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AUTHOR: Heather Allman
PUBLISHER: CANNABIS LAW REPORT
Interview With Alexandra Mulconnery, CEO of Cure Crate: The Power of CBD-based Products For Women’s Health Issues And Supporting Fellow Women-Founded Brands
Cure Crate devoted the month of March to sharing practical information on how CBD helps women worldwide with feminine health challenges!
March is Women’s History Month, and one of the tenets of this charge is “to assist women to be in a position of power to make informed decisions about their health.” This belief drives Cure Crate co-founder Alexandra Mulconnery, and she is on a mission to inform women of the role of CBD as a holistic health aid.
“I discovered the power of CBD in my own life,” says Mulconnery, Cure Crate co-founder and healthcare consultant, “I started using CBD as a wellness-supporting replacement for alcohol while I was traveling extensively. I was intrigued, and with further research, I saw how beneficial CBD is to women specifically – from PMS to menopause. Still, I feel like reliable information on CBD for women’s wellness specifically just isn’t out there.”
Cure Crate is also lifting other women-founded CBD brands to bring attention to these important industry players. Every day in March, the brand featured a women-founded company in the CBD space that provides products to enrich women’s lives. Brands included:
- CBD beauty brands like Mantra Mask and Mask Skincare
- CBD-infused beverages by Sweet Reason and Empress Tea
- Vital Leaf, providers of various functional wellness products
- Other CBD women-founded brands: Kush Queen, Vertly, The Good Patch by La Mend, BSBE, Qwin, Liweli, Right wellness, Simply Gum, Cbx Shield, Acrely Farms, Empower BodyCare, and Macroo
In late March of 2021, I talked with Alexandra Mulconnery, CEO of Cure Crate, about how she shares the power of CBD-based products for women’s health issues while supporting and promoting fellow women-founded brands.
CLR: How did you get started in Cannabis?
Alexandra Mulconnery: I founded Cure Crate, a personalized CBD subscription box, with my partner in early 2020 after we realized that while there were tons of new CBD products being released, there was still little to no consumer education and products were being treated as one-size-fits-all.
I was seeing the impact a focus on personalized health and friendly patient education was having elsewhere in the medical industry and wanted to apply that to natural plant medicine, so we began to hand curate selections of products for people we knew, collect data, and ultimately build an algorithm to help recommend products to people based on their unique wellness needs and preferences.
CLR: When and how did you personally first discover the potential of cannabis?
Alexandra: My wellness journey has involved both the traditional medical, pharmaceutical world and alternative health practices like plant medicine and CBD. I started using cannabis to self-medicate what I later learned was bipolar depression, but a few years later I discovered CBD and learned about the benefits it provided, why cannabis had been likely benefitting me too, and how I could get long-term, holistic benefits without the psychoactive effects of THC. I started using CBD to help balance my sleep schedule and body while traveling weekly for work and then used CBD beverages to replace alcohol as well.
CLR: Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
Alexandra: It is actually a fairly common story to CBD and cannabis companies, but we lost payment processing one day suddenly and couldn’t take sales for over 2 weeks! Since we are a subscription box, we also lost all of the active subscriptions and had to ask current customers to re-sign up.
I talk to so many other brands that this has happened to, some of them its happened to many times, and it really shows a) how the regulatory environment and infrastructure has a long way to go to supporting this industry an b) how dedicated the companies are in it to making sure customers can continue to experience the health benefits of cannabis.
CLR: How do your past professional expertise and experience help you with your leadership role?
Alexandra: My experience working throughout healthcare taught me a lot about balancing business with the human-side of the industry and how to think holistically about a problem.
My past professional experience made me incredibly passionate about being patient (human) centric, making health accessible to everyone, and improving quality and efficiency of day-to-day operations in order to deliver on those promises and focus on what matters most.
CLR: What is it about your position that most attracted you to it?
Alexandra: The ability to design and improve each part of a customer’s experience and everything that impacts it.
CLR: What do you enjoy most about your job? The upsides?
Alexandra: I enjoy getting to interact with our customers – to help them troubleshoot finding the right products or adjusting when they experience a new life event, hearing all the ways they’ve seen drastic health improvements that have improved the rest of their lives, too. That keeps me coming back! Oh, and getting to try all the latest and greatest CBD products!
CLR: What are the downsides?
Alexandra: It is hard to trust yourself and continue to show up bravely as a perfectionist, and when you care deeply about delivering excellence to your customers.
As a start-up, we are making trade-offs all the time and having to decide on what is “good enough” progress – it has challenged me to practice my discernment, prioritization skills, and courage to try things before they’re perfected.
CLR: There can be two distinct kinds of CBD/cannabis: (1) compassionate or people-centric, and (2) capitalistic or profit-centric. How do you reconcile the two in order to maintain a balance at Cure Crate?
Alexandra: Our principles of how we should treat people come first in Cure Crate’s operations. That means if a customer says they haven’t received their order yet or there’s a problem with it, we ship a new one out, apologize, and offer a refund.
Then we follow-up to make sure they loved it and we made things right. We apply the same principles about how people should be treated to balancing being an operationally, financially sound company – our team deserves to be compensated fairly and have a secure future, and ultimately that’s the only way they can continue to deliver excellent customer care, too.
We start from these first principles and as a Black and woman-founded and led company, we recognize that we have a huge responsibility to live out our value and make this industry what we wished to see from the outside looking in before.
CLR: In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by women executives — that are possibly not faced by their male counterparts — especially when it comes to the Cannabis space?
Alexandra: I think there is still more stigma around women using cannabis, and especially moms, then men face. For example, it’s not uncommon to hear women executives questioned for being public about working in cannabis because “what will your kids think?” even if they don’t have kids yet!
There is also a general disbelief in women’s health challenges and how they treat them – we aren’t taken seriously for our pain, hormone imbalances, mental health, etc. And when we do take the power into our own hands to treat it, our methods are written-off as “woo woo” rather than treated like serious medicine.
CLR: What did some states do right in their Cannabis legislation and frameworks?What still needs improvement? What ideas or actions need to come to fruition for true Cannabis reform?
Alexandra: Well first of all, all states who have fully legalized cannabis have already made a huge jump and the 2018 Farm Bill made huge progress for CBD on the federal side. I think where we now need to make more progress is righting the wrongs of the past.
For example, expunging all cannabis related arrest records and ensuring that there are reparations made for all the lives impacted. It is completely unjust that there are people, majority white men, making millions off of cannabis while others, majority Black and brown, still sit in jail or are barred from participating in the industry upon release due to laws or financial hurdles.
Expungement of records is a start, but there must be support given to those released and laws passed to lower the financial barriers and risk involved in entering the legal industry.
CLR: How have consumers changed since you started in the CBD space?
Alexandra: Well we haven’t been in the space particularly long, but within CBD and health overall I think consumers are starting to look for products that are more tailored to specific needs with natural ingredients, whether that’s a CBD capsule with adaptogenic mushrooms for immunity or a CBD transdermal patch with St. John’s Wort for anxiety.
Consumers are also realizing they shouldn’t have to be confused when receiving good product education – the science should be made simple and they’ll trust the brands that talk to them like smart friends the most.
CLR: What consumer product or service demand do you see trending currently?
Alexandra: I think other cannabinoids besides THC and CBD are about to start trending a ton – CBN already is getting a bit trendy but CBG, CBC, etc. are all about to become more well-known, too.
CLR: What advice or words of wisdom can you give to other leaders, especially women and minority leaders, to help their teams and companies and brands to thrive?
Alexandra: Practice your intuition and trust yourself! As a leader, you’ll constantly have access to new resources and people to ask their opinions and advice and it’s super important to keep educating yourself and asking for feedback, but it’s also important to know when to act and to trust yourself to make decisions, especially as an entrepreneur.
CLR: Give me one concrete example of a future Cure Crate goal to show leadership in the ever-crowded industry.
Alexandra: I’ll give 2 different goals that both excite me a lot and encompass the different ways we are trying to be a leader in this industry.
The first is that we want to get our research and data science so excellent that we can tell what products will work best for someone on a specific anti-depressant, and two, we want to have a team that is majority ex-cannabis offenders to redistribute justice in this industry.
CLR: What are you most currently passionate about?
Alexandra: Making the things necessary to achieve health and wellness easily accessible, enjoyable, and equitable.