HONU Wins “Best Cannabis Brand Design” 2016 in MJBA/OMD Poll.

WASHINGTON:  Cowlitz county Tier 3 producer HONU was named “Best Cannabis Brand Design 2016” in an online poll published by Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) and Online Marijuana Design (OMD Agency).  More than 1500 votes were cast in the MJBA/OMD Facebook Survey, which asked cannabis industry participants to vote for the best cannabis brand designs of 2016.

HONU’s Hawaiian-flavored design featuring a stylized sea turtle garnered the brand a total of 245 votes.  “Turtles have always been important to the local Hawaiian people as they provided spiritual influence, tools, food and clothing. But the Hawaiians never “took” from the turtles lightly, they always revered the turtles,” the company’s website proclaims. “We have chosen this as the name for our business as it embodies what we hold sacred as a team.”

honuteam

Results of the vote were announced at the recent “HOT BOX: The Best Marijuana Design and Packaging 2016” seminar in Tacoma. Team Honu was on hand to accept the award from MJBA founder/executive director David Rheins.  The Hot Box seminar took place June 2, 2016 in the historic Union Bank of California building in Tacoma, WA.

The event was produced by the Marijuana Business Association. Online Marijuana Design was the event’s presenting sponsor.  VIP Sponsors included Great Pacific Packaging, DCG One, PrintWest, Pearson Packaging, 420WholesalePack.com, Tryst Print Solutions, Foundry Law Group, Farmer Tom, NWMJLaw, Higher Ground TV, Curved Papers, Guts and Glory, Ganjapreneur, 420Media and Freedom Leaf.

Second place with 186 votes went to Renton, WA retailer Buddy’s. The jazz-themed pot shop was named after proprietor Myles Kahn’s grandfather, Buddy Kahn, a famous Salsa musician and band leader. The hip design of the company’s branding, with a strong retro music feel, was crafted by Guts and Glory creative director Michael Guttsen.

Buddys Poster

With its dramatic Italian glass jar, and a ‘fresh-picked locally’ design approach branding, Tier 1 producer Green Bluff Greenhouse took third place with 157 votes. Specializing in rare, old school Sativa’s, the small grower is quickly gaining a big reputation for quality. Green Bluff owner Rick Lynn Roening was on hand to accept the award.

Dramatic Italian glass jar Green Bluff Greenhouse

Dramatic Italian glass jar Green Bluff Greenhouse

Fourth place went to Tier 2 indoor producer SKöRD Marijuana, whose bold black and cream design and iconic umlauts proudly resonate with Scandinavian heritage.   The company produces flower, concentrates and infused edibles.

skord marijuana logo

Rounding out the Top 5 Best Cannabis Brand Design of 2016 is Curved Papers.  With an “Easy To Roll” theme and a eco-friendly minimalist package that emphasizes the brand value – a new shape for rolling papers that is a true innovation.

curvedpapers3

Company founder Michael O’Malley and his daughter Grace were on hand at the Hot Box seminar to accept their award.

Curved Papers' Michael and Grace O'Malley

Curved Papers’ Michael and Grace O’Malley

 

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A New Twist On Rolling Your Own: Curved Papers

The Rolling Papers Industry and Curved Papers Manufacturing

by Michael O’Malley

Our package design was born of necessity, like many inventions. I had to make Curved Papers myself; they are a true innovation, and no one was set up to make them when we started. It is a non-trivial issue to introduce fundamental innovation in a big established industry. In the way I came up with to make them, the packaging is integral. For decades now, most papers come interleaved. But some are still sold flat. We have been able to use the flat papers to prepare the Curved Papers booklets. I developed a post-process to cut rectangular booklets of flat papers that were complete except for the easy to roll curved edge. The package and the papers are the same shape, and we cut the papers right in the package.

curvedpapers3

Package and Label, and Contents If we could deliver the product without a package, that would be preferable in some ways. This is one of our guiding principles. If you take all 50 leaves out of a fresh pack of Curved Papers package, in your other hand is the packaging. It’s trash. It should be minimal and recyclable. Reduce, re-use, recycle! I’ve seen so much bad packaging from this standpoint already in the tobacco and cannabis aspects of the rolling papers industry. On the tobacco side, they strain for innovation, and have come out with a lot of really horribly un-ecological stuff, like heavy disposable packaging that has metal or plastic hinges and a magnet clasp.

We have tried to stay away from any plastic or metal and we’re trying to source more and more eco-friendly adhesives for the one spot where we stick the sleeve together. We may be able to solve that with an interlocking tab approach. We keep working at it. Packaging should normally be informative about its contents. Curved Papers package reveals the Easy To Roll Curved Edge.

Ecology Recycling is a huge frontier for humanity. I believe all packaging should be designed for its entire life cycle. There are many great ideas percolating in this regard. I have seen plastic six-pack holders that were made of edible hemp plastic, so that instead of strangling sea turtles, it feeds them. Our packaging is paper, and could be made of hemp. In any case, it’s readily recyclable. And we print “don’t litter” and “recycle” on it. We are going to keep on getting better at it. Plastic bottled water is the single biggest disaster in packaging history. curvedtee Branding A critical aspect of the packaging is what we draw and write on it. On the branding front we have developed the name and logo and colors (navy and purple), and the purple smoke motif, homage to Jimi Hendrix. Curved is a big word. Not only the package shows the shape of the papers, the logo shows the curved edge. It’s all pretty smiley. We’ve now done Curved Canada and Curved Mexico in response to political events. We have the ability to white label topically, to be journalistic; and for commercial purposes, too, to print branded Curved Papers as promotional items, or to private label for licensees. The package has become a platform. As one of the oldest industries, rolling papers has a rich history of evolving packaging design. My friend, Paul Rolhom, has a collection of 13,500 booklets from as far back as the early 1700’s.

They are amazing. So we wanted to have a beautiful enough package to be compared in such a grand tradition. We have been included in Paul’s amazing collection. Actually, we’re in kind of a golden age on the cannabis side, and this rolling paper package tradition goes forward. Everybody and their kin can now each easily have their own branded papers, and this has been a lot of fun the past couple of years. You can even print on the rolling papers now. Who would want to do that? People smoke weird things, but ink? Makes no sense. There are so many bad ideas out there.

Regulatory Compliance There are all kinds of local and regional and international standards and they are constantly changing. Everywhere you go, there are different regulations, and you have to have a certain level of business in the area to justify the separate print jobs required for specific compliant text and markings.

curvedhemptube

Other Good Ideas on Packaging from Curved Papers

  • HEMP Tube 

I have to talk about a pet peeve and mystery that is bothering me. When I first visited Denver, for the first MJBA Denver Meetup, I went to a dispensary and tried to buy a joint. The whole experience was interesting, after buying weed on the streets of New York and Boston my whole life. The packaging aspect of it was perplexing. First of all, you couldn’t get a joint, you had to buy a cone. It’s funny how people have strong preferences about these things. After all, it’s a habit. Habits are easy to develop, and hard to change. But I hate cones. Cones are for people who can’t roll joints. They make no sense otherwise. The most horrifying thing was that the wretched cone came in a big PLASTIC tube, bigger than it really had to be, too, since it should have been for a joint, not a cone. It was huge. Curved Papers has developed a new product, a sleek tube that holds one joint, and is made of biodegradable HEMP. I would like to know the politics and economics of how the people who got the contracts to produce pre-packaged doobies got them, and how they came to introduce cones as the standard, and plastic tubes. I think the FDA may have been involved and required the plastic tubes? Any investigative journalists from Colorado want to help me out? curvedblunts

  • Curved Blunts

We also see the beauty of having the cigarette wrap be made of the same material as the smoking material, like hemp or tobacco. Of course it’s quite popular to mix them. Hence our other new product: CURVED BLUNTS.

  • Hemp Wear

We have begun a new t-shirt joint venture to provide a platform for a t-shirt museum and on-demand one-off t-shirt printing, with crowd-pricing for popular styles. Pushing the brand out through appropriate product and merchandise channels is another revenue opportunity.

 


A Hierarchy of Packaging Values Integrated Product Enhancement: Packaging exists first and foremost to optimize the delivery of the product. Sustainability: Too much packaging is generally bad. More contents, less packaging. Green packaging.

Brand Manifestation: Packaging is often the most important, and is clearly a literal, branding touch point. Compliance: There are regulatory packaging and labeling requirements which must be fulfilled by packaging.


Humorist Michael Stusser Featured Presenter At Hot Box Show

WASHINGTON: Humorist Michael Stusser, the comedic brains behind the popular online cannabis network  Higher Ground TV, has been booked as a Featured Presenter at MJBA’s “HOT BOX: The Best in Marijuana Design and Packaging 2016” seminar in Tacoma on June 2nd.

Addressing an audience of business professionals in the emerging legal cannabis industry, the theme of Stusser’s presenation will be Visual Madness: From the Devil’s Harvest to Cannabis Connoisseur.

The award-winning filmmaker and author is a business member of the Marijuana Business Association, and HigherGroundTV and MJBA have worked together extensively in the past, most famously at the Hot Pot Products for the High Holidays show.

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Legal Cannabis Marketers Carefully Sell Their Wares

WASHINGTON:  While marketing quality cannabis to eager consumers may seem like simple stuff, licensed cannabis marketers are tasked with operating under strict regulatory guidelines, and must stay diligent or risk the wrath of both federal and state regulators.  The Federal Trade Commission is the overseer of advertising in the US, and that includes Washington State’s I-502 legal cannabis industry, while the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) and the Attorney General are the industry enforcers. Advertising is one of the few areas of regulation that is stricter in Washington State than in other recreational cannabis states.

The WSLCB has increasingly been focusing it’s actions on product packaging and internet marketing, and in response the Marijuana Business Association has invited leading cannabis industry attorneys Aaron Pelley and Anne van Leynseele of NWMJ Law to present ‘the dos and don’ts of marketing, advertising, packaging’ to an audience of producers, processors, retailers, and a diverse group of ancillary business owners at the HOT BOX: The Best in Marijuana Design and Packaging 2016  seminar on June 2nd in Tacoma, Washington.

“We will start with an overview of the constitutional rights; making the important distinction that advertising is not considered free speech so it can be regulated,” Anne van Leynseele told MJNN. “Building the foundation that the principle concepts of advertising and marketing law include truth in advertising and avoiding unfair trade practices. The Constitution is also the basis for Intellectual Property laws and the often misunderstood difference between assets that can be protected and those that cannot.”

NWMJ Law’s featured presentation will include advice that every business marketing cannabis brands on the internet and social media needs to know.  including Encouraging each business owner to carefully assess their compliance with for example: compliant packaging, proper signage on retail premises, displaying their valid license, and including mandatory warnings on ads.an update on the pending changes on labeling, as well the general principles, protective strategies, and our insights about what is happening in this critical and subjective aspect of the cannabis industry.

Advance Tickets on sale here: