Written by: Stuart Foxman

Plastic baggies hidden in a drawer – that’s where people often place their cannabis, says Jonathan Trivisonno. He had other ideas to elevate the experience. “Store your cannabis with pride,” he says.

So he formed CannaConscious to create a solution (cannaconscious.org). Trivisonno came up with a lockable storage box, with jars and a rolling tray, for dried cannabis.

“Our target demo is the young professional who uses cannabis at the end of a long day of work to relax. People who are passionate and energetic. We did a lot of industry research and found a real void in the market for premium yet affordable cannabis accessories. A lot of stuff out there is Bob Marley colours.”

Trivisonno calls his premium storage solutions for cannabis consumers functional and beautiful. They’re something that can be displayed in the open, just like the humidor boxes of cigar smokers.

Why was he drawn to this market? It was a combination of factors. When Trivisonno was at Western University, studying industrial and organizational psychology, his mother was diagnosed with cancer. “As she was going through chemotherapy, I learned how cannabis could help cancer patients. I started to understand the benefits.” That was happening in the midst of talk about the legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada.

Although all of that stirred interest, its didn’t translate into a work opportunity just yet. After graduating university in 2017, Trivisonno got a job with an investment bank as an analyst. It seemed like the right thing to do at the time, he says. While the job was stable, it was maybe too safe. “It didn’t light a fire inside me.”

While still at the bank, Trivisonno launched CannaConscious as a side business. He saw it as a means to an end.

“This was an amazing entrepreneurial learning experience, which I leveraged because I knew I wanted a career in the cannabis industry. I started it with the intention that it would be a stepping stone.”

Trivisonno just finished his Master’s at Schulich School of Business, and has joined Toronto-based TREC Brands, a socially-conscious cannabis company, as a product associate.

He encourages younger people like himself to take a chance with their own ventures. Start-ups don’t have to entail massive risks. “It can start as a side hustle,” Trivisonno says.

You also never know where that might lead, as a viable business or as an entrée to other opportunities.

“CannaConscious was a chance for me to dive deep into the cannabis industry,” he says, “and to open doors.”

Photo credit: Zlatko Cetinic, Images Made Real