The Roll Up: How Mainstream Consumer Brands Pair with Cannabis

The increasing number of collaborations between mainstream brands and cannabis companies indicates a promising future for the industry. As cannabis continues to shed its past stigma, we can expect to see more innovative partnerships that push the boundaries of creativity and acceptance.
Magnolia Bakery Launches Cannabis-infused Products
Magnolia Bakery Launches Cannabis-infused Products /

Over the past few years, the cannabis industry has experienced rapid growth, not only in sales and production but also in its cultural significance and acceptance. 

This evolution can be traced back to pioneering cannabis brands and their innovative collaborations, which continue to play a vital role in normalizing the consumption and integration of cannabis into mainstream culture.

A Sweet, Surprising Collaboration: Magnolia Bakery x Cannabis

Magnolia Bakery Debuts THC-infused Product Line
Magnolia Bakery Expands into Cannabis, Just Not in NY. /

The renowned Magnolia Bakery, synonymous with “Sex and the City” as much as its delectable desserts, is now stirring the pot in a whole new dimension. Their signature banana pudding and the much-acclaimed red velvet cake are now available in THC-infused edible forms. This marks Magnolia's debut in the cannabis product range.

The limited-edition bars are not just about the high; they are a tribute to the brand's iconic flavors. The Swirled Famous Banana Pudding bar is a tantalizing blend of creamy vanilla pudding, crunchy vanilla cookies, and freeze-dried bananas, each piece containing 10mg of THC. The Red Velvet Piece Ahhh Cake bar offers a sensory journey with flavors of moist red cake, a hint of cream cheese, and rich chocolate. This bar is a mix of 10mg of THC and 10mg of CBD per piece.

For those looking to get a taste of these innovative desserts, they will be available, with prices ranging from $18 to $30, in select states: Illinois, Nevada, and Massachusetts at Rise Dispensaries. The bakery has collaborated with Green Thumb Industries, known for producing Incredibles edibles, to craft these branded bars.

While marijuana is still federally illegal, numerous states have welcomed it for both medical and recreational purposes, leading to a burgeoning interest in edibles and infused-beverages. The evolving market landscape shows a shift from the stereotypical "pot brownies" to a diverse and appealing range of products, from gummies and candy bars to infused-seasoning and savory chips, among others. 

Recent data from cannabis research firm Headset reveals that edibles account for 12% of total cannabis sales, although they lag behind in comparison to flowers, vapor pens, and pre-rolls.

Magnolia's foray into the cannabis edibles market is strategic. The brand, previously highlighted in "Sex and the City," stands to gain both in terms of brand awareness and potential revenue. Neil Saunders, retail analyst at GlobalData Retail, believes that Magnolia's venture is timely given the evolving consumer perspectives on cannabis. However, the absence of nationwide legalization could pose challenges for broader distribution.

As the edible cannabis market continues to flourish, it is innovations like these and partnerships with mainstream brands and organizations that will shape the future of the industry as well as normalization. 

Such partnerships, especially with respected institutional brands like Magnolia, are a testament to the changing perceptions of cannabis. It signals a move towards seeing cannabis not just as a recreational substance but as a lifestyle choice that can seamlessly integrate into daily life.

The Art of the Mash-Up: Mainstream Brands & Cannabis

The annual cannabis holiday celebration of April 20, popularly known as 4/20, has always been a significant event in the cannabis community. However, in recent years, this date has seen a surge in collaborations between cannabis brands and mainstream companies, further cementing the industry's place in popular culture.

For instance, an industry-first deal between Jack in the Box and Weedmaps paved the way for other notable collaborations. AriZona iced tea, Fatburger, and artist/sneaker designer Stan Birch have all partnered with cannabis companies for 4/20-centric promotions.

Spotlight on Unique Collaborations:

  • Elevated Munchies: Kiva Confections, an edibles maker, teamed up with national fast-food chain Fatburger to introduce a "canndiment" - a weed-infused ketchup. This unique product promises to elevate the regular fast-food experience by adding a psychoactive twist. Interestingly, this product, priced at $5 for a 10-milligram packet, was launched exclusively in Southern California and was only available for a limited time.
  • High Fashion: Pax, renowned for its premium vapes, ventured into sneakerhead culture by collaborating with designer Stan Birch. The result? Custom-made Nike Dunk Low sneakers with a unique cannabis-inspired design. This limited-edition footwear was unveiled at a 4/20 fashion show in SoHo.
  • Homage to Classics: Edie Parker, often referred to as the "Coco Chanel of cannabis", embarked on a creative journey to pay homage to vintage ads. The brand cleverly reimagined classic Hollywood films and well-known ads, infusing them with a satirical cannabis touch.
  • Unique Merchandise: Puffco, in 2022, launched Cupsy, a water pipe disguised as a coffee cup. In a unique twist, they collaborated with AriZona Beverages to overlay the design of AriZona's green iced tea packaging onto this product. This limited-run product aims to provide customers with a memorable experience, blending design, flavor, and accessibility.
  • Elevated Happy Hours: The Flower Hour, has reimagined the anachronistic happy hour for those among us who prefer cannabis over alcohol. Their innovative model seeks to transcend conventional consumption norms, fostering an environment that encourages responsible and informed cannabis engagement as well as normalization within familiar venues such as restaurants and bars. 
PuffCo's Cupsy, a collab with AriZona Beverages.
PuffCo and AriZona Beverages Team Up on Cupsy, a Water Pipe disguised as a coffee cup. /
This limited-edition sneaker was unveiled at a 4/20 fashion show in SoHo, created by Pax in collaboration with Stan Birch.
A Pax collaboration with Stan Birch, resulted in this custom-made Nike Dunk Lowe sneaker with a unique cannabis-inspired design /

What we can all agree on is that these kinds of collaborations and experiences serve as a platform for cannabis enthusiasts and curious individuals alike to engage, learn, and embrace the potential of this versatile plant in unique but familiar settings

By transcending the conventional boundaries, these initiatives open doors to a wider demographic, fostering a community of individuals who appreciate the plant's nuances and the importance of responsible consumption and normalization while also celebrating cannabis’ cultural impact and influence. 

The Future of Cannabis Collaborations

The increasing number of collaborations between mainstream brands and cannabis companies indicates a promising future for the industry. As cannabis continues to shed its past stigma, we can expect to see more innovative partnerships that push the boundaries of creativity and acceptance.

Moreover, as consumer interest in cannabis grows, it presents a vast opportunity for brands to tap into a new market segment and engage with a broader audience. The future indeed looks green for the cannabis industry, and collaborations will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in its continued evolution.