Written by John Miles, CEO California Craft CBD
What made you decide to start CA Craft CBD?
As an entrepreneur, I am always attracted to new industries that require a more pioneering approach. I like jumping into an industry while the playbook is still being written and taking control of history, rather than sitting back and watching the history books be written by others. Over the years I have helped my friends (now partners) with their cannabis businesses. This helped me keep in touch with them and keep my finger on the pulse as to what was happening in the everchanging cannabis canvas. My partner Brendan was working on some big business opportunities and asked if I could assist. Those opportunities eventually fell through – and that was my first experience with the “white whales” that we chase each and every day in this line of work.
Still, I remained passionate about cannabis and was particularly intrigued with CBD. I was mainly interested in its medicinal qualities, and when the 2018 Farm Bill passed, the accessibility and the rush of jumping into a new industry.
How did your team get together to start California Craft?
After my cannabis deal fell through, I went on a surf trip in Baja with my family hoping that by the time I returned, another opportunity would present itself. After 23 years as a music promoter and restaurant owner, I was feeling pretty burnt out. I was looking for a change. I was toweling off after a great surf and Jeremy (my now-co-founder) called me and asked if I wanted to partner up in the CBD industry. The rest, as they say, is history.
What about CBD spoke to you? What inspired you?
CBD is a lot like surfing or sailing – you never stop learning. There is so much to the plant and there is still so much to discover. CBD inspired me as an alternative health medicine. I had friends that cured a lot of ailments from neck pain to cancer and epilepsy. Now that I manufacture CBD, I get messages from customers and friends letting me know how CBD helped them garden, sleep, or take away the nausea of chemo.
I am inspired by our customers, and each day my sails are filled with inspiration as a result of making them a little better. During this pandemic, many of our customers – including myself – are using our tincture to manage anxiety.
Why did you choose CBD tincture? Why not another form of CBD?
Our formulation specialist and operations manager, Chase Allen, presented us with a few options. The tinctures he makes for our California Craft line are amazing. We stuck with the tinctures as our first release, and every couple of months we will formulate more products.
Our strategy is to slowly release high-quality products as we continue to grow. We are introducing our community with our quality and efficacy, and then continue to grow from that foundation. Moving forward, we are listening to our community as to what to make next and then will use that to release new products.
How did you come up with your product flavors?
My partners and I share a passion for the organic and sustainable ingredients that go into each tincture. Chase was really excited about launching with Vanilla Lavender, Lemon Mint, and Natural. How can you argue with that?
How long did it take you to get the brand off the ground?
From the initial idea to our formal launch, it took one year. Of all the things I have done in my life, this was one of the most challenging. As a former restaurant owner, this can be compared to opening up 10 restaurants in one restaurant, or maybe like building a space module.
Tell us about the inspiration behind building California Craft.
We are proud of California and wanted to make a brand that embodied the spirit of our magnificent state. California is the cannabis mecca, and we use flowers grown right here to make our tinctures the best in the world. Also, we want to make sure everyone can enjoy this amazing plant. Cannabis has always been in the underground and we seek to change that. We are seeing our product enjoyed by all ages and demographics, and that gives us a lot of joy.
We launched our European operations in July 2020 and we are really excited to announce that it is already catching on. The European market is growing rapidly, and with headquarters in Prague, our EU customers can get our products shipped directly within the EU.
Along with world expansion, we would like to make a facility that is a vertically integrated farm where we can cultivate and extract. Our team is built of some of the best cannabis growers in the world, and we can’t wait to start growing and move it from soil to oil. Our product line will continue to grow; we will be making announcing new products in a few weeks… stay tuned.