New York — One in five American adults can now legally eat, drink, smoke or vape cannabis, however, they please. For the fledgling companies fighting for customer attention, the game of differentiating their products through branding is on. And nothing conveys these emerging marijuana brands and stories so clearly as the pretty packaging in which they’re increasingly wrapped. Rolling a crinkly, crooked joint by hand, the preferred packaging of an earlier generation of pot smokers, seems like a quaint ritual from a galaxy long ago compared with these new products. Exhibit A is Toast’s marijuana cigarette packs, which are black with embossed art-deco designs. "Toast" is written in gold italics. The cigarettes, called "Slices", come 10 to a pack. The filter tip is purple with a gold butterfly and gold text where the purple ends. The branding was inspired by 1920s cigarette cases, according to Gabrielle Rein, Toast’s chief creative officer. "The packaging had to be positioned as luxury,...

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