Great Weed at Reasonable Prices
Without All the Extra Fluff
What do you get when a Legacy Grower and a Legendary Pro Skateboarder team up with a 4th generation family farm to bring best-in-class cannabis to the masses without all the extra cost? You get Weed (the brand).
What seems like lazy branding and a gimmick is actually some of the best branding to come out of California since the early days of the “green rush.” The brainchild of Evan Serling, Weed is really hitting its stride through a partnership with fourth-generation cultivators LadyBug Farms powering the plants behind the brand. This has only gotten better with the addition of legendary pro skateboarder and X-Games gold medalist Danny Way to the team.
The Beginnings of Weed
In order to really get an understanding of how this all came about, I sat down with Evan and Danny, as well as Jake Brookes the COO of Weed’s cultivation partner LadyBug Farms. If you’re sitting back and thinking the brand or concept is tongue in cheek, you’re probably right. If you think it’s because any of them don’t know how to come up with anything more creative, you’re way off base.
According to CEO Evan Serling, the idea for the brand stemmed from conversations he would have during his time with his previous company with consumers and industry operators alike.
Serling says, “We would hear them say stuff like, ‘Hey, you know, these are great, but do you have any cheap weed’ or ‘I need a lot of weed in bulk at the right price.’ And in talking to these buyers, these owners at big stores, I kept hearing this, they kept saying the brand doesn’t matter. You know, like, I don’t care what it looks like, I don’t care what kind of packaging it comes in.”
With that little tidbit of insight came a stroke of genius. Why overcomplicate it? Why not just call the products exactly what they are? That’s the language both industry and consumers alike are already using, so why not just use it too?
RELATED READING: Why Authenticity in Branding Matters
And that is how the world ended up with a cannabis brand called Weed.
Where They Are Now
It goes well past this initial inception though. What started as a way to not overcomplicate the needs of the California market has now turned into a full-blown lifestyle brand thanks to the addition of X-Games Gold Medalist Danny Way.
According to Danny, “It was just a matter of time before the brand was positioned well enough to be able to start pursuing some of these ideas that we’ve had for quite some time. So, we’re at that point where we’re activating as a cannabis brand and are now working on things that will resonate well with the budtenders, weed consumers, the skateboard enthusiast, and the actual sports community.
He continues on to say, “I think we’ll see that in our marketing and in the product lines that we can build, you know, a lifestyle component to this company.”
Danny is careful to draw the line between being a cannabis company that is bridging into lifestyle, rather than a lifestyle brand with cannabis as a product. He even uses an example from his time in the action sports world to really make it clear, “I look at other examples of companies like Diamond Supply Company, for example. Those guys aren’t an apparel company, although they do 99% of their businesses as apparel. They’re a hardware company, and they created merch, and the merch is their primary revenue source, but they still to this day… their brand stories are that they were a hardware company for skateboarding first, and continue to be one today.
What’s Actually In a Bag of Weed?
Fun branding and plans for merchandise are all good and well, but at the end of the day the thing that sets Weed apart more than anything is what’s inside the package, or what the merchandise represents. In the beginning, it was Evan’s dream to find the highest possible quality bud at the lowest prices, and that’s just what he did.
Prior to our interview, I had heard that the team would personally physically inspect every single product before they would put it out for sale, and I’m happy to report that those rumors are true. In Evan’s own words
“We either flew or drove to every single grow that we were buying from in the beginning. And then even when it came down to finding a single-source partner, we flew or drove out to those farms as well. We toured every single one, looked at all their operations, and talked to all the owners. We’re very hands-on with the products that we, that we source and that we use, and we smoke weed ourselves every day, you know, I mean, we’re big proponents for the plant. We all enjoy it. And we want to make sure that’s what, you know, the products that we’re putting out is something that we would smoke ourselves.”
When it comes to the single-source partner they eventually landed with, it turned out to be a fourth-generation family farm with over a decade of experience bringing best-in-class genetics to market. That farm is the one and only Ladybug Farms.
According to COO Jake Brookes, “You know, We’re a relatively large grower. We’re a family-owned and operated business. We have been growing flowers for the last 70 years. We still grow flowers. And when we’re looking to partner with businesses or brands we pick the people behind those brands, from large operators, large brands to small brands, it’s about the people. I think Evan’s concept, I think the team that he has behind them, are truly people who love the products. They are ingrained in the industry and really know what they want as customers first. And I think it’s important to shape this industry on a wider margin. As an industry, we need operators who are at heart, consumers.”
What’s the Bottom Line?
The one thing that came up multiple times during the interview from all three of these gentlemen was simple: “AUTHENTICITY.”
From the very beginning when it was just a couple of guys running up and down the coast buying the best weed they could find, to now being a dominant force in West Coast cannabis branding, the key piece to this story is that they are staying true to themselves, to the cannabis community, and to what it truly means to be entrepreneurs.
“100% authentic. Like we’re not doing anything just to do it. We’re not trying to be anybody cause we think it’s a cool thing to do. This is the life we live, you know. Danny goes hard on skateboarding. I go hard on cannabis. Jake, a fourth-generation farmer who has been doing big things forever. So, just taking all these pieces of our lives and putting them all together to feed this one brand… I think, to me, it’s the coolest thing ever.” Says Serling.
He continues, “I can’t even wait to see what happens in 2022. Because, I mean, it’s gonna be insane…like the work that we built together and the brand that we can create, the product that we can create. It’s gonna be next level.”
Weed products are distributed in partnership with the largest distributor of cannabis products in Cannabis, Herbl, so if you’re interested in buying some weed or carrying their products you know where to find them.