If you are involved in a cannabusiness, you know this to be true: The Cannabis Industry continues to struggle to let go of the past as it tries to carve out a new, successful future.
I touched on this not too long ago when I suggested that the industry would do well to deep-six longtime marijuana enthusiast Tommy Chong, and his 1970s stoner image, as a spokesperson for legal cannabis. “Having a spokesperson and prominent advocate for the Cannabis Industry who is so closely associated with the negative “stoner” culture isn’t going to help the push for legitimacy one bit,” I wrote, and I still believe that to be true.
Yes, the Cannabis Industry needs to shed the negative images of the past, and that’s why the story this past week at Tech Insider resonated with me, because it suggested that perhaps the industry should drop yet another symbol of the old, illegal stoner days — the pot leaf as a marijuana logo.
Tech Insider stated it pretty plainly: “The seven-pronged pot leaf is the most tired logo in the marijuana industry.”
It pointed out that,
Some 44 percent of logos registered as trademarks for weed-related businesses use the plant in their imagery, according to US Patent and Trademark Office records. As a result, the marijuana industry is unable to shed the kitsch vibe that prevents it from being taken seriously.
As the industry transitions from a black market to a $5.4 billion business, it must unburden some of the clichés: reggae music, Rastafarian colors, and Cheech and Chong, just to name a few.”
The Tech Insider is really a story about marketing and branding, and its point that the marijuana leaf logo has been overdone and stomped to death as a symbol for all manner of Cannabis Industry products is a good one. I doubt few would quibble with that.
But, it gets us back to the point I made about Tommy Chong as industry spokesperson: “Is this really the image we want people to be remembering right now?”
Continuing to use the marijuana leaf as an industry symbol is part of that discussion, too. And, with 44 percent of logos for weed-related businesses using it in their trademarks, well, you can see that way too many cannabusinsses are falling back on old, tired, worn-out symbolism.
If the legal marijuana industry is going to continue to grow and progress into mainstream American society, it must push to shed the negative images of the past. That shouldn’t be so hard to understand, but until more in the Cannabis Industry embrace that notion, the uphill climb to legalization will continue to be a lot harder hike than it needs to be.