Design to go
Kush Bottles, Inc. has launched the "marijuana industry's first online system" to let customers design custom-branded packaging solutions. The tool will make it easier for customers to place orders, which is expected to lead to a higher conversion rate and a better ROI. "We are no longer simply a distributor of generic packaging products," said Nicholas Kovacevich, Co-Founder and CEO of Kush Bottles, Inc. "We are now also a branding, design, and technology agency that is able to build our customer's brands and engineer unique, effective, and unduplicated packaging solutions."

Answer me this
HelloMD announced the launch of Answers, a web-based service that allows cannabis users, or those considering using cannabis, to ask questions to the HelloMD expert community lead by doctors and physicians. HelloMD revealed Answers to a small subset of their membership community a couple of weeks ago, and gathered a wide range of questions asked, including:

"Is it possible to die from taking too much cannabis?"
"Can smoking cannabis improve concentration?"
"Can cannabis help with my allergies?"

While Answers is currently limited to responses provided by HelloMD physicians and pertaining to medical cannabis use, the platform will evolve to allow for much broader cannabis related topics, and for other industry experts to deliver their knowledge and experience to Answers users.

Cali goes big
New Frontier and ArcView Market Research released the 4th edition of the State of Legal Marijuana Markets, which shows that the legal cannabis industry is one of the fastest growing industries in America with a compound annual growth rate of 31%. The official 2015 ArcView market estimate is $5.7 billion, up from $4.6 billion in 2014. The California cannabis market generated an estimated $2.7 billion in sales in 2015. "If California legalizes adult use in 2016 as expected and adult use sales become operational in 2018, the state market is expected to reach nearly $6.6 billion by 2020," said Giadha DeCarcer, Founder and CEO of New Frontier.

Design review: Send us your work
Higher Ground loves good packaging design. As the industry gains in legitimacy, packaging design is being taken more seriously and evolving beyond "hey, let's put a leaf sticker on a bag."  Check out our new blog where we highlight and review package design from the industry. (If you have a product with great design, send it over - we'd love to review and promote it.)