September 6, 2016 - No Comments!

Branding Maryland Processors & Growers

It's been an exciting few weeks for the state of Maryland! On August 15th, the Natalie M. LaPrade Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) announced the names of the 15 Growers and 15 Processors who were awarded Stage One license pre-approvals.* After hundreds of applications and several months of delays, access to medical marijuana is one step closer to becoming a reality in Maryland.

The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission’s Executive Director, Patrick Jameson stated, “Now that the Commissioners have made their selections, the real work begins for these companies. We will implement a rigorous Stage Two background and financial due diligence process for these entities prior to issuing a license. A pre-approval is not a license.” The Commission will then vote again on licensure once all regulatory requirements are complete.

So, until then, now what? The process of becoming a fully operational cannabusiness has only just begun. The "to-do" list for these processors and growers may seem never-ending, but setting some time (and money) aside for developing smart brand strategy and strong design will be key to success.

It's been proven that design-driven companies are more successful than their competitors. In fact, the Design Management Institute concluded that design-driven businesses have outperformed the S&P by a whopping 228% over the past 10 years. If that doesn't convince entrepreneurs to invest in professional graphic design and branding services, we don't know what will!

First things first, Maryland growers and processors must determine proper positioning and differentiation. What makes you different or better than your competitors? Well-thought-out brand strategy helps build the foundation for a successful business. Only once you know what you do, why you do it and for whom, can you really begin to determine what type of experience you want to provide for your patients. Being true to yourself and creating an authentic brand experience is crucial to the success of your business.

The visual design will be the first impression someone has of your brand. Maryland growers and processors (and eventually dispensaries) will need to have quality designed logos, business cards, packaging and websites to stand apart from competitors. All of these elements communicate the brand's message and story.

Starting a cannabusiness is no easy feat, especially in the state of Maryland. According to Kate Bell of the Marijuana Policy Project, out of the 16 states that have implemented a similar medical marijuana program, only two other states (Delaware and New Jersey) have taken longer than Maryland to get dispensaries open. While it may seem that branding and design can come much later in the business plans and process, getting a head start in developing a brand strategy will help growers, processors and dispensaries create authentic messaging and appropriate customer experiences.

We are excited for this new journey of medical cannabis in our home state and look forward to working with like-minded entrepreneurs!

*The Commissioners’ selections for Grower entities and locations are:

  • Curio Cultivation LLC — Baltimore County
  • Doctors Orders Maryland LLC — Dorchester County
  • Forward Gro LLC — Anne Arundel County
  • Freestate Wellness LLC — Howard County
  • Green Leaf Medical LLC — Frederick County
  • Grow West MD LLC — Garrett County
  • Harvest of Maryland LLC — Washington County
  • HMS Health LLC — Frederick County
  • Holistic Industries LLC — Prince George’s County
  • Kind Therapeutics USA LLC — Washington County
  • Maryland Compassionate Care and Wellness LLC — Carroll County
  • MaryMed LLC — Dorchester County
  • Shore Natural Rx LLC — Worcester County
  • SunMed Growers LLC— Cecil County
  • Temescal Wellness of MD LLC — Baltimore City

The Processor entities and locations are:

  • AFS Maryland LLC — Wicomico County
  • Blair Wellness Center LLC — Worcester County
  • Chesapeake Alternatives LLC — Queen Anne’s County
  • Curio Manufacturing LLC — Baltimore County
  • Doctors Orders Maryland LLC — Dorchester County
  • FGM Processing LLC — Charles County
  • Holistic Industries LLC — Prince George’s County
  • Kind Therapeutics USA LLC — Washington County
  • Maryland Compassionate Care and Wellness LLC — Carroll County
  • MaryMed LLC — Dorchester County
  • Pharmaculture Corporation — Allegany County
  • Pro Green Medical LLC — Frederick County
  • Rosebud Organics LLC — Montgomery County
  • Seven Points Agro-Therapeutics LLC — Prince George’s County
  • Temescal Wellness of MD — Baltimore City

Published by: Brand Joint in Branding Tips, Maryland Medical Cannabis Program

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