Wyllow, a new line of California-grown cannabis flower, has launched in the Los Angeles area with inclusivity and affordability at the forefront of its brand.
Although CEO Camille Roistacher said Wyllow is intended for all cannabis consumers, the brand was inspired by a desire for more women representation in the cannabis industry.
“If I walk into a dispensary today, I would like to see more products on the shelves that are geared or marketed towards women that are also owned and operated by women, so that’s one angle to our inclusivity,” she said.
The other angle, she added, is centered on the brand’s pricing strategy.
“The goal is really to not have $80 or $90 eighths on the shelves, especially considering everything that’s going on,” Roistacher said. “People are losing their jobs, unfortunately, and money is tight. So, how can we bring our really nice product at a reasonable price to the consumer?”
Roistacher also operates a cannabis distribution company, Voyage Distribution, which allows her to run a more cost-effective business.
“This gives me the opportunity to essentially cut out the middle man and not have to mark it up so that we can bring this high-end flower at a reasonable price to the retailers, [and] more consumers can go ahead and give it a try,” she said.
Wyllow has partnered with an indoor cultivation facility in Coachella Valley, and Roistacher then directs that flower through her distribution hub.
And it was through Voyage Distribution that Roistacher first took notice of the cultivator that ultimately became her partner for the Wyllow brand.
“We started to notice how beautiful this flower was and thought, you know what? We could probably use this flower and really create something cool,” she said. “We talked to them about it, and they were definitely interested in the messaging behind the brand and they liked working with us.”
A Socially Distant Launch Strategy
Launching a brand during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic certainly posed challenges, Roistacher said, because traditional marketing activities like launch parties and other in-person events are not possible.
“We’ve had to shift very quickly with what that launch strategy looks like,” she said.
Roistacher and her team hosted a virtual launch series the week of Aug. 24, with each day featuring a free, live event, including Soundbath with Dynasty Electrik, a “Freedom Yoga,” class, a “Fireside Chat” with Roistacher and the founders of Cannabis Doing Good, an instructional, how-to called “J-Rolling with Jenn” and a launch party featuring DJ Essty.
“When would people join a virtual yoga session to celebrate the launch of a cannabis brand?” Roistacher said. “It’s so bizarre, but it’s just so fascinating and it makes me think, how can we incorporate more virtual activities? … I think this virtual aspect to our lives now is really fascinating, and I’d like to continue it in some way, somehow.”
The entire Wyllow team is currently working remotely, Roistacher added, with a social media manager based in San Francisco, a PR manager in Colorado and a virtual administrator in Florida.
The brand hosted pre-launch activities and in-store activations before Wyllow’s product line officially debuted on Aug. 24, and the team reached its goal of having product on the shelves in five dispensaries prior to the official launch date.
“We’re in quite a few different strategic locations,” Roistacher said. “I wanted to make sure to cover greater Los Angeles and then also get out into the Palm Springs/Palm Desert area to cover that territory, as well. I feel like we have a really nice spread throughout Southern California, and then some of the stores we’re in now expand up into the Bay, so it’s exciting to break into that market in the near future.”
Meeting an Increasing Demand
Right now, Wyllow’s product line is exclusively pre-packaged eighths of flower, but the brand is already receiving requests from its dispensary clients to expand its SKUs. While Roistacher is considering adding pre-rolls and possibly other products to the line-up, she said it will be some time before additional SKUs are introduced.
Roistacher’s shorter-term goal is to secure more flower to meet the increasing demand.
“I think the initial demand is higher than we expected, which is good—things are going well,” she said. “We need to secure more flower, though. [The] initial short-term goal is to onboard additional farms that we can work with and make sure they go through our vetting process so that [the flower] meets the standards of the brand and what we’re looking for.”
Then, Roistacher plans to focus on unveiling a line of pre-rolls, as well as a CBD product lineup.
While Roistacher was initially concerned that her focus on creating a women-focused brand would alienate male consumers, recent in-store launches have shown that many of the brand’s buyers are also men, which means Wyllow is well on its way to achieving its goal of inclusivity.
“We want all walks of life to be able to afford us, try us, follow the brand and join our community that we’re building here at Wyllow,” Roistacher said. “The initial feedback has been extremely positive, and that’s a great feeling because we took a chance on this and I’m just glad to see the initial success so far. I can’t wait to see where we’ll be in the next three to six months.”