Over a decade ago, Joie Meffert left a successful career in luxury fashion and art in New York City, to move to Colorado where she co-founded Apothecanna, a cannabis topicals company. Joie seems to have always been destined for a creative career — her name was inspired by Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and as a teenager she was a professionally-trained ballerina.
Founder of Apothecanna
Joie was always drawn to botanicals and plant medicine, and it was those interests and a desire to do more creatively fulfilling work that inspired her to make the long drive west to Denver. Her passion led her to start tinkering with all-natural skin-care formulations and combined with the powers of cannabis, Apothecanna was born.
As an entrepreneur, what inspires me is the chance to make an impact and to create. I’m always thinking about ingredients and innovation, partnerships and ideas — it can be challenging and exciting at the same time.
I enjoy the cannabis and beauty-entrepreneur scene immensely. I think it’s a very honest group of women that are open and real, and I appreciate the strength with which they navigate the challenges in the space.
What drew me in is that the cannabis industry is dynamic and ever-changing. There are always new compounds that are being utilized — it’s a luxury to be in a space that evolves and has room for you to grow in it. The challenge is to maintain focus and consistency because the target is always moving, it keeps me on my toes.
The first products we introduced were a body butter — which has evolved into what is now our line of circulating body cream, spray and oils — and our salve. We were able to test our formulations in real time and get feedback from our customer base while owning and running a dispensary in Denver. Talking to our customers one-to-one about their experiences and how each product worked for them helped us pivot and create more effective formulations.
“What I'm excited about in the industry is applying products to practice.” ”
We look at whole-plant medicine, and consider every aspect of our formula. Cannabis is an amazing plant and one that can do so much, but it is just a part of the whole, and not the only active component in our products. We’re not just adding ingredients to our formulas to make them smell better; each is chosen for a specific therapeutic purpose, and it’s often selected in relationship to the other components of the product. How these ingredients work together is paramount to how it smells or looks.
Our products are really focused on the body: As a former dancer I went through years of intense training which caused a lot of wear and tear both on my body and my mindset (it took me a long time to get comfortable with my body). As a result our creams are designed to help body and mind. Our body cream is loaded with healing, anti-inflammatory plant extracts. It’s quite cooling to the touch and well suited to use on sore muscles and swollen joints — it helps you get back into motion and keep going. It’s a wonderful complement to a workout and a great recovery tool.
When we launch a new product, I always ask: Do I want to use it? How easy is it to use? How easy is it to add into your lifestyle? I also consider how they’re made and what they’re made of, from packaging to sourcing, because sustainable practices are important to us.
Bringing Apothecanna to Canada is one more step towards making the plant accessible. Expanding into a new country is really exciting, it means that we’re helping to normalize cannabis and that the brand is powerful enough to have impact.
Wellness encompasses environment, practice, culture, and food. What’s emerging in cannabis is a cleaner industry, an industry that is more intentional —partly because of the challenges that companies face with legalization in order to get licensed and to operate. It’s very strict, but that begets a standard that the rest of the country will have to follow.
I think the innovations in extraction methods and being able to isolate different compounds will be exciting for new products in cannabis, and how it applies to the body and specifically beauty. And, as society incorporates more technology into our health and wellness routines, there’s going to be innovations in cannabis and how it relates to tech. It will be fascinating to see how technological advancements will impact our understanding of movement and our body’s health.
Hydrate more than you think you need to. If you have a cream that you love to use, don’t just save it for after the shower, use it twice a day.
Don’t worry about overusing topicals, they offer a non-transdermal application, which means cannabinoids aren’t getting in the bloodstream and there are no intoxicating effects.When applied to the skin, cannabis topicals can have regenerative properties and can help with inflammation.
Use oil. It combines beautifully with your favourite products and is more concentrated — for example add a little bit to your favourite lotion or cream to get an extra boost of hydration.