If you search “Citidank,” Google asks, “did you mean: Citibank?” But the entire first page of results has nothing to do with the multi-billion dollar banking giant. Instead, the search returns customer reviews, Facebook pages, and social media accounts for a southern California cannabis superstore. Citidank, the popular and highly-rated dispensary based in Cathedral City, is clearly riffing off the name Citibank. And now, it’s the dispensary under fire for similar name and logo as national bank.
California Cannabis Superstore Draws Ire From New York Megabank
Those who’ve been following the growth of the legal cannabis industry expected branding wars were an inevitability. Few anticipated, however, that brand battles would involve a national bank that has nothing to do with marijuana.
For whatever reason, puns are a particularly desirable commodity among the cannabis-inclined. They just seem to write themselves. And if you happen to find one especially funny, it’s too easy to run with it.
To wit, Citidank. In fact, there’s a lot about this cannabis superstore that resembles the banking giant. The dispensary boasts of offering not just the highest-quality products, but the largest selection in the Valley.
Even Citidank’s advertising copy mimics the language banks use to attract new customers. For example, Citidank celebrated its grand opening last month with a full-page ad in Coachella Valley Weekly.
The ad listed Citidank’s offerings, such as early bird specials, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. happy hours, and for the lucky first fifty through the door, a “special gift.”
And when the ad says that Citidank caters to “all your danking needs,” the fact that the dispensary is riffing off Citibank, tongue firmly in cheek, is hard to deny.
At some point, the cannabis store’s cheeky branding caught the attention of the New York Post. Then the magazine reached out to