States are legalizing marijuana left and right. California just passed a law allowing people to take it on planes, but even more interesting than the legalization conversation is how CBD is becoming a staple for resolving pain, helping with stress, anxiety and a plethora of other emotional issues. It's becoming the new norm among millennials and baby boomers alike. I sat down with the company dominating this market, CBDistillery to understand more about why this isn't just a trend, it's the new normal, and what we can expect in the future.
LM: Let's start with a snapshot of you and the company.
CT: I'm a Minnesota native that has been in Colorado since 2004. Before becoming CEO of The CBDistillery I worked in both the healthcare and technologies industries. The CBDistillery is one of the country's top producers of hemp-derived CBD products. We sell both online and into retailers across the United States. Our goal as a health and wellness company is to bring affordable and high-quality CBD to the masses.
LM: Tell me about your origin story. How did this company launch?
CT: Two of my current business partners were in the marijuana industry (I was in the tech industry at the time). They told me about all the people that wanted medical marijuana, but either didn't want to be high, couldn't be high (drug test), marijuana wasn't legal in their state or they couldn't use medical marijuana at work. CBD is known as the medicinal part of the plant, while THC is the psychoactive component. The solution was simple, lets extract (or distill) the most crucial part of the plant- CBD. Luckily for us Hemp is high in CBD and very low in THC and legal under the Farm Bill. Therefore, we started extracting the CBD out of hemp and selling it online (that's where I entered the picture). We developed a small e-commerce site and had over $70,000 in orders the first week. That's when we knew we were on to something special...
LM: What has been your favorite part about launching CBDistillery?
CT: Hands down the customer testimonials. It's very unique to have a product that can change lives overnight. When we first started CBDistillery we didn't know how effective the product really was on the mass market. We had a small sample size that had great results but didn't know for certain how effective it could be to others. We get testimonials daily about how our products have positively influenced our customers and their family's lives. Myself and our team thrive off those stories.
LM: What was the inspiration behind the aesthetic/branding?
CT: To distill means to extract the most essential aspect of something. We created CBDistillery because we wanted to showcase that we were extracting the most essential part of the cannabis plant, CBD. We are also based in Colorado, the land of microbrews and alcohol distilling...so the name fit well. When developing our branding we were very much influenced by the Colorado landscape and the healthy and all-natural lifestyle that defines Colorado.
LM: What can you tell us about the benefits of CBD oil?
CT: Well, I wish I could speak to all the internal studies and customer testimonials that we have... but unfortunately, we cannot make medical claims as a company. I can say that people get relief from a number of ailments when using our products. We offer products such as consumable hemp oils and soft gels which are great if you are trying to treat a condition that could affect most your body, but we also offer topicals and salves for localized ailments or pain. I encourage consumers to do their research and ask their physician about the benefits of CBD oil. You'd be surprised at the conditions it can help an individual with. Also, ProjectCBD.org is a great resource.
LM: Why do you think CBD products have been so widely accepted?
CT: That's a great question. The CBD industry is growing at a tremendous rate. I was at the Natural Foods Expo last week and I heard one presenter say they haven't seen anything like CBD in over 20 years. I think customers love the products because they help tremendously with overall wellness and are also 100% natural. As we all know, we put too much synthetic crap in our bodies. CBD is an all-natural alternative to traditional medicine that can help you with overall health and wellness. I think CBD still has a little ways to go before it is completely accepted. The biggest battle we fight every day is educating the consumer that this is not marijuana, and this will not get you high. Educating will be key to acceptance.
LM: What brands are you currently obsessed with?
CT: First company that comes to mind is Warby Parker. They have phenomenal customer service practices and had a great go-to-market strategy. We studied them in-depth as we rolled out our brand. I also like an up-and-coming brand called Richard's Rainwater. They sell actual rainwater that has no salts, minerals, and other man-made contaminants. They just went through a re-brand, which is terrifying and difficult...but they did a great job.
LM: What is your take on the future of CBDistillery? What's next?
CT: I think the future is very bright for us and the CBD industry. We are one of the few CBD companies that are vertically integrated and control the whole process from seed-to-self. I think this will continue to separate us from the competition. We are also in the final phase of completing a large pharmaceutical grade manufacturing facility. As a company, we are going to stay focused on providing our customers with the highest quality products at lower prices than our competitors. We want to be leaders of the #CBDMOVEMENT and bring CBD to the masses.
Chase was kind enough to send some sample products our way. Running an agency is stressful and Chase swore by their products to help resolve some of my own personal issues. Day 1 I took one of their nighttime gummy bears. I slept like a baby. I'm now a total convert and I hope others will find similar success with their products.