As one of the only female CEO’s in Canada’s budding cannabis industry, Trang Trinh-Theriault is paving the way for a new generation of entrepreneurs. She is the founder of TREC Brands, a luxury cannabis holding company that oversees several brands that offer a variety of CBD and THC products. One of her brands, Blissed, is unique in the industry in that it specifically caters towards female consumers and aims to empower and educate women who are new to the cannabis scene.
Here, we chat all about the career opportunities in the cannabis world, the upcoming trends that she is excited for, and her tips on mindful consumption.
Can you briefly walk us through your career path? How did you get where you are today?
I started my career as an accountant, crunching numbers as a CA, CPA at Price Waterhouse Coopers. I also worked in retail at the Loblaws and Joe Fresh headquarters. Prior to TREC Brands, I was at Deloitte in M&A consulting where I covered the retail, life sciences, and cannabis sector.
What drew you to the cannabis industry?
Two things: 1) with all eyes on Canada to lead an industry—which doesn’t happen often—I saw that this as an opportunity to make an impact and prioritize social good (which I will talk about shortly) and 2) to pave the way for other women in a male-dominated industry.
Tell us about TREC Brands. What was your inspiration behind launching this company?
TREC Brands is a socially conscious cannabis company curating cannabis brands and committed to donating 10% of profits to causes that matter to our consumers. The company name is actually an acronym for: Trust, Respect, Equality, Compassion. These are the values that are at the core of all business decisions.
What makes your company unique in the industry?
The fact that we are not a licensed producer gives us the flexibility to be nimble and focus on marketing and sales to the end consumer versus spending our capital on operating growing and processing facilities. We’ve been able to help our licensed producer partners capture additional revenue via our brands WINK, Blissed, and Thumbs Up. We’re also big believers in the power of “for profit businesses” to have a positive and meaningful impact on our communities, planet, and society as a whole, so we launched our 10% for Good platform, an unprecedented initiative to contribute 10% of profits to transformative causes that put people and the planet first.
Out of the three cannabis companies that TREC overseas, I’m particularly interested in Blissed, the female-focussed, socially conscious cannabis brand. Can you describe Blissed to us and in what ways it caters towards women?
With Blissed, the goal is to uplift the modern woman through education and content that complements her lifestyle, while giving back to causes in her neighbourhood that matter. We’ve created a community (www.beblissed.com and @be.blissed) to focus on education and breaking down stigma around women’s cannabis use through stories around wellness, entertaining, life, and cannabis 101.
Through our research, we found that 39% of Canadian women don’t want to try cannabis because smoking isn’t appealing to them. However, they would consider other product formats. This statistic drove our first product launch of oil tinctures: Blissed Bask (1:1 THC:CBD oil) and Blissed Breathe (high CBD oil).
Overall, from the consumer standpoint, do you think the cannabis industry is female-friendly? If so, in what ways, and if not, how do you think it could be more inclusive?
I am always of the mindset there is always opportunity to improve. According to BCG, women in Canada control 67.2% of household spending. Companies and brands should take the time to understand the woman consumer and find ways to authentically speak to her, which is what we’ve done with Blissed through creating a community.
How about from a business standpoint? Have you faced any challenges being one of only a few female cannabis CEOs in Canada?
I see this as an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to set the stage for equality.
Can you tell us a bit more about Blissed’s new line of oils?
It is my pleasure to! Blissed Breathe is our high CBD oil and Blissed Bask is our oil that includes a balance of THC and CBD. Oils can be dropped directly onto your tongue, or you can get creative by using them in cooking, cocktails, and even DIY bath bombs.
So, for those of our readers who are still a bit unclear, let’s go back to basics a little bit. What exactly is CBD and what can it be used for? What are some of the wellness benefits?
Cannabidiol, or CBD is a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. However, you can’t get high from consuming CBD. CBD’s benefits seem to be wide reaching—it is known as an anti-inflammatory, providing relief for aches and pains and reducing stress and anxiety.
How does cannabis affect women differently?
It is believed that women have more cannabinoid receptors than men, which means that the effect on women could be more powerful. However, there is lack of research in this area. Since this is still an emerging industry, I hope to see more research come out around the effects of women and men separately.
What are three feelings that you can expect when using cannabis?
If you’re using a THC product, you may feel as if your head is in the clouds. If you’re using a CBD product, personally, for me, it helps with reducing inflammation, aches, and pains from working out.
What are some of the myths out there about cannabis that drive you crazy?
Cannabis makes you lazy and unproductive, all cannabis makes you high and lastly, cannabis is the gateway drug. We can debate these points forever, but I think that there is lot of anecdotal and fact-based evidence that all of the above are false.
Do you have any tips for mindful consumption?
Everyone’s body and metabolism is different. Listen to your body, and similar to alcohol or dessert, moderate consumption is key. Don’t over consume.
What are some new cannabis trends we should look out for in the coming year?
Vapes, edibles, beverages, and topicals. At TREC, I’m excited to find a partner who can help us create a CBD bath bomb—this is a product our consumers are consistently demanding!
Do you have any advice for budding cannabis entrepreneurs?
Go for it! Being a nascent industry for Canada, there is ample opportunities for everyone to get involved. It’s also an opportunity to help Canada lead and do something right the first time around.
What’s next for you?
When this interview is released, I will have just gotten married and am probably enjoying a blissed’ful honeymoon in the French Polynesian islands!For TREC Brands, we are working on exciting cannabis 2.0 products such as vapes, gummies, chocolates, and topicals.