Before the laws loosened up in the US, Snoop Dogg was already well known for his love of the Mary Jane. Now he's aiming to profit from his habit with the launch of his new marijuana brand, Leafs by Snoop AKA LBS, which consists of flowers, concentrates and edibles and will be sold in Colorado medical and recreational dispensaries. And it looks pretty classy.
Design firm Pentagram created the brand and the packaging and says on its blog: "With songs like “Smoke the Weed,” “This Weed Iz Mine,” and “California Roll,” it’s no secret the rapper Snoop Dogg has long been a cannabis connoisseur. Now he’s sharing this passion with the public—at least in Colorado, where consumption is legal—with a new line of marijuana-based products called Leafs By Snoop. Pentagram’s Emily Oberman and team have designed the brand identity and packaging for the line, which includes both flower and edibles ("Dogg Treats") such as chocolate bars, chews, drops and gummies ... Snoop and his team wanted to establish a brand that avoided clichés for a more sophisticated image that would still represent fun and a good time. The identity centers on an iconic marijuana leaf playfully constructed of jewel-like facets, accompanied by elegant packaging that is layered with laid-back California cool."
Earlier this year, Snoop established a media brand called Merry Jane, which is "dedicated to elevating the discussion around cannabis culture".
So could New Zealand follow in the footsteps of many US states, and countries like Uruguay, Holland, Portugal, and, soon enough, after new Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau stated he wants to legalise marijuana, Canada?
Quite possibly, but probably not for a while. In a story about the economic implications of legalising marijuana in New Zealand in Idealog, brand strategist Jill Brinsdon, who heads marketing and advertising agency Radiation, says if it did happen it would create significant opportunities for creative marketing and branding, as it has for the craft beer market.
“If it sits in the same realm as alcohol, the opportunities will be enormous. The business of legalised escapism from the human condition, there’ll always be a big market for that. We would expect spectacular branding and design. They’ll follow in the footsteps of all the independent craft beers who are marketing themselves beautifully.”
When it comes to making money off legal marijuana, US consultant Christian Hageseth, author of Big Weed, advocates an holistic approach.
“I’ve often looked at the gold rush in the United States of the 1860s, and the people who made the most from the gold rush weren’t the gold miners,” he says. “They were the people who sold the picks and the shovels to the gold miners, the people who had hotels for gold miners. Levi Strauss, the blue jeans maker, is probably the guy who made the most. So if marijuana were legalised in New Zealand, as an entrepreneur, look at everything. You don’t have to just get in and grow the plant. You don’t just have to sell it at retail. Create a better vape pen [a hand-held vaporiser for “smoking” pot]. Supply all the packaging for the product. Provide outsourced services for staffing temporary labour. There are a lot of ways to profit in the marijuana business where you’re not involved in the cultivation or sale of it, but rather supporting the industry in some significant way. Entrepreneurs should know that wealth creation, the opportunity to innovate, and the ability to be creative in a business sense is not relegated to growing and selling marijuana.”