The Key to Crafting a Successful Cannabis Business


Dr. Monica Delgato of Dra Sunshine
Dr. Monica Delgado, PH.D.

Working out of their Manhattan Beach studio, Founder and superstar Wellness Designer, Dr. Monica Delgado, creates best-in-class wellness care products under Dra. Sunshine. A science nerd and a holistic mind-body healer, she designs plant based, organic skin and body care solutions to combine ultra-high performance with a soothing aroma, as well as a luxurious and hydrating feel.

“Exceptional high quality, along with organic cannabinoids, are found in all of my products,” Dr. Delgado said. “Because of my psychology background, I integrated a lot of my neurological psychology training into the formulation and have been able to develop something that looks like a lotion, and even though you think it may only be doing something for you right on your skin, it has cellular communication that helps the brain to just relax.”

Mending the Heart, Mind, Skin & Soul

Dra. Sunshine offers a wide range of products, including a beauty serum, joint cream, gel caps, and a pain-relieving roll-on. Dr. Delgado first began creating CBD products by offering her clients homemade botanical teas to ease them into the process of sharing their struggles, since she is also a psychologist for Harris St. Laurent & Wechsler LLP. Soon after, she created a lotion and began noticing how effective these products were in helping those she knew to de-stress. After meeting with Dr. Alexandros Makriyannis, who lived and tested and fought really hard for cannabis like she had, he helped her to grow the company into what it is today.

Dra Sunshine join cream packaging
Joint Cream with packaging

“Our products have helped to reduce the negative stigma with cannabis, which is one of the biggest obstacles we face,” Dr. Delgado said. “People love sending over testimonials. They love our Joint Cream, not only with helping the skin to feel better, but also to help relieve pain for those suffering with TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction). I had one woman who called me years ago because she suffered from migraines, and she said she used my joint cream on her temples and the back of her neck, and this product helped prevent her from getting full blown migraines. She no longer has to take any medication.”

Earning Consumer Trust Through Quality Products

Dr. Delgado believes that earning any customer’s trust is the most important thing when owning your own business. There are many different brands out there that claim to have the highest quality ingredients, or that their products work better than others because of this, that, and the third reason. For Dr. Delgado, one of her biggest obstacles is getting shoppers to recognize that her merchandise actually works and helps to ease pain and anxiety.

“We have an oil that is called Head to Toe. Customers talk about how well and refreshed they feel after using it. They are just amazing that it can be used on the face, neck, or spinal cord area. At first, they think it will not do much, but then all of a sudden they feel better, and do not always recognize that it is the oil,” Dr. Delgado said. “Sometimes they stop using it, which is fine since you do not want to be dependent on something forever, but then if their complaint or symptom comes back, they know they can use the products again and it does have an effect.” [1] 

Dealing with Social Media Censorship

As a business owner, there are many issues that you must deal with on a daily basis. For Dr. Delgado, one of the biggest challenges she faces is social media censorship. She worked on many different campaigns that focused on CBG or any other cannabinoid, and would get shut down for no reason. Since you cannot speak to a real person associated with the platform, it would always be a blanket response. As a small business trying to promote your brand on social media, it is difficult not being able to properly advertise on the platforms.

DraSunshine muscle rub

Even though each platform is different, there are a few ways that cannabis companies can get around social media censorship. The first is to be careful with your hashtag usage. The obvious hashtags — #cannabis, #cannabiscommunity, and #weed — have become the way that watchful admins find and shadowban your account. Another way is by not posting photos of the actual cannabis plant itself. Instead, post photos of your products, or of customers using your products. Because of her extensive background in law, Dr. Delgado has been able to take issues head on and continue to grow her business.

Spreading the Good News About Cannabis

In 2019, Dr. Delgado went to Mexico to do some work, and ended up speaking with the Minister of Health about cannabis. While cannabis is technically illegal in the country, full prohibition was declared unconstitutional in 2018, leaving cannabis businesses, consumers, and healthcare providers in the country to navigate a complex gray area for the past three years. To give natives a better understanding about the plant, after Dr. Delgado went back home, the Minister of Health gave her a call and asked her to come back. “They asked if I would be willing to come back and speak to their front-line workers about my experience and about dealing with people that have cannabis in their lifestyle. I said ‘OK, I will be there,’” Dr. Delgado said. “I was able to talk with people and meet them to get them to understand that this culture is coming out of the closet, so to speak. That was pretty cool and I was really proud.”