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RISE OF CANNA TRADE AFRICAMyron KrostIt was December of 2018, we arrived at the exhibition center in Pretoria for the first ever cannabis expo. We had been working late into the night prior to the expo opening to make sure that our stand was ready.As I arrived at the expo opening, I was amazed to see a line out the door. It then took me a full hour to make my way through the crowd to make it to our stand. This is what people had been talking about, this was the ‘Green Rush’. The green rush is a term used to talk about the explosion of cannabis products in a country. We had just launched a new company called ‘Canna Trade Africa Pty Ltd’ (CTA) and we were amazed at the amount of people looking to buy every product we had to offer.
When one gets into the cannabis industry in South Africa in 2018 the first step an individual has to take is to spend some time with the attorneys to get a full understanding of what exactly is allowed and what is not. It became very clear that selling or growing cannabis was rather difficult due to the new legislation so therefore we shifted our focus to what is known as ‘spades and buckets’.
This refers to the gold rush, during the error of mining gold a huge portion of money was thrown into the equipment and accessories needed to mine the gold. This analogy was the approach we used within the cannabis world and our focus was rather on what we can market such as: rolling papers, filters, grinders, testing devices, e liquids, vaporizers and an entire range of wellness products.
Once the expo had concluded it was very clear a brand-new industry had just begun. This new industry is extremely exciting however challenging.
Once our spades and buckets were in line we started to focus on CBD. CBD had still not been regulated however, in June of 2019 for the first time CBD laws were passed and we then were able to add another extension to our company. We focused on CBD and teaching people all about the endocannabinoid system.
In August of 2019 we then took our next step and decided to open ‘Canna Trade Africa Pty’ new showroom shop. We found a good location in the heart of the leafy hipster suburb of Greenside. We were looking for a good name, and it dawned on us let’s bring the Green side of life into the suburb and like so many brands, ‘The Green Side’ was born from necessity.
We opened the new store in September of 2019. Canna Trade Africa is always about innovating, we now took a play on two words firstly being Farmacy “food as real medicine” and secondly, we coined the term Cannaporium by combining cannabis and emporium. We now had the perfect ‘by line’ to bring 2 sides of the cannabis coin into one store.
Presenting ‘The Green Side’ your local Farmacy and CannaporiumOnce we opened, we were blown away at the huge amount of support. Our customers enjoyed the ability to find out all about their favourite plant in a new upmarket environment without the stigmas of the old Dagga illegal industry.
Our customers are people from all walks of life, and this allowed us to set the parameters to create our new wellness program.
We opened a new section of the property and turned it into our wellness center called ‘OZZ Your Center of Unlearning’.
If one is to assist people with medical Cannabis, it is vital to begin with unlearning as the scientific community only just acknowledged the endocannabinoid system or (ECS). A system in one’s body that results in an individual reaching a state of homeostasis or equilibrium.
Cannabis as a vital part of a healthy regime has been known by the herbal community for at least 2000 years, hence let’s begin by unlearning.
We now began a free consultancy program where we assisted people to understand how to prompt their ECS into the state of Homeostasis. We then combined this with our natural apothecary and range of herbal remedies to assist our customers on their road to perfect health.
The Green Side has gone from strength to strength. In the early days of 2020 we were hit with the Covid-19 pandemic. For the majority of companies it was a curse however we viewed this as an opportunity. The media silence had begun, and we jumped into the space, creating content: on GAD ‘general anxiety disorder’, sleep hygiene, depression, immune boosting etc.
We then started communicating our content to our audience, this resulted in The Green Side trending at a time where all the news was the Pandemic. In order to trade, we were granted a food permit based on our ‘Fresh & Healthy Certified organic food’ delivery service.
This allowed us to market our produce and wellness items to our immediate contacts of friends and family and then our broader customer base.
We were a light in a very dark time as a friendly CTA team member arrived at your doorstep with: your organic vegetables, CBD and your natural medicine to assist with sleep, anxiety or any other conditions brought upon due to the pandemic.
As lock down progressed from stage 5 to 3 we then observed the new trend for people to enjoy themselves at home while connecting to an event. We created a series of Sessions that took place at OZZ our Center of Unlearning. Due to Covid protocols we were limited to 50 people on site, while streaming live DJ’s and other interesting content to our target market at home.
It did not take us very long to reach up to 500 people joining these streams resulting in a great online platform for The Green Side.
We are extremely fortunate to have returned to pre covid trading levels. One needs capital to expand so we decided to create a fund called ‘The Green Seed’, you cannot build and sustain a fire without fuel, the fund is a way for us to fuel our fire resulting in us having the ability to launch our new Flagship store that is to be the first Regional store. ‘The Green Side Sandton’ CNR Bowling and South road.
We have just opened the store after 4 months of preparation. We took ‘The Green Side’s’ special look and feel and combined it with a brand new approach of re use and re purpose , very similar to what is happening in Barcelona.
We are happy to say that we are blessed, and our customers have begun to frequent the new store. Canna Trade Africa is all about innovation and in this store, we are super excited to add another two components; our Plant Based ‘Deli’ and ‘Diner’. We believe that if all people eat 50% less animal product immediately the planet will ‘breathe a sigh of relief’. We believe that if all people eat 50% less animal product immediately the planet will ‘breathe a sigh of relief’.
That is why we have created The Fresh & Healthy Plant based Deli and Diner to show our customers just how easy it is to eat less animal products. Pop in and enjoy our out of this world vegan burgers, sloppy Joes (made from lentils), plant based toasted Cheese & tomato sandwiches all at very affordable prices.
The ‘Canna Trade Africa’ logo represents a flow of Cannabis products & services into South Africa and then back out into the world.
The global Cannabis movement inspires us, and we are helping South Africa to reach the same economic high and stay on global trend. We believe with the correct legislation and government backing we will be able to assist South Africans to supply products and services back out to the international market.
We have three pillars that make us stand out from the rest.
All items that we back must be the best products at the best prices with the best protocols in place.
This is the story of the rise of Canna Trade Africa. We pride ourselves as being one of the most exciting brands in the cannabis industry and want to be a leader in the Cannabis Wellness sector.
Canna Trade Africa is here to stay, watch the space.