Depending on the day of the week and on who you ask, branding is the last frontier for the not-quite nascent but still-fledgling cannabis industry. Despite rumblings that R.J. Reynolds has bought half of Mendocino County and that Monsanto has already patented the cannabis flower (spoiler: barring a massive conspiracy, neither of these things are true and will never be), with a few notable exceptions, big consumer brands and mainstream celebrity names have yet to fully integrate themselves into the weed world.
But this is changing, sort of. Over the last weekend of August, cannabis-seekers at Alternative Health Herbal Services, a marijuana dispensary in West Hollywood, could plunk down $65 for 3.5 grams of flower branded by one of the biggest companies on earth: content giant Netflix, generator of 37 percent of the world’s internet traffic. Meant as a promotion of its new sitcom set in a marijuana dispensary, “Disjointed,” Netflix licensed references to 10 of its shows as names for limited-availability strains. There was “Prickly Muffin” (a “Bojack Horseman” reference), “Banana Stand Kush” (“Arrested Development”), and “Poussey Riot” (“Orange is the New Black”).
There were also three strains from “Disjointed,” which stars Kathy Bates and could possibly be some of the worst content yet offered by the streaming behemoth. Whatever — when you can spend $6 billion on new content while $20 billion in debt, all while your investors laugh and love and open their checkbooks again, you can do what you want.
The Netflix-branded cannabis was only available for a few days over the weekend that saw the show’s first (and possibly only) 10 episodes go live for streaming. It was a simple move: Throw whatever marijuana happened to be lying around into a smartly designed jar (which bear striking resemblance to the Marley Natural branded cannabis) and apply a double-digit markup. As per AdWeek, the dispensary sold 430 ounces worth of the branded cannabis. (At 12,190 grams, and $65 for 3.5 grams, that’s $226,000 worth.) So while the show might be short-lived, the sale — and the notion behind it — were clear successes.
This means that as long as there’s money to be made — and so far, selling cannabis has proven to be a profitable pursuit — Netflix-branded pot is likely to return. Here are the ideas we imagined for potential strain names in the next round:
You still can’t smoke cannabis on federal property despite legalization in Washington, D.C., which is a place where everyone gets ahead by obeying the rules at all times, like respecting the electoral process and the sovereignty of foreign powers, and not systematically murdering everyone around you in order to rule the world. This is heady stuff — one whiff of this and everyone will know to steer clear of you for fear of their lives.
Listen, entrepreneurs just want to entrepreneur. They’re agnostic about what they traffic in, really, just as long as it’s profitable. Pablo Escobar got his start in cigarettes and household appliances before moving onto disco dust, but his appeal to weed aficionados is clear (and clearly offensive, but we’ll forgive Wiz for now; whether he’ll make amends in Medellin is up to him). Cannabis and cartels have a lot of baggage, but something light, airy, and tropical could set everyone in a state of mind to mend fences.
Sometimes having everything isn’t enough. Other times, it’s far too much all at once. Here we have several great brands, brought together under one huge tent, a fusion matchup meant to break into new markets while still hitting all the notes to please the brand faithful. Sometimes, big gambles just don’t pay off, and while nobly intended, this strain for everyone might turn out to be a master of none.
The baddest strain on this planet might not even be considered mid-grade back where it comes from — wherever that is. All we know is that it was more than enough to terrify an entire small town back in Indiana for much of a week. Children in its grasp disappeared entirely, and spent the rest of their time hiding in basements, playing Dungeons & Dragons. Should absolutely be illegal, but as usual, the government is interfering and ruining everything.
TELL US, what are your ideas for Netflix-branded strains?