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“So, it was in this journey that I learned that cannabis root extract has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over a thousand years,” Grant said.
Cannabis roots are rich in friedelin, a compound touted for its anti-inflammatory potential.
Grant has both experience and connections in the cannabis industry through another company she owns that does regulatory consulting for licensed pot producers, helping them navigate the labyrinth of rules governing the production and sale of pot products.
Canada legalized cannabis-infused topicals earlier this year, but companies aren’t allowed to make any health claims in their advertising, a rule that doesn’t apply to empyri products.
“They are not subject to the rules and regulations under the Cannabis Act,” Grant said of the law passed in 2018 legalizing recreational marijuana.
“There are marketing opportunities to educate the consumer on the health benefits of cannabis, but without being tied by the restrictive, regulatory compliance for cannabis products,” she said.
Grant is working with social-media influencers to create a buzz about her line — a cleanser, toner and moisturizer available at empyri.com — and speaking with retailers to get her products on store shelves.
She’s also awaiting approval from Health Canada, the country’s marijuana regulator, to roll out a line of hemp root-infused teas.
There have been challenges along the way, like being banned from advertising on Facebook and struggling to source ingredients during the COVID-19 pandemic, Grant said.
“Launching a startup is all about getting over hurdles. Every day there are new barriers,” she said.