Cannabis Conversation with Leslie Siu, CEO of Mother and Clone!

Mother and Clone. This name makes me feel so warm and fuzzy inside-I love it! How did you come up with this name for your brand?

It’s funny, you spend your whole life coming up with names for your band, stage name, fake businesses. When it came time to name tne company, we just blurted it out – Mother (For Mother Plant) & Clone (the clippings you take off the mother plant). It also had a double entendre, which we liked. Had our 3rd partner, Josh Shaw (Creative Director), been brought in earlier, he would have lead a much more thoughtful brand naming exercise. He has since done that for a few of our friend’s cannabis companies.

You, your husband and your creative director are the three partners in this business. What were you all doing before and how did you all transition to Mom and Clone? 

Everyone we encourage to join the industry always says “oh, but I have no experience with cannabis”. That’s a very true thing for most of us, unless you come from the black market or medical. 1 year in the industry is like dog years, and it counts for a lot. You can take whatever you know outside of the industry, from your past life, and apply it to the Cannabis industry. For me it was my experience in Marketing/Sales in Alcohol, Pharma, Tobacco, fashion, and beauty industries, which are all very parallell. For Kevin Vlack (my husband), it was being a COO and CFO at several venues in Brooklyn – this really prepared him to oversee our facility buildout and deal with contractors and the city. It also prepared him to work with all the tricky nuances of managing a cannabis budget and our taxes, considering the complications of this industry. Our Creative Director, Josh Shaw, has worked both agency and brand side, leading brand strategy and design. It sometimes feels like a dream team and our different skill sets seem to compliment each other’s.

Tell us more about your personal journey and how it led you to cannabis.

It’s two-fold:

Around the time Colorado went recreational, my father in law was diagnosed with ALS while he was living in Denver. During our monthly visits to Denver (we were living in Brooklyn) we were getting a feel for the early days or recreational. We wanted to move to be closer to Kevin’s dad, so this was our chance to do a reset and start our own business, something we had always wanted to do. At the same time, we had a baby in Brooklyn and I experienced severe PPD and PPA – cannabis really helped and brought me back to being a frequent consumer. When our kid turned 1, we made the move to Denver and started this business.

When was the first time you tried a sublingual?

During a visit to Denver, when the state had just gone recreational. I noticed that the high was much different and activated much faster than an edible.

How is a sublingual different than another consumption method?

It takes the best of both worlds of smoking and edibles. It’s smoke-free, like an edible, but the effects (with our product) are felt immediately (like a smoke or vape product). Our sublingual is also calorie and sugar free – so if you have dietary restrictions or are diabetic, this is a good alternative to edibles. Mother & Clone sublingual sprays activate in 60 seconds and it’s such a nice mildly euphoric, gentle rush, sort of effects.

You were in New York. What are the cannabis laws there? 

We used to live in NY, but relocated to Denver to start this business. But, I can speak to the NY Cannabis laws. Right now, they only allow 5 medical licenses and it’s designed for big business. When they started accepting applications, you had to have 2 million cash in the bank, the application fee was approx $200K, your facility had to be built out and your staff in place. As a patient, in order to be eligible for a medical card, you need to have cancer, aids, or ALS (and a few others), so the patient count is very low in NY State. Doctors are also reluctant to work with the industry, which makes sense, they could lose their license to practice. So, the supply far outweighs the demand and we’ve already seen one of those five license holders declare bankruptcy and sell their license to another organization.

What is the process one needs to take in order to purchase your product?

Be over 21 years of age and bring a valid photo ID (one that is approved by the Marijuana Enforcement Division) to a recreational dispensary in Colorado.

What is your intent with Mom and Clone?

Target audience can be best explained this way, because it is a pattern we saw with our network of friends: We are creating a product for those who once consumed cannabis, say high school, college, etc, took a long break and arenvery cautious to come back. Our sublingual spray is as worry-free as a cannabis product can, so it is a great option for moms, parents, those with anxiety or busy lifestyles.

What is instore for the future? What can we expect by following Mom and Clone?

Canada (my home country) and California distribution. More parties. And, look out for our non-profit we have set up, to be announced soon, but we are really excited about it. There is a collective group of us cannabis industry folk who sit on the board and leading this charge – making sure we raise money at each of our events and through our sales.

What is the best way to contact you?

Anyone interested in learning more can head to – there is a nerd page “why sublinguals” that goes into the science of it all
You can also head to @momandclone on Instagram
And, you can always email for any inquries

Any final, tips, info, words, etc?

The cannabis industry can be a very intimidating space, whether you are a consumer or trying to work in the industry. Go for it! As a consumer, you get to decide which companies succeed with your wallet and purchasing decisions. As someone trying to work in the industry or start a cannabis company, stay intensely focused and push hard. Even if people say you have a bad idea or not enough experience. Everyone has something to contribute to this very young industry. 


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