Lehua Brands, a California-licensed manufacturer of prizewinning cannabis products, announced today an expansion of their house of brands into Canada. Four executives have joined the company to lead its market expansion and maximize new distribution partnerships, including CEO Sierra Elaina, VP of Development Todd Menaker, VP of Operations Thomas Riddle and Director of Marketing Yorgi Spanos.
By building on its established California foundation with new leadership, new distribution and an advanced strategy, Lehua Brands is uniquely positioned to redefine the challenging California market, enter the Canadian sector, and establish a foothold for expansion into Northeast American markets.
“We’ve built a distinctive leadership team to drive our business forward in this new era,” CEO Sierra Elaina said. “To be successful in cannabis today, brands need executives with experience both inside and outside the industry, and with the creativity, expertise and business discipline to develop differentiated products that consumers and retailers will love. I’m confident in our plan and anticipate continued growth in our product line and distribution moving forward.”
Lehua Brands continues to thrive during this volatile period in the cannabis industry. Through a new strategic partnership with distributor Lowell Farms Inc., a California-based vertically-integrated cannabis company, Lehua Brands accesses new distribution channels and solidifies its position in the competitive California market.
“Embracing innovation and unique cannabis concepts has always been at the core of Lowell Farms, and we’re proud to partner with Lehua Brands,” said Lowell Farms Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Ainsworth.
Lehua Brands’ restructured leadership team brings together four proven executives who understand that the uniquely challenging California market requires novel approaches, and who have the diverse expertise to confront complex challenges as growth opportunities.
- CEO Sierra Elaina brings experience from more than two decades growing household brands with breakthrough products and go-to-market strategies for multinational companies including Diageo and Maldon Salt. She owned and managed a national experiential and strategic marketing agency and became an early pioneer in legal cannabis when she launched the premium edibles brand Coda Signature in over 400 stores across California in less than 18 months.
- VP of Operations Thomas Riddle is a veteran cannabis expert and seasoned leader in seed-to-shelf cannabis manufacturing who has headed up operations at 710 Labs, Cathedral City Cannabis Company (C4), Tikun Olam and MedMen.
- VP of Development Todd Menaker brings a third area of expertise to the leadership team as a culinary research and development visionary. His three decades spent creating award-winning products for iconic CPG brands including Trader Joe’s, Sun-Maid and Kraft, as well as developing cannabis confections at Coda Signature, inform his role overseeing Lehua’s formulation and recipe development.
- Director of Marketing Yorgi Spanos is an architect of lifestyle brands and Co-Founder and Creative Director of the multimillion dollar men’s premium jewelry start-up MANSSION. He previously served in the spirits industry with roles at Young’s Market and Sagamore Spirits, and brings an elite level of design and digital marketing expertise to Lehua Brands. Spanos understands the complexity of the cannabis regulatory environment from his work as a manager at Mammoth Distribution.
The introduction of seven new SKUs in 2023, coupled with the recruitment of top-tier talent and a new distribution partnership, uniquely positions Lehua Brands to capitalize on emerging market prospects and unveil additional innovative products in 2024. As consumers increasingly opt for more informed choices, the demand for healthier, function-based cannabis beverages with bold flavors and little to no sugar—such as those offered by Olala and Voila!—continues to soar.
About Lehua Brands
Lehua Brands crafts premium cannabis-infused beverages, vapes, and soon topicals for adult-use markets. Proprietary brands Olala, Voila!, and Smoking Sección feature bold flavor combinations and innovative formulas made from the highest-quality, natural ingredients. Since 2015 the company has garnered numerous awards for its products, which are currently available in over 115 dispensaries across California. Lehua Brands is involved in expansion into other emerging markets in North America, including Canada, MI and MA. Learn more: lehuabrands.com