I was lucky to sit down and have an excellent conversation with Katherine Wolf, a cannabis marketer, writer and branding specialist. She is the Chief Marketing & Operations Officer over at Malek’s Premium Cannabis, a small-batch flower cultivator out of Denver, Colorado.
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We chatted with Wolf to learn more about her start in the industry, how Malek’s markets its “flavor first” mentality and her thoughts on advocating for women in cannabis leadership.
Getting Into the World of Cannabis
High There: How did you first become involved in the cannabis industry?
Katherine Wolf: After getting my degree in marketing and economics from The University of Tampa, I started my career in the agency setting with a speciality in writing, branding and digital marketing. I got the opportunity to work with a wide variety of companies from the start-up to the enterprise level, with a focus in the technology, manufacturing and hospitality industries. I definitely knew that I was in the right field, but I just didn’t have that passion or personal connection to any of the brands that I was doing the marketing for.
I’ve always been an avid cannabis user personally, and being branding-obsessed, I was very fascinated by branding in the cannabis industry. Because of all the unique challenges regarding compliance and regulations, paired with the fact that it is such a new and competitive industry, it’s an exciting and challenging space for marketers to be in. I knew it was where I wanted to take my career eventually, but I was living in Florida, and there were not a lot of opportunities in the industry at the time.
So when the pandemic happened, I took the opportunity to relocate to Denver, where I joined the marketing department of a national hydroponics and grow supplies retailer. That was really how I got my foot in the door, learning a lot about the industry and making really valuable connections that I still have today.
HT: What attracted you to your current role with Malek’s Premium Cannabis?
Wolf: Working in the grow supply arena, I always really enjoyed connecting with the cultivators who were using our products. I still had this urge to get more hands-on with the plant and work in marketing for a cannabis brand.
Coming from Florida, you couldn’t just walk into a recreational dispensary, so being in Denver I always loved trying different shops just to see what was out there. I was on a hike one day and stopped at a little local dispensary in a mountain town, and noticed this bright pink packaging on the shelves. I asked, “Oh, what’s that bright pink stuff behind you?” And the budtender was like, “Oh my God. You’ve never tried Malek’s? You have to try this Strawberry Slurpee strain. Like, I can’t let you leave the dispensary without it.”
I obviously couldn’t ignore a recommendation like that, so I got the Strawberry Slurpee and absolutely loved the smell, flavor profile and high. From then on, I would seek out dispensaries that carried the brand and followed along with their fresh drops on Instagram. I saw they were doing a pop up at the dispensary near me, so I went and ended up meeting Malek. I told him much I loved the product and branding, and was like, “I work in cannabis marketing, here’s my information if you ever want to brainstorm or need any help with your social media or anything.” The rest is history!
Malek’s Premium Cannabis Focuses on Flavor
HT: We’ve noticed plenty of branding around the “flavor-first” mentality that goes into the Malek’s Premium Cannabis brand. Can you share a little about why this is the company’s passion?
Wolf: “Flavor first” is our motto and guiding philosophy as a brand. From the very beginning, we’re selecting phenotypes for quality and taste and looking for unique flavor profiles. Our flower is grown in small batches, then slow cured, hand trimmed, packaged to order and stored in a temperature and humidity controlled environment. Every step of the process is designed to create a better-tasting product and better smoking experience.
Everyone on our team is super passionate about the plant and truly loves working in this industry. We’re all working towards the same goal of bringing something to the market that’s more high quality and focused on flavor, for people to enjoy and share with their friends the way we do.
HT: What can Colorado consumers come to expect from the future of Malek’s Premium Cannabis?
Wolf: We just introduced some new strains to our lineup — Hazelnut is my personal favorite. It has a really rich and nutty flavor profile and is great for a wake-and-bake sesh with a nice hot hazelnut latte. We have a few more new flavors coming out I’m really excited about as well… you can keep an eye out for drop info on our Instagram stories and website.
Women in Cannabis Leadership
HT: What are your hopes for the future of women’s roles in the cannabis industry?
Wolf: Women are one of the fastest growing segments of cannabis consumers, which means they have a lot of buying power. I think companies are starting to realize how important it is to not only market their product and brand to women, but to also have their insights on your team. The industry is still very male-dominated, but I am definitely starting to see more women get involved and take on leadership roles. I’m fortunate to work on a tight-knit team that really supports each other.
Our leadership team is half female, and Malek has given us every opportunity to grow and thrive as women in the industry. I think we need to keep working together as an industry until everyone can have that same experience.
HT: What advice would you give for women looking to break into the cannabis industry?
Wolf: You just have to be willing to put yourself out there. Go to local cannabis events and join industry groups — if there aren’t any where you live, there are tons online that allow you to network virtually. There are even entire groups focused on
Everyone I’ve done that with has been more than happy to hop on the phone and tell me their story, give some advice, or just be there to bounce around ideas off of. That is definitely one of the positives of being a woman in cannabis leadership. I don’t see competitiveness at all… I see this really nurturing community where women in the space genuinely want to make an impact on the next generation. So finding a strong mentor and then paying it back by mentoring the next wave of women in cannabis I think is super crucial.
HT: Thank you for chatting with us, Katherine! Where can we keep up with Malek’s?
Wolf: For sure, thanks for having me! You can follow us at @maleks_premium_cannabis on Instagram or check out our website at