Trym's Karen and Matt Mayberry on Advances and Partnerships in Cannabis Tech

Pursuing innovation in cultivation software

Karen and Matt Mayberry are co-founders of Trym, a pioneering cannabis cultivation software company based in California. Karen serves as CMO, overseeing brand and marketing strategy, community engagement, and public relations, while Matt is CEO, driving the company vision and product strategy.

Karen received her B.S. in marketing from the Terry College of Business at UGA in Athens, Georgia. In 2018, she completed General Assembly's Digital Marketing program in San Francisco. A longtime cannabis advocate and believer in the profound, positive impact cannabis has on humanity, she's proud to support the cannabis industry through Trym.

Prior to founding Trym, Matt was director of product management at SunPower, a leading U.S. solar manufacturer. Throughout his career, Matt has conceptualized, designed, and launched market disrupting products. He earned a B.S. in computer science from Oregon State University and has focused his career on his passion for technology, sustainability and cannabis.

We spoke with the husband-and-wife duo for our Higher Calling series, where we chat with leaders in the cannabis space.


Karen and Matt, tell us...

Where you grew up, and where you live now.

Karen: I grew up in La Jolla, California, just a few blocks from a breathtaking beach. I now live in sleepy Novato, about 30 miles north of San Francisco.

Matt: I grew up in a small town in North Carolina. Now living in Marin County with my wife and co-founder Karen, our son Eli, and our dog.

Your earliest cannabis memory.

Karen: I smoked weed for the first time with a friend in her bedroom in La Jolla Shores when I was in 7th grade. She was the new girl and as cool as can be. Short blonde hair with dark roots. Cool clothes, cool makeup, and her older sister's ID. And of course, the weed. We became fast friends.

Matt: It wasn't the first time I smoked, but one of the earliest memories of getting high that I remember was lying on a dock on High Rock Lake in North Carolina. I remember staring at the stars with my friends, cracking jokes and feeling like we were floating in space. 

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

Karen: I've enjoyed cannabis and used it in a variety of ways throughout my life. It was particularly helpful to me when I was a young mother and feeling very much out of my league. Matt and I moved across the country, from San Diego to New Jersey, when my son Eli was just 1 month old. We were in a new town where we knew no one. Matt was traveling 60 percent of the time for his engineering job at the time. It was a challenging time, and cannabis helped me stay patient with my new role as a mother and not sweat the little things. Cannabis is great for that—helping you appreciate the moment and be grateful. 

Matt: Art and design have always been a passion of mine, and very early in life I discovered how cannabis really helped me get into the zone with anything creative. And I totally agree with Karen—cannabis helps me to be a better parent. After a tough day, cannabis can help me transition from a work mindset into a hopefully much more chill, Dad mindset. 

A favorite flower, edible, product or brand.

Karen: I'm a big flower girl! There are so many great cultivators, but the ones I shop consistently are FloraCal Farms and Pearl Pharma. It doesn't hurt that they both use Trym software. :)

Matt: Although I love flower, I'm giving my lungs a bit of a break and I've been getting into edibles. The gummies from Wyld are great and I love the Mellows made here in S.F. Also, the mint chip cookies from Cookies are amazing.

The biggest challenge cannabis marketers face today.

Karen: Keeping up with the evolving landscape of the cannabis industry, including regulations, and evolving customer needs is a challenge. Our industry is young and things change quickly. The space is also becoming more crowded. Differentiation as a brand and as a product will only become more important as competition heats up.

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

Karen: I'm really excited about integrations and partnerships. I think there's so much potential there and we want to continue to build partnerships with complimentary cannabis software and hardware companies. It also opens up a wider audience for marketing and allows us to bring more value to the market together.

Matt: Totally agree with Karen. As the cannabis tech space matures, the integration ecosystem is going to continue to evolve. We have some really exciting partnerships on the horizon that will deliver huge value to cultivators. 

A cannabis trade/social justice organization that you support.

Karen: We contribute monthly to the Last Prisoner Project. It's important to remember that people are incarcerated today for buying or selling what's now legal to buy and sell in the majority of the United States. We need to advocate for these people and encourage courts to do the work to reverse sentences and release non-violent offenders.

A recent project you're proud of.

Karen: I recently got to participate in the launch of a new patent-pending feature at a customer's cultivation facility. The day was a big success and it was exciting to see the team in their flow and harvesting some of the best cannabis you can buy.

Matt: Since initially launching our Metrc integration in 2019, we've been continually perfecting how we interact with the Metrc API. One project we completed recently allows growers to perform any action they need in Trym or in Metrc and then we immediately and automatically sync those actions. This feature gives growers a lot of freedom in managing compliance and has been really well received by our users.

Someone else's project you admired recently.

Karen: My friend Emma Cohen, founder of Final Straw, recently launched a new product, Final Spork, a collapsable, portable and durable spork to eliminate the need for take-out utensils. It's innovative, sustainable, and helps reduce single-use plastics.

Matt: It's been awesome to see Alex Martin and the team at Lemonati Family Farms building out their cultivation facility over the past year and developing an incredible brand up in Michigan.

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

Karen: I admire Celia Daly at Canopy Boulder. She's incredibly dedicated, smart, and is providing access to mentorship and funding to entrepreneurs through her work.

Matt: We've been really lucky to have received so much mentorship and advice from other founders in the industry. It's been humbling to get to work with so many incredible people. One that really stands out is Ben Curren, founder of Greenbits. He's an awesome guy, and as a serial entrepreneur he has amazing startup acumen. He's been a real asset to us at Trym and has helped us navigate some pretty challenging situations.

A movie, TV show, music or food you most enjoy pairing with cannabis.

Karen: I find that cannabis pairs well with all delicious foods! I personally love to pair cannabis with hiking and the outdoors.

Matt: I'm a huge Phish fan and there isn't much better than sparking joints at a show.

What you'd be doing if you weren't in the cannabis industry.

Karen: Going back to school to pursue a psychology degree.

Matt: It's hard to imagine not working in cannabis at this point, but I'd likely get back into renewable energy. Sustainability is another passion of mine.

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.

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Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd is editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio. Previously, he was creative editor at Adweek.

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