Where Does Cannabis Sit Along the Design Spectrum?

In the midst of legalization with new money and companies coming to the playing field, a new problem is arising: tensions of the cannabis design spectrum.



Design Spectrum
PHOTO | LordZauron
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We all know what a spectrum is. Two ends, two opposite sides, a whole bunch of juicy middle stuff. When looking at weed design, we currently have two clear endpoints on the design spectrum.

On one end, we have the heritage market. This — you now know — is not inherently bad. It has its place and is important not only for the largest group of consumers but also for the rich history of cannabis culture in America.

All the way on the other side, we have the “elevated market”. The “elevated market” is the current trend in cannabis. You can see it in the Apple-like packaging and high-end dispensaries that have popped up all over the place. It’s a Whole Foods-style experience, but does everyone want or need that? Elevated brands are important; they were needed to raise up perception, they were needed to be able to do things like raise VC funding, and they were needed to be able to change legislation.

But what happens to the middle?

I’d like to take a moment here to look at what is happening in our country right now. Right now, the United States of America is so polarized that people literally delete friends off their Facebooks for having differing views. But believe it or not, there is one thing that is actually uniting people and politicians, and it’s weed. We have both red and blue government officials siding with green because they recognize that it will bring them more tax dollars, less crime, and ultimately more votes. (And let’s be real, that’s what a lot of them care about.)

So when we have more public figures coming out and supporting cannabis, it is our job as designers, innovators, and forward thinkers to have an environment ready where everyone feels welcome. When someone looks to join a community, the first thing they ask is “are these people like me?” If there isn’t a brand, a product, a dispensary that suits their needs, then we have failed. Design needs to be for all, but design can very easily be alienating.

Design is about empathy. Empathy, contrary to popular belief, isn’t just putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, because then you are still thinking about what you would do if you were in their position. True empathy is really learning and understanding what that person wants, from their own perspective.

I’m about to be controversial, but Steve Jobs ruined designers. Jobs said, don’t ask the customer what they want, tell them what they want. It’s very easy to design for yourself, or your friends. What’s difficult, is to design for everyone. What this industry needs now are brands that are for all.

I am not by any means endorsing soda, but strong brands like Coca-Cola do a great job being for everybody. It’s inviting, it’s familiar. At first, you might think well that’s somewhat generic, that’s not very cool Libby. But that’s what cannabis needs right now, it needs more brands that fill out the middle of the spectrum. A brand that you can bring to that Florida Thanksgiving for your uncle and show off to your whole family.*

There’s overwhelming support for weed now. Hemp CBD is everywhere you look including internationally, people are sporting leaf pattern apparel, and working in the cannabis industry is a hot topic. As cannabis greets the world, we have to realize that it’s not just a product or a plant, it’s an idea. Real and lasting impact can come from that idea, but only if we do it the right way.

There’s so much potential in the future, and we’ve barely scratched the surface. Got any predictions of what’s to come?

*Disclaimer! I am not telling you to fly with weed. Don’t cross state lines with cannabis.

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Psychonauts Celebrate Magic Mushroom Day



Magic Mushrooms Day

September 20 is Magic Mushroom Day. Similarly to stoners celebrating 4/20 and 7/10, and LSD enthusiasts celebrating 4/19, entheogenic communities around the world celebrate the psychedelic renaissance on 9/20.

The concept was coined in 2015 when Nicholas Reville, a mushroom advocate from Providence, Rhode Island, declared September 20 as an “educational day of action,” apparently citing the spirit of 4/20 as an opportunity to talk about psilocybin reform, regulations and, of course, rejoice in the magic of psychedelics.

“9/20 was chosen because it is at the beginning of autumn, when mushrooms are most plentiful; because it is close to the equinox, representing a change in direction; and because it echoes 4/20 and the successful movement for marijuana decriminalization and legalization,” said Reville in an interview with Rolling Stone.

Magic Mushrooms: The Next “Green” Wave?

Interest around the benefits and effects of psilocybin, the main active ingredient in magic mushrooms, has been steadily growing over the last number of years, with legalization closely following.

In May 2019, Denver became the first city to decriminalize psilocybin. Oakland soon followed with its own law in June that same year, decriminalizing plant and fungi psychedelics.

At the last election in 2020, Oregon became the first state to legalize psilocybin with Measure 109 for mental health treatment in supervised settings.

At the same time, the District of Columbia decriminalize the use of magic mushrooms and other psychedelic substances with the passage of Initiative 81.

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Peep the Pepsi x Dapper Dan Football Watching Capsule Collection



Pepsi x Dapper Dan
Photos | Courtesy of Pepsi

Pepsi has partnered with Harlem-based designer and streetwear legend, Dapper Dan, to create The Pepsi x Dapper Dan Football Watching Capsule Collection.

As part of the Pepsi “Made for Football Watching” NFL campaign, the iconic collaboration brings the football fan apparel game to the next level with this limited-edition capsule collection created for fans to show up in style, no matter where they’re watching.

The Pepsi x Dapper Dan Football Watching Capsule Collection features fashion-forward football-watching pieces including a lounger, hoodie, bucket hat, and custom-patterned Pepsi can to ensure fans are fitted and geared up for every touchdown, sack and fumble.

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Power & Collaboration Are the Name of the Game at WEIC Women’s Leadership Summit



Power & Collaboration WEiC
PHOTO | Tinnakorn

In 2019 women held 37% of senior level positions in cannabis. Alarmingly, less than 8% of CEOs are women and only 38% of all positions in cannabis are held by women. This statistic and much more will be the topic of discussion at the Women Empowered In Cannabis (WEIC) Power & Collaboration summit on July 21, 2021, from 10 am PST – 5 pm PST.

The one day summit is WEIC’s first virtual Women’s Leadership Summit and will address the rapid loss of female leadership and power in cannabis and question how the community can address and stop this trend.

“We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to build an industry from the ground up that is inclusive, diverse and just, and yet women are losing ground at a distressing rate,” said Kyra Reed, WEIC founder and CEO. “The summit is designed to help women elevate our voices and establish real power in the global cannabis market.”

Power & Collaboration WEiC

Meet the Speakers

The Women’s Leadership Summit: Power and Collaboration brings together a diverse group of influential women. This virtual summit offers opportunities for women to learn and interact with each other, irrespective of their location.

Andrea Brooks, Founder and CEO – Sava; Annie Holman, Founder and CEO – The Galley; Christine De La Rosa – The People’s Ecosystem; Kate Lynch, SVP Marketing – Curaleaf; Khadijah Adams – Girl Get that Money; Franny Tacy, Founder and CEO – Franny’s Farmacy; Helen Gomez Andrews, Co-founder and CEO – The High End; Katie Pringle, Co-founder – Marigold Marketing; Kendra Losee, Founder and CEO – Mota Marketing; Lelehnia DuBois – The Humboldt Grace; Dr. Lola Ohonba, WCI Health, Clinical Pharmacist, Certified Medical Cannabis Specialist – WCI; Mara Gordon, Founder and TEDx speaker – Aunt Zelda’s; Mskindness Rivera; Nancy Whiteman, CEO – Wana Brands; Rosie Mattio, Founder and CEO – MATTIO Communications; Scheril Murray Power, Cannabis and Agricultural Attorney – Doumar Allsworth Laystrom Voigt Wachs Adair & Dishowitz LLP; Susan Soares, Founder and CEO – The State of Cannabis; Tiffany Yarde; Valda Coryat, CMO – Trulieve

Nancy Whiteman, Wana Brands CEO

“Pursuing inclusion and diversity in business is not just a way to encourage goodwill. It is a strategic business decision that can literally make or break a company. This is not a wishful, feel-good attempt to make news or have people speak well of the industry. It is truly how we survive — and maybe how we change the world a little bit.” – Nancy Whiteman, Wana Brands CEO

Mara Gordon – Founder Aunt Zelda’s

“This quote from the late Helen Keller says it all – ‘Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.'” – Mara Gordon – Founder Aunt Zelda’s

Dr. Lola Ohonba PHARM.D.

“Women are the “Pillar” of the world but are being left behind in major sectors of our economy especially after the pandemic. It’s time for us to come together as one to claim our spot at the decision-making table!” – Dr. Lola Ohonba PHARM.D.

Chrystal Ortiz – CEO/Founder Herb & Market Humboldt, High Water Farm

“It is well known that women are more than good enough to run companies. We need to recognize if we are good enough to do the work, we are good enough to own the work. We need to empower one another, create financial opportunities and invest in each other to become owners and make sure there are women in the C-suite of the companies we work with. This is why.” – Chrystal Ortiz – CEO/Founder Herb & Market Humboldt, High Water Farm

Power & Collaboration Event Topics

The day’s schedule will be broken into ten categories:

  • Keynote: EXECUTIVES: How to Use Power in Leadership
  • Keynote: MESSAGING: Developing a POWER message for women in cannabis
  • Keynote: FINANCE: Women, Money & Power
  • Panel: CULTIVATION: Power & Collaboration
  • Panel: MANUFACTURING: Power & Collaboration
  • Panel: SCIENCE & RESEARCH: Power & Collaboration
  • Panel: RETAIL: Power & Collaboration
  • Panel: INTERNATIONAL: Power & Collaboration
  • Panel: CBD: Power & Collaboration
  • Panel: HEMP: Power & Collaboration

Join the all-day live virtual conference on July 21, 2021, at 10 am PST / 1 pm EST – 5 pm PST / 8 pm EST

Don’t miss this incredible event! Register here to attend.

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