Women are still sitting at the table with men in every industry but Sarah Remesch finds it's much more collaborative in the cannabis space.
April 26, 2019 7 min read
Opinions expressed by Green Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Avid social marketer and luxury brand builder Sarah Remesch envisioned a media and lifestyle company after speaking at a cannabis conference inspired her to bring a new lens to the space. After several years of development, the talented entrepreneur launched the acclaimed online publication Viride in 2017, combining cutting-edge cannabis content with lifestyle, wellness, art and music to showcase the world’s most modern and fashionable trends.
Today, Sarah is offering her new line of New Highs CBD products to customers across the U.S. She describes New Highs as “a product and brand that will inevitably change the routine of those who indulge in a healthy, green-friendly lifestyle through high-quality farming and consumer focused design.”
What brought you into the cannabis industry?
I’m a media professional from advertising to production. I’ve been lucky enough to be involved in a variety of campaigns for a range of clients. I founded 270M on the basis of working with luxury clients and saw an opportunity to expand our categories into cannabis. We still maintain a strong basis of clients outside of cannabis and choose to work with cannabrands who share missions similar to ours in elevating the conversation.
Personally, I believe in the healing abilities of cannabis as an alternative for a range of illnesses both physical and mental. I want(ed) to be involved in this industry from the start to contribute as much as possible towards the mission of deregulation and ultimately accessibility for all who choose to use the plant for health and wellness purposes. That’s why I created New Highs CBD. Consumers have expressed being disenchanted with the current terrain of cannabinoid wellness brands, so we hashed out a plan to elevate CBD hemp oils, not be a clone of products currently on the market. CBD’s unique bouquet of benefits (from quelling hangovers to aiding sleep) deserves the high-quality cultivation, ingredients, and design we distill into each bottle. We use whole plant CBD that’s grown and crafted in the United States, made from CBD-rich hemp with no herbicides, pesticides, or solvents. And, it does not contain ingredients such as fillers, additives, flavorings or preservatives.
Cannabis is a young industry and I feel humbled to participate in shaping the voice of brands who are leading the way in pushing for destigmatizing consumption.
What obstacles and challenges have you experienced in operating within this industry?
Federal regulation’s impact on mainstream advertising opportunities. A typical brand that 270M can run Facebook or Instagram advertising for doesn’t have that privilege and may never, so we have to find unconventional ways to expand reach. Although a challenge, this also pushes me to create and integrate cannabis in a way brand advocates can relate to as part of their daily routines.
For Viride, finding partners who are interested in expanding their brand to the east coast consumers (future consumers) has been a challenge. We work with ancillary products that can be distributed across state lines but we are also working with brands in recreationally legal markets and have successfully done so without ever laying a hand on the product. It’s exciting to look towards the day when brands can cross-pollinate in all major markets they want to see success in and Viride is positioned to be at the onset of that time.
For New Highs, it was an interesting process making sure we had the proper labeling without industry standards. This was a top priority to me when bringing a product to market as I wanted to ensure we were educating and being transparent.
How have you overcome these obstacles?
Forging strong partnerships with clients who are willing to step outside the box and focus more on the content and the plan of distribution allows me to overcome the lack of advertising. 270M produces lifestyle content for clients and consults on how to use that content to shape the brand or change the conversation. Once the content is produced, we move towards sharing that message with the target market.
I also find that being a subject matter expert and sharing information for edification of people just joining us in cannabis is rewarding. A power in numbers of educating business professionals in the industry allows us to overcome all obstacles collectively. Is there anything we can say about New Highs here?
As a woman in cannabis, do you feel that you are at an advantage or a disadvantage (or both) and why?
It’s an interesting time to be a woman in the professional space in any industry — media is focusing more on equality and the conversation is growing to eliminate the glass ceiling. Women are still sitting at the table with men but it’s much more collaborative in the cannabis space because we’ve carved out room for ourselves. The space is budding which is a large advantage for women whereas other industries have stereotypical hierarchies that are difficult to work within.
Of course, working with other female founders has been a riveting experience. The business of cannabis has turned colleagues into friends and support systems and it’s lovely to have that comfort as a business owner.
What is an accomplishment you have achieved in this industry that you are most proud of?
Bringing the east coast community together for Viride’s 420 Prohibition Party in 2018. I remember stepping out before guests arrived and having some time to myself and thinking, “We are really doing something here, something that is going to make a difference.” To look around the room and see so many professionals in one place who rallied together to legally celebrate that meaningful day was sensational.
What was your greatest lesson learned?
I’m still learning. It’s a good time to forge strong partnerships with trailblazers in the industry and learn from others collectively on how to navigate regulations. This is one area that is constantly changing and affecting all aspects of cannabis business. As experts we need to support each other and share lessons from who to work with as associates to upcoming trends. I’ve learned an abundance on legalities from showcasing consumption to loopholes in distribution from other women in cannabis, so the lesson is keep absorbing, learning, and surround yourself with strong like minded entrepreneurs.
What trait do you rely on most when making business decisions and why is this useful for you?
Diligence. In cannabis, as a business owner, I have to be diligent in understanding the industry, find opportunities for growth, and know when and how to apply our services. 270M’s business could not grow without this trait.
When Viride launched, I saw an opportunity on the east coast to speak to the community through creating a digestible yet educational hub for novices. I’m not certain the site would have launched with such success without the research and thorough approach to branding that I took.
With New Highs, I’ve learned the importance of researching trend projections and instinctively knowing my target audience. Researching, using, and understanding that CBD is an addition to your wellness routine provided insight into how to package our product and bringing two very simple launch products to life. New Highs tinctures can be used sublingually, mixed in a beverage, in food, or even as part of your sexual wellness. Instead of having multiple products that only provide one-off benefits our tincture allows you to incorporate the hemp plant in your life the way you feel most comfortable.