Marketing firms cash in by helping Instagram dealers create ‘designer brands’ to boost their cannabis sales.
The businesses – which are registered on Companies House – openly boast online about how they produce carefully designed bags and products to package the drugs.
The specialist packaging is often made to appeal to youngsters.
One company, called Dank Canz, is run by couple Jack and Rosanna Chapman in Nottingham. Dank is slang for potent, high-quality cannabis.
On its website, the firm – which is registered as DC Print and Packaging Ltd – states: ‘Branding is key in all industries… We have experienced designers ready to create unique designs for your business and packaging.’
It posts links to bags and other products it has produced for clients, adding: ‘Contact us today for more info on custom packaging and branding.’
Owners are a husband and wife, Jack and Rosanna Chapman, from Hucknall, Nottingham. The couple run Dank Canz, which is registered as DC Print and Packaging Ltd on Companies House. Dank is slang for potent, high-quality cannabis
Advertising the products on Instagram, Dank Canz have Ben and Jerry themed designs (Pictured) for cannabis products. The website even features a ‘request a strain’ service for customers to specify which type of cannabis they are packaging.
They include bags made to look like popular children’s cereals – such as Frosties and Lucky Charms – Monster Munch crisps and Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. Dank Canz even sponsors a ‘cannabis cup’ where Instagram dealers battle it out over the quality of their product
The website even features a ‘request a strain’ service for customers to specify which type of cannabis they are packaging.
It also states that it has a range of ‘high-quality customised products’ to ‘showcase your brand’.
It linked to a bag the company ‘printed and packaged’ for Stonechester, a cannabis dealer with 19,000 followers.
It features a picture of Bart Simpson smoking a joint, saying ‘100 per cent dank’. In other posts, Dank Canz links to a bag with the McDonald’s clown, Ronald McDonald, smoking the drug, which is labelled as ‘premium UK cannabis’.
The bags are also designed to look like children’s cereals – such as Frosties and Lucky Charms – Monster Munch crisps and Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. Dank Canz even sponsors a ‘cannabis cup’ where Instagram dealers battle it out over the quality of their product.
And on his Facebook page, Mr Chapman has posted pictures of himself with what appear to be joints and adverts for his company.
One post said: ‘Anybody know basic Photoshop, smoke weed and want a job?’ When contacted by an undercover reporter who was posing as a cannabis dealer needing bags to promote his online business, Dank Canz responded: ‘It’s all about the bag designs and who you get your bags to, new products, cool products, good strains and most importantly, good weed.’ Another company called Custom Dank describes itself as having the ‘UK’s largest range of custom smoking accessories’ and it helps dealers ‘build your brand’ at the ‘best price’.
Its customisable products list – which it said is ‘forever growing’ – includes grinders, rolling trays, ashtrays, lighters, joint holders, cannabis seed and flower packaging, glass jars, LED signs, business cards and key rings. It offers free UK delivery on all orders.
The company is run by Oliver Bents, 34, a married former business development manager from Cardiff.
He only contacts customers via email. And when contacted by a Mail undercover reporter asking for bags and advice in promoting his cannabis sales, he said he could only design and print bags, adding: ‘Be careful what you write when sending email etc. Very risky to be so open if you know what I mean.’
However, on his company’s website and Instagram page, he is not so shy.
He openly posted pictures of a bag he made for an online dealer which states that it contains high-strength cannabis.
The bag, for LoudFamUK, features a cannabis flower and said it contains THC – the psychoactive constituent of cannabis which is illegal in the UK.
He also worked for an online dealer called Secret Farmer and the packaging states that it ‘contains cannabis – a controlled class B substance’.
For smaller dealers, he offers ‘generic’ bags which are emblazoned with ‘premium quality strain’ and ‘top shelf’ cannabis.
On the company’s website, it states that Custom Dank is a registered trademark of Jsob Trading Ltd, of which Mr Bents is listed as director on Companies House.
It also has a VAT number.
Mr Bents told the Mail: ‘We are a packaging and accessories manufacturer.
‘All products sold are for novelty purposes only and we do not condone or encourage any illegal activities.’
Dank Canz did not respond to requests for comment.
A spokesman for Facebook, which owns Instagram, said: ‘We’ve removed several of the accounts flagged to us by the Daily Mail and are continuing to investigate.
‘Buying and selling drugs is strictly against our rules and we use a combination of technology and human review to remove it.
‘Between April and June, we removed 2.3million pieces of drug sales content, over 95 per cent before it was reported to us, and we work closely with law enforcement and youth organisations to help us continually improve.
‘We’re exploring new ways to support people who search for this content in the UK and hope to have an update soon.’