By Claire Kaufmann | September 24, 2014
A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to sit down with Andy Fraser (President) and Peter Metz (Co-founder and Creative Director) of Sockeye, the design brains behind the refreshing cannabis brand, Mirth Provisions. Founded by entrepreneur Adam Stites, Mirth Provisions is a Washington-based company that crafts cannabis-infused ingestibles (i.e. edibles and drinkables) with high-quality, local ingredients. Mirth produces three flavors of sparkling soda (Pomegranate, Lemon Ginger and Rainier Cherry) and two cannabis coffee blends (one with milk and sugar and one without.) Though it seems like they might be having some start-up operational challenges, products should hit shelves in Washington in the coming weeks.
Mirth is no stranger to the press. Their cannabis coffee blends sparked a lot of attention from the media, including headlines like: “‘Weed Coffee’ to go on Sale in Washington – and it’s Definitely Legal” and “Marijuana Coffee Promises Different Morning Jolt;” they even got a mention on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
While the press might make snarky comments about your “morning buzz,” what I love about Mirth Provisions is that from the ground up, they have built a brand identity that could stand the test of time, due in part, to their thoughtful design and their thorough market research. (That’s right, Sockeye conducted marketing research (you know like a real CPG company ;).)
“In fact,” explains Andy Fraser, “we didn’t even know we were going to make soda or coffee when we started.” After Mirth Provisions was awarded the first edible license in the state of Washington, “we knew we wanted Mirth to show up as the smartest, most mature brand in cannabis.”
And that, they did. After extensive surveying and research they settled on the drinkable product vertical, with the goal of “expanding into other provisions over time.”
Evoking the classic NW Craft Aesthetic, Mirth Provisions does what other clean food and craft-beer companies do best: they let the ingredients and the experience speak for themselves. Clean and simple.
What I also love about Mirth is that they understand something that other cannabis companies seem to be missing: CANNABIS IS FOR ADULTS! We should design responsibly, so that our products don’t look like they are for children. These products look like they are meant to sit next to your craft-beers, or your bottle of high-end, locally-distilled vodka. Founder Adam Stites explains in his article “Marijuana Renaissance,” that creating a cannabis brand is about way more than simply turning a profit. “This is about changing our collective understanding of what marijuana means in our culture, because it can do a lot more for us than get us high. This is a marijuana renaissance. ”
Even their company manifesto shows us how we can have pure grown-up fun with cannabis. (Notice how they sell the feeling of joy and happiness before they mention what they are selling.)
Sorry to put that whole thing in there, but seriously, isn’t it amazing? It is some of the best copywriting I have seen in cannabis. Hats off!
Bottom line, if I had to classify Mirth Provisions in just a few words I’d say that Mirth is marijuana for smart, fun adults who want an alternative to a craft beer. If Mirth Provisions is the future of cannabis, then I am on board. Thank you, Adam and the creative team at Sockeye for helping to raise the bar for the marijuana industry overall. Cheers!