We recently spoke with CannaSmack Creative Director & Marketing Manager Kenia Taylor to learn more about the benefits of their domestic hemp-infused skin care products as well as CannaSmack’s #freetheleaf initiative to educate and engage the masses in cannabis activism; and the company’s recent partnership with NORML, pledging 2% of all profits to help support the organization’s efforts.
What is CannaSmack?
CannaSmack is a cannabis positive company that gives you a little kiss of cannabis (hemp seed oil) in all of our products! It’s a woman-owned and operated company that manufactures all natural, cruelty free, hemp-infused lip balms and lotions plus a line of SPF products made entirely in the USA using domestic hemp sourced from Oregon. CannaSmack products are both 100 percent legal under federal, state and local laws and their products are 100 percent non-psychoactive.
What are the benefits of using hemp in skin care products?
Hemp seed oil has amazing skin softening properties. In addition to being one of the few oils with a zero comedogenic rating (making it a perfect moisturizer for every skin type), hemp seed oil is also very easily absorbed by our bodies. It is a plant based oil, rich in Omega-3 & Omega-6 and contains a perfect 3:1 balance of fatty acids, as well as Vitamin A, B, D, & E and 20 essential amino acids. It has been found to provide healing benefits to red, inflamed, and dry itchy skin. Plus, hemp has a positive impact on us, our economy and environment.
What’s your favorite thing about working with CannaSmack?
I love it all. But, if I had to pick just one thing it would be seeing, hearing, and reading the reactions of people who have tried our products for the first time as well as the positive feedback. The founder of CannaSmack Suzanne Hoggan and I seriously geek out over reviews and love to see fans share their photos and thoughts with us on social media. It may seem like something small, but hearing that our CannaSmack family is happy and that they love the product means everything to us.
What’s the inspiration behind the cool branding and fun graphics?
One of the things we choose early on was to use our brand as a tool for the normalization of cannabis. In order to achieve this, we created a brand that is positive, fun, colorful and in your face — never apologizing or hiding our flagship ingredient and always displaying the cannabis leaf proudly on our products. While using the word “canna” in our name, proudly displaying the leaf, and being bold about it has come with it’s share of marketing challenges and informs the way some people perceive our brand, we are committed to being proactive in our support of cannabis.
You work with some amazing people in the cannabis and music industries. Who are some of CannaSmack’s ambassadors?
MMJ activist, artist and Instagram sensation Happy Tokes (Madison Ortiz) is one of CannaSmack’s most active and vocal ambassadors. We recently launched a co-branded, collaboratively designed lip-balm with Ortiz, the Happy Tokes Peach Natural Lip Balm. Shinobi Ninja is a genre-defying indie band out of Brooklyn, New York, known for their super high energy performances and eclectic sound, mixing genres like hip hop, punk, metal, reggae, electronic and rock. I love their positivity, creativity, and drive. If you have a minute check them out on Spotify or @shinobininja. We’re excited to add two amazing ladies, Mari and Biz from Stoner Girl Diary, to our ambassadors this year. I’ve watched their YouTube channel since their first season. I love how real they are about cannabis. They have a “female positive” point of view without alienating their male audience.
What are the details of your #FreeTheLeaf initiative and NORML collaboration?
As CannaSmack grew, Suzanne and I began to realize just how many people are affected by the lack of knowledge and censorship surrounding cannabis. So, we began developing our #FreeTheLeaf campaign. What started out as an initiative to fight media censorship of the cannabis leaf has since transformed into a positive education movement with the aim to support legalization and normalization of cannabis. “We hear a lot of questions like, “Will I get high from this?” “Is it legal?” and we’ve set out to help push the cannabis conversation forward and help people unravel preconceived notions about hemp, hemp products and the cannabis plant as a whole. And now, CannaSmack is pledging two percent of all profits to support NORML. NORML is a leading nonprofit lobbying organization working to stop arrests of consumers, provide educational research and legal information on cannabis, and help move public opinion to the legalization of responsible use of cannabis by adults. People can get involved by following us on Instagram or Facebook and sharing our #FreetheLeaf posts with friends and family and asking them to do the same. There’s also a place to create your own content, tag us on it and use the hashtag, but remember to keep it positive. We strongly believe that it takes education and engagement to make a difference, and anyone can help, even by taking the smallest of steps.
Photo credit: Heather Anne Delaney