6925 Willow St. NW Ste. 230, Washington, D.C., 20012
How would you describe your company? What is your specialty?
Releaf App is a patient-focused cannabis technology company that brings beautiful and thoughtful user experiences to cannabis journaling. The Releaf App Team is a small group of highly skilled technology and design experts in Washington D.C. with a collective mission of empowering cannabis patients to learn what works for them, and the opportunity to work together to eliminate the guess and check work involved in learning how to effectively treat symptoms.
What do you offer consumers/clients that others don’t?
Releaf App is the only real-time mobile cannabis journal on the market today. We collect anonymous data logged in the app by our users, who are medical cannabis patients, as they track various components about their sessions with cannabis—their symptom levels, dosing information and any mental or physical side-effects they experience. We share this data back with dispensaries, doctors and researchers to learn together and support the entire cannabis industry with real feedback from patients across the world to assist in learning what works, and what doesn’t work, in treating various symptoms. Other cannabis tracking apps on the market today are confusing, poorly designed and/or riddled with bugs, but thanks to the tech and design experts on our team, the Releaf App experience is fun, beautiful and easy-to-use.
How and why did your company start up?
For us, Releaf is personal. Created with founder Franco Brockelman’s mother in mind, Releaf was designed under the basic principle that there had to be a better way to track and demystify the world of medical cannabis; a process which can be hard to navigate for experienced users, let alone people who are new to their course of treatment.
Franco watched his own mother struggle with chronic pain for years. Dozens of courses of treatment failed her. When medical cannabis was legalized in her home state, Franco encouraged her to speak with her doctor.
Even with a medical cannabis card in hand, she felt overwhelmed by the lack of information and intimidated by the lifelong stigma surrounding “marijuana.” Most sources of information regarded strain names as the ultimate answer to treatment, stopping short of addressing her individual needs. Relying on that general information resulted in restlessness, sleeplessness, and even more pain. She was frustrated, confused and disheartened, as was Franco. There had to be a better way for his mother, as well as other global users of cannabis, to navigate their way to a better life through treatment.
Franco went to work developing a tool to be a companion to medical cannabis treatment; one that empowers users to detail what cannabis they’re trying, track their own successes with specific treatment methods, and share their results so that doctors and patients alike may learn and benefit from their journey—all while maintaining each individual’s privacy.
Trusting that this would be an effective tool to aid in cannabis treatment, Franco then put it in the hands of beta tester number one—his mother. Since then, thousands of people have signed up to pair Releaf with their medical cannabis treatment. The further we go along this journey the more information we’ve been able to share with new and current patients. As Releaf grows, individuals are beginning to know the most effective pieces of knowledge: Effective treatments for others with the same symptoms and more importantly, what works for each individual user.
At Releaf we continuously strive to empower everyone to answer the questions that are the most important to them about their own cannabis treatment.
With the changing landscape of medical and recreational cannabis, what do you see as the biggest challenges to your progress as a company? Any advantages?
The quality and control around cannabis testing is an important part of collecting valuable data. Package standardization is also important, but the industry isn’t quite there yet. If testing and packaging was standardized, we could ensure that all of our users were inputting the same level of information.
We built the app in such a way to allow for the easy-adding of new information as it becomes relevant to the industry, so our app actually works hand-in-hand with the ever-changing nature of the cannabis industry.
What words of advice would you offer anyone seeking to enter the world of cannabis business?
Yes, this industry is projected to be large and lucrative, but stay focused on the needs of patients across the United States and the world who need medical support and education. Don’t lose sight of the true objective here . . . a healthier and happier world that uses less harmful treatment options that are far less addictive. We need to work together and keep patient care as our North Star as we move forward.
This industry would really benefit from people who are passionate about what they do. Take your current skill set and interests and see how you can apply them to cannabis! You don’t necessarily need a degree in plant sciences to provide value to the industry. Our team has been using our background in tech and design to create this tool for cannabis patients and learning the rest along the way.
What are the goals and vision moving forward, for your company? Where do you see your company in five years?
In five years Releaf will be the defacto tool to manage your treatment and log your experiences with all the various cannabis products and strains you try. These sessions will be aggregated and used to help countless other people and patients as they try cannabis for themselves. We are stronger when we work together and Releaf App is dedicated to empowering people towards this collective goal.
With the data we collect, we hope to aid research and clinical studies. We also hope to advise cultivators on which plants to grow in order to fulfill the medical needs of the people and communities they support.
What do you hope to accomplish in the cannabis industry?
We hope to give new and current cannabis patients better information around what’s working for others that share their symptoms. This will not only benefit patients directly, but it will influence how cannabis is grown and sold as we discover and learn together through direct and thoughtful experience tracking and sharing.
We also want to help make the stigma around “marijuana” a thing of the past by teaching patients that they can trust cannabis and providing them with legitimate tools and resources they can depend on. We want to help educate people about the many ways this plant can benefit them and their loved ones, and encourage them to be mindful with their usage.