Could the comfy loungewear in the Potent Goods collection become the next Juicy Couture? Considering the Cannabis-centric brand just launched less than two weeks ago, it’s probably too soon to tell. Potent Goods is a far cry from those sexy, cheerful and silhouette changing French terry sweatsuits Gela Nash Taylor along with Pamela Skaist launched in 1997. But this self-funded venture, with partner and son Travis Nash, also elevates luxurious comfort wear to a Californian art.
Potent Goods is a 360-degree cannabis lifestyle brand that sells consumable products and a wardrobe to enhance the experience and aesthetic. The idea was born when the younger Nash returned to his native Los Angeles in 2018 after a stint in NYC and marijuana laws had just begun to change in California. “Once the new cannabis legalization bill passed, I had an idea for a classy smoking lounge,” said Nash describing a cozy but refined dark paneled spot with leather club chairs and Persian rugs, “But I realized quickly when reading the city ordinances that it was more complicated and out of my depth.”
Around the same time, Nash-Taylor rediscovered cannabis through a vape pen handed out at Matches.com event and a visit to a legal dispensary in Colorado when her husband’s band Duran Duran was there playing at Red Rocks. “I was amazed and bought everything in there,” she recalls. Fast forward to the pandemic, and Nash-Taylor doubled down on her conviction that “once people get comfortable, they always want to be comfortable.”
Their collective experience and vision intersected, and Potent Goods was hatched. Each brings a specific skill set to the brand. Nash’s background in fine arts applied as illustration and graphic design, tech-savvy skills and personal experience as a daily consumer of cannabis combined with Nash-Taylor’s experience as an entrepreneur and navigating the world of design and production, complemented each other. It was fascinating to Nash-Taylor. “We are like Juicy Couture was back in the day; an incredibly positive and happy team who value integrity, quality and fun.”
What’s intrinsic to Potent Goods is the prints. Nash-Taylor had been inspired by a moody romance theme; think a dark floral print with an occasional cannabis leaf or silver, grey and black snakeskin. For the launch, three key prints appear on the clothes and work back to the product. The consumable product is divvied up into three strains; Amplify, a Sativa strain that energizes; Offline, an Indica strain that relaxes and Muse, a combo of the two for a more measured experience.
The wearable product—tracksuits, lounge separates, hoodies, masks, and cross-body zipper pouch bags—was also designed with the experience in mind. For instance, a robe has a small pocket to store a vape pen. The bags are designed to fit the pre-roll smoked product and a lighter doubles as a necklace. How the clothing feels against your skin is also paramount as tactile experience is a significant component of enjoying the cannabis experience. The whole concept borrows from the matching set ideology of Juicy Couture.
While wearing it and enjoying it are meant to be paired, the purchasing experience is still very separate. Creating the website had some unique challenges, admits Nash. It’s split into two. One site, potentgoodlashop.com, is for the wearable product e-comm, while another site, potentgoodsla.com, is informational and lifestyle-centric to introduce the three strains. Local ordinances still require a dispensary or dispensary delivery service to sell the cannabis. And packaging must be plastic and child-proof though Nash-Taylor stresses the reusability aspect. It also makes for some tricky marketing guidelines. “We can advertise on Instagram or Out of Home (billboards and poster ads), but we can’t show the product on social media, for instance,” notes Nash.
These types of regulations are welcome, according to Nash-Taylor as regulated product is safer. “Everything we sell is for legal recreational use and has to be tracked from seed to sale on a system called METRC, an acronym that stands for Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Reporting & Compliance. Knowing what’s in what you intake, or where it came from, is akin to knowing the source of the food you consume or the traceability on garments you wear.
Understanding why this is important and how to use the products for the safest and most optimal use is also a part of the brand ethos. “Cannabis has changed over the years with growers making stronger THC, so it’s like having a high-quality spirit,” says Nash-Taylor. “You don’t guzzle good whiskey; you take sips. A lot of people don’t have the information it takes to enjoy cannabis.” She added that there are benefits of smoking as opposed to drinking, such as a broader enjoyment period, no hangover the next day, and it relieves tension. “It’s why they call it the magical flower,” she adds.
The mother-son team has already started thinking about where this can go. Nash-Taylor envisions a collaboration with friend, jeweler and style force Lisa Eisner on a high-end roach clip. In the short term, pop-ups with Los Angeles retail institutions such as Maxfield. As Nash explains, “Purchasing the product would be done through a dispensary delivery service that you could meet outside in the parking lot, for instance, as Maxfield’s can’t sell it.” Which to the uninitiated could sound a bit sketchy but par for the course in Los Angeles. Nash-Taylor views that as a positive too. “It’s a little difficult to get, but that also makes it aspirational.”