If you’re like me (and likely a lot of other people out there), you’re intrigued by the growing cannabis movement but feel overwhelmed by options and intimidated by all the information out there. I’ve been wanting to dip my toes back into cannabis, whether to unwind at the end of the night, or perhaps even to help with digestive issues, so was genuinely very excited when I was introduced to Irisa Cannabis. Irisa is a wellness-focused cannabis brand that was designed with women in mind. Their goal is to offer products that are easy to understand and connect with, and don’t feel intimidating.
Currently Irisa is comprised of four different categories which incorporate natural elements, and are formulated for specific moods and effects. Their products are not meant for the goal of getting stoned, rather they were designed to be incorporated into our everyday wellness and self-care routine. Really, you can think of them as the evolution of self-care, the next step in plant-based medicine.
While they will eventually offer pre-rolls, right now Irisa offers oils which can be added to water, to smoothies or to your tea at night. What I love most about Irisa is the amount of resources available on their website. As a brand, they are committed to cannabis education, which is so important in an industry which can be incredibly complex and confusing.
I recently sat down with Irisa’s Berrin Noorata to learn how Irisa is changing the game.
What is Irisa and why was it started?
Irisa is a women’s wellness brand that was created by a collective of women, and we say, “a few cool men”, based on a need for products that help break down the stigma around cannabis. We were looking for products that were made to have specific effects, so we decided to create our own. We have four different categories of products — sun, moon, earth and stars — that are designed and formulated for different effects, like energy, balance, unwinding, etc.
How has the cannabis industry evolved over the past few years?
I’ve been involved in the industry for about three years now; it’s changed so much, and continues to change at a super fast pace. About three years ago I was working in the U.S., and legalization was in about half the number of states it is now. We also didn’t know Canada was going to federally legalize and create history. Generally, we’re now seeing a lot more support for the industry around the world, there’s a lot more awareness, there’s research, and more and more countries are legalizing, which is amazing. Basically we’re seeing the end of prohibition around the world right now.
Who started Irisa?
It was a collective of women and men that work in the cannabis industry. The idea was sparked in Seattle, but this first full collection of products was launched in Canada. October 17th was when Irisa officially got a chance to launch its inaugural collection, here in Canada.
Who has been the main clientele so far?
I don’t have the exact data, but it’s generally women, and a large number of older women. We’re seeing a lot of the older generation who were just waiting for access to products that weren’t just inhalables, or who didn’t want to announce to the world that they’re cannabis consumers. We’re seeing a lot of moms and grandmas who are ready and open to it. For example, a lot of people who are prescribed medications are looking for natural supplements that have fewer side effects.
How is Irisa changing the game?
I think Irisa is changing the game in a really simple way. It’s breaking down the stigma around how people see cannabis products. We’re not blasting out high THC strains, we are creating blends and formulas specifically for different effects that we find people are looking for. Our goal is to offer people access to safe, quality product, and these are products that are new to the market and that people haven’t had access to before.