This week’s Trailblazer is Taylor Giovannini, Founder of Oceanic Releaf, an LP and retailer based in Newfoundland seeking to bring positive change to their communities through employment and economic development.
Questions with a Cannabis Industry Trailblazer
When did you first become involved in the cannabis industry and why?
2017- It’s a funny story, I was never a cannabis consumer or advocate prior to starting the company. My husband consumed daily and it was a product that I just trusted him with because I knew without it his life suffered. It wasn’t until I had the opportunity to understand a family member’s pain management struggles that I dove into the medical benefits of Cannabis. It all started when I dabbled in baking with cannabis and we saw immediate benefits with this family member. It was an AH HA moment for me and I knew then and there that something amazing would come from it. I now consume regularly to elevate all aspects of my life!
The other funny part was I had no idea recreational cannabis was coming online, my spark of passion came from medical and exploded when I learned about the rec market. Either way you consume it had to come from a Licensed Producer…. let’s start there!
Fast forward to 2022- we have our Health Canada License (standard processing, cultivation, extraction, medical, and sales ) and 8 retail stores across NL. The first cannabis drive-thru in Canada, and expanding across the nation! It’s been a wild ride.
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced when working with cannabis companies/brands?
The cannabis act has made it very difficult to promote product at all which is understandable in a new market yet frustrating.
Once it’s reviewed this year I’m hoping to see some forward movement.
If you could change one of the current Canadian or American marketing restrictions on cannabis, which would it be?
Oceanic Releaf is a wellness lifestyle brand. We promote health in all directions and if cannabis is one of those things you do to elevate your life then great! We want to normalize cannabis for ALL. I would love to see “lifestyle” being allowed to promote for brands.
In your observation, what marketing techniques or channels have been most effective for cannabis companies looking to connect with consumers?
We have found success on social media platforms and Google searches that ultimately will lead you to our Website which allows customers to select from a large variety of cannabis products. Customers’ word of mouth has also added to our brand awareness.
What is one tip or piece of advice you would give to marketers looking to enter the cannabis industry?
The cannabis industry is highly regulated therefore know and understand the Cannabis Act and your provincial cannabis regulations. Educate your budtenders and provide quality products backed by excellence in customer service. Have a strategy around your brand, the logo, and your online presence.