Fighting the stigma in 2021: 6 cannabis brands to keep your eye on
When you're living in a legal state in the year of 2021, it can be easy to forget that there are still people holding on to some seriously negative stigmas against cannabis. Despite the plant’s legalization in over 30 states medically and 15 states recreationally, and the fact that 68% of Americans favor its legalization, the anti-cannabis propaganda that was pumped out in the United States in the 1930s the seems to have solidified a bad rap for the plant that still persists today almost one hundred years later, albeit in more subtle ways.
Pro tip: Check out the movie Marijuana Menace for context and a good laugh.
Today, our social spheres continue to be affected by this stigma, from silly, distorted depictions of 'lazy stoners' in pop culture, to the nonsensical banning of cannabis-related content on social media. This outdated way of thinking can have a variety of repercussions, such as social pressures discouraging cannabis consumption, policies that limit access to the plant, and the disproportionate incarceration of BIPOC.
In the face of these outdated ways of thinking, some visionaries have set out to build cannabis brands around modernized values of fostering connection, creating quality experiences, and social progress. They are challenging the misconception that consuming cannabis does not go hand in hand with wellness, productivity, style, and safer communities. Ultimately, it’s brands like these that have the power to bridge the gap between cannabis culture and mainstream thinking, contributing to the ecosystem of social progress through legalization and decarceration. We’ve put together a list of a few of our favorites forging ahead and leading the industry.
1. Monogram / @monogramcompany
What: Founded by Jay-Z, Monogram is a new brand based in California offering a luxury, premium cannabis experience with its flower and prerolls.
Why: Although the brand already presents itself as a thought-leader with stylish packaging and proprietary strains that are distinguished through its own numbering system rather than strain names, it’s the way they’ve taken a stance for social change and criminal justice reform that stands out to us. Monogram has placed ads with powerful messages relaying the hypocrisy of the War on Drugs in cities throughout the country.
Product Pairing: Zen Bonsai Mini Rig
2. Stoned & Toned / @getstonedandtoned
What: Stoned & Toned is a fitness platform designed specifically with cannabis lovers in mind.
Why: This brand challenges the “lazy stoner” stereotype with its entire existence by promoting cannabis as a tool for movement and mind-body wellness. It’s no wonder it was founded by one of the OG cannabis lifestyle photographers, Morgan English aka @thiscannabislife, who has been challenging the cannabis stigma with her bright, clean content since 2016. Each class is 30 minutes long and starts off with a strain or product recommendation to compliment your sweat session.
Product Pairing: Mini Rig - Large - Black Water Bottle
3. Braindings / @braindings
What: Braindings offers CBD tinctures & gummies made from organic hemp grown in Colorado.
Why: Another brand whose message for social change is just as strong as its product offering, Braindings is “the first cannabis brand to redistribute 100% of proceeds back down to the community.” They started an Artist Label Program which distributes 50% of all sales back to the artist who poured their hearts into designing the packaging, an innovative and powerful way to spread art while helping people access their cannabinoids. The other 50% you ask? Those remaining proceeds are donated to causes that are driving positive change for the community. Not sure about you, but we’re sure dreaming of a world where more business models look like this!
Product Pairing: Gumball Machine Carb Cap
4. Political Potheads / @politicalpotheads
What: Political Potheads offers apparel and accessories with powerful messages
Why: In a moment when change abounds, we’re grateful to have brands like Political Potheads encouraging people to stay politically active and building a community around social activism, especially as it pertains to the War on Drugs. Founded during the pandemic lockdown by another influential voice in the cannabis space, Kaya Miller aka @behighbeyou, Political Potheads is for those who feel just as strong about living in an equitable society as they do about smoking the best weed. The brand also redistributes 10% of all sales made to The NORML Foundation, an organization taking action to advance cannabis legalization and restore justice to those affected by the policing of the plant.
Product Pairing: Bowl Piece - Space Cruiser
5. LYTE Herbals / @lyte.herbals
What: LYTE Herbals sells organic CBD + lavender prerolls in beautiful packaging.
Why: LYTE had the pleasure of launching in March, right at the start of a global pandemic. Lucky for all of us, the fact that world shut down didn’t stop LYTE from bringing its hemp prerolls to the world. Harnessing the power of the hemp plant combined with the aromatic properties of lavender, their pre-rolls offer a natural solution for people looking to quit smoking and has received countless positive testimonials from people looking to find an alternative to nicotine. We love how their prerolls can be disguised as cigarettes so that we don’t have to fear judgment while driving - they’re our favorite remedy for traffic woes! We also love to support a women-owned and LGBTQ-owned business.
Product Pairing: Avocado Alligator Clip
6. The Boutique by Stoned Fox / @shopstonedfox
What: The Boutique offers a highly-curated selection of luxury cannabis accessories and wellness products with the intention of promoting inclusivity, sustainability, transparency, and quality.
Why: The people at Stoned Fox have put their editorial eyes to work to launch a new shop of consciously-curated brands and products. Aside from the ridiculously beautiful curation of products, our favorite feature of the Boutique is the ability to ‘shop by vibe’ to help canna-curious consumers find their way when exploring new cannabis products that especially cater to female consumers. Just like how a new pair of running shoes can make you feel instantly faster, sometimes having the most aesthetically pleasing gear for your sesh can make your high even better.
Product Pairing: Dry Pipe - Boba Ice Cream Bar