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Branding Bud: The Commercialization of Cannabis (Book Review)

Branding Bud: The Commercialization of Cannabis (Book Review)

It’s been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to review a book that resonates with my own experience in cannabis. This would be the design and branding side of the industry. I’m learning about cannabis branding with my nearly forty years of experience in media. From my Emerson degree in film to that strange year at MIT, and then working in television in NYC, I was paying attention, it just didn’t feel like it at the time. Fast forward to present tense. When I was sent this book on the topic of cannabis, I couldn’t help but say yes. When a book is written on the plant, I want to see what is said. Not your everyday recipe book, but something that’s unique and therefore brilliant.

This holds true for Branding Bud. Cannabis is an extremely intimate device. I’m intrinsically interested in the plant since discovering it when I was about twelve years old. The good old Grateful Dead was playing on a reel to reel, for hours as was the case at the time. The weed wasn’t very good, but that wasn’t the point. It was the recognition of something different. Growing up with an appreciation for architecture, design and art through world travel is what taught me to see and it follows me to this date. Books such as Branding Bud make perfect sense to me. Much thought goes into branding any product. They just don’t appear without deep appreciation for the intellect behind the brand. There are passionate artists who live their craft by introducing design elements and personalities into the eventual sale of the plant. Here in NJ we have yet to experience the star power that someone like Willie Nelson provides with his rendition of Willie’s Best, but it’s coming down the legalization road.


Public Opinion:


What is that?

Fortunately design in the modern era can make stigmas that surround cannabis a bit less adverse to the art of growing up. The stigma of smoking weed can be minimized by great branding. Branding that signifies safety, common sense, quality and even adversity. All of these indicators signify the cannabis experience and are handled with a deep dive. You’ll be smarter, I promise.

From a primer to the history of the plant this essential book gradually introduces the reader to the stereotypes (non-functioning stoners for example) to long-haired anti-establishment folks who look very similar to me as a youth. Was that the cannabis talking? Who knew?

This book mimics so much of my path in life, establishing a brand in weed, branding that path through hard work and authenticity, but with cannabis as the reasoning. There is so much to share from all the means of ingestion, directly into the present tense of cannabis beverages- good timing!

Even the innovative brands are another deep dive in a timely manner which is instructive and patient.


Most impressive is the critical review of cannabis brands. Certainly, this is only one opinion, but the depth of the cannabis research is an easy read and jam-packed full of great advice for the cannabis pro or even a beginner. The practical application is that the book makes me want to delve more deeply into each of these featured brands because they represent excellence in marketing cannabis as more than just an art form. Cannabis heals and helps heal through the stimulation of the brain. It helps me think and above all write.

That’s why books like Branding Bud are fundamental to the art of the plant. An appellation so to speak. Like wine and as pertinent as life itself.


See Also

I recommend Branding Bud because it is well written and fun to read. You cannot pass through the pages without getting the yen to roll another one, just like the other one.

So, don’t bogart that joint my friend. Pass it over to me.

With apologies to Lowell George for massacring his lyrics.


A really great read. My highest reward to a book author is my smile of understanding their craft. This one is a keeper.


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