Rolling Stone-Branded Cannabis Hints at the Future of Weed in Promo
In the branded cannabis world, a lot of the products are packaging for retail products, or accessories related to cannabis: rolling papers, grinders, rolling trays, lighters, etc. But Curaleaf, one of the biggest names in recreational cannabis, just partnered with Rolling Stone magazine for a collection of pre-rolled joints and vape cartridges that will be available in Nevada.
“Rolling Stone and Select are creating a groundbreaking partnership that will showcase our next generation hardware [and] America’s best-selling premium cannabis oil, while curating an exclusive relationship between music, cannabis and culture,” Select founder and president Cameron Forni told Cannabis Now.
And here we were thinking it was the Grateful Dead who curated an exclusive relationship between music, cannabis and culture.
Jokes aside, this is actually a pretty big deal, if you’ve been paying attention to the cannabis branding world. As it becomes legal in more and more places, there’s great variation in terms of how it can be marketed. (Some countries, like Canada, which legalized recreational cannabis on a federal level, are playing it more closely to how some countries market tobacco products: i.e. not at all.)
The branding here is good, too. The vape cartridge obviously has more staying power, with the Rolling Stone "RS" logo and the Select/RS co-branding on there. The pre-rolled joints also have the Rolling Stone logo on the end. Each product comes in a branded box, too, with a description of the strain (each with a very music-y tie-in name).
Today, @select_better and @RollingStone announced a first-of-its kind strategic partnership that will bring high-quality cannabis products that are "made for music" to Nevada and beyond. More: https://t.co/g7TWydoTUc pic.twitter.com/Esl3hS5scI
— Curaleaf (@Curaleaf_Inc) June 8, 2021
There’s the fear that, once it’s legal, things like colorful packaging and cartoonish mascots will appeal to children. In the U.S., where legalization varies state to state, it’s still sort of the Wild West, where celebrity endorsements and branding-heavy products are available in stores.
To attach cannabis itself to such a well-known brand, too, is sort of a first.
“Music and cannabis go hand-in-hand,” Rolling Stone president and chief marketing officer Gus Wenner told Cannabis Now.
The partnership with Rolling Stone is actually part of a greater effort by Curaleaf to destigmatize recreational cannabis use to “remove systematic barriers for communities most harmed by the War on Drugs and cannabis criminalization,” said Curaleaf CEO Joe Bayern.
If that’s their goal, then it’s hard to imagine that Rolling Stone will be their last partnership. Cannabis products are now commonplace in the promotional products world, and now cannabis itself might make its way into promo, too.