This week’s Trailblazer is Marie-Pascale Boudreau, Head of Marketing at 5 Points Cannabis, a licensed producer of Quebec-grown craft cannabis.

Questions with a Cannabis Industry Trailblazer

When did you first become involved in the cannabis industry and why?

My journey in the cannabis industry began three years ago. I am a curious person and one of the things that energize me is the opportunity to build and create new standards. With the legalization and arrival of this new industry in Canada, everything was to be built and for me, it was a no-brainer that I was going to have the opportunity to put into practice my strengths.

I started this chapter of my life working for SQDC as a Branch Director. Less than a year in my role they offered me a position at Head Office as Supply Management Coordinator. We were a small team to manage the complete supplier portfolio for Quebec and ensure compliance monitoring and product launches. In addition, I acted as a “spokesperson” between the head office and the directors of all stores in Quebec regarding launches and product compliance.

Subsequently, an opportunity presented itself to me to join the forces of a marketing & sales agency (a Cannabis Broker) as a National brand manager. I was managing 5 LPs (vapes, extracts, whole flowers) across Canada and was working on getting them listed, developing marketing strategies, and analyzing the performance of their portfolio. To be working 100% for a board and then switch to work in all the provinces of Canada directly for the brands, I was completely mind blown. That’s when I realized the magnitude of the challenge and the whole Canadian cannabis industry portrait.

Recently, I have decided to join forces with 5 Points Cannabis, a Quebec craft grower listed in more than 5 provinces in Canada, as Head of Marketing & brand development. A role with 1001 hats that allows me to put into practice all my knowledge of the last 3 years.

A fast-growing industry, with 1001 challenges, an industry that continues to surprise me day after day.

What has been the biggest challenge you have faced when working with cannabis companies/brands?

Ohhhhhh, that’s a good one. The day you work at the national level is the moment you realize how different one province to another is. I tip my hat to all the brands. It’s a huge challenge to build a brand identity & storytelling that you can apply to every province. For example, in Quebec, there is no POS, no education session, and only one event for the industry. You drive less than 2 hours from Montreal, you arrive in Ontario, and boom, display in stores, huge events, parties, and even OCS who made a TV commercial. In short, brands must adapt their strategy from one province to another, work in French and English, and offer proximity – offering as much for a small dispensary as for a chain of more than 15 stores. This is where the challenge of “constancy” makes sense.

5 Points Cannabis

If you could change one of the current Canadian or American marketing restrictions on cannabis, which would it be?

Everyone automatically thinks about all the marketing rules. However, let’s not forget the rules surrounding packaging. At 5 Points, we are working extremely hard to get our hands on manufacturing packaging as close as possible to our installations in order to reduce our GHG emissions on different aspects of the life cycle of the product. In addition, we are working hard to find the most recyclable packaging possible. However, with all the restrictions, the task is difficult. The choices are very limited and extremely expensive. In short, marketing is also affected. It is the dream of all brands to have ‘’carte blanche’’ on the packaging, to be able to promote brand identity and to add education for consumers on the packaging.

In your observation, what marketing techniques or channels have been most effective for cannabis companies looking to connect with consumers?

The Budtender love! Yes there is Reddit, Facebook groups, Instagram, Twitter and now Twitch. However, the most important people are budtenders. At 5 Points, we ensure that we are accessible and available to offer education on our products, in-store visuals and answer budtenders questions.

The key to success = consistency, quality, innovation and transparency.

5 Points Cannabis Trim

Are there any other Trailblazers in the cannabis industry that you follow?

Throughout my career, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many inspiring individuals in the industry. While I try to remain impartial, I must confess that I have a soft spot for people and brands hailing from Quebec, and for good reason. Quebec boasts success stories of brands that have made impressive strides in the national market and now export markets.

Two names that immediately come to mind are:

Joel Lalancette, the CEO of 5 Cannabis Points, and also my mentor. With a background in agriculture, Joel remains connected to his roots and incorporates his values into every business decision he makes. He possesses an innovative vision of the market and fearlessly shares his knowledge with others in the industry. His entrepreneurial spirit is truly motivating, and his motto “We are all in the same boat, so let’s help each other and work together to achieve success” encapsulates his collaborative approach to business.

The second person is Marc-Olivier Lavoie, the Vice President of Velvet Management. With a wealth of experience dating back to the early days of the cannabis industry, Marc-Olivier is a trusted collaborator whose career path has crossed with mine on multiple occasions. We first collaborated when I was with the SQDC, then worked together when I joined Velvet, and today we continue to collaborate closely as Velvet leads the commercialization of 5 Points Cannabis across Canada as our broker. With his marketing expertise and comprehensive understanding of the cannabis industry, Marc-Olivier is a key figure in the cannabis industry.

What is one tip or piece of advice you would give to marketers looking to enter the cannabis industry?

Pack your carry-on and visit all the provinces of Canada. Talk with budtenders, visit stores, and be ready to be mindblown. Oh and also, make sure to know by heart the Cannabis Act and provincial cannabis regulations. Don’t forget to have fun, at the end of the day, we are selling weed, right?!

Cannabis Marketing Trailblazers

A big thank you to Marie-Pascale from 5 Points Cannabis for participating as this week’s Trailblazer! Stay tuned for another interview with a cannabis marketing Trailblazer next Thursday in the ADCANN blog.



ADCANN is a digital publication and content creation team that showcases the most creative concepts in the cannabis space.