When did you first discover cannabis? My first visual and descriptive introduction to the Cannabis plant happened in 1984 at the age of 12 by an elder of the family who was in his 70s at the time. He was a gifted food and herb gardener and would also grow a beautiful, well-hidden cannabis plant each summer. After harvesting the plant, he would combine the buds and leaves with other herbs and oils for healing salves and ointments that he used to offset the pains from arthritis. He was really passionate about growing plants but I think he had a special appreciation for cannabis in particular.
What was your first experience with cannabis like? My first experience with cannabis was really long-lasting, like six hours or so, and was borderline hallucinogenic. What is really memorable was I was around an operating restaurant kitchen during this experience and I felt like everything or everyone around me was experiencing the same laughter and euphoria that I was. I was invited to smoke part of a joint with one of the younger kitchen staff. We went out back to the alley and smoked what looked like something most people would throw away. On our way outside I was really concerned about the smell or if people would know that I was high. After smoking, The effects took no more than a few minutes to set in, once they did I had no concerns at all and honestly thought how great I was feeling and wanted to share with the guys in the kitchen how awesome I was feeling. That share got me in a bit of trouble but it was definitely worth it.
How would you describe your relationship with cannabis? I would say my relationship with cannabis has been one that has evolved over time. From it being a source of wonderment, to a constant partner in an expanded perspective intellectually, emotionally, and socially. Overall it has been healthy, healing, and enhancing the relationship in many ways. I think the best part of my cannabis experience has been how much I have learned about people by working with a plant. Believe it or not, we are incredibly similar on many levels.
When did you come up with the idea to launch Family Hemp Brands? I came up with the idea to form and launch Family Hemp Brands in 2018. Of course, by 2018 I had already been cultivating and breeding cannabis varietals for many years. The thing was, other than a few consultation projects starting around 2012, I had not really secured a position working with cannabis in an open and professional capacity. After I was given some seeds that were said to be hemp and would produce CBD, I intentionally grew my first hemp or type 3 cannabis in 2016. Once I saw how incredible the CBD dominant varieties could be, I decided that hemp could be a great entry door to working with cannabis professionally.
What are the brands under the Family Hemp Brands umbrella? Currently, the brands that we have developed and launched our Honey Bee Select, Phyto Pro Select, and Family Reserve. We have two other brands that are developed but not yet launched. One is a pet-specific line and the other is an edible line.
I wanted to develop more than just a single brand so that Family Hemp Brands could reach a larger audience of consumers. The thought was, there are many different consumer types who will gravitate or resonate with a particular look or brand but regardless, most consumers want a high quality, consistent and effective product. I felt it was important to provide consumers what they wanted or needed, in a brand that best spoke to them.
What has been your biggest hurdle in taking a product from seed to sale? That’s tough to nail down just one. I would honestly have to say, early on it was banking and merchant services processing, then later became the navigation of compliance, rules, and regulations for various agencies.
I think overall taking any product from conception to store shelves will have many challenges, however, overcoming challenges is a basic requirement for any successful business or product development.
Why should someone use your products over other CBD brands? I would invite someone to use our CBD products especially if quality, consistency, and efficacy are important to their experience. From the beginning, we focused on some really important key issues. First, how to ensure that our formulations would remain consistent when we knew not all CBD is the same. Second, we focused on sourcing as many organic ingredients and inputs that were of the highest quality we could find. Third, we keep front and center in our mission that people are using CBD and other cannabinoid enriched products in the pursuit of relief and improved wellness. If they choose to use our products we want them satisfied every time, not just the first time.
Where can we learn more info about Family Hemp Brands products? Visit our parent site @ www.familyhempbrands.com to learn a bit more about who we are and what we do.