• Marijuana startups are mimicking tech companies’ style of marketing and branding.
  • Chris Burggraeve, a former Coca-Cola and AB InBev executive-turned cannabis startup founder, estimates that people seeking the “Apple Store experience” for marijuana make up a $50 million opportunity.
  • Brands like Toast, Herbessntls, and MedMen are among the many companies taking a page out of Apple’s playbook.

With legal marijuana sweeping the United States and Canada, cannabis industry players are taking it on themselves to make cannabis not just okay, but completely normal.

That means a proliferation of brands pushing all the markings of a tech startup — brightly colored products, an emphasis on quality, and open, airy shops — to joints, vaporizers, and dispensaries.

According to Chris Burggraeve, a former Coca-Cola and AB InBev executive-turned cannabis startup founder, weed companies adopting minimalist colors and clean lines makes perfect business sense. Marijuana carries a historical baggage that most of its category rivals, from alcohol to pharmaceuticals, lack.

As an increasing number of states legalize marijuana, companies have the opportunity to not just sell weed but create brands in an explosive industry. While marijuana is not quite a blank slate, companies have the chance to decide whether they want…