Monarch Supply Company is bringing its portfolio of cannabis products to market with a soft launch in the St. Louis market. While early in the launch, Monarch’s entry into the Missouri Medical marijuana market appears to be wildly successful. The products have been well received, garnering attention and praise from patients and industry participants alike. The offerings exhibit quality and an attention to detail, while the brand is modern but approachable. But the company is bringing more than just its products to the Missouri market – Doug Mars says Monarch is bringing purpose.

Greenway recently spoke to Monarch Supply Company’s Chief Operations Officer, Doug Mars, about the launch of the company, its brands, and what cannabis means to the company – and perhaps what the company could mean to cannabis in Missouri.

Monarch Supply Company

What is Monarch Supply Company?

As a company, Monarch Supply Company specializes in manufacturing, wholesaling, distributing, and marketing cannabis products. Based in St. Louis, Monarch is owned and operated by a team of locals with a combined 70+ years of experience in legacy beer leadership and craft brewing. Coming to market, Monarch brings two brands and a social impact initiative that aims to directly benefit the communities the company and its partners inhabit. Monarch says it is a cannabis consumer products company with intent to transform the cannabis-infused beverage category. 

Mars says that’s where the name Monarch comes from. “We want to be transformational, we don’t want to be the typical cannabis company. We want to get after transforming the industry based on data, people, and community, it’s not just about being a great company but about impacting the cannabis community that we see today and tomorrow.”

Mars’ enthusiasm for the new venture is palpable. Mars directs product and process development for Monarch, but prior to Monarch, Mars spent 26 years with “The King of Beers,” at Anheuser-Busch. More recently, Mars served as the general manager of a high-producing independent craft brewery, and was an early cannabis business entrepreneur, managing the first licensed medical retail dispensary in the state of Illinois. Mars says it’s that wealth of experience that enables him to develop the resources, teams, and solutions needed to make Monarch a successful cannabis company. 

“A legacy beer and craft brew team lead Monarch. Each of us have advanced best-in-class practices and principles in the beverage industry for a few decades. That includes being early adopters of leading beverage technology for innovation, being effective beverage decision makers informed by the best data and insights, and being known for advancing strong, individualized retail partnerships within complex beverage distribution models,” Mars explained. 

Mars says his experience in craft brewing is what helps define his vision for, and understanding of, Monarch’s flagship portfolio of cannabis-infused beverage brands.

In addition to Mars, Monarch’s Chief Executive Officer, Corey Christanell, also brings a wealth of knowledge to the company. Christanell spent over two decades at Anheuser-Busch as a senior-level sales and marketing executive in several senior management roles. Christanell is also a founding board member of the Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association (MoCannTrade). 

“MoCannTrade is proud to count Monarch Supply Company as an association member since 2018, and we cannot wait to see what type of unique infused beverages and products they develop for Missouri’s medical cannabis patients,” said Andrew Mullins, Executive Director of MoCann Trade.

Doug Mars | Monarch Supply Company

Monarch debuted with its Society Beverages line as a welcome addition to the state’s infused beverage category. Society is a line of high-quality seltzers that Mars says is designed for patients to be able to enjoy and medicate without removing or excluding themselves from those around them. “Focusing on the needs of the patient – beverage plays a huge part in the entire twenty-four-hour period of a medical cannabis consumer,” Mars explained. “A medical cannabis consumer needs medicine throughout the day – Society is how we can arm them with beverage and become more of a social experience for that consumer.” The brand motto for Society, ‘be good. do good.’ lends itself to over-arching ethos of Monarch.

Now Monarch is set to bring its second brand, Sap., to market. The company says Sap. supplies high-demand, high-quality cannabis concentrates and extracts.

In addition to its two flagship in-house brands, Mars says Monarch will soon be bringing an exclusive partnership to Missouri with an established brand, providing premium flower, pre-roll and vaporizer products as well.

 

A company with purpose.

In fact, the word most frequently used by Mars during our conversation was ‘purpose.’ 

In addition to a sprawling list of career accomplishments and experience that lend credence to Monarch’s position in the cannabis industry, Mars says the company is here for more than another business opportunity. Mars explained that ‘purpose’ is a core value at Monarch.

Mars believes that cannabis’ purpose is found in its ability to help and heal, that companies hold a purpose in destigmatizing and normalizing cannabis and cannabis consumption, and that the industry holds a purpose in creating opportunity and giving back to the communities it is based in.

Mars’ passion for the plant makes him the perfect ambassador, a cancer survivor who found relief with the use of cannabis – Mars knows first hand the positives of patient use, as well as the negative stigma that can be attached to therapeutic use. His purpose would seem to lie in helping to build and direct a company that focuses on the community as well as the product.

It’s that purpose that Mars refers to so often that seeps into everything throughout Monarch. From the products and quality, to the way they are presented, and how they are manufactured – Monarch is making conscious choices to move the needle forward.

 

Support A Purpose.

As an extension of that, Monarch has a formal social impact initiative called Support A Purpose. Support a Purpose is designed to advance the cannabis community’s collective efforts to destigmatize the plant, while simultaneously enabling customers to fund donations in partnership with their hometown dispensaries for local charities. 

“When people purchase Monarch-made cannabis products featuring the Support a Purpose logo, a portion of their purchase will be donated to the Support A Purpose initiative. Then, each quarter, we’ll collaborate with our dispensary partners to donate those charitable proceeds to local nonprofits,” Mars explained. “Infusing ‘purpose’ into the everyday product purchase is one of the ways Monarch is creating better alternatives for Missourians,” Mars added. 

Mars said that both the products Monarch creates and the wrap-around services it provides will support the well-being of Missouri medical cannabis customers and help dispensary retail partners succeed. “Ultimately Monarch is a growth-oriented cannabis company driven to improve lives through its people, local partners, processes and purpose.”

 

Expect to see Monarch’s products on retail shelves in Missouri dispensaries starting in early 2022.

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