Superette's Paige Greene on the State of Cannabis in Canada

Challenges, opportunities, and a recent podcasting partnership with Broccoli magazine

Paige Greene was born an entrepreneur. Her first job was knocking on neighbors' doors when she was 11 and asking if they needed their cars washed for cash. Since then, she's held roles across a range of industries for companies big and small. She's also launched and run her own apparel brand, and consulted for a fleet of clients before taking the role as marketing director of cannabis retailer Superette.

Paige's career in fashion kicked off when she moved from the West Coast to Toronto to attend business school. A few years later she moved to New York City and expanded her experience in marketing, retail and events. She moved back to Canada with her young family when she joined Superette and is currently back on the West Coast.

Outside of work, Paige now spends a lot of time outdoors hiking and foraging mushrooms, and discussing business opportunities with anyone who will listen.

We spoke with Paige for our Higher Calling series, where we chat with leaders in the cannabis space.

Paige, tell us...

Your current role in the cannabis industry.

I'm the marketing director at Superette, a Canadian recreational cannabis retailer that makes buying weed as fun as consuming it. I've spent the last few years of my career weaving between the cannabis and fashion worlds, working with everyone from independent designers to cannabis brands and publications. You might have recognized the retail experience I created for Broccoli magazine's In Bloom Festival. Consulting and creative collaboration allowed me to bring my clients' experiential and shoppable activations to life. 

Where you grew up, and where you live now.

I grew up on the West Coast in Canada, splitting my time between Victoria and Vancouver in British Columbia. Then I moved to Toronto for business school, and seven years ago, I took a leap across the border in New York. 

Coming back to Canada was always in the plan, as my husband and I both grew up on Vancouver Island on the West Coast. We made the call to return to British Columbia to cash in on family-assisted childcare during the pandemic. 

A story about the positive impact cannabis has had on your life.

Cannabis has always played a connecting and healing role in my life. Growing up, it wasn't exactly rare to hear your friends' parents grew weed or to smell cannabis walking along any street. My earliest memory of smoking a joint was with my cousins at our family reunion.

From the start, the plant connected me with friends and strangers, colleagues and collaborators. Since my teens, I've used cannabis to cope with nausea-inducing headaches—and as of late, the stresses of motherhood and general adulting. To me, the act of smoking a joint is such a communal ritual, one that is best shared (in a pre-Covid world). My hope is to destigmatize the view of the plant in my everyday work.

A favorite flower, edible, product or brand.

When I'm in the U.S., I can't get enough of the Pure Beauty mini pre-rolls or Rose Los Angeles Turkish delights. My Pax 2 flower vape has been a steady friend since my early New York days, as has my Dusk tincture from Gossamer and Apothecanna bath salts.

Since returning to Canada, I love the minty Kolab CBD and Superette's Jumping Jack vape. For flower products, I'm excited about a couple of organic British Columbia brands, Simply Bare and Good Buds, both coming out of my neighbouring Salt Spring Island.

The biggest challenge cannabis marketers face today.

Publishing content on the largest social media platforms is always tricky, as their community guidelines aren't in tune with Canada's current legal landscape. Cannabis social media accounts in Canada are permanently shut down every day, and it's unfair that these big tech giants aren't creating guidelines for specific countries.

One thing you're excited about right now in cannabis branding, partnerships or marketing.

Across Canada, each province has a different yet madly frustrating set of rules and regulations around what you can and cannot sell or market in a legal cannabis retailer. Two creative entrepreneurs found a workaround in Vancouver by co-locating a dispensary and a secondary business called DankMart. This bodega has shelves full of rare snacks, apparel and accessories that encapsulate the cannabis lifestyle. Although both operate as entirely separate entities, they benefit from the brand adjacencies and the one block stop for all things weed. 

A cannabis trade/social justice organization that you support.

Cannabis Amnesty is a nonprofit committed to ensuring equity in Canada's legal cannabis space and fair treatment for those disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition. Their mission is led by a group of dedicated lawyers, academics and community activists. In 2020, we selected Cannabis Amnesty as the first organization to launch our Action Plan and are working together to build change within the cannabis community. Superette has been trying to find ways to share our resources and knowledge in the legal recreational market and support the Black and indigenous communities who have been disproportionately affected by systemic racism. 

A recent project you're proud of.

Most recently, a podcast episode series with Broccoli Talk. Podcasts have been one of my favorite ways to consume information these days, and this is the first time they've partnered with another brand to create original content. On our first episode I got to chat with my favorite weed tia, the magical Mennlay Golokeh Aggrey. The other episodes spoke to Superette's unique retail experience and how design intersects with everything from a shopper's choice to how we're helping to normalize cannabis. It was essential for us to bring Cannabis Amnesty to a global audience and to amplify the critical work they're doing in Canada.

Someone you admire in cannabis who's doing great things.

It's hard to choose just one person, but I've been influenced by a number of womxn activating change in different segments of the industry. I remember the first time I met Solange Burnett and Danniel Swatosh of Humble Bloom at a high-dining experience in Manhattan. I had attended the event alone and ended up having deep conversations with them that left me feeling so included and inspired. These two genuinely activate meaningful discussions and create community and culture most authentically.

What would you be doing if you weren't in this industry?

I'm sure I'd still be trying to get involved in other people's businesses [laughs]. I genuinely love both the creative and business advising I was doing. I've always been passionate about supporting entrepreneurs, scaling their brands, and bringing them to new markets. As an entrepreneur, I've often found it challenging to work for someone else and stick to one role. Superette feels like an honorable exception. We're taking the business in a myriad of different directions, and the sky's the limit in where we can go. 

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.

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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