Luxury Cannabis Branding

The Art of Packaging

Today, it seems that every cannabis company is trying to become the next “luxury” or super -premium brand. And for good reason. In a market that is basically a commodity, brands don’t merely stand out, they are a must-have.

When Oregon created the states legal cannabis program, they had one goal in their mind above all else: to convince every grower to leave the black market. Accordingly, they set low barriers of entry. As a result, cannabis production boomed — with bitter consequences.

Cannabis prices in Oregon are currently in a freefall, and the craft cannabis farmers who put Oregon on the map decades ago, are in peril of losing their now-legal businesses as the market adjusts. In order to survive this commoditization, premium brands are emerging that create a connection with the consumer and can command a higher price.

Undeniably, there will always be those that want to compete on price. Bargain basement brands have a market however, their margins are slim with little consumer loyalty. As soon as a competitor releases a comparable product at a lower price, consumers will switch. The same cannot be said of luxury brands.

Luxury brands are a prized possession. In a complex, competitive, commodity-driven business environment, luxury branding creates higher profits and stability. They create a strong, loyal following, and temper the winds of price wars and recessions. A study by the Financial Times found that 70% of the market capitalization of the top 100 companies was intangible, and that a company’s brand was considered its “most important asset.”

One of the single most important elements in creating a brand is in how it is presented to the public – its packaging. I often tell my clients that packaging is not more important than the product that goes inside the box, but it comes a close second. If you have an inferior product, no amount of fancy packaging will stimulate a repeat sale. But if you have a great product that delivers a consistent experience, then your packaging can attract and retain consumers.

What makes a great package?

Do not make the mistake of believing that shoppers make rational, informed decisions. In truth, most purchasing decisions are purely instinctive and reactive. Eye-tracking studies show that consumers read on average only seven words in an entire shopping trip, buying instinctively by color, shape, and familiarity. Best sellers succeed by appealing to the reptilian brain, which makes the purchasing decision before logic has a chance to intervene.

To be successful, every luxury packaging must have a distinctive point of view, and be able to express the brand’s clear and unique positioning. Effective packaging makes it easy to understand at a glance who you are, what you are, and why you are relevant to the consumer’s life.

Here are a few tips on how to create effective luxury packaging that will promote your brand, attract attention, and create a feeling of loyalty with your product:

1. Get Noticed

One way to make your packaging stand out is through the use of cusps, which are sharp, pointy shapes that trigger feelings of alertness and heighten emotions. The packaging design we developed for Herban Extracts uses this technique. Notice how the cannabis leaves jutting into the frame also create the outline for a series of diamond shapes that are designed to elicit excitement about the product.

2. Keep it Simple

In a busy, visually agitated market, sometimes a moment of visual calm will attract consumers. We used this technique with Shanti to create a calm, peaceful feeling.

3. Create a Visual Icon

Utopia Cannabis did this brilliantly. Notice the simple letter “U” and how it intersects with an elegantly designed cannabis leaf. This icon connects the consumer with the brand in an almost unconscious manner, yet it creates a bond that is hard to break.

4. Use Color Carefully

Gold Flora is a producer of premium vape pens. Of course, the word “Gold” signifies superior quality, but the careful use of a gold color throughout the line gives it a feeling of luxury. All of their vape pens and packages use simple color choices that convey the brand’s promise and command consumer attention.

5. Incorporate Interesting Materials

Canndescent does a wonderful job with their packaging. They created a beautiful wooden box that holds a variety of their products. The result is an earthy, refined, yet simple statement that says, “quality products inside.” Consumers love Canndescent, not only for the products, but for the presentation as well.

6. Be Authentic

Authenticity is at the heart of great packaging designs. When consumers are faced with a myriad of brands, the one that stands out is often the package that is direct and honest. Take a look at the packaging for Kiva. It conveys the impression that the product is natural, simply made without artificial ingredients, and of the highest quality.

7. Make it Familiar

Some products seem like they’ve been around forever – and with longevity comes a certain implication of quality. You can make your product look as if it has stood the test of time, even if it is brand new. Take a look at Lord Jones. Everything from the name of the company to old-English design style suggest that the products are upper class. For those that like old-school elegance, this package will stand out and create instant appeal.

8. Make it Distinctive

Unique structures, sizes and shapes will always stand out and speak volumes about quality. Additionally, printing effects such as coatings, specialty substrates, and embossing will help create the impression of luxury. Wyld takes this concept and created a point-of-sale architecture with its unique shape. Its geometric design allows Wyld more packaging “real estate” to educate the consumer about the product while positioning their beautiful logo front and center.

Concluding Thoughts

The next few years will show a dramatic shift in the cannabis industry. As states such as California and Massachusetts fully develop, and shake-outs in states like Oregon are settled, it will be interesting to see which brands survive, and which fall to the wayside. Packaging is a vitally important component to a product’s success. Luxury packaging stands out in the crowded marketplace, captures consumer interest, and cements a bond between the customer and the company behind the product.


Featured in Cannabis Packaging News Vol. 3 JUL/SEP 2018

Meet Kary Radestock of Hippo Premium Packaging

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kary Radestock.

Kary, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was working in a printing plant in Vista, California, in February 2015, when within the span of just a few weeks, five people walked into our facility asking if we could produce packaging for a vape cartridge. Mind you, no one ever just walks into a printing facility, let alone five people wanting the same service. I couldn’t get this out of my mind, so I got my medical card and went into several dispensaries to see what was going on in the world of cannabis packaging. Needless to say, my eyes were opened and I saw an enormous potential business opportunity. I pitched the idea to my bosses at the printing company, and they asked me to develop a business plan to provide custom packaging to the cannabis market. But, corporate got wind of it and shut the idea down. I couldn’t let the idea rest, so I ventured off on my own and started Hippo. The rest, as they say, is history!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Probably the biggest challenge has been figuring out how to take the suite of services that our team typically provided for mainstream Fortune 500 companies and apply them to the cannabis industry in a compelling and constructive way. We’ve also had to educate many of our clients as to the importance of professional brand development and graphic design. So many individuals undervalue good design, but that stellar graphic design is often the thing that sets your brand apart from others.

I feel very blessed regarding how many doors have opened along my journey and the opportunities for collaboration.

Please tell us about Hippo Premium Packaging.
Hippo Premium Packaging is a boutique agency, specializing in brand development, marketing, and PR services and custom packaging for the cannabis industry. We have developed six news brands since our inception and have several more in the works. We are best known for producing some of the strongest and best creative work in our space as well as producing handsome and compliant packaging. What sets us apart is our ability to handle such a wide range of professional services allowing our customers to focus on their core businesses.

Via SD Voyager

Kary Radestock – CEO Hippo Premium Packaging

Kary recently launched Hippo Premium Packaging. There, she collaborates with, what she describes as – a collective of talent including but not limited to, Strategic Planning, Marketing Strategy, Branding, Product Naming, Social Media, Graphic Design, Web Design – specifically geared to support the needs of the Cannabis Industry.
In 2017 CannaNews awarded her as “Cannabis industry woman of the year”, Along with Genifer Murray. With women dominating the cannabis industry, we caught up with Kary to discuss the story to her success.

You were recently named “Cannabis business woman of the year”. Must be a great welcome to the cannabis industry?

It was an amazing welcome to the industry! I was a co-recipient of the award with Genifer Murray, who has achieved fantastic success. I am grateful to receive such an honor and to be seen as someone who is helping the industry so early into my cannabis career.

Having moved from a fortune 500 company to start Hippo Premium Packaging, how did the cannabis community welcome your corporate presence?

I think most people welcomed my background from corporate America. We bring a level of professionalism that was sometimes lacking in this new and emerging industry. When I first entered the cannabis industry, it appeared as if every marijuana company had the same clip art logo, and branding was practically non-existent. Of course, pulling out a joint in a client meeting also helped my clients warm up to me in a hurry! Plus, I had just won a prestigious packaging award – like the Oscars of printing – and when I showed the sample, everyone loved it and wanted something similar for their company.

How did the cannabis industry first cross your path?

Two things happened at once: Within a one-month period, I saw five different people walk into the printing plant where I worked, looking for packaging for a vape cartridge. At the same time, one of our suppliers commented that they were seeing some opportunities in the cannabis industry. So, I got my medical card and went to a dispensary to see what was what.

You transferred your experience along with tried and tested methods across to the cannabis industry, did you encounter anything you wouldn’t have in previous ventures?

The lack of banking is problematic, for sure. But the greatest challenge I faced was trying to figure out how to ‘package’ the services I had been traditionally providing to Fortune 500 companies – to the cannabis community of small businesses. I used to work with people who were highly-trained in print/packaging production, and now I was working with individuals who didn’t really understand the process. Plus, their needs were varied and complicated. So, it became a bit of an educational process – for them and for me.

What was your marketing strategy?

As a boot-strapped start-up, we employed a real grass roots approach. I attended cannabis events and festivals, showing my award-winning packaging sample, and began meeting cannabis business owners. We also used traditional marketing methods including social media, email blasts and PR. We also began to look for educational speaking opportunities (High Times Business Summit, Bud Camp) as well as opportunities to write blogs and articles.

Having your team in place, did anyone bring any industry experience with them?

Some did. Our PR and marketing strategist is one of the best known in the cannabis industry. Our art director has done magnificent work for Fortune 500 clients, but hadn’t yet worked in cannabis. Our social media director has been in the industry for years. Some of our account executives are new to the cannabis industry, but have been producing packaging and printing for some of the biggest companies in the world. It’s a varied and immensely talented team.

Before your corporate days, how was your relationship with cannabis on a personal level?

I had been a daily user of cannabis in college. But, as I entered the corporate world and married a psychologist who wrote his thesis on addictions, I felt compelled to give up my cannabis use.

And how is it now?

Once I got my medical card, I started using cannabis again. I discovered how effective edibles can be for sleeping. But mostly, I like smoking flower.

As a successful business woman, you must have the biggest brands in mind for business. With “Chong’s Choice” added to your portfolio, is there a bigger cannabis brand to cast your eye on?

We’ve been blessed to work with great brands such as Utopia, Golden State Greens, Speakeasy, Chong’s Choice, Herbalizer and many more. We are in brand and custom packaging development for a slew of new and refreshed cannabis companies. Also, as the Hippo brand gains exposure, we are thrilled for the opportunity to collaborate with some of the biggest cannabis brands in our space. We can’t wait to show the community our stuff in 2018!

Where do you see the industry within the next five years? And where do you see yourself and Hippo Premium Packaging?

I see the end of prohibition on the Federal level within five years, allowing the big conglomerates (Big-Pharma, Big-Tobacco, Big Alcohol) to enter the industry. They will gobble up the best cannabis brands and aim to force out the smaller competitors. Our community has only a few years to establish themselves and create strong brands and position themselves to compete with these conglomerates or to be acquired by them.
I’d like to think that Hippo will be seen as the dominant resource for cannabis brand development, marketing services and custom packaging. Hippo will continue to develop packaging solutions that drive down costs packaging and help small businesses succeed. As for myself, I hope to have time to take a real vacation, without my laptop!

Via Cannabiz Daily

'The Marijuana Show' Will Train the Cannabis Industry's Projected 250,000 New Employees

"Bud-Camp - it's not illegal to take our classes" (The Producers, Karen Paull and Wendy Robbins)

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 17, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The producers of the hit Amazon Prime Show "The Marijuana Show," known by millions as "The Shark Tank for the Cannabis Industry," created Bud Camp, the most trusted educational training for the cannabis industry.  

Bud Camp brings conferences to your couch and is the first online business accelerator for cannabis entrepreneurs and investors that also offers online networking events. The first summit is "The 2018 Canna-Profit Summit."

The World's Best Platform for Cannabis Education

The three-day online, live summit (Jan. 29-31) focuses on marketing, sales, branding, building communities and investment with 16 industry experts and is co-produced by Tokeativity, a cannabis community for women. The summit is found at

There is a huge need for education and training in this federally illegal industry. A new report from New Frontier Data projects that by 2020 the legal cannabis market will create more than a quarter of a million jobs and Market Watch projects the Marijuana Industry to hit $50 billion annually by 2026. This proves that Cannabis is a huge economic and job driver and Bud Camp is here to train the new legal industry.  This is more than the expected jobs from manufacturing, utilities or even government jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Wendy Robbins, director/producer says, "Bud Camp provides a means for thousands of entrepreneurs to create a blueprint to launch and run a successful and scalable business, not just the 10 finalists on our show. We can also help mentor hundreds of thousands soon to enter the job market. We are focused on ending the stigma by educating, advocating and helping to legalize cannabis one viewer, entrepreneur or employee at a time."

"Conferences can cost thousands of dollars and days away from your family. Bud Camp allows you to learn in the comfort of your own couch - no traveling necessary!  We want everyone to have access to a trusted online cannabis college taught by industry experts answering students questions," says Karen Paull, producer of "The Marijuana Show."

The summit launch comes after a bill last week aimed "to protect states and individuals in states that have laws which permit the use of cannabis, and for other purposes," entitled the Restraining Excessive Federal Enforcement and Regulations of Cannabis Act, otherwise known as the REFER Act, was introduced by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA).

"We are excited to partner with 'The Marijuana Show' and help to produce accessible education for the cannabis industry and those who are curious about entering into the space," says Lisa Snyder, co-creator of Tokeativity.

These online classes are designed for students to ask questions and to get practical, proven, step-by-step action plans on topics such as Seven Secrets to a Successful Pitch; How to Court Angel Investors and Raise Money for Your Startup; Civic and Community Engagement to Grow Your Cannabis Company; How to Turn Your Art into Cannabis Cash; Design & Packaging for Cannabis Brands; Cannabis Tourism Business Strategies; Cannabis Business Plan Foundations; Profit Accelerators for Canna-businesses; Community Building Strategies for Developing Successful & Diverse Cannabis Businesses; Cannabis & Instagram Engagement; Sales Strategies for Cannabis Entrepreneurs; Podcasting 101 and How Cannabis Businesses can Use Online Media to Drive Traffic.

The summit has brought together some of the top respected and experienced cannabis professionals in the country, including Wendy Robbins and Karen Paull, co-creators and producers of "The Marijuana Show"; Lisa Snyder and Samantha Montanaro, co-creators of Tokeativity; Leah Heise, president, Chesapeake Integrated Health Institute; Sara Batterby, founder of the Batterby Group; Ariel Zimman, owner of Stonedware Company; Kary Radestock, co-owner of Hippo Premium Packaging; Leah Maurer, co-owner of The Weed Blog; Alexa Divett, Cannabis Business Coach and Strategist; Simone Cimaluca-Radzins, CEO of Kalogia; Gill Polard, creator of the Her(b) Life and co-creator of the High Friends Podcast; Jade Daniels, founder of Ladies of Paradise, and Harlee Case, creative director of Ladies of Paradise, and Jamie Cooper, founder of Canna Media Works and Cannabiz Connection.

"The Marijuana Show" director/producer Wendy Robbins has been awarded two Emmys, starred in Kelly Ripa's series on TLC "Homemade Millionaire" and directed/produced shows for MTV, ABC, CBS, FOX, PBS and HBO. She co-invented The Tingler head massager, making $10 million from toilet parts. She is a popular speaker and the author of the bestselling book "Why Marry A Millionaire? Just Be One!" Producer Karen Paull has an MFA in acting, is a university theater professor, received the John. F. Kennedy Award for Excellence in Acting, is a digital advertising sales and marketing expert and former VP of Snapfish who brought over $25 million. Together, they are launching Season #3 of the show featured on Amazon Prime.

For more information, visit and To schedule an interview with "The Marijuana Show" and Bud Camp's co-producers, please contact CJ at 213-718-1804 or


Via Cision

The Cannabis Industry: A Portrait of Women in Charge

For those not indoctrinated, the cannabis industry is not filled with stoners. In fact, that image is largely being left behind, helped no doubt, by the National Cannabis Industry Association’s decision a few years ago to drop Tommy Chong as its ambassador in front of Congress, in order to present a more conservative appearance.

Today, the marijuana industry is filled with entrepreneurs, bankers, investors, and Wall Street types. And more and more, with women in leadership roles.

While the industry is still not on parody with the population (meaning that 50% of the companies are run by men, 50% by women), it is doing a much better job in terms of gender equality than most other U.S. sectors.

Marijuana Business Daily published a report in October 2015 that showed 36 percent of executives in the cannabis industry are women, compared to a 22 percent average for all U.S. industries. Then, in August to September 2017, they published four installments of a series of charts regarding women and minorities in the cannabis industry; the updated statistics show 27 percent of executives in the cannabis industry are women, compared to a 23 percent average for all U.S. industries. However, women comprise 42 percent of the executive positions at ancillary services companies and 35 percent of medical dispensaries/recreational stores.

How does that compare with the gender ratio in other industries? Among venture capital-financed, high-growth technology startups, just 9 percent are led by women, according to a July 2016 Harvard Business Review article.

Long before states began permitting the use of marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes, smoking pot was traditionally portrayed in pop culture as a male pastime.  Studies suggest men are still more likely than women to consume cannabis. In popular culture, such as The Big Lebowskiand Seth Rogen movies, the common weed smoker has been portrayed as a lazy dude. While all pot smokers have been caricatured, the female smoker has been particularly marginalized and infantilized—when she shows up in movies and TV at all. And, overwhelmingly, the marijuana industry has taken a similarly sexist approach to try to appeal to men: trade shows abound with so-called “booth babes” hocking wares, and trade magazines like High Times feature women in bikinis with strategically placed marijuana leaves smoking large, phallic bongs.

Kary Radestock

The co-recipient of the “Cannabis Woman of the Year Award,” Kary turned her corporate expertise and knowledge about packaging and printing to good use in the cannabis industry. She co-founded Hippo Premium Packaging, a unique company that combines the talents and services of a full-service advertising agency, with the resources of a packaging company.

Kary works to help her clients succeed by providing them with an array of services, including: marketing strategy, brand development, social media, public relations, graphic and website design, printing and packaging.

She believes that there will come a day in the not-too-distant-future when cannabis businesses will have to compete with Big Pharma and Big Tobacco, so she helps her clients build strong brands today, so that they will not only survive, but that they will thrive.

Via Insight News

Kary Radestock Named Cannabis Industry Woman of the Year

Co-Founder and CEO of Hippo Premium Packaging is known for helping grow cannabis businesses into sustainable, successful companies

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 8, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Hippo Premium Packaging (, announced that its Co-Founder and CEO, Kary Radestock, has been named Cannabis Industry Woman of the Year. The award was bestowed by CannaNews, a prestigious industry publication.

Radestock, who worked for over 20 years for some of the largest printing companies in the world, brings her insight and extensive knowledge of production processes to the cannabis industry, to give her clients world-class looking brands and custom packaging systems, quickly and affordably.

She is a leading advocate for cannabis businesses, and believes that there will come a day when pharmaceutical and tobacco companies will enter the sector. To help companies prepare, she gives her clients the brand image, packaging, and marketing communications they need to build strong brands so that they will thrive in an increasingly competitive landscape.

Demonstrating her business acumen, Radestock has rapidly expanded Hippo Premium Packaging, and now has employees in key cannabis markets throughout the United States. She believes in having "boot-on-the-ground" so she has hired branding, marketing and packaging consultants that can meet regularly with cannabis business owners, and develop custom, premium quality solutions that help them succeed.

"I am honored and humbled to receive this award, and I share it with all of the great women in the cannabis industry that work hard every day to break barriers, build businesses, and fight to promote a product that provides benefits in so many ways," she said.

The award was shared by Radestock and Genifer Murray, Co-Founder of GENIFER M Jewelry and Chief of Staff at the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA).

Via Cision

Hippo Premium Packaging Launches New Cannabis Brands and Strengthens Team in Humboldt County

Hippo Premium Packaging (, announced that it has created new brand identities and marketing programs for three new cannabis companies located within California's famed " Emerald Triangle." The company also recently hired two additional account executives in Humboldt County to provide services and expertise to California's cannabis farming communities, as cultivators will be responsible for packaging their products in compliant systems as of January 1.

Hippo recently developed new brand identities, logos, and packaging design for three cannabis companies in Northern California. They are: Ganja Grove, KMB Farms, and Broken Arrow. Hippo created a comprehensive range of packaging solutions that meet California's new regulations for child-resistance, and also supplied an array of marketing solutions, including public relations and social media programs.

Kary Radestock, Founder and CEO of Hippo Premium Packaging said that the company is unique because it provides world-class solutions along with highly attentive customer service. "We know that the transition to a highly regulated market will be burdensome to many growers in California, so we have developed a team of incredibly talented individuals with expertise in child-resistant packaging, design, marketing and branding, to help farmers get ready and become compliant with the new rules that go into effect the first of the year," she said.

Hippo recently hired Laura, an industry professional with over 20-years of experience working with companies that include: Apple, Disney-Pixar, Dreamworks, Sony Imageworks, and Adobe.

The company also hired Amber, a noted pro with over 10-years experience helping companies grow market share by developing innovative advertising strategies, direct marketing programs, and creative merchandising solutions.

Both new hires will be based in Humboldt County to provide locally-based service to growers, producers, manufacturers and dispensaries in the region. The new Account Executives join Hippo's growing team that now includes personnel throughout Northern and Southern California andColorado.


You can contribute here.

The October 2017 firestorm is having an extremely severe impact on our communities. This loss will be especially challenging for these growers because:

  • Over the course of the last 18 months, these growers have spent their life savings getting permits and preparing for state licensure.
  • These folks don’t qualify for crop insurance like other farmers.
  • These folks can’t get loans like other business owners.
  • These folks won’t qualify for federal emergency relief funds.


Cannabis Packaging News - Premium Packaging Creates Premium Brands

Cannabis growers, producer/processors, manufacturers and even dispensaries are facing a growing threat: the commoditization of market. Companies will increasingly be forced to choose to either build a brand that can command market share, generate customer loyalty, and justify a premium price; or become a commodity and compete on the basis of a low price.

Packaging is one of the most important tools companies can use to build and promote a brand. As the first line of customer contact, attractive packaging can increase sales and speak volumes about a brand, its position in the market, and its features and benefits.

Hippo Premium Packaging is dedicated to helping companies succeed through creative packaging solutions, intelligent branding, and effective marketing. How a brand decorates a package can make a world of difference to the finished piece. Here are some examples across different styles of packaging most commonly found in the cannabis industry:

Speakeasy 710 Battery Pen Packaging (Folding Carton)

This creative design features “Soft Touch” lamination, which gives the package a luxurious skin-like feel to the touch. The premium nature of the product is conveyed through this tactile appeal. The box also features digital gold foil, providing an eye-catching pop of brilliance and added elegance. Finally, the Hippo designers added a spot raised UV on the woman’s face, giving the piece extra contrast and adding visual interest.

Golden State Greens Collector’s Box (Rigid Box)

Using a hidden magnetic closure, this upscale box sports spot gloss UV on a matte coated sheetfor a premium look. Adding a hot stamped dull foil and a custom wax seal further adds to the packages sophistication, and positions the product at the top of the market.

Utopia Macaroon Packaging (Flexible)

Hippo decided to print this package on foil film to create an eye-catching look that is further intensified by sparing out the spot white ink on the logo to create a metallic sheen. Careful use of spot matte coatings were also placed in strategic areas to add contrast and highlight the logo.

The fact is, packaging plays a key role in defining a brand and creating relevance in this fast-paced market. Developing new packaging presents opportunities for both new and established brands to break out of the clutter and let their identity shine.

Designing or redesigning a package requires companies to be very clear about their brand position (and desired position)in the market.Packaging, copy and graphics go hand in hand, and sometimes offer the only points of differentiation for a consumer. Working with a branding and packaging firm can help identify and strengthen your brand attributes, and define a direction for packaging and marketing.

Research shows that most shopping decisions are purely instinctive and reactive. Eye-tracking studies show that consumers read on average only seven words in an entire shopping trip, buying instinctively by color, shape and familiarity. Best sellers succeed by appealing to this buying cycle.

Today, as brand owners are struggling for market share, and trying desperately to justify higher prices to maintain profitability, packaging is the key component in this war for the consumer’s heart, mind and pocketbook.

About the Authors:

Hippo Premium Packaging is a leading provider of branding, marketing, packaging and design to the cannabis industry. Visit them at:, or call them at: 619.269.0939.


Utopia Refreshes Brand with New Logo and Packaging

Utopia Farms - New Branding

Utopia is the latest brand of cannabis that is banking on a premium look to set it apart from the competition.

The Santa Rosa based brand offers premium products that the company says are tested above industry standards for purity, consistency and safety; and distributes only clean and natural flowers, edibles and extracts – free of artificial chemicals, additives and pesticides.

The company's new look is designed to connect with consumers, highlight the product’s main features – such as purity and authenticity, and convey that its brand fulfills the promise of “the perfect cannabis experience.”

Emily Bercow, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Utopia, said that cannabis users care about quality and that her company's products are "as close to perfection as possible.”

Utopia launched its new brand and product lineup in the scorching heat at the 4th Annual Chalice Festival, held recently at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds in Victorville, California.

Utopia worked on the rebranding project with Hippo Premium Packaging, a cannabis-focused custom packaging and branding agency. Kary Radestock, CEO of Hippo, says that Utopia will be unveiling additional products and packaging in the near future.

Utopia Farms - New Macaroon Packaging

Hippo Premium Packaging Exposed in the News!

Golden State Greens - Custom Jar

We are so pleased to be featured in MG Magazine, in an article that profiles our beginnings, our journey – along with some rather interesting obstacles, and a few of our favorite projects.

From personal relationship challenges to midnight dashes through the desert, the article traces the highlights of our history, and how we became one of the industry’s leading providers of premium packaging and brand development.

We thank the people at MG Magazine for putting this together, and we hope you’ll enjoy reading it!

Hippo Premium Packaging Forms Strategic Partnership with Randall Huft

Leading packaging and branding agency to the cannabis industry adds well-known marketing and public relations expert to its team

SAN DIEGO, May 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Hippo Premium Packaging (, a leading cannabis-focused custom packaging and branding agency, announced a strategic partnership with Randall Huft, one of the industry's leading marketing and public relations professionals.

Hippo is known for its innovative packaging designs, logos, and brand development. The company's richly-detailed designs help companies attract interest, increase sales, and generate loyalty.

Huft is known for creating award-winning marketing and public relations programs leading brands both inside and outside of the cannabis industry, including: AT&T, Disney, Kush Bottles, United Airlines, Sage Analytics, Nestle's, Toyota, Denver Consulting Group, Walgreen's, CannaScore, Loews Hotels, and American Express.

"Our collaboration with Randall will give our clients access to exceptional marketing and communications expertise," said Kary Radestock, Co-Founder and CEO of Hippo Packaging. "We are now able to offer a full-spectrum of dynamic brand-building services to our clients and to forward-thinking companies that want to achieve rapid growth and gain a significant competitive advantage."

New Services, New Clients

Hippo made the addition to its team not only to provide a more comprehensive range of services to its clients, but to also help launch four exciting new brands within the next few months.

"The cannabis industry is growing rapidly, and we are scaling up to meet the demand," said Julia Gosnell, Co-Founder and COO of Hippo Packaging.

Huft and Hippo share some of the same clients, who can now enjoy the convenience of a true one-stop-shop for all branding, packaging, marketing and public relations needs."

Tina Urban, Founder and CEO of Urban Labs, is one such shared client. She appreciates Hippo's expertise in creating beautiful packaging and branding, and has worked with Randall for years, whom she calls, "The best kept secret in the cannabis industry."

The company does have a problem though, according to Radestock. "We were thinking that we now need to call the company 'Hippo Premium Packaging, Branding, Marketing, and Public Relations,' but that just won't fit on our business cards!"

For more information on the Hippo Premium Packaging (plus branding, marketing, and public relations), call: 619-269-0939, or visit:  

Free online branding 101 class with Hippo’s Kary Radestock

Free online branding 101 class with Hippo’s Kary Radestock

Don’t miss our online branding class at 3:20 p.m. today!

Have a cannabis business but not sure where to start with your brand development?

Learn valuable brand strategies and how to make your cannabrand stand out during The Marijuana Show’s Bud Camp at 3:20 today PST (it’s 4:20somewhere)! Join Hippo Premium Packaging CEO, Kary Radestock, as she shares industry secrets on how to elevate your business and take it to the next level. 

  • The basics of excellent branding
  • Why understanding your client demographics is key to building a successful brand
  • How to position your brand for success

Don’t miss out and join us today!
Registration is free and just takes a second to sign up.

Register Now


The MJ Show


Over $13 Million Invested

The Marijuana Show is the Shark Tank for cannabis startups and investors.

Lack of banking for the cannabis industry

As a cannabis business owner, we’re faced with more tasks than creating the latest marketing campaign or making sure our inventory is stocked for our customers. 

We’re faced with a lack of support from banking institutions for the cannabis industry.

The cannabis community can expect to see a boom of business growth in 2017 with a total of 26 states and the District of Columbia legalizing marijuana in some form. So, with all the potential for growth, the federal government still classifies marijuana as an illegal drug, making it near impossible to open business bank accounts for cannabusinesses.

Hippo’s COO, Julia Gosnell, spoke with the LA Times in a recent article about the impacts of not having bank support for the cannabis business owner. 

“I was told by an accountant, who closed his door to tell me this, that you just keep your cash under the mattress,” Gosnell said.

As the banks continue to deny cannabis income, we’re faced with new challenges on how to run our businesses. How do you continue to grow, pay business expenses and invest back into the business without a bank on your side?

“Imagine having to be paid in cash, having to pay your employees and suppliers in cash, having to take care of your payroll, sales and income taxes in cash,” LA Times reporter Robin Abcarian states.

But there is hope. California’s Cannabis Banking Working Group will meet in Los Angeles on Feb. 10 to discuss recommendations on opening up banking to the cannabis industry. And as organizations rally together, Hippo will be actively involved in getting the banks back on our side.

Read the full LA Times feature

Hippo & High Times

When HighTimes wanted input on the state of packaging in the Cannabis sector nationwide, they turned to our CEO, Kary Radestock, to review the legal cannabis market and critique her top 21 favorite packaging and design solutions. Kary has over 20 years experience in the print/packaging industry and has won major awards for her work. Looks like both High Times Magazine and The Hippo think she is the bomb!

View the article here.

High Times Article - August 2016