Beryl Solomon, Founder of Poplar, on Taking Cannabis E-Tailing to the Next Level
Beryl Solomon is the founder of Poplar, aka "Your Modern Drug Store," a multi-brand CBD e-tailer that curates cannabis wellness products and experiences. Beryl developed Poplar in 2017 after adding cannabis to her health routine and decreasing her pharmaceutical anti-anxiety/antidepressant dosage. Today, she is on a mission to help de-stigmatize marijuana and demonstrate how it can improve lives.
Earlier in her career, Beryl was a fashion and retail executive focused on brands such as Theory, Kate Spade, Pamela Love and STATE Bags.
We spoke with Beryl for our Higher Calling series, where we chat with leaders in the cannabis space.
Beryl, tell us...
Where you grew up, and where you live now.
I was born and raised in Tampa, Florida. Now I'm a New Yorker. I live in Long Beach, New York with my husband and our two boys.
Your current role in the cannabis industry, and where you're based.
I am the founder and CEO of Poplar—Your Modern Drug Store. Poplar is N.Y. born. I conceived the business when I was living in Brooklyn, on Poplar Street. In September 2020, my family and I settled in Long Beach, a seaside town on the South Shore of Long Island.
A story about the positive impact cannabis has had on your life.
In 2017, I added cannabis to my health and wellness routine and decreased my pharmaceutical anti-anxiety prescription. It was a game changer. Not only was I able to significantly decrease my daily dosage of pharmaceuticals but my acid-reflux decreased, the quality of my sex life increased, and I was able to be a very present parent.
A favorite flower, edible, product, or brand.
I’m currently loving Moon Made Farms Pre-rolls, Cann to-go packets, 1906 Genius pills and Rose Delights singles.
The biggest challenge cannabis marketers face today.
Marketing in this space can feel like a slog. With so many limitations around what you can say or do and the fact that those rules differ from state to state, it sometimes seems impossible to navigate. It will be very interesting to see where the New York regulations land once they are finalized. I just keep reminding myself that over time, we will most-likely see the restrictions loosen. It's a marathon not a sprint!
One thing you're excited about right now in cannabis branding, partnerships or marketing.
As a New Yorker focused on the New York market, there is a lot to be excited about. While I am not a proponent of the illicit dispensaries taking over the five boroughs, I am loving the community centered dinners and activations. Anything organized by 99th Floor or Humble Bloom is a good place to be.
A cannabis trade/social justice organization that you support and why.
Monthly, Poplar contributes to Cannabis for Black Lives and the Floret Coalition. Additionally, I am passionate about furthering the missions of The Drug Policy Alliance, NORML and the Women's Prison Association.
A project you worked on recently that you're proud of, and why.
We are working on a collaboration with DONTLETDISCO. Very soon we will release a limited run of necklaces - think the cutest lighter and joint charms you have ever seen. On Sept.18, we are throwing an event at Amanu in BK where we will have a beading bar and host a frank discussion about how cannabis is wellness and can and should fit into all lives! I still think a lot of the cannabis marketing is targeted toward "the cannabis echo chamber." One of my main goals is to expand the cannabis customer base and make one-time customers repeat cannabis purchasers, so I love collaborations with those OUTSIDE of the cannabis community.
Someone else's project you admired recently, and why.
I loved Eddie Parker's Weeds Come a Long Way Baby Campaign. The riff on the Virginia Slims Campaign was, in short, perfection.
Someone you admire in cannabis who's doing great things, and why.
I have the biggest girl crush on Dasheeda Dawson. After following her for some time on Instagram, I had the pleasure of meeting her in person at a LIM College round table. We are both creating and teaching courses for LIM’s new cannabis degree program. She is kind, smart, and thoughtful—bonus, her style is incredible.
What you'd be doing if you weren't in the cannabis industry.
I have no idea. I honestly think this is exactly where I belong.
Higher Calling is a weekly series, publishing on Thursdays, where we chat with folks in the cannabis industry about their personal history and taste in cannabis and the future of cannabis marketing. For more about Higher Calling, and our Clio Cannabis program, please get in touch.