Meet the Canadian brands redesigning cannabis use

Umbrella brand HIKU brings together a set of Canadian companies using design to reset people’s perceptions of cannabis use. CR finds out why it’s leaving behind hackneyed leaf logos to create a more sophisticated visual language

As the second country in the world to legalise marijuana, Canada is home to a burgeoning group of brands keen to convert cannabis into a household product – albeit one with more excitement than, say, packets of cereal or boxes of tea. HIKU, which encompasses a group of Canadian cannabis companies, is one brand putting creativity at the forefront of its efforts, using design to combat the stigma that still surrounds the drug.

Included in its portfolio is retail brand Tokyo Smoke, which has shops across Toronto selling coffee, sweets, and smoking accessories. Its stores – described as “reinventions of the classic coffee shop” – have won multiple awards for their interior design. They range from converted warehouses with bare bricks and poured concrete floors, to minimal, monochromatic spaces, which are all intended to use design as an icebreaker. For those feeling nervous about going into a Tokyo Smoke shop, the idea is that its interiors offer a welcoming, and familiar environment before anything else.


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