Kadin Academy and Women Entrepreneurs in Cannabis, the most active group of women professionals on Facebook.” Cannabis-specific page.
New York, NY | Masha Kupets Navarre
“In recent years we have extended our entertainment, luxury and corporate branding experience to support the cannabis industry. We’re passionate about the power of the plant, and help our clients succeed in this highly complex arena by providing them with premium visual branding, innovative marketing strategy and compliant packaging design. Ultimately, we hope to collaborate with clients that share our vision for this industry. Let’s end prohibition by providing a fresh perspective for the public into the benefits of both medical and adult use. We recognize that cannabis still has a major perception problem. In order to lift the stigma and refresh perspectives, cannabis needs to be positioned in the right way. Better branding elevates not just individual brands, but the entire industry itself, allowing Mary Jane to finally come out of the closet and live in the sunlight. We’re informed and we care about compliance. Our team includes chronic marketing strategists and designers that feel the green. We also consult with a policy expert that helps our strategists keep up with the winds of policy change and prepare for potential new regulations in regards to labeling, child resistant packaging design and other possible restrictions that your business may encounter.” Cannabis-specific page. firstname.lastname@example.org (323) 572–3200
Seattle, WA | Kate Reyes
“TR3S Creative is inspired by a passion for the industries which shape the culture and economies of growing cities like Portland and Seattle; local beer and street food. Branding and Computer Graphics is what we do best, and we are committed to sharing our technical and creative expertise to entrepreneurs and small businesses owners everywhere.” email@example.com (206) 468–8726
San Diego, CA | Kayla Clements
“Una Volta Studio is a creative agency that specializes in elevating brands and artists through portfolio curation and beautiful design while mindfully putting the Earth first. Inspired by the visual storytelling of magical and mystical worlds in fairytales, the name Una Volta Studio originates from the famous storybook phrase “C’era Una Volta” (“Once Upon a Time”) that marks the beginning of a beautiful adventure.” firstname.lastname@example.org