If you search “Citidank,” Google asks, “did you imply: Citibank?” But all the first web page of outcomes has nothing to do with the multi-billion greenback banking big. Instead, the search returns buyer evaluations, Facebook pages, and social media accounts for a southern California hashish superstore. Citidank, the favored and highly-rated dispensary based mostly in Cathedral City, is clearly riffing off the identify Citibank. And now, it’s the dispensary underneath hearth for comparable identify and emblem as nationwide financial institution.
California Cannabis Superstore Draws Ire From New York Megabank
Those who’ve been following the expansion of the authorized hashish business anticipated branding wars have been an inevitability. Few anticipated, nevertheless, that model battles would contain a nationwide financial institution that has nothing to do with marijuana.
For no matter cause, puns are a very fascinating commodity among the many cannabis-inclined. They simply appear to put in writing themselves. And in case you occur to seek out one particularly humorous, it’s too straightforward to run with it.
To wit, Citidank. In reality, there’s lots about this hashish superstore that resembles the banking big. The dispensary boasts of providing not simply the highest-quality merchandise, however the largest choice within the Valley.
Even Citidank’s promoting copy mimics the language banks use to draw new clients. For instance, Citidank celebrated its grand opening final month with a full-page advert in Coachella Valley Weekly.
The advert listed Citidank’s choices, resembling early chook specials, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. joyful hours, and for the fortunate first fifty by means of the door, a “special gift.”
And when the advert says that Citidank caters to “all your danking needs,” the truth that the dispensary is riffing off Citibank, tongue firmly in cheek, is tough to disclaim.
At some level, the hashish retailer’s cheeky branding caught the eye of the New York Post. Then the journal reached out to Citibank to see if there was a connection.
The Post acquired a reply from Citibank spokesperson Danielle Romero-Apsilos. “Unless you are as high as a kite, you know that Citi isn’t affiliated with this business in any way,” she stated.
Citibank Asks Citidank Dispensary To Cease And Desist
Taking a take a look at the Citidank emblem, there’s solely a fleeting resemblance to the financial institution’s branding. The dispensary’s emblem emphasizes the “dank” and replaces the pink arch connecting the “i”s with a broad pot-leaf.
But the marijuana facet of the brand is so pronounced that even somebody “as high as a kite” would in all probability be capable of inform the distinction.
Nevertheless, Citigroup has requested that Citidank proprietors cease utilizing Citi’s identify and emblem. Given the litigious nature of the banking big, going for a re-branding is perhaps the dispensary’s best choice. According to the Post, Citidank didn’t return a request for remark.
One might be forgiven for considering that Citigroup is taking a disproportionately robust stance on the dispensary’s artistic branding marketing campaign. But federally-backed banks should be notably cautious about their proximity to hashish companies.
The ongoing federal prohibition on hashish has, in fact, created a well-documented banking disaster in states with authorized marijuana packages. National banks have largely refused to supply providers to state-legal marijuana companies for worry of violating federal regulation.
So it is sensible that Citibank would need to distance themselves from any reference to certainly one of California’s largest hashish shops.
The Final Hit: Dispensary Under Fire For Similar Name And Logo As National Bank
At the second, it’s unclear whether or not Citidank will re-think its identify or wait and see if Citibank pursues any authorized recourse for trademark infringement. Meanwhile, the web is definitely having enjoyable with the entire thing.
“I’m sure the bank ruins lives more effectively than pot ever can,” one poster wryly quipped. How about opening an edibles firm referred to as “Goldman Snachs,” provided one other.