Hi Everybody!! Happy Friday!! As we move towards the great global restart we thought it would be a good time to do a series on what it’s like to work in the cannabis adjacent, CBD industry. We want to give you a birds-eye view of the industry as a whole, our personal experience and all of the challenges associated with scaling that particular wall.
So we wanted to start with our own personal story and our first real year in the business of making and selling our totally awesome California Crafted CBD products. So, let’s get started.
It’s important to remember that in any new industry there is going to be a fairly large amount of chaos. The best most recent example we have is the dot com revolution at the end of the 20th century. It was a time of absolute chaos. The public internet was like 4 years old at the time. No one knew what it meant but everyone knew that there was a huge amount of potential and opportunity to make ridiculously large amounts of money. The chaos that followed was madness that ended when the bubble burst in 2001.
Cut to 2018, medical and the legalization of recreational cannabis were gaining more traction every quarter. With the passage of the Farm Bill CBD became legal overnight. An industry was born and with it came the chaos.
In The Beginning…
In early 2019 our founders John Miles and Jeremey ‘Fuzz’ Campbell decided to get into the CBD game. John had the experience with promotions, sales and a true genius for trend-spotting/setting. Jeremy had a background in horticulture with a specific focus on cannabis. Both had been watching the development of both the cannabis and CBD industries with a great deal of interest. Both had long been devotees of plant medicine and natural healing. It was decided that CBD was right the path to start on into the wilderness of the cannabis industry. The pathway of choice was extraction. The rest of 2019 was about building a lab.
By January of 2020 the lab was up, Chase Allen was brought in as extraction lead and formulation specialist and manufacturing began. Chase brought a strong science background and a background as a gourmet chef combined with a profound appreciation for plant medicines and natural remedies. John, with his wealth of experience in the music industry, had all of the festivals lined up for the summer. Chase with his industry knowledge and culinary skills had developed a winning recipe for extraction and formulation. Several branding sessions later California Craft CBD was born. It was going to be huge on the festival scene and the summer was lined up for the big win. Europe was on the radar as well. John had a long-time friend from university working on developing a virtually untapped market. 2020 was shaping up to a be a monster wave of a year. Fate had other plans.
Fate And Other Games Of Chance
In March 2020 the world collectively acknowledged that it was buckling under the weight of the first global pandemic of note in the last 70 years. The world was unprepared despite the repeated warnings of immunologists and epidemiologists around the world. The result? The beginning of one of the most epic fails of all time. The Lockdown.
We all have our opinions about the lock-down, its effectiveness, and the resulting fall-out. But one thing cannot be denied, the lock-down pretty much ended life as we knew it. Everything was shut. No shops, no clubs, and most definitely, no festivals. The dispensaries remained open due to the provision of weed being an essential service and all. But due to the vagaries of California legislation CBD products are not allowed be sold in cannabis dispensaries. Which makes about as much sense as not selling soft drinks in a liquor store.
Hard Won Conclusions
Whatever we may or may not feel about all of that the result was the same. Devastating for business. The irony is that many established brands in the CBD industry have been thriving in the last 12 months of on again off again shut-downs. CBD is the perfect antidote for the anxiety and stress that have become the hallmarks of lockdown life. CBD sales for established brands have increased exponentially.
Onward And Upward
So where does that leave us now? Well, its not been an easy road. It has been fraught with pit-falls, man-traps and sudden drastic pivots. But the vision has remained strong and the products speak for themselves. So, while it has been slow going there has been progress. As we get closer to returning to some semblance of normalcy we are gaining traction in the market. We are getting closer to Phi.
So drop by the shop and see what we have learned. We guarantee that you will not be disappointed. Join us next week as we take a closer look at the varying levels of crazy in the industry. Until then have a great weekend and remember, health is wealth.