Woman standing proudly in front of her indoor cannabis farm
Woman standing proudly in front of her indoor cannabis farm

This is California Cannabis

Branding / Campaign / Strategy

Overview

California is no stranger to the traditions and legacy of agriculture–it’s a point of pride for so many Californians and valued throughout the world. Still, the industry is constantly evolving and innovating. This is also true when it comes to California-grown cannabis. 

As a licensing and regulatory authority, CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing, a division of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), is dedicated to supporting a strong legal market by working with cannabis growers to secure and maintain licenses. With this mission, CalCannabis looked to create an outreach campaign that connects with unlicensed cannabis growers and encourages them to pursue a license with California. 

Man examining cannabis plant closely

Strategy

Building upon in-depth research, including field trips to different operations throughout California, our team alongside our Public Relations partners at Edelman, developed This is California Cannabis. Through messaging and design, our team sought out to reintroduce a legal cannabis industry in California from a fresh perspective. One that celebrates the hard work, determination, and entrepreneurial spirit of growers looking to establish themselves in this new phase of the industry. 

Behind the scenes photoshoot at Grass Valley cannabis farm
This is California Cannabis campaign asset
CalCannabis Circle Profiles

Campaign Creative

The creative approach for the campaign first and foremost celebrates the people that make up the cannabis industry. Highlighting real individuals communicates a sense of pride and community, with the ultimate goal of bringing humanity to the forefront of a commonly misunderstood agriculture sector. We traveled across California to capture a diverse set of individuals that all come from different backgrounds, operation types, and each have unique paths that led them to where they are today. 

To compliment the photo-driven approach, we used subtle texture, friendly earth tones, and a lowercase serif typestyle to further express a welcoming and approachable tone. Cropped photo treatments serve as a design element that puts emphasis on the growers and their pioneering spirit. 

This is California Cannabis logo

Creative Messaging

The campaign’s messaging focuses on striking a balance between aspirational and supportive. Through concise statements such as “I am a grower. We are committed. This is progress.”, the campaign leads with sentiments that highlight the characteristics of the individuals, community, and industry that define California cannabis. Messaging also provided an opportunity to further establish CalCannabis as a leader for the cannabis industry, one that acknowledges the challenges that come with the developing legal market while also assuring audiences their commitment to providing guidance. 

Close up image of cannabis leaf bud
This is California Cannabis digital ads
Billboard showcasing This is California Cannabis campaign
Posters created for the This is California Cannabis campaign
Man standing on ladder next to fully grown cannabis plant

Photography / Videography

We captured high quality photography of real individuals in their environments to establish a foundation of authenticity for the campaign. In addition to photography, videography added a rich layer of storytelling that dives deeper into the journeys of a select number of individuals navigating the legal market. The videos paint a picture of the realities and challenges of the legal market, as well as the innovation, dedication, and passion of being a licensed cannabis grower. The dialogue is real and raw, and it’s clear to see the sense of pride the growers’ have for the California cannabis industry.      

Summary

Through outreach, external communications (social media, website, email) and paid media (digital, outdoor, and radio), the campaign continues to reach unlicensed growers across the state to highlight the benefits of becoming licensed and continue to show industry stakeholders and the general public that the legal cannabis market is continuing to grow.

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Campaign Collaborators 

Public Relations – Edelman

Paid Media – Audacy

Photography – Douglas Taylor

Videography – Franklin Pictures

Team Photo at Tilth Cannabis farm in Monterey