Agripreneur: Learn from a cannabis skincare producer

Rozayne Malyo has worked in business, organizing conferences for many years. It was a 2017 medical marijuana conference that served as his introduction to the cannabis industry. She impressed so much that she was invited to be part of the new industry body.

Rozayne Malyo, founder of Think Green. Photo: Supplied/Food for Mzansi

“At the end of this two-day event, representatives of the Ministry of Health asked those who were delegates [to] put together a cannabis industry body, so we can speak with one voice,” she says.

The conference, she says, brought together people from all sectors of the industry, including private entrepreneurs, traditional healers and members of the Rastafari community.

“After the conference, I was actually asked to get involved in building or setting up this industry body, and in 2018 we actually launched what we call the Cannabis Development Council of South Africa (CDCSA). And I was elected president at that time. I am currently vice-president of the CDCSA.

His involvement in the CDCSA has opened his eyes to the various possibilities within the industry. Malyo says most of the members of the organization made their own products, and that got her thinking about what she could do in the industry.

“I learned a lot about the different things we can do with cannabis, and one of the things I came across was [cannabis] beauty products. I learned that you could make cosmetics using part of the cannabis plant. That’s how the business started.

think green

Malyo registered his company, called Think about the environmentin 2019. Although its primary business is cannabis cosmetics, it also provides event management, health and cannabis consulting services.

Hemp seed oil is the basis of all Malyo products. Photo: Supplied/Food for Mzansi

“We make a wide range of products, including cold pressed soaps. Even with the soaps, there is a wide range [of them]. We make turmeric soaps, activated charcoal soaps and carrot soap. Coffee, oats and lavender are also available.

The Think Green product line also includes massage oils, hair products, body creams, body scrubs, healing balms for arthritis sufferers, cannabis-infused tea, and even hot sauce.

“All of our products are made from organic ingredients. We actually infuse our own spices, in the case of turmeric, and our own carrots, as well as household ingredients. We also focus primarily on skin health, because what we’ve learned is that 64% of what we put on our bodies is actually absorbed through our skin. “

Malyo says the main ingredient in its products is hemp seed oil. She explains that right now the products are all made in her kitchen.

“We work with what we have, and our main ingredient is hemp seed oil. Hemp seed oil is derived from the cannabis seeds, not the bud. Hemp seed is cold pressed. In cases where we make the healing balms and arthritis balms, we use a bud that is a little higher in THC.

Local producers absent from the market

As with any small business, Malyo says her journey hasn’t been entirely easy. Starting a small business is hard enough, but for her it was especially difficult to get into the market.

“We have to look for events or activities that we can participate in. Our market is already saturated with imported cannabis products. If you go to your Dis-Chem or Clicks stores, you find a lot of imported cannabis products. We have very few local brands and that’s something we also advocate. If we could increase our local brands, that would be it. »

Another challenge Malyo faces is common to small businesses: lack of funding. “We need that push, you know, we need that extra push to be able to compete with international brands.”

Of course, his career path also has its rewarding moments. What Malyo appreciates the most is the positive customer feedback she receives on her products.

“[I’m rewarded] every time a client comes up to me and says “this product really works”, or “it made a difference in my life”, or “my skin used to be like this and now look at it”. The feedback we receive from our customers is truly the most rewarding aspect, and it’s something that drives me to get up every morning to improve my products.

READ ALSO – Agripreneur: Meet an edible cannabis producer

Malyo’s advice to agripreneurs is:

There’s never a perfect time to start

If you have the passion and if you have the drive, go for it.

Start from where you are right now

I started with what I had. I had the passion, I had the motivation, I wanted to do this, and I looked at the market and saw that there weren’t a lot of people making cannabis-infused cosmetics even now. .

Hard work is the key

Persistence and consistency are also important. In particular, you need to be consistent once you get started.

Surround yourself with like-minded people

Truth be told, in this industry you will find people who think they know it all and think their product is the only thing that works, so you might get discouraged. You will learn that everyone thinks their product is the best and looks down on the next person who works or tries to make it. So, surround yourself with like-minded people.

Opportunities abound now

There are very few local brands. So now would be the perfect time to start so that we can flood this market with our own brands and even start thinking about exporting.

Get stories of change: Inspirational stories from the people who feed Mzansi.

Donovan B. Sanford