Beloved Cannabis Brand Lowell Smokes Bakes Sustainability Into Their Packaging
by Shawn Binder on 08/01/2019 | 3 Minute Read
Lowell Smokes is a cannabis company who wants you to puff, puff, pass on thinking that cannabis doesn’t need to commit to sustainability.
In an industry known for a hefty amount plastic tubes to hold joints, and plastic bags to discretely carry your flower out of a dispensary, it's refreshing to see a brand put their best foot forward when it comes to investing in natural materials.
Although cannabis brands want to have a positive effect on the environment, regulations on the industry have made it tough to put sustainable packaging practices into action. Since the industry is relatively new, there aren’t clear rules regarding best practices when it comes to design. Furthermore, there is little to no state-funded research on how electricity and farming practices of flower can be improved to impact the environment.
As one of the few cannabis brands vocally committed to sustainable packaging, Lowell Smokes uses materials that are nearly 100% recyclable and food-grade safe. In the latest iteration of their organic flower joint packs, they are testing up-cycled magnets which, while aren’t recyclable, still allow Lowell to be one of the more sustainable cannabis brands in the business.
“We set out to design heritage cannabis packaging that treated the product with the reverence and love we had for the plant," said Lowell VP of Product & Design Courtney Zalewski. "No more plastic baggies and plastic tubes that ruin the purity of the flower and harm the environment. Since the very beginning, we’ve always committed to natural materials which extend from the flower we grow to the packaging we produce.”
Lowell's in-house design team crafted the sleek packaging, and they take immense pride in their work when it comes to drawing up more sustainable solutions (they’re also packaging up the best-selling pre-roll in all of California). The result is a package that uses no harmful chemical dyes and, outside of the magnets used to clasp the box closed, is nearly 100% recyclable. By not farming the packaging out to an agency, it allows Lowell to constantly switch up their packaging, and by extension their ideas.
Lowell’s recognizable packs come adorned with theWilliam “Bull” Lowell logo, which represents the fight and struggles that communities of farmers, activists, and people wrongly imprisoned in the cannabis industry have had to endure. As a bonus? The boxes also include matches with a striker within the box design that has become synonymous with the brand.
“Our pledge is on every product, stating we use natural materials from seed to sale and only use organic fertilizer," said Zalewski. "We list the Instagram handle of every farm we partner with so you can get more information on the cultivator. We want you to understand what you’re consuming."
Although Lowell Smokes doesn’t currently provide information on how to dispose of the magnets on their joint packaging, the brand always listens to consumers and redesigns on their packaging based on that feedback. In this case, the future reduction of Lowell’s carbon footprint seems inevitable, with even better sustainable packaging materials on the horizon.
In addition to constantly iterating on their packaging in their quest for sustainability, the Lowell team is hard at work launching the first cannabis cafe. The cafe will be the first in the United States where adults of age can enjoy cannabis in a beautiful, public setting along with food, coffee and juice.
A bulk of the materials used to build the cafe comes from local artisans and features handmade tables, booths and benches using reclaimed wood. The brand has gone as far as to source their silverware from reclaimed sources and will continue to support local farmers.
Lowell Smokes is the type of company that is constantly self-analyzing, one that understands their place in not only the cannabis community but the economy as a whole. In a time where only 22 out of 50 states have decriminalized possession, the company invites past cannabis-related offenders who now are having difficulty finding work to apply. The empathetic nature and striking visual branding of Lowell’s is a powerful combination, making users feel good about who they’re lighting up from.