June 14, 2018Comments are off for this post.

Talking Terps in Downtown Annapolis

On Wednesday, June 13th, Brand Joint co-hosted an amazing event with the Maryland chapter of Women Grow in beautiful downtown Annapolis. Industry professionals, aspiring entrepreneurs, cannabis enthusiasts and medical patients gathered on the rooftop of Metropolitan to learn more about cannabis concentrates, terpenes and cannabinoids during the panel discussion, "Talking Terps with Prime Extracts."

Jennifer Culpepper, Brand Joint's Founder, led the conversation with two of our incredible clients, Reggie Alston of Prime Extracts and Dr. Chanda Macias and Michael Bobo of National Holistic Healing Center, as well as Philip Stripling of Steep Hill Maryland and DC.

Reggie, Prime's Founder, explained how his Maryland brand of refined cannabis concentrates are formulated to create a well-balanced experience for consumers. As a cell-biologist and dispensary owner, Dr. Chanda shared knowledge about ailment strain-alignment, and how certain strains and terpenes can benefit patients with certain illnesses and symptoms. Michael revealed his three favorite terpenes — Ocimene, Limonene and Myrcene — and demonstrated the various concentrate delivery methods. Phil then informed attendees about the Steep Hill Labs testing process and how patients can utilize test results to determine which strains are most beneficial for their needs.

The panel was extremely informative and attendees were able to ask any questions they had about cannabis concentrates and the differences between wax, shatter, and oil cartridges.

Crabcakes & Cannabis, a Maryland lifestyle brand created by Brand Joint, was also in attendance with a pop-up shop and raffle giveaways.

The venue was beautiful, the weather was great and the turnout was incredible! We are so thankful for the wealth of knowledge shared by our industry panel and we hope that attendees walked away more comfortable and informed about the benefits of cannabis concentrates.

February 7, 2018Comments are off for this post.

2018 WGLS Recap

Last week our Founder, Jennifer Culpepper, attended the 2018 Women Grow Leadership Summit in Denver, Colorado. Once a year, cannabis industry women gather to network, inspire one another and share industry insight. Over the course of three days, Jenn met with incredible women (and men) passionate about their cannabis careers and the growth of our amazing industry. In addition to attending several networking events and Breakout Sessions, Jenn sat on two educational panels and held her own Lightning Talk on the big stage.

In her Lightning Talk, "Connecting to Your Authentic Brand," Jenn revealed that when a brand is true to its values and the passions of the people behind the brand — that's how it becomes authentic and successful. As the Brand Joint team developed the messaging for this year's Summit, she explained her role as a brand strategist and designer. She can confidently define and build a brand for a business or organization, but it's up to the organization to LIVE that brand authentically. She invited the audience to inspire change, disrupt business as usual, and create the industry that we want it to be.

 

On Friday, Jenn joined panelists Dasheeda Dawson, Morgan Noble and Felicia Davis for their Breakout Session, "Big Brand Insights to Guide Your Cannabusiness Marketing." During the panel discussion, they discussed the unique challenges entrepreneurs face in the cannabis industry, especially in regards to digital marketing and branding. Later that day, she joined another panel talking about parenting and cannabis. This lively discussion brought up many important topics, including advocacy for sick children, the stigma of adult-use, and the challenges of speaking to children about cannabis use and its legality.

Jenn with Dr. Chanda Macias, the new Chairwoman of Women Grow!

Jenn met a lot of incredible women this year, including the Sisters of the Valley

We are thankful to have been such a big part of creating the messaging and theme for this year's Women Grow Leadership Summit. We feel more enthusiastic than ever about our opportunity to shape the industry's culture and we are determined to help make our community of entrepreneurs more inclusive, diverse and open-minded.

September 28, 2017Comments are off for this post.

Branding Pennsylvania Dispensaries

Brand Joint is headed to Philly! Our Creative Director, Jennifer Culpepper will be the Featured Speaker at the Women Grow: Philadelphia Networking Event on October 5th. With 52 dispensaries opening in the Keystone State in 2018, having a well-designed dispensary brand is more important than ever. If the industry as a whole makes an effort to become more accessible and approachable to a broader audience, dispensaries will become more easily accepted by their communities. 

A well-branded dispensary experience requires more than putting a logo on the wall, your products and apparel — it's the total sum of all the little details. Design details inside the dispensary like the music playing in the waiting room, the art on the walls, staff uniforms and product packaging must be consistent with the exterior design elements, such as your like website and 
social media presence. Together, these details create an overall brand experience that leaves patients with a positive lasting impression.
 
Jenn will explain how dispensary owners can create a loyal following by finding their key differentiators, determining the proper target audience and designing a memorable retail experience. Don't miss out — get your tickets here

September 1, 2017Comments are off for this post.

How to Avoid the Cannabis Social Media Shutdown

Like most other industries, having an active social media following is key to a successful and well-known cannabusiness marketing strategy. Unlike other industries, however, cannabis accounts seem to be getting shut down left and right. We've all heard the horror stories of dispensaries and other cannabis-centric companies suddenly seeing their Facebook pages removed, along with thousands of hard-earned followers. Reading the fine print and following platform guidelines are the first steps to decreasing the odds of your social media nightmare. Don't have time for sifting through all the rules and regulations? Don't worry, we've got you covered:

Instagram

Instagram has yet to clarify what its cannabis policy actually is, leaving cannabis companies frustrated and confused. Just recently, The Lift Cannabis, a review site for medical cannabis strains woke up to find their Instagram account was deactivated, losing 11,000 followers with it. This came days before an event the company was sponsoring — the Lift Cannabis Expo in Vancouver. When pressed for comment on the issue, Instagram responded in regards to their Community Guidelines:

"Offering sexual services, buying or selling firearms and illegal or prescription drugs (even if it's legal in your region) is also not allowed. Remember to always follow the law when offering to sell or buy other regulated goods."

While we don't have fool-proof advice to keep your Instagram account safe, there are some images that would be best to avoid: smoking, advertising sales/specials, paraphernalia, etc. Posting images of products or strains your dispensary offers could go either way. It’s a toss-up if your account will get reported or deactivated, so until then, make sure the images you post fall in line with your brand. If you claim your product line is high-end, keep it classy and don't post images of "weed babes" or memes of "typical stoner" culture. Social media platforms are an extension of your brand and should be used intentionally.

Twitter

Twitter is increasingly becoming the "go-to" source for instant news updates for any interest and category. For the cannabis industry in particular, the platform enables brands to share valuable data, information regarding the industry, new laws and regulations, etc. When it comes to cannabis-related content, Twitter is quite friendly, though a bit vague. According to their policy,

"We believe that everyone should have the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers. In order to protect the experience and safety of people who use Twitter, there are some limitations on the type of content and behavior that we allow."

When it comes to paid advertising, Twitter will blocks ads for cannabis-smoking products, but allows ads that promote news and information about cannabis. That being said, tweeting about your dispensary products and upcoming events is perfectly fine, just don't pay to promote your tweets or business!

Facebook

Facebook is perhaps the most strict when it comes to sharing cannabis-related content. While news articles and blogs are seemingly appropriate, images of paraphernalia, cannabis plants, flowers and products might get you in trouble. When you share articles on Facebook, changing the thumbnail image to a "less-controversial," yet story-related visual can save you the possibility of a deleted account.

Facebook's user policy also bans content that promotes marijuana sales, even in states where it's legal. The platform does allow marijuana advocacy and education pages, as long as they don't promote sales. So what does that mean for promoting your dispensary's products? Don't pay for ads on Facebook. According to their policy:

"Ads must not promote the sale or use of illegal, prescription or recreational drugs."

If you're promoting a sale on a particular strain or discount for a group of patients, you're technically violating Facebook's policy. Therefore, it's best to announce and specials or promotions via an email newsletter instead of your Facebook business page.

 

 

Be Prepared

With cannabis illegal at the federal level, it's inevitable that some accounts will get taken down. In the event that your cannabusiness social media account does get shut down, it's best to be prepared. Collect email addresses! Make sure to have a newsletter opt-in on your website and ask your followers to sign up. You should also have a way for patients to opt-in for newsletters when they visit the dispensary. In addition to sharing updates about your business, stories relevant to the industry, an email newsletter is the perfect place to advertise sales and specials you may be running. 

As Facebook and Instagram often shut down dispensary accounts without notice, having an email mailing list is crucial to keeping your contacts and audience within reach and rebuilding your accounts when/if they get removed.

 

August 17, 2017Comments are off for this post.

Maryland is Officially Growing!

Our home state is officially growing...medical cannabis, that is! This past Monday, the Natalie M. LaPrade Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission approved 8 Growers and 4 Processors for licenses. The awarded licenses come after years of setbacks and delays since medical cannabis became legalized in 2013. Brand Joint celebrates with Maryland's 12,000 registered patients, knowing that quality medicine will soon be available at 102 dispensaries this fall.

The list of licensed medical cannabis firms are listed below:

Licensed Growers

  • Curio Cultivation LLC (Baltimore County)
  • ForwardGro LLC (Anne Arundel County)
  • Freestate Wellness LLC (Howard County)
  • Green Leaf Medical LLC (Frederick County)
  • Harvest of Maryland LLC (Washington County)
  • HMS Health LLC (Frederick County)
  • Holistic Industries Inc. LLC (Prince George’s County)
  • Maryland Compassionate Care and Wellness LLC
    (dba as Grass Roots) (Carroll County)
  • emescal Wellness LLC (Baltimore City)

Licensed Processors

  • Blair Wellness LLC (Worcester County)
  • Curio Wellness LLC (Baltimore County)
  • Holistic Industries, INC. LLC (Prince George’s County)
  • Maryland Compassionate Care and Wellness LLC
    dba as Grass Roots) (Carroll County)

Licensed Dispensaries

  • Wellness Institute of Maryland

June 14, 2017No Comments

Patient & Public Education Matters

It's easy to roll your eyes at a friend or family member who recites a “fact” about cannabis use that sounds eerily similar to a quote from Reefer Madness. Now, more than ever, cannabis entrepreneurs and enthusiasts must make a conscious effort to educate the public about cannabis use and users.

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May 24, 2017No Comments

Marijuana Business Daily Conference

On May 17th-19th, the Brand Joint team attended the Marijuana Business Spring Conference and Expo at the Gaylord National Harbor Resort and Conference Center. Over a course of three days, cannabis entrepreneurs and business leaders gathered in Washington, D.C. to network and gain industry insight from speakers on a wide variety of topics. It was great to meet up with some of our wonderful business friends and partners that we have been in contact with over the last year!

MJBiz Con continues to be one of the most professional, knowledgable and well-attended conferences in the cannabis industry. As we walked the Expo floor, it was exciting to see the amount of businesses dedicated to this booming industry. With over 500 exhibitors, there was plenty to see and much to learn — everything from lights and soil to products, packaging and consulting firms. We look forward to developing and designing some incredible brands and can't wait to attend the next Marijuana Business Daily Conference and Expo!

 

May 10, 2017No Comments

Where Should You Open Your Dispensary?

With several dispensaries opening in a small state, those who develop smart brand strategy and sophisticated design will have a much-needed competitive edge. A good dispensary doesn’t just provide a product, but an entire patient experience. The location and physical space of the dispensary is a crucial segment of the entire branded experience.

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February 7, 2017No Comments

Women Grow Leadership Summit

Last week, our Chief Creative Jennifer Culpepper attended the Women Grow Leadership Summit in Denver, Colorado. Once a year, cannabis industry women (and men) gather in Denver to network, share insight and inspire one another. Over the course of three days, Jenn attended inspirational lightning talks, social events and educational panels. It was a motivational and inspiring summit, surrounded by so many incredible women that are passionate about their cannabis careers.

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December 14, 2016Comments are off for this post.

Maryland Dispensaries Announced

On December 9th, The Natalie M. LaPrade Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) made the much anticipated announcement of the 92 Dispensaries that were awarded Stage One license pre-approvals. Combined with all 10 Grower pre-awardees who were also awarded a dispensary pre-approval, there are now 102 Dispensaries slated to open in the state of Maryland.

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