Designers Hayley Dineen and Lana Van Brunt of Sackville & Co. and Sackville Studios bonded over their shared frustration at the lack of what they referred to as “design-forward cannabis products” to fit their personal styles.
“We were tired of seeing lackluster cannabis products and merchandise with little in the way of design,” Dineen shared. “We wanted to use items we could proudly display, not hide away as if it were wrong. We collectively feel that raising the bar in design within the industry will also help change the negative stigma behind this plant that we love and respect for its positive benefits.”
Dineen’s creative background includes studying fashion design at the highly selective Central Saint Martins, part of the University of the Arts London in the UK.
Through Central Saint Martins, she worked on a collaboration with Vivienne Westwood and the United Nations’ ethical fashion initiative, going on to design for high-end brands including Yeezy and OVO.
“Crafting offers the biggest employment opportunity for women, globally,” Dineen explained. “Fair trade for luxury items with no middle-man to drain profits is important for their survival. I loved working on this project, because so many designers and manufacturers from the UK stepped up to help.”
Van Brunt’s marketing and branding expertise came from stints as a Director at both VICE and ATTN: media groups.
With years between them in high-end product development, they began ruminating on cannabis branding they’d feel proud to be a part of, with high-profile collaborations at the core of its model.
As noted at the top of its website, “We are a multidisciplinary cannabis design and production studio created by women who like to smoke weed.” The concept is simple enough, but in reality, Sackville Studios is the first female-run studio to build out major brands for companies in the cannabis industry.
Clients include Cresco Labs, with its Sunnyside dispensaries; Curaleaf; Miss Jones Cannabis Outpost(s), a curated site with locations throughout Ontario, Canada; and Miss Grass, a high-end, online headshop pairing curated offerings with designer accessories.
Past clients include a sensual line for Playboy, working with them as stated on the website, from its dream stage to the launch of its smoking set, “to create products that embody the essence of Playboy,” and all that implies.
Last year Sackville & Co. partnered with rapper GZA from Wu-Tang, with a branded stash kit that includes specialty blunt wraps, a lighter, and a grinder. Sackville pledged to give 100 percent of these profits to the Last Prisoner Project, an organization led by Stephen and Andrew DeAngelo, helping to free and support cannabis prisoners from the failed Drug War.
The lighter quotes GZA, “I won’t hesitate to detonate; I’m short fused.”
“This past year the conversation around cannabis seemed to change, seeping into mainstream media,” Van Brunt said. “With publications like Vogue now giving the plant a mention. We are grateful, as it brings us closer to a more educated understanding of the plant by the masses.”
Barney’s of New York, Van Brunt added, set the stage for the mainstreaming of cannabis, with its ‘High End’ shop located on the fifth floor of its now defunct Beverly Hills location. No matter, the tone’s been set.
Not knowing what the world will be like in five years regarding cannabis, both women are looking forward to more collaborations, rather than endorsements, with high-end designers for branding, accessories, and fashion, with a few celebrities in the mix.
“There was lots of growth during the COVID lockdown in the cannabis industry, with many feeling comfortable to order online—especially since cannabis was deemed essential,” Dineen said. “International sales have been strong, but at home, Urban Outfitters has been the largest for retail sales, and this really helps to decrease the stigma surrounding the plant.”
Sackville & Co.’s line includes a variety of one gram cones; papers; a smell-proof, zippered stash; and three grinders: Signature, Gilded, and Pillar. All three grinders are golden with a sleek stacked design, all beautiful enough to sit on the coffee table.
Its descriptor reads, “Remember that grimy-ass grinder your ex had in college? Well, this is not that.”
They’ve also released their own pre-rolls, teaming up with Goldenseed of Monterey Bay in Santa Cruz County, California, a legacy farm with proprietary cultivars, grown outdoors in the sun using sustainable farming practices.
“Our pre-rolls are infused using Goldenseed terpenes and full flower,” Dineen said. “We have two varieties, Beach Daze and Night Haze, one for daytime and a relaxing mix for night. Served up in our own stylish packaging, of course.”
Beach Daze is a sunny, daytime, lime-flavored Sativa hybrid created using Frozen Margy and Frozen Lemon Margarita, loaded with terpenes: caryophyllene, Limonene, Linalool, Humulene, and Myrcene.
Night Haze is created using Bombshell and Miracle Alien Bombshell, with primary terpenes of Caryophyllene, Bisabolol, and Humulene, with fresh scents of pine and citrus. Its descriptor reads, “flavored glaze of creamy nilla wafers and deep notes of sweetness takes you on the dream side of life.” It notes that this hybrid can be used to relax in the daytime or to induce chill and sleep at night.
Walking the Talk
Both women were born and raised in Canada, with Van Brunt now located in New York and Dineen remaining in Toronto. This gives them the unique opportunity of seeing both sides of the coin via legalization in their home country and across the border.
Currently, they are watching and waiting to see if the U.S. Federal Government will follow Canada’s lead (and now Mexico to the south), and legalize the plant nationally.
First, the U.S. must take cannabis off the Department of Health’s Schedule 1, where it’s sitting alongside heroin, with the misnomer of having no medicinal value. This is frustrating for them to watch for many reasons, firstly due to both women currently using cannabis as medicine themselves for real ailments.
“Like most people, I was first introduced to cannabis for fun,” Dineen said. “Then, in 2017, in my early 20s, I was rushed to the hospital with severe muscle spasms in my intestines. I couldn’t sit up for weeks with my gastrologist stumped as to what was causing the pain.”
Initially prescribed opiates, Dineen said she began experimenting with cannabis, first by smoking, then ingesting cannabis oil.
“This was around the time that Canada legalized as a country, so it was easier to source products,” she added. “My doctor was surprised when I shunned the pharmaceuticals, but said he was happy to hear I was getting better quicker than he expected. He said, ‘I can’t tell you to use cannabis, but I can see it was the right decision for you.’”
She was saddened that the doctor agreed, but still didn’t feel confident or knowledgeable enough to recommend cannabis at the time. Today, due to legalization, doctors in Canada are more aware of the benefits.
Van Brunt was also in her early 20s when she first partook, but by her early 30s she was using the plant purposefully for anxiety and depression.
“I enjoy edibles,” Van Brunt said. “It’s been an individual journey—almost an art form in finding what works with my body—what types of strains, what dose, what time of day. I spent a lot of time discovering, and cannabis has now become a beautiful part of my life in many ways.”
While both believe in cannabis, they also agree that it’s a fool’s errand making long-term plans in the cannabis industry.
“We are still waiting to see what the U.S. does to legalize the plant across the country,” Van Brunt said. “With our home country of Canada on board and New York finally legal, it’s been easier, but the challenges are still there federally in the U.S. We are just grateful to be in the space and to be able to create these beautiful designs to move the conversation along. That’s what good design does; it can start the conversation that can lead to positive change.”
For more information on Sackville & Co., visit: https://www.sackvillestudios.co/#home-section.
For more information on the Ethical Fashion Initiative, visit: https://www.intracen.org/itc/projects/ethical-fashion/.