A digital destination aimed to engage consumers and businesses in an informed and safe dialogue about cannabis and cannabis-wellness has launched in Canada. Jadeo.co delivers an aggregate of the latest cannabis-related news and industry expert insight to inform and support a growing online community of people seeking cannabis-wellness related information.
In a recent dialogue with co-founder Tara Martin, also a seasoned UX designer and innovator, Ms. Martin shared her vision for JADEO, as well as the information and community-based needs the site is serving.
Q: Tell me about Jadeo.co and its reach out to Canadians. Who is its target audience?
JADEO was born out of necessity,” stated Martin. “The North American market already has 4 – 5 ‘Buzz-feed’ style cannabis-focused websites. Though for the most part, they all target males 18 – 25 and many really amplify ‘getting high’ and illegal activity with their content. We saw a massive need for simple, trustworthy cannabis education, insight beyond ‘stoner-culture’, and product awareness about the cannabis-brands.”
“Our target is more of a mindset who believe in self-care and education. If you have two women suffering PMS pain, does it matter one is 21 and one is 40? Do pet lovers not all want to prevent pet pain and anxiety? They are wellness seekers and wellness supporters, professionals like doctors, vets, and lawyers.”
Q: What interested you most in the design and build of this community platform?
Martin answered, “Two things. The first, at heart, I’m a builder who is fuelled by design thinking methodology and the love of making people’s lives better. The second, as a female in tech and cannabis, I was interested in building something that could truly move the dial on cannabis stereotypes and change the world. To do that, I needed to break the model – from the diversity of my passionate team, right through to the UX and one-of-a-kind feature-set.”
Q: What challenges, if any, did you face in building JADEO?
“The most interesting and, at the same time, the most stressful was building JADEO from the ground up with a tech stack that is 99% Canadian,” said Martin.
“Most of us in Canada don’t really pay attention when building a tech stack with key technologies from Google (gmail to ad servers), MailChimp, Paypal, etc.,” Martin explained. “They are all U.S.-based companies. Normally this would not be a problem. But, in the cannabis-industry it is. Federally in the U.S. cannabis is illegal so U.S. companies would not even return my phone call. Cannabis is banned on Facebook, Insta, and Youtube. It was a real struggle to find technology here in Canada that could integrate smoothly and extend our reach from a marketing perspective.”
Q: How do you see this community using JADEO? Will your platform include an app?
“We are 15-days old and have yet to advertise, and already we [have] had 3000 people stop by JADEO,” Martin responded. “We believe in iteration and failing fast. So we will see what floats for content and features, and cut what does not. We are super stoked about our educational choose-your-own-adventure micro-videos. You actually tap inside the video to get answers and experiences based upon your interest. Netflix is now launching the same thing I heard for their shows. It is nice to be one-step ahead of the giants, non?”
Q: Do you consider yourself a pioneer as a woman building a community platform that you envision going head to head with more mainstream social media giants?
Martin answered, “A pioneer, no. A warrior, yes. I really don’t differentiate myself because of my gender, height, or my blond hair.”
“My battle for voice and market is not against Facebook, Youtube, or Insta – as cannabis is banned on their platforms so Canadians will NOT see any cannabis marketing,” explained Martin. “My fight is against the ‘stoner-stigma’ on a global level and to drive awareness and education around a plant that could indeed help the world’s health.
I’m fighting stigma as a smaller player in the world of fast-moving, male-dominated, billion-dollar cannabis brands. I have no problem with that. Our heart is pure and our vision is strong. So, get ready to hear us roar. “
“As for an app, to be honest, I’m a huge believer in apps that tap great native functionality. If we can make our member’s lives easier with a side plate of “WOW” with tech, we’ll do it.”