When Branding Goes to Pot

Afternoon everyone!  Today is a beautiful sunny day here in MA with temperatures reaching upper 70s around the Boston area.  It’s been 3 days since I attended the Mass PRSSA Chapter Meetup in Salem and I couldn’t stop thinking how much fun I had.  Another round of cheers to Salem State University’s incredible PRSSA crew for having me at the event!


Their theme for the event was ‘Battle of the BRands’, showcasing important brands in the business world.  A brand is any design, name, words, style, or symbol used individually or in combination that will help distinguish one product from another for the customers.  For example, Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts utilize unique symbols for brands to distinguish themselves from each other (for the record, Starbucks ain’t got nothing on Dunkin’ Donuts in Massachusetts kid!).  Speaker Nicole Keiser talked about brands and how important they are in the business world.

This idea about brands got me thinking:  what’s the type of brand that would be most used within the cannabis industry?  Would this brand identity be shared amongst other businesses?  How do various companies utilize this brand to distinguish themselves from their competition?

So what’s the most common brand that is used among the cannabis industry?  The pot leaf, of course!  This well-known leaf, consisting of 7 pointed leaves, is the universal symbol of cannabis.  People that see this image in a business know first-hand that the company is selling cannabis or is providing services within the cannabis industry.  We’ve seen this symbol firsthand as kids and now we’ve seen this brand image flourish as a statement within the business world.

Image result for Cannabis Dispensaries

The pot leaf symbol is seen in all aspects of the cannabis industry – dispensaries, flyers, edibles, tinctures, oils, MMJ doctors, advertisements, and many other instances.  It’s the pot leaf that alerts audiences that this business will provide cannabis-related products/services.  Whether it is bongs or the flower itself, you will run into this mutual symbol every time.

In some cases, the pot leaf may not even be displayed.  Some companies utilize light green colors (colors that look like the pot leaf) on the design ideas to keep that psychedelic vibe.  This is an interesting case where the brand’s color catches the customer’s attention rather than the leaf itself.  Either way, companies must utilize the cannabis leaf in one way or another so your audiences is aware of what your business does.

As a PR pro, I definitely see the importance of using the cannabis leaf when running a business.  Businesses use brand to communicate with their audiences about what products or services they offer.  Whether it is a restaurant or clothing store, all businesses must have a great brand to showcase their type of work.  Your business will only plummet if you don’t provide a true identity.

That concludes my discussion about the pot leaf brand.  If anyone is looking into starting a cannabis-related business, I definitely recommend utilizing the pot leaf for your brand.  Whether it is displaying the leaf itself or its natural colors, branding is SO important in creating your identity.


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