All Posts in Maryland Medical Cannabis Program

November 13, 2017 - No Comments!

Veteran’s Day in Baltimore: Healing Our Heroes

The Brand Joint team was proud to partner with Women Grow to organize an amazing educational event on Veteran's Day at Charm City Medicus, a medical cannabis dispensary in Baltimore, Maryland. "Healing Our Heroes" provided the opportunity for veterans to hear from a wide variety of cannabis advocates, doctors and industry experts about the basics of cannabis and the different ailments the plant can treat. Attendees were also allowed to take small tours throughout the recently constructed CCM dispensary.

Speakers at the event included:
Bryan Hill: Charm City Medicus
Sarah Stenuf: Retired SPC 15R Apache Crew Chief & Founder of HappyHealing420 LLC
Reggie Alston: Prime Extracts (formerly 7 Points Agro-Therapeutics)
Jim Elftmann: gLeaf, Director of Cultivation
Dr. Brian S. Kahan: Medical Director at The Kahan Center for Pain Management
Dr. Andrew Rosenstein: Steep Hill Laboratories
Dr. Chanda Macias: Women Grow DMV/ National Holistic Healing Center

The Brand Joint team in the brand new Crab Cakes & Cannabis line

 

Jim Elftmann, Director of Cultivation at gLeaf speaking about the differences between Indica and Sativa strains

 

Retired Army Veteran Sarah Stenuf shares her story and explains how cannabis saved her life

As Maryland dispensaries prepare to open, educational events and community outreach are crucial. With the disconnect between federal and state legalization efforts, it's not surprising to have concerned and confused community members. CCM's President, Bryan Hill prioritizes community outreach events to help educate the public about medical cannabis and its health benefits. Hill was thrilled to see such a great turnout on the chilly Fall Saturday,

"Healing Our Heroes was an amazing first event held at the dispensary. Our team was excited to see so many patients and those that just wanted to learn about cannabis show up and interact with our panel of speakers. It's important for our patients to feel comfortable when they visit the dispensary and this event was an important step to introducing ourselves to Baltimore and Dundalk communities."

Just like the CCM's patients, the Brand Joint team is counting down he days until the dispensary's grand opening. We look forward to organizing events for our clients, including CCM, to increase community awareness and patient education within the state of Maryland.

June 14, 2017 - No Comments!

Patient & Public Education Matters

We recently attended a community discussion about the opening of a dispensary in our home state of Maryland. A panel of business owners and industry experts answered questions from concerned citizens about a medical cannabis dispensary opening up just down the road from their neighborhoods, local businesses, etc. With the disconnect between federal and state legalization efforts, it's not surprising that the reactions from the community were mixed. While many applauded the health benefits for a variety of ailments, others expressed concern for how legal cannabis will effect Maryland's opioid epidemic.

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.

So, what can we as industry leaders do to properly educate potential patients and citizens who might be misinformed about cannabis? According to Shawnta Hopkins-Green of MyCannx, proactive community outreach is crucial. Hopkins-Green partners with her dispensary clients to hold seminars and set up booths at local events and festivals. In addition to conversing with potential consumers one-on-one, she also advises taking advantage of digital marketing, posting educational snippets on Facebook and Twitter, sending out digital newsletters, or uploading informative video content to your website.

Like Hopkins-Green, we at Brand Joint think it's important to introduce engaging bite-sized educational pieces that are easy to digest. This could be done through videos and blog posts, as well as printed materials and in-store displays. There are a variety of topics to focus on, and many of those topics come from patient and community questions:

  • Where the state laws?
  • How do you become registered as a patient?
  • What is the difference between CBD and THC?
  • What are the different ways to consume cannabis?

Through our internship program at Brand Joint, we focus on creating such content. Our most recent video highlights the differences between indica and sativa strains. This information is helpful for patients new to cannabis in determining which medicine is best for their ailments.

April 25, 2017 - No Comments!

Maryland Patient Registry Now Open!

You may have been wondering...how can I become a patient for medical marijuana in Maryland? After months of delays and anticipation, patient and caregiver open enrollment officially began on Monday, April 24th for The Natalie M. LaPrade Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission! The registration processes and requirements differ for adult and minor patients, but both are to be completed online. Requirements and more information on how to register can be found here.

As a reminder, medical cannabis is not yet available in the state of Maryland. However, pre-approved growers, processors, and dispensaries are currently in the process of becoming operational. According to the MMCC, medical cannabis is expected to be available by the end of this summer. We are excited for Maryland patients and look forward to helping these new cannabusinesses build their brands!

January 18, 2017 - No Comments!

Cannabis Branding: Differentiating Your Dispensary

This past December, the Natalie M. LaPrade Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) finally announced the names of the 102 dispensaries that received a license pre-approval for our home state of Maryland. Unlike the neighboring Washington, D.C., program, registered patients do not have to commit to one particular dispensary and can visit any or all dispensaries of their choice. Maryland, as you may know is not a very large state. So, with multiple dispensaries within a short driving distance, how can you differentiate your dispensary from competitors? How do you convince patients that your dispensary is worth visiting?

When you walk into various dispensaries in Colorado, Oregon or California, you'll notice that not all dispensaries look and feel identical. That's because each business has developed their own unique branded experience. One dispensary may look similar to a yoga studio, while another might feel more clinical like a pharmacy or doctor's office. Dispensaries have one thing in common — cannabis — and they provide products that are valuable to patients of different ages and demographics. However, not all experiences resonate with everyone...and that's okay! If you try to cater to the masses, your brand and your messaging get watered down to the lowest common denominator.

When branding any company, cannabis-related or not, understanding your point of differentiation is key to creating the most successful and authentic experience for your customers. At Brand Joint, we start every project with Brand Discovery. Together, we learn as much as possible about your business and brand. Before we begin designing your logo, website, packaging or interior space, we must understand what your brand stands for. What is your mission and vision? Who are your patients? Why should they choose your dispensary over others in the area? What makes your brand unique?

A good dispensary does not just providing a product, but an entire patient experience. To help you understand and visualize your intended experience and narrow in on the smallest of details, it’s best to view every touch point through the eyes of your patient or consumer. What do they feel, hear and see the moment they walk through the doors? Does your website provide a similar experience? How does your staff dress? Does your interior design match your brand? How are your products displayed? Does your dispensary provide the largest selection products, cheapest prices, or do you specialize in high-end strains?

There really is no right answer. Developing your brand strategy and intentionally designing the patient experience from the very beginning will strengthen the value of your brand. By finding your key differentiators as a dispensary owner and having a well thought out patient experience, you’ll be a giant step ahead in this growing competitive market and create a loyal consumer base.

December 14, 2016 - No Comments!

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 a total of 102 dispensaries slated to open in the state of Maryland.

Dr. Paul W. Davies, Chairman for the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission stated, “These qualified entities will be on the front line providing medical cannabis to qualified patients in Maryland."

Maryland regulations require that no more than two dispensaries can be located in each of the 47 state districts. Montgomery County was granted the greatest number of license pre-approvals. The full list of Dispensaries can be found here.

The process of becoming a fully-operational dispensary has only just begun. The "to-do" list for the newly announced dispensaries may seem never-ending, but setting some time (and a budget) aside for developing smart brand strategy and strong design will be crucial for success. We look forward to working with these cannabusinesses and developing new brands in our home state of Maryland. Congrats to all the winners!

November 9, 2016 - No Comments!

Cannabis Legalization

Little by little, prohibition is coming to an end as we continue to make progress with cannabis legalization. Congratulations to California, Massachusetts, Nevada and Maine who have voted in favor of adult-use. Florida, North Dakota, Arkansas and Montana have also approved medical marijuana initiatives!

Here's a complete list of all state that have legalized cannabis:

Adult-Use:
Alaska
California
Colorado
Massachusetts
Maine
Oregon
Washington
Washington, D.C.

Medical:
Arizona
Arkansas
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Hawaii
Illinois
Louisiana
Maryland
Michigan
Minnesota
Montana
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Dakota
Ohio
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
Vermont

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