By Morriss M. Partee, Founder

Summer 2019

In the summer of 2019, I first started planning an adult-use cannabis company. One of the first things needed was a name. So I started brainstorming as many name candidates as I could, on a giant poster board. I wrote down all the typical words that many canna companies use, like ‘wellness’ ‘care’ ‘alternative’ and more. I wanted the name to be memorable, vivid, and unique. I did this brainstorming while working through the company’s business plan, and what would set it apart from other similar companies. 

I knew that the company and its stores should have a clean and professional look, but also be more welcoming and less sterile than “the Apple store of weed” that several other companies seem to be going for. Something that would appeal to a broad cross-section of the community it would serve, and one in which women especially would feel comfortable and welcomed.

In the course of writing up a description of what an ideal store would have, I thought about how it should accommodate different types of cannabis customers. Many customers know exactly what they want, place an order online, and want to check out as fast as possible. There are also customers who are new to marijuana, have heard about the wellness benefits of it, but who want to talk to a bud tender about their options before making a purchase. In thinking about the people who want to get in and out as fast as possible, I imagined they would be on the “express” or “rapids” path. And if these customers are on the “rapids” path, then the customer who needs or wants to take more time could be described as being in the comfortable “eddy” of a river’s current.


From there, it just seemed natural that if we design our store to have both a “rapids” part of a shopping experience, as well as an “eddy” part of the experience, the company should have the word “river” in the name. After all, who isn’t entranced by a river? There’s something about water, no matter if it’s a river, stream, ocean, brook, lake, or a small fountain in your backyard, that is appealing to pretty much everyone. And since our product of cannabis is associated with green, Emerald seemed the logical word to pair with River.

Next step: Google Search

There was just one thing left to check. Are the words ‘Emerald River’ used for other companies or stores, especially in the northeast? 

A google search of ‘emerald river’ turns up a river in British Columbia, along with “Emerald Waterways,” a company that offers river cruises. But as far as we know, no one uses “Emerald River” as a company name, certainly not in the cannabis field. The name “Emerald River” continued to work well as I tried it out with others, before registering the name with the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth. 

Logo Design and Visual Identity

Later, we hired Seth Gregory, in Northampton Mass., to create a logo and visual identity for the company. At that point, Matt Taggart, had joined the team to head up Maine operations. Matt and I have worked together on branding for years, so it was gratifying that Seth fully understood and appreciated ‘brand.’ Matt and I communicated what the Emerald River visual identity should feel like to Seth, and he produced a spectacular logo and identity package for the company. It was a joy for me to see the vision for the brand start to take shape via what both Matt and Seth brought to the table. 

A sign that one has hit on a good idea, is that the kernel grows and expands far beyond the original spark. That is certainly the case with Emerald River, which started out as little more than a concept and a dream. Words can’t truly express how gratifying it is to see the many ways in which Emerald River is taking shape, and I am forever indebted to the many people and professionals who have guided me and my partners along the way, as we continue to bring the Emerald River brand to life. 

Join us on the Emerald River journey

Rivers are associated with rafting, canoeing, kayaking, and hiking. They are often the touchstone or launching point for trips and adventures. Some rivers are short and others are long. Some are shallow and wide, others are deep and narrow. Some rivers branch off the main river, while others feed into it as it winds its way to a lake or ocean. Just as rivers have many purposes, and people interact with them in all kinds of different ways, we look forward to people having a variety of associations and interactions with us over many years to come.

Emerald River began as the starting point of a journey in the summer of 2019. We hope that you’ll find part of your story with us, as we continue to discover where the Emerald River journey leads, together.