CASE STUDIES

Get to know how I can achieve similar and better for your cannabis brand with my case studies below. 

Click on the respective link in the Table of Contents below to envision how my services can work for you.

Since late 2018, I've helped cannabis brands set the foundation for their web presence with a variety of content. From 2021 onward, I narrowed my expertise to branding endeavors that make a memorable, resonant impact with strategic Content Marketing Strategy Roadmap creation, Brand Development + Project Management. I take pride in the work I've done, the client relationships I've cultivated + the results we've gotten. 

If you click on client's logo or name, you'll be directed to their company site or individual page. Feel free to reach out to them directly for questions and to expand your network!

VERITAS Partnership + Visual Direction: Peake Releaf

Peake ReLeaf is an independent and locally owned medical cannabis dispensary in Rockville, Maryland. Founded by 3 friends and Maryland natives Tracey, Nate and Warren with the marketing leadership of Kevin, Peake cultivates a friendly, transparent relationship with patients and influences policies that foster a Colorado-like experience in the Crab State.

PROBLEM

Branding: Their identity was muddled. The tagline "Maryland Roots. Colorado Experience." left patients unsure of their location and values, with their social justice messaging seeming insincere due to this disconnect. Visuals lacked professional polish and overall impact.

Content: Engagement was low across the board. Promotions, community events, expungement talks, industry interviews, and group events were scattered across multiple platforms without a dedicated team, creating a confusing and overwhelming experience.

Positive Spark: "Inside the Industry," a video series interviewing Maryland vendors, had potential but was repeatedly stalled by scheduling conflicts and a lack of consistent planning and publishing.

SOLUTION


RESULTS

After working together from August 2021 to November 2022, I parted ways with Peake ReLeaf to focus on my business, referring them to my partner agency PufCreativ. Their web presence was completely revamped with the structure I co-created with their Marketing Director Kevin.

Inside the Industry became a consistent content series. From sporadic uploads, they rolled out 2 new episodes per month on Instagram and YouTube. I got them to start using Reels in 2022: ITI episodes were cut into short-form clips.

The Peake Apparel shop, once a disorganized hodge-podge of designs in too many colors on too many products, was upgraded to increase sales. The once hesitant executive team invested in products to sell in their physical shop and was enthusiastically received by staff and customers. 

"We approached Alaina because we needed additional support with our content strategy and distribution. Her robust and sustainable marketing strategy has fueled our efforts—enhancing our community engagement and brand visibility efforts.

We’ve been extremely happy with the leveel of professionalism, and overall genuine care, that Alaina has for her clients’ interests."

Tracey Lancaster-Miller, Executive Vice President + Co-Founder

Kevin Johnson, Jr., Director of Creative Marketing

VERITASworkshop: Dodi Blunts

Dodi Blunts is Oakland’s premier craft blunt founded by retired NFL Player Marshawn Lynch and Abacus Strategy Jeff Goldenberg. It’s the bridge uniting cannabis, sports and culture and is paired with its apparel brand Dodi Supply. 

(This product was launched Spring 2021, but is no more. They rebranded to Dodi Supply in April 2024.)

PROBLEM

Needing clarity, Jeff sought help solidifying Dodi's brand (tied to Marshawn Lynch) as its own entity. He aimed for website copy and PR to exude inclusive cannabis culture and quality, but lacked concrete ideas for archetype, persona, and inspiration.

He requested that I build a Key Messaging Strategy that would establish the brand archtype and voice for the PR, website and social media copy upon launch.

SOLUTION

RESULTS

My resonating copy defined the product as "Oakland’s premier craft blunt." 

When it was first launched, all my written work was paired with stellar photographs for the first batch of Instagram posts.

"It was a pleasure working with Alaina. Her ability to translate our ideas and our aesthetic into words was critical to the creation and launch of the Dodi brand. 

"By understanding our strategy objectives, Alaina was able to craft language that created the mood and the vibe of our brand, which was a very challenging task. Would definitely recommend Alaina for your project"

Jeff Goldenberg, Strategy Director + Co-Founder

VERITAS Partnership: Cash Color Cannabis

With Mehka King at the helm, this an ongoing magazine and podcast that brings "A Higher Level of Conversation" to the masses by interviewing Black Entrepreneurs in the Cannabis and Psychedelic Industries. 

PROBLEM

Mehka took an interest to my writing, especially for the sake of CashColorCannabis (CCC)'s SEO results. When we connected in 2019, Maryland had just kicked off its Medical Cannabis market in December 2018. 

So I became the go-to for meeting and sharing the stories of Black entrepreneurs in the Maryland + DC Cannabis scene. 

We also kicked off the earliest stories about Psychedelics consumption in the Black Community in 2020.

SOLUTION

You can read my articles here. After sharing my developing relationship with cannabis as a Medical Patient, I wrote interviews featuring a variety of Black Maryland + DC entrepreneurs.

That expanded into covering LGBT Black folk involved in Cannabis. 

We then wrapped up 2020 by covering the stories of Black women who transformed ourselves with the power of psychedelics.

RESULTS

More than anything, the individuals I interviewed were ecstatic about their features. 

And my articles helped to build a bridge between Georgia's cannabis community (where Mehka is based) and Maryland's.

My article 6 Black Ass Cannabis Brands of Maryland garnered attention as a contribute piece on Benzinga.  

"Working with Alaina Dorsey is a blast! Aside from being an expert when it comes to search engine optimization, she is an amazing storyteller with a knack for always finding the right words.


"She was an integral part of CashColorCannabis. Alaina is definitely an asset for whoever she works with."

Mehka King, Founder, Podcast Host + Editor-in-Chief

Visual Storytelling - Package + Merch Art: Mycrodrops

Founded and formulated by Andrea Shuman, Mycrodrops is an adaptagenic mushroom brand for medicinal and wellness consumption. The products come in a variety of elixirs that support cognitive enhancement and mood regulation. The effects can be stacked with responsible psychedelic consumption.

PROBLEM

Running an ethical, compassionate small business is no small feat for Andrea Shuman. She's very passionate about functional mushrooms, holistic wellness and women's empowerment, so her presence resonated strongly when we met on the social audio app ClubHouse.

After we connected on a call, she became interested in my illustration service to experiment with a potential new income stream and appealing visuals for packaging.

SOLUTION

I pitched visualizing each of her elixir formulas, creating a mascot. Her signature elixirs include MycroFlow, MycroCalm + MycroActive: they each include their respective ingredients plus the base formula called MycroSynery. 

Andrea loved the idea of a femme-presenting character who embodied the ingredients. I developed 4 unique designs that we worked closely on: she provided her Brand Kit so each character is based on official MycroDrops color palettes. 

In the end, I produced PDFs for her to use the completed art in any size. And we set up a 1-Year Licensing Agreement for her to experiment with effective uses of the visuals.

RESULTS

As you can see, Andrea had a ball using the Art for a canopy and banners when she was vending. She printed stickers to include in packaging and also explored printed tank tops to wear. 

She decided to use the images for the packaging of her new product line Inner Space Confections. 

"I was not planning on having custom art done when I met Alaina. Her grounded approach and creativity and rich personality lead me to want to work with her.

"She listened to my vision and co-created with me until we had characters I am SO in love with! Thanks Alaina♥️"

Andrea Shuman, Founder, CEO + Master Herbalist

Visual Storytelling - Specialized Art: Cannabis Workers Coalition

An hemp and cannabis workers advocacy nonprofit co-founded and led by Savina Monet + Jessica Ortiz. They provide a variety of support and resources for both employees and employers in Oregon's cannabis industry, including grants for workers in dire need of financial help.

PROBLEM

This isn't the precise Call for Artists that a cannabis peer tagged me on. But you get the idea.

Cannabis Workers Coalition (CWC) put out a Call in Spring 2022 because they wanted portraits for their grant awardees. The grantees had endured financial, emotional and mental hardship thanks to COVID, wildfires, robberies and workplace discrimination. 

I reached out to CWC via email under my previous business FADEDlain and included my portfolio. Savina was impressed with my work and after negotiating the fee, we moved forward.

SOLUTION

Once I got Savina onboarded in Asana, I requested the grantees' written submissions and photographs. I was moved by Eelaaron, Meisha + Jesse's hardships and sought to visualize their triumph, especially after seeing their vibrant smiles in their photos.

We were very intentional about abstractly depicting their hardships to avoid re-traumatizing them.  The background shows hints of the fiery red sky and smoke which is eclipsed by their glowing triumphant smiles, cannabis leaves, the vibrant sky and their golden crowns.

RESULTS

I completed 3 individual portraits with unique tweaks and combined them for a completed illustration. 

The visuals were greatly received on Instagram and Savina informed me that they received another round of funding for their grants!

"Our team was super impressed by Alaina's organization and transparency. Seeing her progress videos on Instagram was a happy surprise. We appreciate her willingness to take feedback and apply it directly to the pieces. 

"Overall, we couldn't have been happier with the result and would love to work with Alaina again in the future!"

Savina Monet, Co-Founder, Executive Director + Freelance Cannabis Designer

Visual Storytelling - Specialized Art: Supa GGz!

An upcoming animated tale about 6 high school friends who gain super powers thanks to government-altered cannabis. One of the creators is Calvin Stovall, a New York-based cannabis professional who has a strong love for music and filmmaking.

PROBLEM

Having written a script and compiled visual assets, Calvin and his partners were ready to breathe life into their project.

Calvin had been following me on Twitter in a while and reached out in November 2022. After a formal video call, we got started in December.

SOLUTION

We narrowed down the project to 6 original character designs and a storyboard sheet that featured 11 key frames from Calvin's 50-page screenplay. 

I completed the project in January 2023 and it was placed under a 6-month NDA before I could share it.

RESULTS

As you can see from the shared images, the animation assets were a success! SUPA GGz is pending production as of the writing of this case study (March 2024).

Give Calvin a follow on Twitter/X for the eventual release.

"My partners and I loved everything that Alaina produced. We'll be in touch for more work."

Calvin Stovall, Freelance Writer, Editor, Producer + Designer