Boston brand skirts cannabis ad bans with help of local artists

Massachusetts cannabis ad

Cannabis brands are held to strict marketing standards. Many states have rules against traditional advertising like radio spots and television commercials. On top of that, social media channels restrict cannabis content. Creators can be shadow banned, with content blocked from viewers, or kicked off platforms altogether. Not to mention these sites don’t allow paid advertising from cannabis companies.

Cannabis businesses have to be creative to get their products in front of consumers, and many opt to collaborate with artists to make it happen.

An Arizona brand recently dropped a cannabis collaboration with a local chef, and RYTHM just released the first strain in its musician-fueled Artist Series. In the Northeast, the “Keep It Fresh” from Nature’s Heritage Cannabis is the latest cannabis artist collab in the space.

“We’re a Massachusetts-based cannabis brand. We wanted to work with like-minded, local talent that mirrored our brands’ mission. Working with local talent created a sense of unity and accessibility for the campaign leading to organic brand awareness,” brand director Tami Kirlis shared with GreenState.

Nature’s Heritage is owned and operated by Marimed. The company partnered with Boston animator and cartoonist Duncan Hatch for a creative take on in-store promotional materials. The artist developed short videos that depict how the products may make someone feel. Hatch was paired with Salem, Mass. band Brix ‘n Mortar for the musical accompaniment in a promotion for Nature’s Heritage strain Double Krush.

“The goal is to get people to stop, recognize, and appreciate a visual marketing display that’s completely different from what is considered the ‘norm’ within the competitive industry,” Kirlis explained.

The video starts on a Nature’s Heritage jar before quickly inviting viewers inside to a world of Hatch animation. A 30-second wild ride through worlds is drawn in a style that rings of Adult Swim classic Metalocalypse even without the gnarly Brix n’ Mortar riffs. The ad culminates by stuffing the viewer back in the jar, revealing a QR code with more information about the product.

Art evokes a memorable emotional response in people, solidifying that memory is the goal with creative cannabis marketing endeavors. Collaborations with artists, musicians, chefs, and other creators give cannabis brands a line to target markets in an industry regulated to make reaching consumers a challenge. Marimed paired with two creatives in hopes of standing out in the highly competitive space.

“Our hope is that people will see the ‘Keep It Fresh’ campaign and want to learn more about our brand, available strains, and quality experience,” Kirlis concluded.

Cara Wietstock is senior content producer of and has been working in the cannabis space since 2011. She has covered the cannabis business beat for Ganjapreneur and The Spokesman Review. You can find her living in Bellingham, Washington with her husband, son, and a small zoo of pets.