Introducing the Higher Ground Legal Stash Box! A Highly Curated Cannabis Collection

By Michael A. Stusser

Curated from legal markets across the country, the Higher Ground Legal Stash Box highlights the most amazing products and packaging in the burgeoning cannabis industry. Hand selected by Michael Stusser, host of Higher Ground TV, the items in each anthology represent the gold standard of legal offerings for cannabis connoisseurs!

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Notable selections in this month’s Higher Ground Legal Stash Box include:

The Leira Cannagar: CannaGars are small-batch cannabis cigars, using the finest flower from grower Gold Leaf Gardens. Each cigar is hand-rolled, and cured. The 6” Corona is full of 10 ounces of primo ganja, then covered in 3 grams of rosin oil – then wrapped in at least two layers of gorgeous, pure cannabis leaves, making it the most luxurious cigar on the market.

1964 Suppy Co. 1964 Supply Co. is collaborating with some of today’s most influential and emerging visual artists to create unique, limited-release collections of cannabis that celebrates craftsmanship, authenticity and innovation. The strain featured here is Grape OG (a cerebral high!) and was designed by muralist Tristan Eaton.

Beboe Sativa Vaporizer. Beboe is a luxury cannabis brand, and has been called the Hermes of Marijuana. The gorgeous rose gold pen comes in a glass test tube, with a letterpresses label in gold foil. The Beboe sativa blend vaporizer (“designed for social consumption”) has a terpene profile of pink grapefruit, making life…a bit warmer.

The Nuggy. The Nuggy is the Swiss Army Knife for potheads. The “Original Smoker’s Multi-Tool” includes scissors, a tamper, a pick/poker, and most importantly, a roach clip! (Now available in pink and blue!)

The Dose Pen. Dosist (previously hmbldt) gets as much hype as Tesla (and is barely less expensive). Their innovative delivery devices (aka pens) are scientifically designed and dialed in for consumers to get controlled and accurate doses. Best of all, the pen’s vibrates when you’ve gotten a premeasured dose. Formulas include Arouse, Calm, Bliss, Sleep, and our fav, Passion.

Bloom Farms PreRoll. Some of the most beautiful designs in cannabis come from Bloom Farms. Their strain-specific full-flower pre-roll cases could fit into an Art Deco coffee table book. It’s also cool that the company puts social responsibility in their mission statement, and pledges a meal for someone in need with every purchase.

Saints Joints. The Artist’s Series Pack is a five joint multi-strain sampler collection of all-organic first-rate flower. Each joint is specifically labeled (with strain names, THC/CBD levels) in the event you find a favorite for the future. The boxes were designed by Jeremy Fish, famous for his work with Upper Playground. Doesn’t hurt that their well-built boxes are printed on hemp and proceeds for their Limited Edition Pride Packs go to Equal Rights Washington.

Shine Gold Papers. The Shine Gold woven blunt is the most luxurious on the market, and makes you the hit of any party. Also perfect for damn fine Instagram pics. (Rhianna not included.) The edible 24K gold in this gorgeous blunt wrap actually stays in the ashes, fyi.

HiFi Farms. Named “The Coolest Cannabis Farm In Oregon” by Esquire Magazine, HiFi’s all-natural, Clean Green Certified growing methods result in products and experiences that create a lifting of the mind, body, and soul. Established in 2014, HiFi Farms is devoted to all things high fidelity – true, artistic expression, pure cultivation methods, and authentic flavors of all kinds. No doubt they grow the happiest, healthiest plants in the Universe.

While the Higher Ground Legal Stash Box is not available for purchase, there are several high end curated delivery boxes for sale, including Club M and PotBox.

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Stay tuned to MJ News Network where we will continue to curate the best in legal cannabis, and highlight the most innovative and elegant brands in upcoming Higher Ground Legal Stash Boxes.

Higher Ground is the World’s first talk show highlighting cannabis culture. Think of it as “The Daily Show” meets “Good Morning America”…but with a giant bong on the desk. For more on Higher Ground and host Michael Stusser, visit  or


The Cannabrander: Marketing Vs. Branding

By Ben Weinberg

“Build it and they will come,” may sound great as an incorporeal whisper from the far depths of an Iowa corn field, but as a strategy it lacks any obvious utility. You may indeed have built a better mousetrap but, in the absence of any clear branding, how will your potential customers ever find your product and, more importantly, believe that it is the optimal solution?

This is the premiere of my monthly column for MJ News Network on best practices in branding, specifically oriented toward the legal cannabis industry.  If you want a bio it’s HERE, but rather than waste space talking about me let’s get to the subject at hand.

What’s the Difference Between Marketing and Branding?

As described by James Heaton at the Tronvig Group, “…marketing is actively promoting a product or service. It’s a push tactic…Branding should both precede and underlie any marketing effort. Branding is not push, but pull.  Branding is the expression of the essential truth or value of an organization, product, or service.  It is communication of characteristics, values, and attributes that clarify what this particular brand is and is not.”

In this view, “branding is strategic and marketing is tactical.  Marketing may contribute to a brand, but the brand is bigger than any individual marketing effort.  The brand is what remains after the marketing has swept through the room.  It’s what sticks in your mind associated with a product, service, or organization.”

Social Media in Branding

At a recent Cannabis Marketing Association meeting at Cultivated Synergy in Denver, Brett Schklar, CEO and Founder of The Cannabis Creative, said that maximizing the use of social media in a business context hinges on the “Three Cs”: leading your Customers into first becoming Club Members and then graduating to Cult Followers.

Remember Heaton — marketing unearth and activates buyers, but branding is what makes loyal customers, advocates, even evangelists, out of those who buy.  In today’s business world, branding thus inherently involves social media because it is the only way to consistently contact consumers who by affirmative action have shown their affinity for you and your products.

The Best SocMed

During that CMA meeting, Schklar also opined that Facebook and Instagram tend to be the most effective channels for promoting legal cannabis companies, probably because they reach the most people overall, followed by Twitter and Pinterest, which lean heavily toward influencers and a younger demographic.  LinkedIn is good for investor contact but not necessarily general branding and, according to Schklar, everything else lags far behind.  This hierarchy matches my own experience, as well.

Please note that Heaton’s definition of branding (an expression of the essential truth or value of an organization, product, or service) requires valuable content that is constantly being refreshed.  This content can be almost anything: information (including dope on the latest products and services), promoting constant engagement, stirring controversy, starting conversations, and even playing games (i.e., gamification).

The Bottom Line

To build your cannabis-related brand via social media you must know your buyers, constantly produce fresh and valuable content, and choose channels accordingly.

Ben Weinberg, JD, MBA, the President of Ben Weinberg Consultants, has more than 30 years of experience in harnessing his creativity to tell your company’s story, including strategic and tactical marketing, sales, operational, and administrative consulting for small- and medium-size businesses across diverse industries such as law, medicine, wellness, leisure, and hospitality. Ben has written professionally for many international magazines and newspapers, online and in print, including as a contributing editor and Editor-in-Chief, is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and has won multiple awards for creative writing.  Visit his website HERE and sign up for his newsletter.

AK Ventures Creates Mainstream TV Opportunity For Cannabis Brands

CALIFORNIA: America is curious about medical cannabis. Legal in 25 states, poll after poll confirm that the overwhelming majority of citizens supports the legalization of medical cannabis, even while admitting that they don’t know very much about the medicinal properties of the federally-prohibited plant.

Things are changing rapidly in the cannabis marketplace, with constant product innovation, improved standards and the emergence of brand building, sophisticated packaging and professional marketing and public relations in the cannabis space.

AK Ventures CEO Kerri Accardi believes medical cannabis is ready to go mainstream. Her new broadcast series, “Medical Cannabis: The Healing Power of Knowledge” is scheduled to debut this fall, supported by some of legal cannabis’ top new brands.

With a passion for the plant, New York business savvy, and sheer determination, Accardi has forged partnerships with leading channels in every major U.S marketplace that, for the first time in history she believes, will allow cannabis brands to be seen on main stream broadcast television.

“I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with all the walks of life I’ve seen this amazing herb bring together,” Accardi said. “Knowing our series will bring the truth to light while bringing cannabis industry products and innovations to the public eye aligns with everything I personally started my soul mission for, I feel pure gratitude.”

Accardi and her team at AK Ventures are seeking cannabis related businesses to participate in “a modern day variety series” showcasing the healing benefits of cannabis!  Featuring well known athletes, doctors, nurses, patients, and others in professionally-produced segments the series is designed to be both entertainment and education, all packaged in a visually appealing and attention-getting TV format.

This exciting opportunity is available exclusively to one company in each product category in each marketplace.  The inaugural pricing is set at $10,000 for each verticals, including: Topicals, Medibles, Dispensary, Seed, Software, and Laboratories.

“Medical Cannabis: The Healing Power of Knowledge” Markets & Stations: