Hydropothecary is the wave of the future, at least that’s what co-founder of the company, Adam Miron impressed upon me by the end of our interview. The business specializes in a relatively new and niche market; the production of medical cannabis in Canada. According to Adam, “the first year of the company was spent in my basement working on an application to Health Canada,” and during that time both co-founders, Adam and his brother-in-law, Sébastien St. Louis worked twelve hour days to make their dream a reality. The name Hydropothecary comes from a combination of two words said Adam, “Hydroponics, the method by which the marijuana plants are grown and apothecary, which represents an old method for dispensing medicine.” By choosing a title for the business that encompasses both old and new world values, as well as combining the comfort of traditional methods with the safety of current medicinal practices, customers are meant to be put at ease with their newest avenue to feeling better.
“It’s all about the experience,” declared Adam who discussed how Hydropothecary consulted a variety of focus groups before even attempting to select a name or determine any form of packaging. The products produced by the company are with all intention made for the customers and shaped by those customers. When consulting with the focus groups, Adam remarked that no matter which demographic was being targeted, be it, “professionals with security clearances i.e. [most of] Ottawa, lawyers, or even soccer moms that use medicines like sleeping pills on a daily basis,” there was something that each group had in common. All of the groups would be enthusiastic about the business venture until they were shown a product depicting a pot leaf or anything else remotely tied to the stereotype of being a pot smoker. That reaction was what convinced Hydropothecary to set itself apart from other similar companies. It accepted the challenge of creating a business that would be socially acceptable for people to purchase from and that would provide the best possible customer service. With that intention, the company as it exists today was born. It’s important to remember that, “we are not looking to do a marijuana thing. We’re talking about fostering an environment that is comfortable and normal,” Adam proclaimed.
Though there are currently nineteen marijuana suppliers in Canada, Hydropothecary has taken several steps to separate itself from the competition while keeping its goal of being neat and discrete in mind. “We have orders delivered with Purolator which allows evening and Saturday deliveries to be made too. Orders are placed online or over the phone and will ship to your door,” said Adam who continued on by describing the container within which the product is shipped, “we are the only ones who use glass jars to contain the product – it provides a better smell barrier and a more luxurious experience.”
Speaking of luxury, the great customer service doesn’t stop once an order is placed. “You can’t avoid following through with a customer,” stated Adam, and that is why the company’s customer service representatives can be reached twenty-four seven. “The manager of our customer service was the manager of police and client services at Health Canada until recently,” Adam said. While discussing the importance of having well-trained staff, he continued, “our bilingual team is extremely familiar with the police program and its policies.” This is vital to the success of the company because if one of the business’ customers is discovered with the product on him or her, the police must verify the legality of the person’s prescription by calling the company that supplies the product. By maintaining consistently open phone lines, Hydropothecary has set itself apart from other companies that close their phones at 6pm or 9pm, leaving customers potentially stranded and without options until the next day if they encounter the police.
However, it’s not just the sound logistics of the business that give new customers pause, it’s also the undeniable sense of heart and ambition that exists behind the company itself. The practices of the organization quickly became personal for both co-founders, when Adam’s father was recently diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and found himself unable to eat or sleep properly. After smoking the ‘Bedtime’ product that is part of Hydropothecary’s line, Adam was on the receiving end of a joyful phone call from his father notifying him that he had slept through the night for the first time in his recent memory. “The company is a family business and it has become a personal quest [for us],” stated Adam.
As for the future of the company, Adam anticipates that new products will certainly come onto the scene as soon as, “medical marijuana no longer needs to be smoked, we will offer vapours or oils; we have even been talking about a coconut oil product and potentially liquid gel capsules.” In a field that is consistently changing from day to day, Adam feels challenged and excited by this foray into this unique field of entrepreneurial tactics. Via the company’s line of daily medicine, which covers every time of day from the ‘Good Morning’ dose to the ‘Bedtime’ dose and everything in between (‘Midday’ and ‘After Dinner’), the organization has stayed true to its mission. “We want to create an environment where people are feeling better,” declared Adam, and in the end isn’t that what everyone wants?
Below is a glimpse at the people and team that make up Hypothecary.