Inspiration behind the brand
First generation, Mexican/Peruvian, CEO, Lorraine Mejias Marquez, an avid cannabis consumer and connoisseur, wanted to build a brand that connected her Latin American roots with her love for cannabis. After working in cannabis facilities on the west coast, she noticed a lack of cannabis products and services specifically designed for the Latin community. There were no spanish-labeled products on the shelves, no visible Spanish language cannabis education information, and little to no Spanish-speaking staff members available for translations in retail dispensaries. She felt like there was something else missing in cannabis.
So with a strong foundation of authenticity and culture, and a deep desire to bring cannabis products, experiences, meaningful employment and education to Latinos everywhere, Feliz Canabis was born.
Going back to our roots
Our story begins with our CEO, Lorraine Marquez, a first generation only child of immigrant Mexican father and immigrant Peruvian mother. Growing up, Lorraine's first language was Spanish. Alongside her father, Lorraine was taught english at a young age. Her mother only communicates in Spanish, which means that Lorraine was responsible for translating both English and Spanish every day. Being proud immigrants, her parents have a strong relationship with their home countries. Her parents understood the importance of speaking bilingually, not only to better prepare her for daily life here in the United States but to also respect and remember the Latin roots she was born with.
Her parents were no strangers to hard work. They worked long days cleaning houses and working landscape jobs 7 days a week. Being an only child, this meant aunts, cousins, and close friends would care for her in their absence. During this time she was introduced to rich and vibrant Latin communities. She was raised enjoying the food, music, and cultures of Nicaragua, Salvador, Venezuela, Guatemala, Colombia, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Brazil to name a few.
During family trips back to South America she was able to see where her parents came from, absorb the culture, and savor delicious delicacies. Some of her fondest memories were made during quinceañeras in California, New Years Eve in Peru, and meals with her grandparents in their tiny apartment in Polanco, Mexico City. Memories such as these are ones many Latinos share. These memories are what shaped the heart and soul of the Feliz Canabis brand.
The joy that is Latin America
The beauty behind Feliz is the inclusion and love for all Latin American countries and their cultures. Throughout the United States, Central, and South America you can see the diversity of European, African, and Indigenous influences in our roots. When creating Feliz we simply closed our eyes and imagined ourselves visiting all of these beautiful places. Walking around and hearing cumbia coming out of homes on the streets of Medellin. Dancing to reggaeton and salsa in the clubs of Miraflores in Lima, Peru. Eating delicious fresh fruits on any of the amazing beaches in Mexico, Puerto Rico, or Brazil.
Having such a diverse background gives our culture vibrancy and life to our music, food, and products. Housing over 62.1 million Latinos throughout the United States, representing over 18% of the American population, and growing 23% in the last couples of years (compared to the 4.3% of other ethnicities) we saw enough reasons to bring a brand for all Latinos to the Cannabis community. Rapidly growing demand for cannabis in Latin America has allowed for some form of medical cannabis in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay.
In knowing how underrepresented Latinos are in the Cannabis space we just wanted to join other fellow Latino brands in helping spread awareness, education, and making a difference. Our brand was made to share the Latino culture essence and to help everyone Find Your Feliz!