Nugg Club Brings The Subscription Model To Recreational Cannabis
by Rudy Sanchez on 09/28/2020 | 4 Minute Read
How we consume cannabis has changed drastically in a relatively short span of time.
Technology like dry and concentrate vaporizers have become game-changers, and the legalization of hemp has introduced a flurry of CBD brands. It can be hard to keep up and try new products, and since cannabis is a plant, even the same strains can have subtle nuances depending on the farm. And who even thought canna-chefs would be an actual thing with a show on Netflix to boot?
Discovering new cannabis brands isn't just hard because of the sheer magnitude of offerings, but the regulatory space makes it impossible to do things like mail-order, leaving cannabis enthusiasts at the mercy of their nearby dispensaries and on-demand delivery services operating in their area.
Coronavirus has only added to the harsh. Although dispensaries in some large markets like California were permitted to remain open throughout the pandemic, risking exposure to coronavirus for the sake of weed is something many consumers weren’t willing to do, especially those who also happen to use marijuana medically.
Nugg Club, a subscription cannabis service, was in the works before COVID. However, they launched—almost presciently—amid the pandemic, raising the original value proposition for a weed subscription as folks are encouraged to stay home as much as possible.
Like subscription and clubs in other industries for beauty and fashion products, the experts at Nugg Club curate their favorite products and can offer them to members as a discount. The lower price of products also means that subscribers spend less on cannabis taxes, compounding the savings.
Nugg Club is also the first subscription service of its kind that features THC-containing cannabis products. "We had this idea maybe two and a half years back, knowing that, eventually, someone would do it," says Nugg Club founder and CMO Alex Milligan. "And after trying our hand at on-demand delivery, and realizing that it wasn't a phenomenally better experience for customers compared to dispensaries, we decided to go full-force into the subscription model. And we're definitely glad we did. People are enjoying it quite a bit," Alex says.
Cannabis producers that partner with Nugg Club can launch new items and get them in front of influential and experimental consumers without the expense of giving away product, traveling to trade shows, educating retailers, and advertising. With the current pandemic limiting gatherings and events, some traditional promotional channels are unavailable regardless of budget.
“Something we pride ourselves on is really diving into each of these brands, vetting them not only from a quality standpoint but getting to know them,” says Nugg Club creative director Joe Brottman. “In every box, we have our little brand cards which highlight the story of the product, and members can learn about but the brand’s story. So while they're consuming, they're discovering, and they get to actually meet and dive into the industry a little bit. Instead of just feeling like the consumer is getting sent a product, it feels like a little bit more of a fun kind of educational and discovery experience,” he adds.
Cannabis being what it is, the products inside get packaged in child-proof containers. The brand uses bold, warm colors and organic, round shapes, giving the experience a chill yet exciting vibe one would expect from a mystery box of weed goodies. The wordmark comes composed of two contrasting types, one weightier and connected, while the other is thinner and spaced out. The contrast works well at exemplifying the sophisticated kind of stoner that can wax poetic about genetics and nerd out on terpenes but is still down for a casual sesh.
Also, the lid is your rolling tray.
I received a “404 Box,” a much more simplistic, white affair that uses fun copy to explain they’re out of the “fancy boxes” and are using these for the next two weeks. However, the inside of the box gets carefully laid out with kraft crinkle bedding and cards explaining each product printed on a premium, glossy card stock.
Like most subscription clubs, new members start by answering a short quiz about preferences, then choose how often they wish to receive their box. Delivery is limited to the Nugg Club member, and ID gets verified upon delivery (unattended delivery, and delivery to another person, are not possible under current California cannabis laws). Members choose a preferred delivery day and time window online and can incur a fee if they are not present. Nugg Club keeps members updated on their box, and they provide real-time tracking of the package as the delivery time nears. For now, though, service is also only available in Los Angeles and Orange County.
Like other agricultural-based products, cannabis is a complex and diverse world that invites enthusiasts to explore the range of flower, concentrates, vapes, creams, beverages, and edibles now available. It’s the kind of space that has been waiting for a subscription service like Nugg Club.
So far, they’ve solved the inherent problems with operating within the cannabis retail space, and, if they can continue scaling, more cannasseurs will be able to conveniently and safely nerd out on new weed products.