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August 6, 2019

Seed: Tips from Dispensary Design Experts with Jennifer Culpepper

We are excited to announce that Seed, the cannabis industry educational platform has featured our Founder and Chief Creative, Jennifer Culpepper in Part 1 of their 3 Part series, "Tips From Design Industry Experts." Seed was developed to provide dispensaries with an advanced tool to enhance the buying experience for their customers, support their staff, and sell more product.

Seed asked some of the top designed in the industry about the importance of strong branding in design in cannabis retail space. Jenn was happy to share her insight and experience working with cannabis and hemp clients across the United States:

"I don’t usually live by design “do’s and don’ts” because I think all rules can be broken if done intentionally and thoughtfully. That being said, I try to avoid anything that’s super popular or cliché, because it’s hard to differentiate your brand from others if they are all following similar trends. As designers, we tend to pull from our past experiences for inspiration. With the internet at our fingertips, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and swept up in trends. I can’t stress enough how important it is to stay true to your brand and your dispensary — not follow what you’ve seen other brands doing."

Jennifer Culpepper

Read the article in its entirety here!

August 1, 2019

Catching Up With Brand Joint: August 1

How is it already August?! July was certainly a busy month and this summer has been flying by. Our Founder, Jennifer Culpepper, racked up the frequent flyer miles the last few weeks, spending some time on the west coast soaking up the sun with cannabis and CBD industry professionals.

The trip began in Arizona, where Jenn and her founding I+I partners, Chanda Macias and Selam Kelati, spent a few days in Arizona meeting with several national retailers to introduce the I+I brand. It was an amazing opportunity to meet with some of the biggest stores and distributors in the U.S. We received overwhelmingly positive feedback on the products and our packaging design, and we are proud to have I+I hit store shelves soon. We'll be sure to announce which retailers will be carrying our CBD-infused Face Serum, Bath Teas, and Dry Body Oil, so keep up with us on Instagram and Facebook. You can also visit the I+I site to buy our products directly online!

Next stop was San Jose, California, where Jenn spoke on the on the panel, "How to Develop Hemp Products That Appeal to Mainstream Consumers" at the NCIA Business Summit and Expo. She joined a group of talented women entrepreneurs, Chanda Macias (CEO of National Holistic Healing Center), Fleesie A. Hubbard (Founder of FiveTen Wellness), Marvina Thomas (CEO & Founder of 420 Skincare), and Jessica Velazquez (Managing Partner & Founder of Indiva Advisors) on the panel. It's one of the best cannabis business conferences and we were happy to share some tips to our fellow entrepreneurs.

We've been all across the U.S, so what next? Brand Joint is going international! In the past two weeks, we kicked off Brand Discovery and the naming process for a hemp cultivator in South America. Creating a brand name is one the most exciting and challenging aspects of the branding process, and it's been quite the experience trying to brush up on our Spanish.

On the home front, we've given our lifestyle brand, Crabcakes & Cannabis a facelift with a brand new website! We thought it was time for a change and we're so happy with the result. It's bright and bold, easy to navigate, and features a new blog where we introduce our lovable mascot, Buddy C. Weed. We also introduced new items to the store — our Crab Emblem tees available in three colors. We also are teaming up with Maryland dispensaries for our Crab Emblem collaboration tees. Check out Mana's below! Are you a Maryland dispensary interested in having your own branded tee? Fill out this form and we'll get back to you soon.

What's summer without a little out-of-office fun? The Brand Joint team works hard and plays hard, and a few of us have some short vacations coming up in the next several weeks. Deanna, our Office Manager is on her way to Rhode Island to volunteer at Camp Celiac, Jenn will spend some much needed rest and relaxation at the beach, and Nicole, our Brand Strategist is off to the White Mountains for a family backpacking trip. A few days away from the office helps our team draw inspiration, refocus, and reenergize during the busy summer months.

July 22, 2019

Jennifer Culpepper to Speak at NCIA

It's the summer of travel! This time, we're out west in San Jose for the NCIA Cannabis Business Summit and Expo, one of the industry's largest gatherings that promotes education, advocacy, and community.

Jennifer will be speaking on Tuesday's panel, "How to Develop Hemp Products That Appeal to Mainstream Consumers." She'll be joining a group of talented entrepreneurs and where she'll be joining Chanda Macias (CEO of National Holistic Healing Center), Fleesie A. Hubbard (Founder of FiveTen Wellness), Marvina Thomas (CEO & Founder of 420 Skincare), and Jessica Velazquez (Managing Partner & Founder of Indiva Advisors).

As the CBD and Hemp industries take off, education will be key to attracting new customers. Jenn will share insight on how companies can develop brands that are accessible and approachable by first defining customer needs and pain points that are underserved in the current market.

We're excited to spend a few days in sunny California surrounded by some of the most talented industry professionals. If you'd like to schedule some time to chat with Jenn while she's at the NCIA Summit and Expo, send us an email at hi@brandjoint.com. She'd love to to discuss how to take your brand to the next level, stand apart on crowded shelves and gain loyal fans.

July 3, 2019

Catching Up with Brand Joint: July 3

Summer is in full swing and we're busy bees here at the Brand Joint studio! After a hectic June filled with exhibits and speaking engagements at the Women Grow Leadership Summit in D.C. and MJBizConNEXT in New Orleans, our team is back behind our computers to help bring our clients' brands to life! 

A few weeks ago we welcomed our Graphic Design intern, Anna Vallario, who will be lending her amazing animation skills to our creative team this summer. She's already helping us out with a new Brand Joint promotional video and some social media content for our dispensary clients. 

In a few weeks, Jenn will be hitting the road again — this time to San Jose for the Cannabis Business Summit and Expo, July 22-24. You can catch her on the panel, "How to Develop Hemp Products That Appeal to Mainstream Consumers" on Tuesday the 23rd, where she'll be joining Chanda Macias (CEO of National Holistic Healing Center), Fleesie A. Hubbard (Founder of FiveTen Wellness), Marvina Thomas (CEO & Founder of 420 Skincare), and Jessica Velazquez (Managing Partner & Founder of Indiva Advisors).

Catching Up With Clients

There's always something going on at Charm City Medicus, especially on the weekends. Twice a month, this Baltimore dispensary celebrates "New Strain Sunday, where they offer a new strain at a discounted price. To stay compliant with advertising regulations and keep out of "Facebook jail," we design bright, quirky imagery to represent the new strains. Take a look at last week's addition below. This week, they're serving up some sparktacular 4th of July specials, so check them out if you're in the area. 

Last year, our packaging design for Maryland-native, Prime Extracts, won Best Branding by LeafLink. Less than a year later, Prime is now ready to expand their product line and we're trilled to jump back into packaging mode! For the next several weeks, you can find our team strategizing, researching, moodboarding, and digging through container samples to create beautiful solutions that will hit Maryland shelves this fall. 

Needless to say, we've been working up a sweat this summer. We're thankful for a long 4th of July weekend for a little bit of fun and a lot of rest and relaxation. Be sure to check back on the blog every few weeks to see what we're up to next!

July 1, 2019

Anna Vallario Joins Brand Joint For The Summer!

It wouldn't be a proper Brand Joint summer without adding an extra desk to our studio and a crash course on the latest lingo sweeping college campuses nationwide. We're excited to welcome our summer Graphic Design intern, Anna Vallario to the Brand Joint team for the next few months!

Anna is an amazingly talented animator and designer pursuing her BFA in Motion Media Design at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Her animation work is inspired by powerful, pigmented color schemes and interpretive motion graphics. This summer, Anna will work with our creative team to develop and design promotional and social media content for our dispensary clients, as well as Brand Joint, Crabcakes & Cannabis and our sister company, Peppermill Projects.

When she's not sketching or exploring new animation techniques, you can find Anna stalking people on Instagram, playing the melodica (we expect a mid-summer concert, Anna!), and shopping for records. Her outfits have remarkably matched our current project's color palette more than once, so we think she's fitting in just fine! Take a look at a quick animation she made on her first day to celebrate the start of a fun few month at Camp Brand Joint.

June 17, 2019

Oysters, Expos, and Hemp — Oh, My!

We're in recovery mode here at Brand Joint! Last week, the Brand Joint team spent a few days in New Orleans for MJBizConNEXT & Executive Summit, and the Hemp Industry Daily conference and expo! It was a great opportunity to reconnect with industry professionals from across the U.S, meet with new entrepreneurs looking to grow their brands, and learn more about the latest trends in the cannabis and hemp industries.

On the last day of the conference, our Founder, Jennifer Culpepper, energized the morning crowd with her presentation, "In a Sea of Green, Does Your Brand Stand Out?" Jenn shared insights on discovering your brand’s authentic self, your guiding principles, finding your tribe, and creating memorable experiences for your brand's humans. We were honored to receive great feedback immediately after the talk — attendees found her presentation to be one of the best during the conference!

We had a blast at this year's conferences and already miss Acme's delicious chargrilled oysters. Take a look at some of our trip highlights below.

June 4, 2019

Brand Joint To Launch CBD-Infused Skin Care Line

Over the last year, the Brand Joint team has been insanely busy creating and designing our own brand of CBD-Infused Skin Care products — I + I Botanicals! We're excited to announce the official launch of I + I at this year's Women Grow Leadership Summit, June 7-8 in Washington, D.C!

I + I was founded by three women seeking to change the way we view our beauty and self-care routines. Our Founder and Chief Creative, Jennifer Culpepper began working with one of our amazing clients, Dr. Chanda Macias, a cell-biologist and owner of medical cannabis dispensaries and cultivations in Maryland, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania in 2016. Together, they saw first-hand the healing benefits of CBD and the potential for the plant. Raised in East Africa, Selam Kelati draws inspiration from effective natural remedies that her family weaved into daily life including cooking, medicine, and cosmetics. Selam brings her wealth of knowledge about herbal and homeopathic ingredients like moringa oil and prickly pear seed oil to the table.

As we developed the products and discovered our brand story, our brand was built upon three guiding principles — good for the body, good for the Earth, good for the soul. As busy working moms themselves, I + I's Founders identified the need for effortless, trustworthy products that fit within demanding lifestyles and offer moments of self-love and care. Each formulation is intentionally designed with only good ingredients. The I + I team spent countless hours researching and responsibly sourcing every ingredient, including lab-testing the CBD. Additionally, care was taken to ensure the packaging is as eco-friendly as possible, using recycled and recyclable materials, and designing boxes that ship flat to lessen the carbon foot print of shipping.

Creating a name is always a challenging part of any brand development process. This was no different. We wanted to find the perfect name to  encompassed our story — who we are and what we stand for. "I and I" is a Rastafarian term that is often used in place of "you and me" or "we." I + I is the representation of One Love, which means that because we (I and I) are the same, we should love one another like we love our own self. The best way to embody the I + I spirit is to show kindness toward yourself and others. I + I products are designed to give women (and men) daily moments of self-care and self-love.

The best way to embody the I + I spirit is to show kindness toward yourself. I + I products are designed to give women (and men) daily moments of self-care and self-love, like a long, uninterrupted bath or taking a few minutes before bed to hydrate and rejuvenate your skin.

After nearly a year of researching, building our brand foundation, developing and testing formulations, designing and prototyping the packaging, and prepping our displays, it's finally time for our product to hit store shelves! We're thrilled to release 3 new products: CBD-Infused Face Serum, CBD-Infused Dry Body Oil, and CBD Bath Teas next week at the Washington Court Hotel.

Check back on the blog next week to get a glimpse into the I + I packaging process and how the Brand Joint team brushed up on our watercolor painting skills!

May 24, 2019

Women Grow Leadership Summit Heads East

For the last few years, Brand Joint has made the journey out west to the Mile High City for the Annual Women Grow Leadership Summit. It's that time again, and we're excited to attend the 2019 Summit — right in our backyard! WGLS is heading to Washington, DC, June 7-8 at the Washington Court Hotel for the first time on the east coast.

The Leadership Summit offers an opportunity for speakers and attendees to share their stories, goals, expertise and inspiration in a supportive, empowering environment. For two days, women (and men) gather to celebrate diversity in the cannabis industry through a series of Lightning Talks, panel discussions, and exhibitions. It's the perfect opportunity for cannabis enthusiasts and entrepreneurs to network, gain invaluable knowledge and resources, and develop lasting relationships in our growing industry.

Jennifer Culpepper, Brand Joint's Founder & Chief Creative, will be speaking on the Business & Branding of Edibles & Infused Products panel Saturday, June 8th at 2:30pm. She'll be sharing her insight on the latest trends in infused products and how packaging design can make or your brand. If you're wondering how to take your cannabis, CBD, or hemp brand to the next level, you won't want to miss out on this discussion!

There's still time to buy your tickets and be a part of this incredible experience. More details and ticket sales here. We hope to see you in just a couple weeks!

April 19, 2019

9 Cannabis Advocates You Need To Know As You Celebrate 420

The beloved cannabis holiday falls on April 20th, aka 420, and you can find enthusiasts surrounded by smoke on this celebratory event across the country. The meaning behind 420 can get kind of hazy (no, it's not the police code for illegal consumption), but as legalization continues to spread across the United States, it's important to honor those that have allowed us to celebrate this commemorative day.

Below you'll find 9 cannabis advocates that fought to reduce the stigma by normalizing cannabis use and have paved the way for legalization. This list of medical professionals, athletes, musicians and policy influencers is just a mere sample of the thousands of advocates who have dedicated their lives to cannabis education and advocacy.

Referred to as the "Emperor of Hemp," Jack Herer authored the The Emperor Wear No Clothes, a non-fiction book about the history and uses of the cannabis plant before founding and serving as the director of the organization Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP). Jack spent his life fighting for decriminalization of cannabis due to its renewable source of fuel, food, and medicine before passing away in 2010.

With the famous lyrics, "smoke weed every day," it's hard to think of any other rapper more famous for cannabis advocacy than Snoop D-O-Double-G himself. He's certainly not shy when it comes to his consumption, and in the last few years, he's launched several cannabis-related businesses including Eaze, a medical marijuana delivery service, the website Merry Jane, and his own product line, Leafs By Snoop. B

Bob Marley spent his musical career advocating for marijuana's spiritual and medicinal importance. In an interview with Quartz, Marley's son, Ziggy Marley stressed his father's message. "He was a person who wanted social justice in a real sense, in a real physical sense,” he said. “There's a lot more to it than the whole, 'Bob Marley, love and peace and smoke weed.' ... It's much deeper. And the message is always relevant.” Long after his death, Marley's family helped release the first ever international cannabis brand, Marley Natural.S

Known as "the Father of the Cannabis Industry," Steve DeAngelo founded several successful cannabis companies, including Harborside Health Center, Steep Hill Labs, and ArcView Group, and has been protesting cannabis prohibition for more than four decades. His activism began in Washington D.C., organizing smoke-ins after dropping out of high school to protest prohibition. He continues to encourage cannabis enthusiasts to fight for legalization and become involved in the industry.

Most famous for his talk show, Montel Williams was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1999, a disease that causes intense burning sensations throughout his entire body. He founded the Montel Williams MS Foundation in 2000 and has been open about his use of medical cannabis in treating symptoms related to the disease. As a supporter of legalization, especially patients and veterans like himself, Williams founded Lenitiv Scientific, providing his own line of hemp and cannabis products.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta MD, a Neurosurgeon and Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at Emory University School of Medicine, Associate Chief of Neurosurgery Service at Grady Memorial Hospital in Georgia, and Chief Medical Correspondent at CNN was known for being anti-cannabis for most of his career. He has since apologized and reversed his stance, sharing his findings after a five-year investigation into cannabis' medical benefits (including a cure to the opioid crisis) in the documentary series, Weed.

Keith Stroup established NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws in 1970 with a $5,000 donation from the Playboy Foundation. NORML aims to change public opinion about marijuana use and fights for adult-use legalization. With hundreds of chapters across the United States, Stroup (and NORML) still continue to advocate for policy reform and the decriminalization of marijuana offenses.
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Criticized for being a "stoner" in the NFL for his many failed drug tests due to his cannabis consumption, Ricky Williams, the former two-time All-American and Heisman Trophy winner is changing the way people view cannabis use in athletes. Since retiring from the NFL, Williams has made it his personal goal to "elevate the legitimacy of cannabis as a medicine and the respect of medical professionals for cannabis users." He is the Founder of Real Wellness, his own California-based personal brand of cannabis-based products.

More commonly known as 'Brownie Mary," Mary Jane Rathbun is famous for distributing marijuana infused brownies to AIDS patients during her time as a volunteer at San Francisco General Hospital in the 1980s. She used her monthly Social Security check to purchase the baking supplies and was arrested serval times, bringing awareness to both the AIDS virus and the medicinal benefits of cannabis. Her international media attention and activism led researchers to propose clinical trials regarding cannabinoids and HIV, as well as help pass Proposition 215 in California.



April 15, 2019

Brand Joint Seeks Two Summer Interns!

It's that time again — we're searching for two summer interns to help us out with content creation, graphic design and branding projects for our cannabis clients and Brand Joint projects! Each semester, Brand Joint (and our sister company Peppermill Projects), seeks out summer interns who are outgoing, passionate about design, and looking for real-world branding experience.

This year we are seeking out two interns: a Graphic Designer and Copywriter. As a Brand Joint intern, you’ll learn the ins and outs of working at a full-service cannabis branding studio. You’ll work alongside our design and writing teams, sit in on brainstorming meetings, help our team come up with creative solutions, and create compelling content for our clients. You'll build your portfolio and have fun while doing it!

What You Need: A strong work ethic, positive attitude, excellent communication skills, and the ability to work in a fast-paced, collaborative environment! Excellent taste in music and an appreciation for Chicago-style popcorn is also a plus. Check out the internship details below!

GRAPHIC DESIGN INTERN

Who You Are: You have completed your Junior year at a college or university with an excellent Graphic Design program. You're ridiculously organized and meet your deadlines. You’re creative, extremely detail-oriented, have a passion for design and social media, and will be comfortable designing for the evolving cannabis industry. Your skills include:

– Experience with the Adobe CS including InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop
– Squarespace & WordPress
– Other interactive, photography or illustration skills

COPYWRITING INTERN

Who You Are: You are in your Junior or Senior year pursuing a degrees in Communication, Marketing Advertising or English. You're creative and have a strong knowledge of social media content. You have strong opinions about the Oxford comma and probably have a few good puns up your sleeve. Your skills include:

– Editing and Copywriting
– The ability to adapt your writing style to a variety of voices
– Educational and Creative blog writing
– Social Media platforms, particularly Facebook and Instagram

NEXT STEPS: Email your resume and a few lines on why you should be our next intern to talent@brandjoint.com. Please include writing samples (Copywriting Intern) or a link to your online portfolio (Graphic Design Intern). This is an unpaid internship, but suitable for college credit.

* Applications are due April 30th. We will begin scheduling phone interviews on May 1st.

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