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Corporate Responsibility/


Considerations for people and the planet. It’s not only the right thing to do, it’s what our consumers demand.


onscious cannabis. Google the term and you’ll quickly discover it has a range of current interpretations — and from a variety of different sources. Take an organization like the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), Canada’s most progressive private-sector union, which represents over 250,000 members at thousands of workplaces across the country. The UFCW claim “conscious cannabis” is about enabling wage-earners in the emerging cannabis industry to take charge of their important role as producers, distributors, salespeople and manufacturers; by which they mean putting cannabis workers first. Or, consider an event like the Conscious Cannabis Leadership Symposium, held last summer in Vancouver, and which brought thought-leaders across the industry together to contemplate new paradigms, practices, possibilities and partnerships within it. The brain trust behind this conference reckon “conscious cannabis” infers accessing creative flow, attuning awareness, centring joyful bliss, connecting open-heartedly, excavating the psyche, liberating repression, thinking outside-the-box, and more, in the name of social transformation. In other words, how cannabis companies and their workers help shape the cannabis movement itself. But at TREC Brands, the award-winning premium cannabis brand holding company I had the privilege of officially launching last year, we don’t seek to define the term “conscious cannabis”. For us, it’s a mindset. It means who we hire, as well as how we source our partners and cannabis. We are also conscious about the premium quality of our products and how we package it, particularly from a promotional standpoint. Lastly, it’s about how we give back to the communities we operate in via our cannabis companies. The unique model of conscious cannabis we put into service at TREC Brands is therefore built on three pillars: values, destigmatization and corporate social responsibility. These pillars are at the core of everything we do; the foundation of all that we’re trying to build. And guess what? They can be just as instrumental in developing your organization, too. VALUES They look great in a mission statement, but do you walk the talk? From bringing on investors to selecting partners and hiring, you need to put your values at the front of all business transactions to be a real leader.


Cannabis Prospect Magazine | February 2020

In other words, you need to lead with them, while holding yourself and your team accountable to them. Indeed, your company’s values should effectively underpin every single decision it makes, and that you and your employees make on its behalf. TREC stands for trust, respect, equality and compassion. In our office, you will commonly hear, “Is that TREC of you?” Or, “You’re so TRECish!” We are upfront about our values in every new business interaction and hold one another accountable. To bring values to life, they need to: 1. 2. 3.

Be authentic and fit with your company objectives and strategy. Be part of everyday conversations and integrated into all aspects of the company. Be rewarded and promoted. People in your organization who embody the values deserve to be recognized.

DESTIGMATIZATION Even with cannabis now legal in Canada, some (if not most) users still face social stigma for consuming the plant. To help remove the ignominious characterization around cannabis use, you should strive to produce a positive experience for consumers of all experience levels. So, when building a cannabis company (or brand), consider the obstacles and negative connotations standing in your way. Then, start thinking about ways to break down those barriers. Create a sense of community. Be grounded in education. Speak to the illicit consumer with the intent of converting them to the legal market. These are barriers that we identified at TREC when building our brands. One of our brands was envisioned to provide consumers with a premium product that would inspire exclusive, one-of-a-kind experiences — all in the name of progressing culture in fashion, art and music, and in finding and creating great stories and memories. Another? To empower women to live a happier, healthier and more authentic existence through educational content, community-building activations and purposefully-designed products. And yet another? To eradicate the black market through curation and pricing more in tune with the everyday consumer. Change doesn’t happen overnight. Thanks to many years of misinformation and prohibition, there is a long way to go to stop the stigma,

Profile for Cannabis Prospect Magazine

Cannabis Prospect Magazine - February '20 - Issue #7  

Cannabis Prospect Magazine is Canada’s premier trade publication for cannabis industry professionals. With six issues to be printed and dist...

Cannabis Prospect Magazine - February '20 - Issue #7  

Cannabis Prospect Magazine is Canada’s premier trade publication for cannabis industry professionals. With six issues to be printed and dist...