Entertainment Veteran Charles Khabouth Co-Founds Innovative New Cannabis Brands

GRAPHIC: TREC BRANDS VIA FACEBOOK

GRAPHIC: TREC BRANDS VIA FACEBOOK

By Mario Toneguzzi

Toronto-based TREC Brands Inc. has launched two new premium cannabis brands, WINK and Blissed.

Blissed is a female-focused brand creating cannabis oil products for women. The first products include Boost, a high THC oil, and Breathe, a high CBD oil, which will be available for purchase online in Ontario, with other provinces to follow. Blissed focuses on educating the female cannabis consumer through an online educational hub. It will expand into other formats purpose built for this female consumer as regulations allow. The products will be available in the fall when new federal legislation comes into effect opening the door for the sale of more cannabis products.

WINK is TREC's second luxury brand entering the market with pre-rolled sativa-dominant strains. The products became first be available online in Ontario and in Ontario Cannabis Stores with WINK expanding into vape pens and beverages as regulations allow.

IMAGE: WINK

IMAGE: WINK

IMAGE: BLISSED

IMAGE: BLISSED

PHOTO: TREC

PHOTO: TREC

Trang Trinh, CEO and Founding Director of TREC, said the cannabis market since it was first legalized last October is still in its infancy as companies try to navigate the system.

“But where the market is going is super-exciting. October 2019 is when the edibles regulations come out and by early December we’ll be able to start to see more product choices for the consumer including chocolate, beverages, cookies, baked goods. That type of stuff,” said Trinh.

TREC is an acronym for Trust, Respect, Equality and Compassion: the values that are at the core of all business decisions made for the socially-conscious cannabis company.

"With Blissed, the goal is to uplift the modern woman through education and content that complements her lifestyle, while giving back to causes in her neighbourhood that matter,” said Trinh.

“We found that there weren’t a lot of female-focused brands out there in the industry. However, over 60 per cent of the buying power of the household comes from women. So we decided to create this brand Blissed to really target the demographic 35+ woman to really inspire them to be unapologetic and to break down the stigmas. There’s a lot of stigmas in the industry. We also found that a lot of women actually hide their usage and this brand is really about helping them live their own lives and live with joy and not have to hide that they use cannabis.”

Charles Khabouth, Founder of TREC Brands who is well known in Toronto for his interests in the entertainment industry, said WINK is an opportunity to provide consumers with a premium product that will complement their nightlife experience.

PHOTO: WINK VIA INSTAGRAM

PHOTO: WINK VIA INSTAGRAM

PHOTO: WINK VIA INSTAGRAM

PHOTO: WINK VIA INSTAGRAM

WINK’S FIRST PRODUCT WINK NO.01 IMAGE: WINK

WINK’S FIRST PRODUCT WINK NO.01 IMAGE: WINK

"With thousands of people coming through our venue doors each week, INK Entertainment has the relationships and the expertise to anchor this brand with the nightlife community across Canada,” he said.

He said WINK is high-quality cannabis that is pre-rolled and specifically produced for the company.

“A lot of research has gone into it with different genetics and different growers. And we finally came up with an amazing high-end brand. What I mean by that is good-quality cannabis that is produced and will be out there for everybody but also for many of the sophisticated cannabis users that understand the difference between great quality and not-so great quality,” said Khabouth.

“Our whole mindset at TREC, whether it’s Blissed or WINK and in the future there will be many more brands to come out, it’s to deliver on the quality and gaining consumers’ trust and any product we put out in the future that it is one of the best on the market.”

The brands are being sold through the Ontario Cannabis Store as well as online.

“In the near future, and it’s based on volume that we can get, we’ll be in all the stores just like any other brand,” said Khabouth. “Right now it’s Ontario.”

But Trinh added that the company has plans to expand to Alberta, Nova Scotia and also some other Maritime provinces.

GRAPHIC: BLISSED

GRAPHIC: BLISSED

GRAPIC: INK ENTERTAINMENT

GRAPIC: INK ENTERTAINMENT

“We actually don’t hold any licences. So we don’t grow. We don’t process. We don’t distribute. We are a brand house and we create the brand and then the business model is we licence them to licenced producers. What that means is a lot of licenced producers that we can bring value to are the ones that don’t have a recreational product, or a recreational brand, they’re focused on medical or they don’t have the marketing or distribution outreach that we would have,” said Trinh.

TREC’s board is comprised of TREC Brands' founders Basem Hanna and Khabouth, Trinh, and Matthew Shalhoub, co-founder and managing partner of Green Acre Capital.

The company, which is a global premium cannabis brand house with expertise in promotions, marketing and licensing, is committed to donating 10 per cent of profits to causes that matter to their consumers in the communities they operate in.

GRAPHIC: TREC BRANDS VIA FACEBOOK

GRAPHIC: TREC BRANDS VIA FACEBOOK

“With cannabis today, people are going into the stores or online and they don’t know what to buy because it’s new . . . And the whole idea now with cannabis is you go into stores and you don’t know what’s what,” said Khabouth. “What we would like to do is establish ourselves as a brand that delivers a great quality. So moving forward in the future we would have a great following of clients that would go in and would have trust in anything that would have a TREC logo or brand on it. The actual oil and flower is being produced specifically for us. So it is our own space inside a licensed producer’s growing space that’s being produced specifically for us and nobody else. So whatever we put out is not something that’s being put out to different brands and different people. It’s grown specifically for us and nobody else.”

Trinh said the company is not tied to any one producer or any one market or any one type of product.

“This gives us the opportunity to scour the country to find the most premium flower, the most premium batch from a different producer and grow it under our brand,” she said. “So we right now have three partners that we’re currently working with and continuing to build that pipeline.”

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Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary has 37 years of experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, city and breaking news, and business. For 12 years as a business writer, his main beats were commercial and residential real estate, retail, small business and general economic news. He nows works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Email: mdtoneguzzi@gmail.com.

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