For years, the cannabis industry flourished underground. But now that medical cannabis is legal in 23 states, adult-use recreational in five markets, and the largest market in the country — California — poised to legalize recreational cannabis, the market is entering a new phase. There’s less stigma around cannabis and the market is becoming more mainstream.
As cannabis sheds its stigma, savvy companies are helping redefine the market with upscale and aspirational lifestyle brands. According to GreenWave Advisors founder and analyst, Matt Karnes, “The legal cannabis market — which is now a $5 billion industry — has undergone a transformation over the last few years. It has entered a new era — prominent investors fund hot new startups and emerging companies are creating brands that appeal to a hip, urban, upwardly mobile consumer.”
One such brand is AnnaBís (pronounced Anna-Bee), which co-founder, Jeanine Moss, describes as, “the first fashion brand for the elegant woman who cares about every detail of her lifestyle, even the hidden one.”
AnnaBís produces stylish purses and accessories with aroma controlling compartments designed for the sophisticated professional woman. AnnaBís doesn’t make your typical “stoner gear.” You’d expect to see AnnaBís bags — and you probably will soon — on the runway at Fashion Week or the red carpet at a Hollywood film premier. AnnaBís accessories embody high-end craftsmanship, made with “fine leathers, intricate jacquard interiors, and designed by many of the same people who sketch for Isaac Mizrahi, Federated, and Coach.”
Every AnnaBís accessory fuses utility with a fashion-forward aesthetic. Moss proudly claims, “we produce top quality, high-end accessories, outfitted with tiny little aroma-locking compartments that could mask the scent of a stinky French cheese, or of course, your exotic greens.”
While adult-use cannabis is only legal in a handful of states, medical cannabis is legal in 23. Part of the AnnaBís mission is to help women overcome the stigma of carrying their medicine, allowing them to feel liberated and sophisticated. As more markets legalize cannabis recreationally, AnnaBís is well poised to capitalize on predictably high-growth markets like California. Moss recites the company’s mantra, “Where it’s legalized, we’re making it civilized.”
The inspiration behind AnnaBís came to Moss and her partner — Ann Shuch — a few years back. They were out on the town heading to a comedy club, and one of their friends had what she called her “Happy Bag” — a bag Moss describes as being: “High on utility, low on fashion. To put it crudely, it looked like mashed potatoes.”
The two entrepreneurially-minded consumers thought there had to be a better way for women to carry their cannabis. And, the search was on. They scoured the shops and the Internet for an “essentials bag,” but came up short.
“Everything on the market looked like typical stoner gear,” complained Moss. She recalls:
“No one had created an accessory line to appeal to discerning successful women. It was apparent that affluent females are the most underserved segment of the market, and women need upscale brands that fit their personality and lifestyle.”
So, Jeanine and Ann conceived of AnnaBís.
Launched in time for the holidays in 2015, AnnaBís was a huge hit. In fact, they could barely keep up with demand. And, while investors are now taking notice of AnnaBís, to date the duo have been self-funding their venture. As demand continues to grow, they are considering taking outside investment to fund expansion into hip retails shops, dispensaries, and fashionable boutiques.
Not Just For Women
Moss and Shuch are savvy marketers and experienced businesswomen who continually listen to their customers and fulfill customer desires while always focusing on creating appealing design and quality production. To their surprise, they found that men were also hip to the AnnaBís brand and recently launched a new line for men called, “The Frankie” — $70 vape cases available in four colors.
AnnaBís donates $5 from every handbag purchase to the non-profit, Realm of Caring, an organization that provides support services and resources to individuals affected by ailments and diseases including cancer, epilepsy, Parkinson’s, MS, and HIV/AIDS.
And, consumers who are medical cannabis users can furnish evidence of their medical condition to AnnaBís to receive a 20% discount on AnnaBis accessories.
As the cannabis industry continues to blossom and adult-use recreational expands, the demand for fashion-forward, high-end accessories will rapidly increase. And, AnnaBis appears well-poised not only to shape consumer trends but lead the industry in continuing to destigmatize cannabis in the eyes of the public.
The AnnaBís collection currently includes four styles: the Chelsea Cross-Body Bag ($295), the Melissa Clutch ($85 – $175), the Whoopee Vape Case ($70), and the Frankie ($75) for men. For the vegan-minded, AnnaBís also offers non-leather accessories.