Tosin Ajayi founded Holistic Remedies in 2018 and is a cannabis entrepreneur and nonprofit leader. She answered eight simple questions for NY Cannabis Insider’s “People to know” series.
What is your position and what do you/your company do in the cannabis space?
I’m a dedicated cannabis advocate, entrepreneur, and nonprofit leader. In 2018, I started Holistic Remedies LLC, a CBD and lifestyle brand best known for our powerful CBD Love Balm, our catalog of natural products, and for putting on feel-good community-based events. I’m also the founder of NYU CannaPolicy, a graduate student group formed at NYU Wagner to advance responsible cannabis legislation and provide educational tools and resources that further develop the nascent cannabis industry.
I’ve committed my life to serving others, having earned degrees in Public Health and Public Administration from Rutgers and NYU respectfully. I use my expertise to serve many nonprofit groups and advocacy circles in the cannabis sector, with my most prominent role serving as the Director of Social Equity for NY Small Farma.
How long have you worked in the cannabis space?
I officially started working in cannabis when I formed my company Holistic Remedies LLC in 2018.
What did you do before you were involved in the cannabis industry?
I’ve worked in a variety of roles across public health including healthcare administration, clinical support, and most recently, healthcare philanthropy. I also worked in retail management for Nordstrom.
What led you to the cannabis industry?
Cannabis was a big part of my life before I considered joining the cannabis community in a professional way. My background in public health led me to work with cancer patients, who frequently expressed a need for cannabis to help alleviate their symptoms. At the time, my partner Isaiah Hill and I had both graduated college and were looking for something more in our careers. It turned out that Isaiah’s degree in Environmental Science perfectly complemented my degree in Public Health. Through that, the concept of spreading love and wellness with the cannabis plant was born and it became the mission of our soon-to-be business, Holistic Remedies LLC. Equally as influential, I come from a background of mixed feelings about cannabis — being raised Roman Catholic with one parent who dislikes cannabis and the other who consumes. My one parent’s dislike for cannabis motivated me to break the stigma and prove that people who used cannabis were not bad people. The lack of diverse representation in the cannabis space also motivated me, and I saw my pursuit to become a part of this industry as a way to push back on that.
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Do you have any advice for someone looking to get into the NY weed industry?
Be respectful of the cannabis plant and the community — first and foremost. Once you have that understanding, soak in as much knowledge as you can about the NY cannabis industry. Attend networking events, take a course, read some books, sign up for alerts from the Office of Cannabis Management, pay attention to cannabis news — get really acquainted with what’s happening in the industry. Then start what you want to do in the space and BUILD — it’s okay to start small, since the industry is still in its infancy. Be safe with what you do and adopt the mindset that you’re in it for the long haul. This industry is constantly changing, new cannabis regulations are coming out frequently, so it’s important to be plugged in.
What do you think the NY cannabis ecosystem will look like in five years?
It’s hard to say. In five years, I would like to see the NY cannabis landscape transform into an equitable and diverse industry with thriving small businesses, agricultural cooperatives, and farmers within BIPOC communities; public education programs that protect youth, and provide comprehensive education about cannabis in all NY public schools; revenue from cannabis legalization actually working to regenerate communities, restore community housing and education programs, as well as protect community members from discrimination; I envision dispensaries across the state with affordable, good-quality cannabis on their shelves, with short customer lines and at-home delivery available. This five-year vision also includes me meeting friends at a social consumption lounge for a smoke, like how I would meet a friend for a drink. I envision former underground operators participating in the legal cannabis industry, making money outside the shadows, with their heads held high and without fear of going to jail.
Do you use cannabis? If so, what’s your favorite method (flower, dabs, edibles, tinctures, etc.), and why?
Yes! Flower is my favorite. There’s just something therapeutic about inhaling the aroma of cannabis, grinding up the plant matter, and rolling it into a joint before passing it to a friend.
Who should contact you, and what’s the best method (i.e. email, phone number, LinkedIn handle, etc.)
Instagram: Ms. Tos; HolisticRemedies_llc
Linked in: https://www.linkedin.com/in/oluwatosinajayi/
Email: TosinAjayi.email@example.com (Best Method is email)
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