Meet the Woman Behind Leafs By Snoop | Tiffany Chin
Snoop Dogg may be known for his music, but we all know that the rapper is equally if not more so known for his favorite hobby: smoking cannabis. In 2015, Snoop created his own line of cannabis products, Leafs By Snoop, alongside co-founder Tiffany Chin and their team. Chin not only is a co-founder of LBS, but is also the brand manager aka she gets everything done on the production side. LBS may be celebrity-fronted, but the cannabis brand is upscale and thats part in thanks to Chin. Though no day looks the same for her, we got to sit down with the #cannabish to hear all about her role in the company and more. Read more below!
You are the co-founder of Leafs By Snoop, a line of cannabis products backed by Snoop Dogg himself. How did you first enter into the cannabis industry?
I've been with the Snoop Dogg management team for approximately 7 years now, and when I first started on his team, I was working on his general business development - as a team, we sourced some of Snoop's biggest deals to date, including partnerships with adidas, G-Pen, Tanqueray, Colt45, etc. After news of 2014 adult-use cannabis legalization in two American states (CO and WA) came out, we decided that it was imperative to have a team dedicated to Snoop's business development, specifically in the cannabis space. I was tapped and eventually selected to run this division of his management team.
As a co-founder, what is your role in the company? What does a typical day look like?
While I am co-founder of this brand, I am also the brand manager, making and executing key decisions for all things Leafs By Snoop related. My main role is to work on extending the brand, with the best possible production partners. We take the expansion process very seriously and do an extensive amount of due diligence: Which territories are we looking to expand into next? What types of products should we offer in each market? What do our branding and packaging look like in each territory? What are the legal regulations for packaging? How do we incorporate our designs and ideas to conform to each territory's requirements? Who are the best players in each industry, by territory? By product category (flower, edibles, extracts, vape pens, etc)? What are advertising and marketing restrictions and how do we think outside the box to abide by these restrictions, while still promoting LBS in the coolest way possible? These are questions that guide my day-to-day and are top of mind whenever conducting calls or meetings to expand the brand.
What excites you the most about the cannabis industry? Can you imagine yourself working in any other industry now?
I love the fact that this industry is only coming about now, in the 21st century. Given its undeniable medical benefits (chronic pain, PTSD, cancer, ALS, epilepsy etc), and social benefits (anxiety, relaxation, creativity), it's a wonder that we as humans have not had great acceptability of this plant until now. I am most excited about the streamlining of several industries, and for the momentum and re-introduction of this plant to replace other inherently negative things for humans (nicotine, alcohol, opioids etc). While skeptics might argue that Big Tobacco and Big Pharma will bogart cannabis accessibility from the masses, I am excited for the general direction that cannabis will take humanity in the future.
"Keep your ears open and to the ground - be receptive to any suggestions... Keep in mind that cannabis is, at the end of the day, a commodity..."
Education is one of the most powerful tools you can use in this industry- from being informed of ever-changing laws to being knowledgeable about what strain you are consuming. What is your favorite way to stay informed?
Google alerts every evening! I receive 3 emails a day with the keywords "weed," "cannabis," and "marijuana," collecting all relevant news media from that day. Additionally, I stay in touch and receive newsletters from cannabis-focused publications. Being in such an immersive cannabis-friendly environment at work helps perpetuate the discussion of new laws and regulations, and staying in touch with legal teams across all territories also keeps me informed.
What challenges have you faced as a woman in the cannabis business? How have you been able to overcome those obstacles?
The cannabis industry, much like many industries, is white male dominated. While it may not be such a surprise in other industries, it is surprising in the cannabis industry as it has mostly been populated by minorities and less institutionalized money in its history. At Leafs By Snoop, we stand strong for diversity and inclusion, and all three co-founders are a minority in their own right. As a double minority (ethnically Chinese, woman), I've found that many other leaders in the space have a tone of surprise when they realize how knowledgeable I am in this space, and the extensive experience I have with the plant. As a woman (the gender which stereotypically has less experience and understanding of cannabis), I have had to indicate my level of comprehension and expertise, lest others think of me as a glorified assistant.
For any new entrepreneurs, what advice do you have for starting a new business in cannabis?
Keep your ears open and to the ground - be receptive to any suggestions. On the flip side, also be wary of "sellers" and self-promoters. This industry is so new and ever-changing, that having the right support will give you stability (i.e. the right legal team who knows the laws inside and out, an accounting firm and bank that will support your business, an insurance firm that understands your vision), but that your drive and enthusiasm for your business will ultimately determine your success. Finally, keep in mind that cannabis is, at the end of the day, a commodity - similar to apples, celery, and even rice; find the best way to differentiate yourself whether you're selling Envy apples or Fuji apples.
What do you wish more people knew about cannabis?
It's not for everyone! While I strongly believe that most humans (and many animals) can benefit from cannabis, we in the industry are also not trying to "push" this plant and drug onto anyone who does not want to participate. My advice to first timers, or people who have not consumed in a while, is to start slow and try different categories of products - flower/smoking, vape pens, edibles - to determine which you like best, and what reacts well with your body and mind.
What are three of your favorite Leafs by Snoop products?
I love the fruit chews (any flavor!), the Cherry Gummies (the tanginess is great), and the Boss Lady strain - it's named after his wife and has a great frosty look to its buds.