Renew Releaf – Lifestyle CBD Brand: Interview with Jasmine Toran
What is your relief? Is Anxiety something that plagues you? Sleep Deprivation? Or even Chronic pain? Through natural and organically curated products Nashville, TN based CBD company Renew Re•leaf is bringing a new perspective to relief. Renew Releaf is a lifestyle CBD brand that focuses on providing a “renewed” outlook on relief to people who are looking for a natural treatment to ailments outside of the westernized pill method.
All products are administered with a COA (Certificate of Authenticy) giving clients and customers a peace of mind that their product is safe and ready to use. Founder and CEO Jasmine Toran saw the importance of cbd after a long standing battle with anxiety. “I had never felt such a calm over my body” she recalls her first interaction with cannabis. From that point on she’s made it her business to provide quality CBD products and “Not your typical Gas Station CBD”. Her and her team have also shown resiliency & versatility in the midst of Covid-19 by hosting events such as Zoom hosted Puff & Paints. Many industries have taken a hit from Covid but the Cannabis Industry isn’t one of them.
Q: What was it that brought you to Cannabis?
A: After purchasing my first house, always looking for room for growth I was focusing on getting a handle on my anxiety with positive coping mechanisms. I actually ran into a small blackowned shop here where I moved and they were giving away samples of CBD chocolate. I’m not a huge chocolate fan but I was like “Hey, I’ll try it and see what this CBD is about.” I had heard some things but just didn’t know, let’s see. I’m a late bloomer to Cannabis. I was like 23 at that point, I didn’t have any experience prior to that. I was a rule follower, I didn’t want to get into that. I didn’t want to drink, I didn’t want to smoke. Dare to be different. That was my first experience with Cannabis and I had never felt a calm like that over my body.
Q: What is Renew Releaf about? What makes you guys unique?
A: We try to really connect and build a relationship with our users. We don’t want to just chuck products. We want to make sure that you’re educated, you know what you’re getting from us. We definitely make sure we provide a COA (Certificate of Authenticity) and give you a breakdown on what’s in your products so you know what’s there. We don’t have a lot of ingredients you can’t pronounce, alcohol, or additives. We keep it pretty simple, you can read our ingredients and know exactly what’s in each product.
We make sure we’re matching you with a product tailored to your needs and not just chucking a CBD product at you. If you’re having an issue with pain? We usually think about topicals for you so what topical may be helpful to apply directly to that area to work with your Endocannabinoid System (eCs) and get through that lipid layer and make sure you’re able to get that relief as quick as possible. If you have issues with anxiety, we want to look at some ingesting options whether it be an edible, oil, or smoking. Whatever you feel comfortable with. So we definitely try to have that connection and conversation about the product so you know you’re getting, while we make sure you’re getting something that’s helpful, not just any ole product.
Q: Nashville is widely known for country music. So that somewhat describes the demographic there. What are the challenges you guys face being a black owned and operated company in an uncertain industry there?
A: So we are very gentrified. Nashville is nothing like it used to be back in the day. We are very gentrified in most of our areas, so the non-minority community has been able to enjoy cannabis and CBD. They have a lot of companies from craft beers that include hemp (because it shares components with the hops), novelty stores that are focused on food and CBD, integrating those. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen that boom in our community.
It’s a lot of lack of knowledge and that fear that comes behind cannabis. Especially with the convictions in seeing your uncles, relatives, friends go away for quite some time for cannabis. Then making this switch to say “Oh but you can have it.” It’s kind of like “hmmm can I?” Or is this a trick? So, not only trying to educate on just what the product is but also the legality of it. It’s definitely something we try to stay abreast on. So we want to make you feel comfortable to know this is an OK product.
We’re not trying to sell you anything with a black market type vibe. We are legal, we are here, we are a LLC, we have everything in order. We’re not trying to get you. The education is definitely something we look for. It’s very divided here amongst racial lines. Hopefully we can have a community of cannapreneurs that really go out and educate and get our community involved in the cannabis industry. Whether it be consumer or entrepreneur. But making sure we have that hand in the business because we don’t want to be left out of the green boom. I honestly think it’s life changing. It can definitely start that generational wealth that we are looking for. This is definitely the industry to do that. We want to make sure we have our seat at the table and our voices heard.
Q: What steps do you think it would take to remove some of the stigmas that have been placed upon cannabis due to the war on drugs?
A: Personally, I think a lot of the fear comes from the legality of it. Nobody wants to jeopardize their freedom. So having politicians that are in the same cannapreneur conversation, and being able to explain in detail “These are the laws that surround this product here.” “Here are the dues and don’ts.” Making sure you have the boys in the industry. Especially politics and legislation that are able to communicate with people and say “Ok. Don’t be afraid.” Now we can kind of remove some of that fear surrounding the plant so that we can really have those conversations about educating.
We can educate all day about the plant, but here also are the rules. I feel like that would be less cumbersome, while cannabis is totally legal. You Kinda don’t know if it’s THC, or CBD, what state, what amount? So there’s so many things that differ. You can’t cross state lines with some products and others you can. There’s always gonna be someone that pops up like “I gotcha!” And you’re going to get arrested, and that you don’t want to have. So alleviating that fear is definitely key. With overall education and conversation.
Q: In the midst of Covid-19, the cannabis industry has been labeled as an essential industry. Do you think ppl will start taking cannabis more seriously as a medicinal plant?
A: I definitely think it will. Take Cory Booker for an instant. He raised the point; it’s time to go ahead and federally legalize so I feel it’s going to take off honestly, especially when we think about recovery from this time. There is a lot of uncertainty, not just in financial personal accounts but also when you think of businesses and government. We have shelled out a lot of money very irresponsibly, if we’re being honest. We dumped trillions into the economy and we haven’t done it tactically so we do need a way to recover that. And I feel like cannabis is a way to do that, taxing cannabis? We can recover. So I definitely think it’s going to happen a lot sooner now than most people probably expected so it’s very important to have us at the table because it’s going to takeoff. For sure.
Q: In your opinion, why is it so important for us as a people to band together within the industry?
A: I think when we throw around the word “reparation(s)” I’m pretty sure the idea of reparations for slavery are pretty much off the table. But when you think about reparations for the war drugs, we know when we look statistically at the situation it targeted black and brown communities. We know that WE have suffered the most. So when we get into those conversations being able to put it eloquently we do need: A seat at the table, we need our voice heard, we need licenses, being able to say “Hey! We’ve been impacted highly by the war on drugs.” This is the way to have a form of reparations where you don’t directly have to pay out cash because cash honestly isn’t always great.
When you think of reparations like land, businesses, something that can thrive over a lifetime, that’s something you want to target more. So having the ability to have those licenses would definitely be key when thinking about reparations. We definitely want to make sure, long term, we have those conversations and cannabis can be a way for that.
This industry when I tell you is booming! Just in the infancy of the industry here in the US we’ve seen billions of dollars being made. Think about that when it’s federally legal across all 50 states… There’s money. As a people we need to leverage each other instead of always being in competition. When you walk down the bread aisle, how many brands of bread do you see? Nobody was like “if I make this bread, I got to compete with so and so.” No, here’s my product… You can take it or you can leave it. The shelves will be empty. Working together is definitely necessary, especially right now when we aren’t getting any funding because of Covid.
Black owned small businesses are being overlooked so coming together is a must. If you want to go get something to eat? Go to a black owned restaurant, want to get your nails or hair done go to someone black, go to a black owned lawn company. The same for cannabis. Make sure you’re putting back into OUR communities. We have $1 trillion buying power. We can make millionaires overnight. We are not a broke people, despite what the media likes to say. If we can band together, putting that trillion dollars in directing it back into our community… Man! We would be a dope people.
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more interviews in the Family Tree series only at Four Forty Eight.