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Cannabis Companies Aren’t Federally Legal — But Can Still Team Up With National Brands

While cannabis legalization isn’t the law of the land yet, some American cannabis companies are already partnering with national brands. Kiva Confections, a maker of cannabis edibles in six states, is partnering with burger chain, Fatburger this month to sell a limited-edition Kiva x Fatburger THC-infused ketchup. Sackville & Co. is partnering with Playboy to make smoking accessories. Green Thumb is partnering with Circle K.

The aim is to get cannabis into the conversation, and a fun, attention-grabbing product like cannabis ketchup fits the bill, said Kiva’s co-Founder Kristi Palmer. The small traditional-looking condiment packet will feature 10mg of THC – one dose of cannabis, and cost $5.

Kiva’s edibles (infused chocolates, gummies, etc.) are available in California, Arizona, Nevada, Illinois, Hawaii and Michigan, but the ketchup will only be available in two Los Angeles retail chains, Artist Tree and Sweet Flower. Current law prohibits cannabis in any form from crossing state lines, so the company would have to produce and package the ketchup in each state separately to expand the promotion geographically.

Products made with cannabis have a myriad of regulations associated with them, so creating non-cannabis products is an easier avenue to build brand awareness. Last year Kiva created socks, tee shirts and wall clocks with the skateboard brand HUF and featuring “Lost Farmn Cannabis” to stock in Zumiez, a national retailer whose customers include young men and women interested in streetwear and skateboarding. The products included images like a cartoon cannabis leaf holding a map upside down. “We want to reach a new consumer set with something fun and engaging,” Palmer said.

Kiva and HUF also collaborated on cannabis-infused edibles that were not sold in Zumiez.

The seventy-year old Playboy brand is working with cannabis accessories brand Sackville & Co., to create a “Platinum Smoking Collection” to celebrate its platinum anniversary. The two-piece collection featuring Playboy logos include a Crystal Ball Pipe ($112) and a Silver Charm Case ($200) inspired by retro cigarette cases. Playboy launched a cannabis advocacy initiative in 2020 and had previously dabbled in CBD products.

Some collaborations involve real estate. Green Thumb Industries Inc. a cannabis consumer packaged goods company and owner of RISE Dispensaries, announced last fall it would work with Circle K stores in Florida to open ten of its medical cannabis dispensaries adjacent to Circle K locations. The dispensaries will sell pre-rolls, vapes, and edibles made from cannabis from the Green Thumb’s 28-acre cultivation facility in Ocala.

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