Much like the launch of a ship – there are many man-hours and months of ideation and planning that go into launching a brand. The image or idea of a company falling into instant or rapid success does a disservice to the planning and strategy that goes into a successful launch.
Missouri has seen time and time again, that branding and identity are often as important to our medical marijuana marketplace as the product itself. Those who successfully build brands and plans have an easier entry point and have often found success more quickly than those who have struggled to define their brand identity.
For 1913 Brands, its launch has been hugely successful – finding brand partners, developing a loyal following, and garnering rave reviews online for their products.
Greenway recently spoke to Jessica Cooksey, Director of Branding for 1913 Brands, about the company’s entry into the Missouri cannabis market, and how it seemed to become an overnight sensation.
The brand name itself is a direct nod to the tumultuous past of cannabis prohibition in America.
“The name is symbolic of our nation’s first marijuana prohibition in 1913, in California,” Cooksey explained. “A lot of people think it began with the Tax Act of 1937. But California outlawed marijuana in 1913, during a wave of anti-narcotics legislation. The 1913 law didn’t receive any public notice in the press and was passed as a technical amendment by the State Board of Pharmacy.”
From there, 1913 Brands finds its home at the corner of classic Americana and progress. A blend of classic and modern. “Originally the idea for 1913 Brands was to be a mix of old school classy with a new age feel.,” Cookesy said, “I think we still retain that feel but are more medical-patient-minded now.”
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room, the design and tagline both heavily allude to Lucky Strike cigarettes, what can you tell me about that?
“It’s true, for sure with the original idea and branding. I changed the logo and will eventually transition that over to packaging. It still keeps the same feel, but changed up enough. The original concept was definitely a vintage Lucky Strike feel.”
While the branding has been a focal point in public, the work behind the scenes has been ongoing.
“We have a strong Missouri foundational team developed with successful people brought in from multiple markets. We also pride ourselves in our team’s diversity and are definitely more than a company,” Cooksey said, “I really feel like we are a family. Everyone brings their own unique skills and passion to the team.”
With operations anchored in Waynesville, the cultivation facility uses supplemental LED with automated light deprivation technology, cutting-edge HVACD technology, and roof ventilation, in climate-controlled greenhouses to produce year-round growth.
Propagation Room | 1913 Brands
What were the biggest obstacles this team faced over the last year?
“Well, Missouri weather was definitely a challenge coming from the structure of a Colorado setup. Construction issues were troubling – from trying to get level ground, to running irrigation from the town’s water tower. Getting that up and operational was a challenge. Anytime you’re calibrating a new setup with grow operations, it proves challenging until you get everything dialed in and running properly.”
What would you do differently if you could?
“Well, the change we would make if we could go back in time is a better cooling system. Missouri climate was a big challenge and we learned real quick after the first harvest. We have a better setup now, but that caused a delay in things we wanted to accomplish.”
What lessons did you learn along the way?
“Learning to adapt to a Missouri cannabis market and also be flexible in all operational aspects. Everything doesn’t always fall in place and you need to be quick on adapting to those situations.”
Caramel Apple Gelato | 1913 Brands
Building a following
1913 Brands has been active on social media and at events, which seems to have led to building name recognition very quickly – what can you say about the strategy you’re using?
“I think it was key with timing. We tried to get our name out there and traction started well before launch. Social media presence is vitally important in any business and in the cannabis market especially. Being active at community events is very important as well. Getting to talk to industry people and get the word out (about 1913 Brands.)”
How is 1913 Brands currently involved in the community?
“We definitely love our cannabis community in Missouri. Right now we are sponsoring upcoming budtender appreciation events. I think it’s important to have a presence to educate on our products and really appreciate all the hard-working people that assist patients in Missouri. Our Missouri budtenders are so amazing and important in our cannabis community. We’re also pretty active at other cannabis events in the community. It’s amazing how the cannabis community comes together and feels like one big canna family.”
“We would like to do a lot more when we are further along in our operations. We would love to be involved in more community events. Eventually, we would love to get a program together for patient education on cannabis.”
Blueberry Muffin | 1913 Brands
A strong first impression
At launch, 1913 brands came to market with 5 pack pre-rolls and the 1913 brands flower line.
“Our strains at launch were all Humboldt county strains, some being the first in the Missouri market at the time.”
“My personal favorites have been the Blueberry Muffin and the Kush Mint,” Cooksey explained, “I think you will see those two in our lineup for a while.”
In addition to Cooksey’s favorites, 1913 Brands currently offers several other flower cultivars:
MEMBER OG – a hybrid made by crossing Member Berry 21 and Temple Kush.
LEMON CAKE – a Sativa-dominant cross of Lemon Skunk and a “dangerously powerful Cheese.”
ICE CREAM CAKE – an Indica cross of Wedding Cake and Gelato #33.
HI-BISCUS – a cross of Zkittles and Blueberry Muffin.
DON CARLOS – an Indica-dominant hybrid cross between Blackberry OG and Humboldt Sour Diesel.
DOC’S OG – an Indica-dominant hybrid cross of Face Off OG and Rare Darkness #1.
BLACK OG – a mixture of Blackberry Kush and Emerald Headband.
As for the pre-rolls, “Our pre-rolls are 100% flower. No trim at all,” she explained. “The packaging is pretty cool as well, on the 5 packs. It opens up sort of like an old cigarette case. On the bottom, there is a built-in roach storage. Also, patient feedback has been amazing. So many have told me that they reuse the pack for various setups.”
Pre-roll 5 pack | 1913 Brands
What products are you planning to release in the future?
“What I’m most excited about is our edible line ‘Gloria’. We want to bring something different to the edible market. I doubt you will see the typical gummies from us. I won’t release what it is yet, but I know we’re all very excited over here about what will be released under the Gloria line.”
Kush Mint | 1913 Brands
As 2021 draws to a close, 1913 Brands is poised to continue making waves. A shift to a more patient-focused mentality, strong branding and name recognition, and high-quality product that has been well-received position the company for growth and success into the future. The passion for community and a strategy that involves community engagement signify much of what makes 1913 Brands a fan favorite in the Missouri medical marijuana market.