It’s time to meet another amazing Canadian woman in the world of cannabis.
Michelle Parrotta, CEO and founder of Mimi Cannabis Inc, left a successful, decades-long career in hospitality at the age of 50. When most women would be looking toward retirement, Parrotta decided to use her experience in a whole new way.
With 45 years of cannabis use/advocacy under her belt, she used her business skills to build her own company, Mimi Cannabis. Parrotta has assisted more than 175 companies in Canada and abroad, from cultivation and government issues to extraction and retail.
As Mimi Cannabis moves towards the wholesale market with unique items available in 21 stores, she also enjoys doing pop-ups. There, she can, not only share her joint jewellery collection but also advise the over 55 group who consumes. We (says the over 55 yr old cannabis enthusiast) are the #1 demographic spending money in stores right now.
I had to opportunity to pick Michelle’s brain before her the 2022 Lift&Co Expo, returning to Toronto from May 12-15th. Michelle Parrotta is a brand ambassador for the Expo – Canada’s #1 cannabis conference and Trade Show – click here for ticket information.
Briefly summarize what consumer packaged goods are and how you choose the products you sell on your website?
“I offer a lot of products and services on my website, I sell retail as well as wholesale, I am affiliated with a Mendo Medical, to help people get access to Health Care Professionals who specialize in Medical Cannabis, as well my online store carries many consumer packaged goods from vapes to my signature line “ Mimi’s Joint Jewelry” I try to carry as much nostalgic items as possible.
Mimi’s Joint Jewelry was founded from sourcing and reinventing the “roach clip” for example. I try to appeal to the over 50 demographics, to help long time Cannabis users and Patients like myself as well as what I like to call “Mature Newbies” being a Cannabis user for 45 years has certainly paid off as far as keeping up on all of the trends.”
What has been your experience as a woman in the world of Cannabis? Are there any obstacles that you felt were in the way.
“I come from a very strong business and HR background, when I first started in this industry I worked for other people and witnessed a lot of unprofessionalism from shady business practices and really bad culture as far as Human Resources go, some was hard to watch and witness. I knew then that the only way I would be successful was to work for myself. Things are slowly improving in the industry but we are not quite there yet as far as professionalism. I decided to take my 45 years of Cannabis use and my business skills and build my own company.”
As a woman in my 50’s who is involved in the cannabis culinary world, I have been especially interested in the enthusiasm in women 50 + for alternative ways to enjoy the products. It feels like consuming teas, drinks etc., carries less stigma than smoking weed. Would you agree that women, especially older women are more open to consuming THC/CBD products in the form of edibles and drinks? Do you think that this market is going to surpass the market for flower and smoking overall?
“The last thing we ever want to do is use those products to contribute more to stigma, we have had enough stigma to last a lifetime. Nothing will surpass great quality craft cannabis flower, but we need to teach older demographics how to get the most out of growing and using this plant to make their own things at home. Not to mention, such a terrific hobby it is for the retiree and retired couples.
I love the teas and cold drinks as well and hope that these items will become the norm and be served in restaurants just like alcoholic drinks. Now that we are starting to gather again at people’s homes’ I think offering a choice should become the norm so that guests can choose without having to explain why they don’t maybe drink alcohol for example. People automatically assume when you turn down an alcoholic drink that there is a problem, we need to change that.
I deal with people every day who do not want to consume by smoking, oils and tinctures are really helping people who can’t tolerate traditional anti-inflammatory drugs like myself. But for onset issues vaping or smoking will always give you the fastest relief.”
Do you have any thoughts on the future of innovations re: new products, new ways to use cannabis?
I think we will continue to see more and more discrete ways to consume, I think we will see higher dose edibles which we really need as well as healthy ones with less sugar etc. I also think that medical cannabis is already making a huge comeback due to poor regulations in the recreational market as far as discussing certain issues, did I see this coming yes…, especially for our demographic.
If you could change one thing about recreational laws in Ontario and or Canada, what you like to see in a perfect world??
“That’s a big question, I believe that Medical Patients and Indigenous People were not considered when recreational cannabis became legal. Two very big issues that we are now going to have to deal with. I would like to see a two-door system as far as people having easier access to get their questions answered especially for our demographic.
Not being able to discuss medical issues or refer customers/patients to get those questions answered is a problem unfortunately we have people over and under medicating, and informed consumer is what builds revenue, not to mention boomers and late gen Xers have the most disposable income. Also, it’s no secret that when the Cannabis Act was implemented, indigenous people were left out of the conversation, due to having to discuss taxation, licensing and revenue sharing. This has to be addressed. ”
Sponsored post alert: I am really happy to work with Mimi Cannabis to share this information with you! While we accepted reimbursement for this feature, all opinions are our own.