Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5
Subscribe

Canndescent | Brand Spotlight Partner What is this?

How Luxurious! 5 Tips for Creating High-Quality Cannabis Products.

Canndescent CEO: 'There are no shortcuts to greatness.'

The cannabis industry may be red hot … but beautiful? Aspirational? Luxe? Such qualifiers don’t typically make the cut when describing a commodity once synonymous with slackers.

Canndescent

But Canndescent, a two-year-old company based in Desert Hot Springs, Calif., is making marijuana usage a five-star experience with premium flower grown on-site using proprietary genetics. The resulting bud, packaged in display-worthy glass containers alongside organic hemp wick lighters and housed in bright orange boxes that nod to Hermes’ signature shade, promises the finest flavors, aromas, and customized high that money can buy. 

While Canndescent aims to elevate the consumer experience, it’s also appealed to a wider base and became 2017’s top-selling flower brand in California by being straightforward, inviting users to choose how they “want to feel” and offering five core products (Calm, Cruise, Create, Connect, Charge) intuitively named for their unique effects. CEO Adrian Sedlin built the company on the belief that high-end consumers “value quality improvements over price reductions.” 

Sedlin has carried that very ethos—along with Canndescent’s best-in-class standards—to the brand’s new vape line, Stylus Series. The line includes a ready-to-use pen, a sleek battery and cartridge system, and essential vape oils from Canndescent’s bestselling cannabis. Utilizing a slow, low-temperature extraction process to retain the plant’s natural aromatic terpenes, the brand’s UltraClear distillate offers the “unmistakable taste of pure flower,” Sedlin says, adding that the majority of oils on the market “are made from over-processed, overheated, fine trim that extractors source from many gardens. We control our supply chain front to back: our oils are made from Canndescent ultra-premium flower grown to Canndescent standards.”

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Canndescent product if it didn’t scream chic: The new pen features magnetic cartridges, a discreet mouthpiece cap, and a soft-touch, rubberized material that feels luxurious (and protects against being rolled off a table). “We’ve taken vaping from Casio to Rolex,” Sedlin says.

Here, Sedlin shares his top tips for creating ultra-premium products that stand out in an increasingly crowded cannabis market.

1. Expect a consumer learning curve. 

Canndescent isn’t just offering a high-end product, it’s also tackling popular cost-value perceptions across the industry. “Starbucks looked expensive in 1979, and only the super rich were trying it,” Sedlin explains. “Starbucks ‘premiumized’ coffee, and now, 40 years later, all walks of life frequent Starbucks.” 

Achieving high volumes with higher prices, Canndescent is “premiumizing” the category, educating consumers, and pulling the mainstream consumer upmarket, Sedlin says. And increasingly savvy consumers can certainly make the distinction; the Stylus Series, he explains, “is the difference between steak and sausage. Consumers are learning quickly that Canndescent is worth it.”

2. Remember: Passion for product and consumer go hand-in-hand.

“Behind every ultra-premium product is a sincere passion for the consumer, the product, and the desire to make the planet a little more joyous,” Sedlin says. 

A quality-driven product like Canndescent aims to pamper the consumer and communicate a simple message: “‘We think you’re worth it,’” Sedlin explains, adding that the Stylus Series and its thoughtful touches—including a sleek battery designed to magnetically align with both their own cartridges and those from other brands—is the perfect distillation of such a philosophy: “Ultra-premium products always display a passion and deep care for the customer, and a passion and deep care for the product and its excellence. Always pamper and do right by your customer.” 

Canndescent's new vape line, Stylus Series. The new pen features magnetic cartridges, a discreet mouthpiece cap, and a soft-touch, rubberized material that feels luxurious.
Image credit: Canndescent

3. Brand identity must go beyond messaging. 

In the ultra-premium space, it’s not enough to craft a cohesive brand identity for the sake of marketing; your business must also reflect those same values behind the scenes. 

“Consumers don’t buy products, they buy your ‘why,’ and then they buy your products,” Sedlin says. “This said, brand isn’t just about external messaging, identity, packaging and presentation. That’s not even 20 percent of it. The rest of brand is your operations, human resources, and all the other elements of running a business, which must align against the consumer segment you are trying to serve.”

If you don’t bring the entire company into alignment against the consumer, Sedlin urges, the “gears of your business will grind, and you won’t get far.”

4. Still, message—and looks—do matter. 

In a nascent category like cannabis, where the consumer is just beginning to learn, the visual appeal is critical, Sedlin explains. “To teach people cannabis is beautiful and Canndescent cannabis is gorgeous, we must pair it with amazing imaging and styling.” 

Social media, for instance, is a critical part of Canndescent’s messaging and imaging. Since inception, the company has used “top-10-in-the-world commercial photographers” and have hired Vogue models to frame perception, Sedlin says. 

“A consumer may not know cannabis, but they can spot great design and photography in a heartbeat,” he says. “When the visuals speak to people, trust is built, and consumers consider trying the product.”

5. And, of course, walk the walk.

Though consumers are happy to pay more for exceptional quality, the product must deliver against the promise of excellence, Sedlin says. With the Stylus Series, for example, Canndescent is doubling down on its value proposition—being the best money can buy—to redefine the vape experience.

“Irrespective of packaging and customer service, product quality must be exceptional; any inconsistency between quality and price will instantly doom a high-end brand,” he says. “Similar to what we’ve achieved in flower, bringing unmatched quality, consistency, simplicity, and style, we set out to have the Stylus Series redefine vaping and become the category standard. We’ll find out soon what consumers think of this two-year labor of love. There are no shortcuts to greatness!”

Canndescent is available at leading dispensaries throughout California, find a dispensary near you.

Canndescent

Brand Spotlight Partner

Spotlight is brought to you by the Entrepreneur Partner Studio, which creates dynamic and compelling content for our partners.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur Spotlight partners are their own.