November 13, 2018Comments are off for this post.

Brand Joint Heads to MJBiz Con

Jennifer Culpepper, Brand Joint's Founder and Creative Director is heading to Las Vegas this week for MJBizCon, Marijuana Business Daily's three day conference and expo. Each year, Jennifer joins thousands of cannabis entrepreneurs and business leaders to network and hear from an incredible line-up of knowledgeable speakers.

MJBizCon is a great opportunity for our east-coast cannabis branding firm to catch up with industry professionals on the west coast. Jenn looks forward to meeting the masterminds behind some amazing nationwide brands and having face-to-face conversations about your branding needs and goals. If you'd like to schedule some time to chat with Jenn while she's in Las Vegas, 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.

See you in Vegas! Follow us on Instagram and Twitter to keep up with us at the conference!

October 24, 2018Comments are off for this post.

Kelsey Harmon Returns to Brand Joint!

We are excited to announce that Brand Joint has added another Graphic Designer to our growing team. Kelsey Harmon, a former summer Brand Joint intern found her way back to our studio and we're thrilled to have her in the office again!

Kelsey is a Maryland native and a graduate of the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design. During her internship at Brand Joint, she hand-lettered the Crabcakes & Cannabis logo-type for our own line of apparel and accessories. For Peppermill Projects, Brand Joint's sister company, Kelsey illustrated an "under construction" wrap for the Market House — a popular collection of restaurants in downtown Annapolis, Maryland.

Prior to joining our team full-time, she served as the Designer at J.O. Spice in Ellicott City. She's a big fan of illustration, packaging design and branding, so she fits in just perfectly at Brand Joint. Kelsey will work alongside our Creative Director and Graphic Design team to design logos, packaging, websites, and promotional content for our client's cannabis brands.

Kelsey's incredible typography and hand-lettering skills impressed us last year, and we're excited to see her work shine in our upcoming client projects and future Crabcakes & Cannabis designs. Since joining Brand Joint a few weeks ago, she's already created an amazing set of logos, extended her wardrobe thanks to our unofficial closet-sharing policy, and has been initiated into the weekly Whole Foods sample runs.

Welcome to the team, Kelsey. We're so glad to have you back!

October 5, 2018Comments are off for this post.

An Open Letter to the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission 

Just this week, news broke in our home state that the Maryland Medical Marijuana Commission has announced a proposal moving to restrict advertising and marketing efforts for cannabis growers, processors, independent testing labs, and dispensaries.

Below is an open letter to the Commission from Brand Joint's Founder and Creative Director, Jennifer Culpepper:

I am writing to the MMCC in response to the Commission's proposed regulations for advertising and marketing. The new regulations would prohibit radio, television, billboard and print advertising, as well as websites, apps, and social media that do not verify the user is 18 years or older. As the Founder & Creative Director of Brand Joint, a branding and design company working exclusively in the cannabis industry. Social media, marketing and advertising  is just a small aspect of what my company does.

I write not as someone who is concerned about the financial impact these regulations might have on my company, but as someone who believes that patients and the overall community deserve open communication from cannabis businesses. Social media platforms, such as Facebook & Instagram are one of the most convenient and accessible forms of communication medical cannabis patients have with their dispensaries, makers of their medicine, and their fellow community members. Within the last year, I have seen thousands of patients come together to form supportive groups on these platforms, thanks, in part, to engaged cannabis businesses.

Because there were no reasons provided for this sudden change, I can only guess at goal of these proposed regulations — to hide cannabis and its use in order to protect children, teens and the general public.

Common Sense Advertising & Minors 

It’s commendable that lawmakers want to ensure that children and teenagers do not have access to cannabis and are not influenced to try cannabis upon seeing creative marketing and advertising campaigns. We agree that content, advertisements and packaging should not contain anything attractive to children, such as cartoons, characters, popular phrases or references to candy. These regulations are widely embraced by programs across the country. However, by blanket banning advertising and marketing, we push Marylands' program into the dark and risk making legitimate businesses and prescribed medication relegated to the black market.

With responsible advertising and marketing practices, the cannabis community offers an opportunity for families to have important conversations with their children. As a mother of two school-aged children, I am quite familiar with approaching difficult topics. Just like any other prescription drug they may see advertised, I tell my children that cannabis is medicine only to be used by the intended patient under a doctor's supervision. One cannot purchase cannabis from a dispensary without qualifying and receiving a written certification from a registered physician.

Like any other substance, there will always be those who abuse cannabis. This should also be part of the conversation we have with our kids. As medical cannabis continues to gain support across the United States, we must take the responsibility to have conversations with our children as we would with any other substance intended for adults. By shielding information about cannabis and Maryland's medical program, we miss out on important teachable moments for our children.

Educating in the Community 

Dispensaries, growers, and processors utilize social media to advertise educational events that are beneficial to patients, as well as community members interested in learning more about medical cannabis. Advertising is crucial to community engagement. Without the use of social media and other forms of communication, our community would have no idea these events are taking place. More so, it threatens the potential dialogue and important relationships between businesses and the community.

Many scientists, doctors, patients, and cannabis advocates applaud the plant’s health benefits for a variety of ailments. Due to misinformation and debunked myths about marijuana, there is still a deep-rooted concern by some lawmakers and citizens that cannabis is a dangerous drug and a threat to our community. In response to those concerns, my team has helped organize several events for dispensaries and cannabis businesses, including town halls, veteran-focused gatherings, and "meet and greets" with respected industry professionals, doctors, and scientists. We always make sure to reach out to nearby businesses and neighborhoods to address community concerns. These events would not have been successful without the use of print advertising and social media. Quite simply, the ability to advertise is the ability to speak directly to our community.

Advertising and Marketing for Good 

This new policy, in my opinion, continues to stigmatize cannabis and cannabis consumers. Through social media, we have the ability to normalize medical cannabis use and create a supportive environment for patients. For Brand Joint and our clients, social media has become an important tool when it comes to educating the public about the cannabis plant, its medicinal benefits, history and culture. Our company was founded with the vision to make cannabis more accessible and approachable to a broader audience.

Through our work, we aim to break down negative stereotypes and remove the stigma that medical patients and adult-use consumers face. As states across the U.S. implement medical marijuana programs, its clear that the plant and its usefulness as an alternative to prescription drugs is being brought into the light. I believe that the proposed advertising regulations put our state's program two steps back and into the dark.

The state of Maryland has become one of the top 5 states with the highest rates of opioid-related deaths and since the 90’s, Maryland has continuously been above that national average of opioid deaths. According to research by JAMA in April of 2018, "State implementation of medical marijuana laws was associated with a 5.88% lower rate of opioid prescribing.”

With a health crisis in our very own state, I believe the ability for cannabis businesses to interact with their communities is key to addressing prescription drug abuse. I encourage the Commission to allow industry professionals to continue their efforts in educating and engaging with their patients and the community through social media platforms and advertising opportunities. I ask that you reconsider the proposed advertising and marketing regulations, so we can continue to bring our amazing medical cannabis program into the light.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Jennifer Culpepper
Brand Joint
Founder & Creative Director

 

October 3, 2018Comments are off for this post.

Deanna Segreti Joins Brand Joint!

We are excited to announce Brand Joint's newest team member, Deanna Segreti! Deanna’s role as Brand Joint's Office Manager ensures the office runs smoothly and our schedules stay organized. She’ll also be helping out with our Crabcakes & Cannabis orders, events and pop-up shop. Since joining our team, she has already streamlined several of our systems and has taught us the value of a good spreadsheet.

Deanna is currently attending Johnson and Wales University pursing a degree in Business Administration with a focus on Marketing. This multi-talented management wizard also has a background in computer science and a culinary degree. Prior to Brand Joint, she worked as a sous-chef at one of our favorite restaurants, Vin 909, and served as the Kitchen and Menu Manager at LaPrima. As much as we love her ability to keep our office running smoothly, we’re excited to taste her cooking (hint hint, Deanna)!

Deanna’s love for podcasts and scary books has already infiltrated the office, so a Brand Joint book club might be in order. We’re excited to have her around to keep us in line and are so thankful for her insane organization skills.

Welcome to Brand Joint, Deanna!

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 26, 2018Comments are off for this post.

Now Hiring: Graphic Design Summer Intern

 

It's that time again — Brand Joint is searching for a summer intern to help us out with graphic design and branding projects for our awesome cannabis clients! Each semester, Brand Joint (and our sister company Peppermill Projects), seeks out an aspiring Graphic Designer who is outgoing, passionate about design and looking for real-world branding experience.

As our Graphic Design intern, you’ll learn the ins and outs of working at a full-service branding studio. You’ll work alongside our design team to create social media content, including styled photoshoots, illustrations and animated clips. You’ll sit in on brainstorming meetings, help our team come up with creative solutions and design content for our cannabis clients. You'll build your portfolio and have fun while doing it!

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 typography, 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

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 snacking is also a plus.

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

* Applications are due March 23rd. We will begin scheduling phone interviews the first week of April.

Take a look at some of the work from our previous interns:

 

 

February 21, 2018Comments are off for this post.

Coming Soon: National Cannabis Festival

It's still a few months away, but we're already looking forward to the 3rd Annual National Cannabis Festival in Washington, D.C. on April 21st! If you haven't purchased your tickets yet, this year is one you won't want to miss. The festival is known for its many vendors, educational sessions, advocacy speakers, and awesome live music. This year the headliner is Cypress Hill!  Early bird tickets are on sale NOW for just $35.

You'll definitely catch our Creative Director, Jennifer Culpepper, singing along to Cypress Hill, but you'll also find her at the judge's table for the 3rd Annual CannaTank Contest! Similar to the show Shark Tank, CannaTank is a contest for aspiring cannabis entrepreneurs who are looking for start-up assistance from industry leaders and professionals. This will be Jenn's second year judging this riveting competition. The Grand Prize package includes: $1,000 in start-up assistance, business coaching meetings with Denver Relief Consulting and Brand Therapy session with Jenn at the Brand Joint office! If you have a cannabis business plan in the works and think you have what it takes, apply here! The deadline is extended to March 1, 2018.

While Jenn does her best Mark Cuban impression in the CannaTank tent, the rest of the Brand Joint team will be selling our brand new lifestyle brand, Crabcakes & Cannabis on the festival grounds! Products for sale include t-shirts, hoodies, hats, rolling trays, patches and stickers. Check out the Crabcakes & Cannabis Instagram and give us a follow to stay-up-to-date with our product releases.

We can't wait until this year's National Cannabis Festival — See you on April 21st!

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.

January 24, 2018Comments are off for this post.

Women Grow Leadership Summit 2018

On January 31st, I'll be heading out to Denver for the 2018 Women Grow Leadership Summit. You may have attended my panel discussion at last year's Summit, "Parenting in the Cannabis Industry," but this year, I am thrilled to discuss another topic that I'm certainly familiar with. I am honored to join fellow panelists Dasheeda Dawson, Morgan Noble and Felicia Davis for our Breakout Session, "Big Brand Insights to Guide Your Cannabusiness Marketing." During this panel discussion, we'll be sharing insight into developing a power house brand and how to establish yourself in the marketplace. Additionally, we'll discuss the unique challenges entrepreneurs face in the cannabis and the ways you can overcome them.

When I left last year's Summit, I felt inspired, empowered and more enthusiastic than ever about the future of the cannabis industry and my role within it. Channeling that passion, I was happy to help the Women Grow team develop the messaging and brand for this year's Summit.

When women grow, we all grow. 

The message of this upcoming Leadership Summit is particularly poignant in today's climate. As a relatively new industry, we have a unique opportunity to shape its culture and future. Women Grow has helped paved the way for women dedicating their time and talent to the industry's growth to achieve leadership roles in successful cannabis companies. Many of these leaders are mothers, professionals in other industries and new entrepreneurs. But we can't stop fighting for our voices to be heard in this industry. Despite our success stories, we have work to do.

The cannabis industry should follow the example of the cannabis culture that started this very movement by striving to be more diverse, open-minded and inclusive. We must create a culture where women (and men) are not only treated equally, but feel valued, safe and comfortable in the workplace. We have the opportunity to show other industries that we have the power to change the norm.

When women lead, we inspire change. 

I've been to countless cannabis conferences and expos and have benefited from the networking opportunities. The Women Grow Leadership Summit, however, is unlike any other conference I've attended. The Summit offers an opportunity for speakers and attendees to share their stories, goals, expertise and inspiration freely. You walk away from the conference with more than a stack of business cards and flyers. What you gain from the Women Grow Leadership Summit is invaluable knowledge, resources and relationships that will undoubtedly help you on your path in this industry.

With just under a week until the Summit, I've found myself reflecting on my journey into this amazing industry. Women Grow truly fosters a sense of a community and empowerment for cannabis entrepreneurs. I continue to be in awe of my friends, partners and clients — especially the many women that have helped shaped and will continue to shape this diverse industry. I look forward to seeing familiar faces and building new relationships at the 2018 Women Grow Leadership Summit.

When women unite, we are unstoppable.

- Jennifer Culpepper, Founder & Creative Director of Brand Joint 

 

*By using our special sponsor discount code: brandj, you can purchase your All Access pass for the Leadership Summit for $325!

 

December 21, 2017Comments are off for this post.

2017: A Year in Review

As we enter the new year, our team took a moment to reflect on the variety of work we’ve completed for our amazing clients in 2017. Last year has been our most productive and exciting one yet. Along with developing brand strategy and designing websites and packaging, we completed several logo projects for our dispensary and processor clients. Below you’ll find a few of our favorite cannabis branding projects of 2017. We're excited to see what 2018 has in store!

Charm City Medicus

Charm City Medicus is a Baltimore-area dispensary opening in a few weeks. Throughout the last several months, our team has helped develop social media strategy and promotional material leading up to their opening date. As they await their Grand Opening, their Facebook page has over 1,000 engaged followers, more than any other dispensary in the state.

 

Education is a huge marketing tool that has been an asset in the pre-opening success of CCM. This past November we helped coordinate an educational Veteran's Day event to inform their patients and the surrounding community about the medical benefits of cannabis. The "Healing Our Heroes" event was a huge success! Several industry professionals and experts weighed in on a panel and discussed how cannabis is grown and processed, and described how different strain types can help treat various ailments.

National Holistic Healing Center

National Holistic has been a beloved client since Brand Joint's beginning. Located in Washington, D.C., this medical cannabis dispensary was the last to open, but currently has the largest patient base in the city. In the last two years, we have helped update and elevate their branding and marketing materials, interior space and most recently, their website to match the team's warm and inviting personalities. Referencing their motto, "treat yourself with nature," the website design depicts elements of nature, providing a soothing experience for patients.

Crab Cakes & Cannabis — That's What Maryland Does!

This year, Brand Joint launched our first lifestyle brand. As Maryland is our home state, our first apparel line was specifically designed for cannabis enthusiasts and lovers of all things Maryland!

Products include sweatshirts, t-shirts, zip-ups, beanies, baseball hats, patches and stickers. These products are sold exclusively in Maryland dispensaries across the state. Check us out on Instagram and visit our website for wholesaler info!

Prime Extracts 

Prime Extracts distills the cannabis plants down to its prime component in order to make the finest quality cannabis oils and concentrates. Using prime numbers and shapes, we designed a bold, minimalist logo that references the concentrates Prime produces. The animation of the geometric shapes creates an interesting design element featured on their website. Most recently, we designed the packaging for Prime products that will be unveiled in Maryland dispensaries this year.

Cannavations

Cannavations is a boutique medical cannabis dispensary located in Cockeysville, Maryland. We designed their logo and website to reflect the clean, light and airy atmosphere of the dispensary itself.

The raised “v” over the green cross symbol for medical cannabis symbolizes the elevating and positive, healing effects of the high-quality medicine Cannavations provides at the dispensary. The animation creates an interesting and engaging element that can be used on the website and digital platforms.