Meet CannaTank Judge and Brand Expert, Jennifer Culpepper


by Jennifer Culpepper, Founder & Creative Director, Brand Joint

For the second year in a row, I am excited to judge this year’s CannaTank Contest at the National Cannabis Festival! The 3rd Annual CannaTank is a perfect opportunity for aspiring cannabis entrepreneurs in need of start-up assistance from professionals and leaders in the growing industry. 

As a branding consultant and designer, I am quite familiar with the unique challenges associated with establishing a business or product in a crowded market, like cannabis. I often hear that working in this cannabis industry is the "perfect job,” but it’s important to know that a career in cannabis goes far beyond a passion for consumption! Just like any other industry, there are a variety of needs where your skills and expertise can be applied. From plant-touching businesses to consulting or security, from administrative work to marketing or interior design, the cannabis industry is in need of innovative and creative solutions. 

I look forward to judging the contestants at this year’s CannaTank and am excited to hear new goals and ideas. If you’re not sure where to start, here are 3 helpful tips for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to build a cannabis business:

Put yourself out there — The cannabis industry is no longer in its infancy, so there’s no room to be shy. Aspiring cannabis entrepreneurs should get involved and make industry friends and partners. There are plenty of active groups dedicated to advocacy and networking right in the DMV area, such as Women Grow, Spark!, NORML or DCMJ. Many events are free or cost little to attend, which is an excellent way to continue growing your cannabis knowledge and meet some great people.

Visit festivals, expos and trade shows — The National Cannabis Festival is a great start! If you’re interested in seeing the wide variety of businesses involved within the industry, sign up for a nearby expo. These events provide a great opportunity to network and scope out the vast amount of products and services associated with the industry 

Make a game plan — Big goals and dreams are great, but without a well-designed strategy or game plan, your business may never become successful. Ask yourself where you want to be in 3 months, 3 years, and even 10 years. What will it take to get there? How will you achieve those goals? What makes your business different than any other cannabis business out there? Without asking yourself the big questions (and actually being able to answer them), you’ll fail to build the foundation necessary for a successful brand. 

Learn more about Brand Joint.

Caroline Philips