Maddie and the Micros
Maddie and the Micros. Good name for a band! But in this case, they don’t play music, they grow and market high-quality cannabis.
Maddie is Madison Vogan, Marketing Manager at Delta 9. Born and raised in Winnipeg, the 30-year-old graduated from Kelvin High School, got her BA from the University of Winnipeg, started working for Delta 9 as Marketing Coordinator in 2018, and worked her way up to Marketing Manager.
The micros are Delta 9’s 12 micro-cultivation partners across Canada. They grow the weed. Eight of the micros already have products on the shelves at Delta 9, and one of Vogan’s marketing challenges is to make sure people know who the micros are and what they’re bringing to market.
“It’s a team effort,” said Vogan.
Kelsey Friesen, Director of Grow Pod Sales at Delta 9, gets the process started and guides new micro partners through the initial setup. Derek Reimer, VP of Compliance, assists with Health Canada regulations, paperwork, and licensing. Alexa Goertzen, Manager of Corporate Affairs and Business Development, helps partners decide what strains to grow based on current and future demand. And Vogan works with Chief Marketing Officer Marshall Posner to help new micros develop their brand identity and make sure people know about the new cannabis products micros are bringing to market.
It’s all working.
“Customers are now starting to ask for cannabis produced by the different micros by name,” said Vogan. “They’re on the shelves and they’re starting to gain some brand recognition. They’re doing some really unique things and they’re bringing new strains to market that you haven’t seen yet that are super.”
Not only do customers like what Delta 9’s micro partners are producing, they also like what they stand for. Whether it’s a mother-daughter team like Because You Cann, a family farm operation like Cypress Craft, or a First Nation like Hupačasath on Vancouver Island, whose profits from their Longhouse Cannabis brand will directly impact the 75 households on the Ahahswinis reserve – each micro resonates with customers for important and different reasons.Delta 9’s micro-cultivation partners are starting to gain brand recognition
“Every one of the micros has a unique story and a reason to be successful,” said Vogan. “That’s the most interesting part of the job for me. We help them to develop their brand around their story.”
Licensed micro-cultivators operate on a smaller scale than the major licensed producers (LPs) in Canada, but the Delta 9 Grow Pod system allows them to grow cannabis at scale, while still maintaining small-batch quality. Micro-cultivators must still comply with all Health Canada regulations and restrictions, and they can only sell their cannabis to businesses licensed to sell cannabis to consumers, which in this case is Delta 9. Micro-cultivators have already proven they can grow high-quality cannabis, but they also have to make sure people know about it.
“We collaborate closely with a company called UpHouse to help our micro partners develop their brands based on their unique backgrounds and stories,” said Vogan. “That includes logos, labels that comply with Health Canada regulations, a brand guide, consistent fonts, stationary, business cards etc. We also often give them examples of how their logo can be used on promotional items. We use the marketing collateral to run in-store and online promotions and they use it to build and market their brand.”
At present, Delta 9 micro partners include Cypress Craft, The Last Leaf, Prairie Trichome and Alicanto Gardens in Manitoba; Because You Cann, Parkland Flower, Dry Island Cannabis and Fourth Gen Cannabis in Alberta; Vigr Life Cannabis, Paradise Cannabis and Prairie Craft Canopy in Saskatchewan; and Ahahswinis Green (Longhouse Cannabis) in B.C., which has already won a Signature Award for Brand Identity.
Those cool signs and promos you see in Delta 9 stores and online are the minds of Posner and Vogan at work. “Marshall is a never-ending source of amazing ideas,” said Vogan. “We have to juggle a lot of balls and pay attention to detail, as there are many regulations to comply with, but we ultimately get to be really creative. And it’s fun!”
Before moving to Delta 9, Vogan worked in the legal and financial services sectors. Needless to say, the cannabis industry has been much more fulfilling and exciting for her.
She now gets to make brands sing.