This week’s Trailblazer is Leah Thiel, Vice President of Marketing at Indiva, a licenced producer of premium cannabis edibles, capsules, whole flower and pre-rolls.
Questions with a Cannabis Industry Trailblazer
When did you first become involved in the cannabis industry and why?
I joined the Canadian Cannabis industry in May 2018. I, like so many others, was delirious at the thought of participating in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to legalize cannabis in Canada. It was my retail marketing experience that first got me in the door to lead marketing efforts for a chain of cannabis retail stores.
What has been the biggest marketing challenge you have faced when working with cannabis companies/brands?
Regulations and restrictions can be disheartening to someone who wants to drive the normalization and destigmatization of cannabis. Finding ways of working within the guard rails to build a recognizable brand is the key to unlocking possibility. Find the yes’s in a sea of no’s!
If you could change one of the current Canadian or American marketing restrictions on cannabis, which would it be?
Since one of the intentions of legalizing cannabis was to reduce the illicit market, then increasing the potency limit on cannabis edibles would be a game-changer and give legal cannabis a fighting chance to succeed.
In your observation, what marketing techniques or channels have been most effective for cannabis companies looking to connect with consumers?
Budtenders, budtenders, budtenders!
The relationship between the budtender and the consumer is so important. Training programs for budtenders and a feedback loop are a must-have for a successful launch and sustained momentum.
Are there any other Trailblazers in the cannabis industry that you follow?
I would give a shout-out to those who welcomed me and shared their passion for cannabis when I joined the industry and who continue to drive excellence every day, Amy Wasserman, Lana Pawziuk, Jocelyn Tse, Shega Youngson, and so many more.
What is one tip or piece of advice you would give to people looking to enter the cannabis industry?
Join this industry because you love the plant, the possibilities and the future. There will be lots of ups and downs, pivots, and surprises on the way to get there, so loving what you do and embracing change is so valuable.
A big thank you to Leah for participating as this week’s Trailblazer! Stay tuned for another interview with a cannabis marketing Trailblazer next Thursday in the ADCANN blog.
Interested in working with one of these talented cannabis marketers? Check out our Agency Directory for a list of all the agencies that specialize in working with cannabis companies.