When I first started budtending in California’s then-medical marijuana industry in 2015, cannabis “brands’” were few.

This was before METRC, before Proposition 64 and the taxation squeeze, and before cannabis entrepreneurs had to rely on a lot more than word of mouth to ensure their edibles and pounds moved off the shelf. Some would leave dispensary staff with free nugs, a sample edible here and there, maybe a t-shirt, and a handful of stickers. What a simple time.

But by 2016, it was evident that legalization was happening, and that weed companies would need brand identities. Some companies, like Cookies, Kiva Confections, and Alien Labs, were doing this years in advance. 

Solidifying merch style

Ted Lidie, Alien Labs’ co-founder, remembers…

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