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Thoma Thoma


Founded as MediPays in 2017, this startup fintech delivering financial services to the legal cannabis industry had its sights set on nationwide expansion. Its leadership recognized the company’s identity was too limiting and descriptive; it needed a more comprehensive, expansive brand envelope. And then, it would require a great marketing partner to help seize the opportunity in this burgeoning new industry.

To develop the new identity, Thoma focused on themes, metaphors and attributes that would resonate with the B2B prospects the company sought to engage and that accurately connoted the philosophy and products represented by the brand.

Thoma’s naming team explored creative solutions across multiple dimensions and themes—including aviation, mountains, capital and “connotations.” We developed prospective names under each theme with clever meanings and memorable sounds.

“Abaca,” as it turns out, hit all the right notes. It is the name of a native Indonesian hemp strain; it is mildly connotative of “abacus” the ancient calculating machine; it had a wonderful mouthfeel (to borrow a phrase from cookery); and it was in other ways a blank slate ready for us to invest meaning into.

Once our client’s leadership settled on the Abaca name, Thoma designed the logo, tagline lockup, identity standards and brand playbook (master guidance on voice, tone, personality, visual brand and more) and refined it with input from stakeholders inside and outside the company. Subsequently, our sister Bud Agency developed and deployed a comprehensive content marketing strategy that drove awareness, lead generation and sales growth.


  • Comprehensive brand identity development
  • Website redevelopment and marketing automation integration
  • Content marketing support including webinars, white papers, blogs and newsletters
  • Ongoing regional and national public relations initiatives leading to exposure in Wall Street Journal, Forbes and numerous industry outlets
  • Trade show presence design and appearance support
  • Search engine optimization and search engine marketing


Within five years, Abaca grew from an idea to a leading cannabis financial platform; it had processed more than $3 billion (yes, billion) in compliant cannabis transactions and by the end of 2022 had sold for $30 million to the nation’s largest cannabis banking organization, Safe Harbor Financial.