Rebranding Weed So It's Not Just For Potheads Anymore

With marijuana legal in two states and approved for medicinal use in about 20 more, this year's 4/20 is gonna be epic, bro! But even as marijuana is being embraced by the mainstream, its image has been left behind in the 1960s. It's time to rebrand weed.

Our evolving relationship with pot might be progressive, but the way we express it is still stuck in tired stereotypes, says Michele Siegel on Studio 360: "tie-dye, the hemp leaf bumper stickers, the Cheech and Chong routines, the Snoop Dogg jokes," they're all getting old. So she tapped New York-based design firm Original Champions of Design to rebrand marijuana for a new future of legalization and decriminalization.

OCD's first suggestion: It's not weed. It's cannabiotics.

The most important part of changing the language about weed required designing a logo that deviated from the stereotypical five-leaf green patch you ironed onto your jean jacket in high school.

The new logo is also designed to look like a hemp leaf, but in a much more abstract way. The purple also gives it a subtle sophistication, says OCD partner Bobby Martin, with "cues to red wine, and subtle connotations of purple haze."


The "cannabiotic" term also helps weed become more like a nutritional supplement instead of a drug. People can think that they're making a healthy choice for their bodies, as reinforced by an ad campaign on the streets.


Moving the conversation away from smoking—which is losing traction in general in U.S. culture—quickly changes the way people think about it. "Smoking is out as a way to consume anything," OCD partner Jennifer Kinon says. Instead we should consume "cannabiotic" products.


And what would a weed campaign be without addressing edibles, more specifically a way to cook with marijuana at home? It's yet another way that encourages pot as a part of a healthy, organic lifestyle.


Then of course, there's the social factor. These emojis are designed so you can communicate wordlessly with your friends about your cannabiotic-consuming plans or behavior.

What do you think? Does this make weed—excuse me, I mean cannabiotics—more attractive to you? Will it help to make it more widely accepted by the masses? You can listen to the whole story at Studio 360's website and check out OCD's presentation here. [Studio 360]


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