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Olivia Mannix of Cannabrand: “Shamed to create shifts in how this world is working”

I think that disruption is always positive, even if it may seem negative to start off. All darkness and shadows need to be brought to light, and stop being hidden and shamed to create shifts in how this world is working. As part of our series about women who are shaking things up in their industry, […]

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I think that disruption is always positive, even if it may seem negative to start off. All darkness and shadows need to be brought to light, and stop being hidden and shamed to create shifts in how this world is working.


As part of our series about women who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Olivia Mannix, an entrepreneur and leader who has disrupted both the cannabis and advertising industry by founding one of the first cannabis companies in 2013. Cannabrand is the world’s first full-service cannabis marketing agency and consultancy, which specializes in creating cannabis brands and defining their identities and purpose in an ever-evolving, increasingly competitive marketplace. A preeminent industry pioneer, Mannix founded Cannabrand ahead of the “green rush,” and has since expanded its services to include operational consulting, investor relations, expansion strategy, and more.

Recently, Mannix debuted Psilocybrand: America’s first marketing and PR practice dedicated to the emerging legal psychedelics industry. This new venture is an extension of her visionary, forward-thinking approach that’s introducing alternative, adult-use products to the mainstream. Mannix has been recognized on Forbes, PRWeek’s Top 50 Innovators, Adweek’s Young Influentials lists and is a contributor to Adweek.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

I am an award winning entrepreneur, cannabis marketing expert, plant medicine advocate, and spiritual guide and coach/mentor.

I founded the first ever cannabis marketing/PR/branding agency and consultancy Cannabrand in 2013 on the onset burgeoning cannabis industry. It disrupted both the cannabis and advertising industries.

Cannabrand specializes in creating cannabis brands and defining their identities and purpose in an ever-evolving, increasingly competitive marketplace. I have dedicated my life to removing negative stereotypes and stigmas from cannabis and “rebranding” the entire industry. This has been done by creating, educating, internationally speaking, employing, inspiring others to do the same and live their purpose.

I started working as a kid, doing any odd job I could talk my way into. Helping out in the neighbor’s garden, selling handmade jewelry or art, lemonade stands, nannying, you name it!

I got more serious when I was 13 years old, I would work for trade at a retail children’s clothing shop in Connecticut where I grew up.

As a kid, I really loved working with people and being a helper. I loved to create my own abundance in all areas of life. I was always fascinated in learning everything I could and still am.

I felt compelled to help everywhere I felt there was an opportunity.

At the University of Colorado at Boulder, I earned some important internships working for Fortune 500 companies where I was able to learn first hand, the ins and outs of corporate business. I was adamant about getting tons of experience before I entered the “workforce.”

Little did I know, I was going to be creating my own companies.

I am blessed to have come from a very hard working and successful family. Many members of whom continue to inspire me to spread my entrepreneurial wings and push the business envelope in new and exciting ways. My great-great grandfather was Elmer Ambrose Sperry who invented the first electric car in Europe and uses it for the Gyroscope, including Auto-Pilot. He was known as the “Father of Modern Navigation Technology.”

From an early age, I knew that I must absolutely be able to work for myself so no one could limit my drive or desire to grow. I did not want anything to stand in my way from manifesting my own reality.

At only 23, I created my first start-up called MARCA Strategic (Marca translates to “brand” in Spanish, Italian and Portugese), which is a marketing and branding agency and a holding company.

I was drawn to cannabis because I believe that there are so many medicinal values and uses for cannabis. I am so happy to see how much progress we have made in 7 years (since the Adult Use Legalization in Denver in 2013).

I was also in the right place at the right time — It was fate, and was able to take the risk of creating the legal industry in its infancy. I remember a ‘limiting belief’ I would tell myself that I would probably never be able to get a “real job” after I took the big leap into the cannabis industry — due to the stigma other industries placed on the cannabis space. (I’m so proud that we’ve come such a long way to legitimize this industry, but there is still a lot of work to be done!) I’m proud of the part that I have been able to play in moving the industry forward and grateful for the opportunity to help so many people with my acumen of marketing and of cannabis. It is incredibly rewarding to me and drives me to want to do more.

I have recently launched Psilocybrand, which is dedicated to the research and data surrounding the use of psychedelics as a medicine. It is also working with a handful of publicly traded Psychedelic Science and Data companies for their marketing and strategy needs. There is a TON of work that needs to be done in these spaces to further our understanding of how the plants can and are used medicinally.

I feel that plant medicine is a conduit to feeling and awakening into elevated frequencies and dimensions. I am certainly not a proponent of using plant medicine as a vice, but rather as an opportunity to give people with illness and depression hope and to learn that there is so much more to this life than what meets the eye. I also want to make it clear that you can ascend not using any substances, through thoughts and feelings, breathwork, meditation and just your vibrations of emotions (energy in motion) you are radiating and attracting at all times.

My greatest expertise is not only marketing, business strategy and creation, but also the ability to help business professionals and their companies to understand how to step into their highest empowerment by aligning their passion and vibration with their greatest purpose.

Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?

I create businesses that are not mainstream or typical. I put my name and reputation on the line to help destigmatize industries and disrupt them by bringing them out of the shadows and into the light.

I have created companies that cater to these “taboo” industries and have paved the way for many and continue to do so.

Cannabrand and Psilocybrand have all been created at the infinancy of these evolving markets. And no one ever thought that cannabis needed marketing…

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Let’s just say that creating and starting a business as well as running it (which is a 24/7) is very humbling!

We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?

I’ve always looked up to my aunt Francie, she is an amazing business woman who has given me great advice my whole life and especially in business. She started her own business when she was very young, a company called Force Five Watersports on Nantucket, when she was 18, which turned into a multimillion dollar beach and surf store which is still up and running today.

In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?

I think that disruption is always positive, even if it may seem negative to start off. All darkness and shadows need to be brought to light, and stop being hidden and shamed to create shifts in how this world is working.

We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?

A few superconscious leaders and myself are hosting a series of spiritual awakening/plant medicine decadent retreats (affluenceretreat.com) for people who are ready to ascend to the next level of their lives.

I’m working on a video series and some books, so something interesting may come up in between all of that.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by ‘women disruptors’ that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts?

I do not love questions that create separation, I am pro men and women! Even though Men have been in powers of position for too long, it is time to awaken and change the paradigms.

In the past, women who speak up have been shut up. I have had tons of dark energies try and shut me up, but now- I know how to discern these energies.

Ok so basically, yeah, I started an Advertising agency, which if you have ever watched Mad Men, you know it is a completely Male dominated industry.

I ALSO started an advertising agency in the Cannabis Industry… so if you know anything about the history of Cannabis, it’s also been completely male dominated as well.

Women have had the opportunity to make changes and debunk and rebrand cannabis to be appealing to all walks of life.

I’m excited to see people in general thriving, changing paradigms and just being successful now through the great awakening regardless of sex, race, etc!

Do you have a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us?

Yes, I absolutely love the book, The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. It is an incredible book and spot on. I suggest that everyone read it! The book is about how you can live and create your best life by believing that you deserve all of your gifts.

It helps you identify what your zone of genius is and how to be authentically successful.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I feel like I have and continue to inspire so many people to live their lives on purpose.

I have inspired a movement. First with Cannabis marketing, I started the first cannabis marketing agency ever- and have inspired so many people to start their own companies. We also inspired the vision behind branding and marketing of the cannabis industry and we are doing the same for the psychedelic space.

I am also a spiritual guide and healer and have helped so many people in so many lifetimes. I believe that plant medicine is a catalyst to the great awakening which we are witnessing now.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Life doesn’t get easier, you just get better!

How can our readers follow you online?

@cannabrandco

@psilocybrand

@oliviamannix

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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