Recently, we had the opportunity to sit down with the owner of SVN Cloudz, Jaisyn Melenciano. Jaisyn was a member of the first cohort of the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission Social Equity Program. As an innovative entrepreneur, Jaisyn not only wants to provide cannabis to Massachusetts residents but he also wants to uplift disparaged communities.
Q: Tell us about yourself and how you ended up in the cannabis space?
Jaisyn: I have a long history of 20 + years in the social services realm in Massachusetts. I’ve worked in many different agencies that have all helped with homelessness, social justice, mental health, and disparaged communities. I came into the Cannabis space by means of social equity. I saw the social equity program and automatically became intrigued that I could not only get into the entrepreneurial cannabis space but I could do it by helping my community. Now being a graduate of the social equity program in Massachusetts, it gives me the opportunity to be an entrepreneur and have an equal chance to be an owner in a business that otherwise would have been bout out by the big moneymakers. It also gives me a chance to give back to the community with an impact plan to help others like me, have the same chances I have been provided.
Q: What made you want to get involved in the cannabis industry?
Jaisyn: I learned about the health benefits of cannabis and how it can help people with so many physical, emotional, and mental disparities which is what my brand, SvnCloudz is all about. My entire career has been based on helping others in any way possible. Cannabis is a positive, legal, and evolving industry that will give me a chance to help others. My other reasons are to promoting sustainable, socially and economically reparative practices in the commercial cannabis industry in Massachusetts, reduce barriers to entry in the commercial adult-use cannabis industry for people that come from my same communities, and to provide professional and technical services to mentor individuals and businesses facing the same systemic barriers I am.
Q: Is this where you expected to be? I mean, most people would say, “Yeah, of course, I’m a brilliant businessman. This is exactly where I expected to be.” But it sounds like you didn’t know cannabis was your future.
Jaisyn: No, this is not where I expected to be. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology and a Master’s degree in Behavioral Analysis. I thought I’d be a therapist by now, with my own practice, but as the universe will have it, it lead me in a new direction. Believe it or not, cannabis is still involved with psychiatry. Learning how the mind operates in a world of stigma surrounding cannabis and having people re-learn what this means, while encouraging positive use is psychology in itself. It’s undoing what has been done in our communities and teaching better ways of thinking.
Q: What’s it like coming from a traditional background and now getting to work in the cannabis industry?
Jaisyn: Coming into the cannabis space after coming from a traditional background has its challenges. However, I have an amazing team of consultants and a legal team that guides me through the things I don’t know. Overall, it’s exciting to see how things evolve and I’m in a good position because I can evolve with it. I’m learning so many new and fascinating things about cannabis itself, along with the laws and the promising future of it holistically in Massachusetts. It’s like being a kid at a candy store. I can certainly become a part of history within this transition.
Q: There are many cannabis facilities already open in MA, what is going to set you apart?
Jaisyn: What makes SvnCloudz different is innovation and lifestyle. There are a lot of products that aren’t on the market here that we intend to produce through manufacturing. If they happen to roll out before we are licensed then we have different fusions, colors, flavors, textures, and quality. We have cannabis connoisseurs who are distinctive in taste and quality. I also have a selective team of individuals who are involved with different aspects of food, design, clothing, product, and marketing. My team is not only able to see trends in Massachusetts but they are able to see the overall movement of cannabis around the country. We are dedicated to serving our community and it is important to me that our community and employees know SvnCloudz is a movement and a family. My goal is to make everyone feel like they are entering a safe space regardless of what background they come from.
Q: How can people apply to work with you?
Jaisyn: We are looking to hire a Chief Financial Officer, managers, packaging technicians, and delivery drivers. Anyone interested in applying can apply directly on our website.
Q: What are you most excited about when you can finally open your doors?
Jaisyn: Success and being able to cater to the community. I say success because coming from where I grew up, I never thought I’d have this chance. It’s proof to the younger generation that there is a way out. That they can make it too. I am and will always be about giving back to the community. I’ll be able to continue my life goal of helping others.
Q: What is your biggest fear with your business?
Jaisyn: Like everyone’s biggest fear, it’s failure. However, I have learned to fail forward. I’ve never been on to deter easily. So meanwhile it’s my biggest fear, it’s also my biggest determination not to fail. I don’t let fear overshadow my motivation.
Q: What has your journey been like so far?
Jaisyn: It’s been tumultuous. Although it’s great to be in this space, raising capital has been difficult. I’ve been able to save some money on my own and have been bootstrapping to make this happen. There are still a lot of federal laws and barriers in the way that makes it difficult to get to the final stage, but I have hope that as the laws change so will the difficulty of getting licensed and raising capital.
Q: What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs?
Jaisyn: Give it all you got. It’s hard, it takes a lot of time. Sometimes it feels like you’re going to fail, even when you’re ready to risk it all, but keep going. Always have a plan A. B. and C. and if those fail, keep going through the alphabet, and start over.