"A Branded Man" Somke Wallin is one of the world's best Branding experts who has turned his expertise to Cannabis. This a true Listen and Learn episode.
https://make-your-pitch.com The Co-Sponsor for this Episode is B.E.T. A business platform that gives you all the information and tools you need to advance your business as well as the understanding of how to run your business most effectively and profitably. To learn more check out the: Video: https://bit.ly/368rSKk Website: www.yvrbet.com The Co-Sponsor for this episode is CRM Engine. A Customer Relation Management system that provides a 4 Module Solution, Standard Customization by the CRM Engine Team, Unlimited Users, Unlimited Data, Unlimited Records, Cloud Hosting, Security Updates, and Daily Backups as well as On-Going support (Usually Same Day) Go Here to Learn More: Website: CRMEngine.co.uk/makeyourpitch https://make-your-pitch.com The Co-Sponsor for this Episode is B.E.T. A business platform that gives you all the information and tools you need to advance your business as well as the understanding of how to run your business most effectively and profitably. To learn more check out the: Video: https://bit.ly/368rSKk Website: www.yvrbet.com The Co-Sponsor for this episode is CRM Engine. Make-Your-Pitch Smoke Wallen, Vertical Wellness I, number one years ago, I spent most of my career in the beverage alcohol industry, building distribution and brands. And I sold out of my last whiskey and vodka company. I started several years ago and my wife turned to me and said, well, before we do another liquor deal, we've got to look at cannabis. And literally, that led me on this path to vertical wellness. We got involved in, in the adult-use recreational cannabis space in California and put some businesses together, race and capital. And along the way, I went to Washington and I met with some of the leadership in the Senate and the house, and it was trying to get an idea of how long the federal prohibition was going to still be in place. And this was back in the early 18. So it was quite a, quite a, quite a long time in the world of cannabis. And I left there with the distinct impression that cannabis was going to take a while, but him Was probably something that we got a lot of bipartisan support on all sides to legalize. So when I got back to California, I said to my partners, we need to get into the hemp business. You know, this is a way to build brands. We think brands are what matter in the cannabis space, longterm, but they're very hard to build. And I know we're going to talk more about that, but they're very hard to build in a fragmented state by state-regulated business. So the idea of vertical wellness was simply if we created a cannabinoid-based health and wellness company that built brands, we could build them nationally through mainstream retail and distribution accounts that I have called on for many decades like Walmart and Walgreens and Hyatt, hotels, and Marriott. And we could build brands much faster than in the fragmented THC cannabis. I shouldn't have the idea of vertical wellness. And since then we've had lots of interesting twists and turns with I'm sure we'll get into some of it, but we grew a lot of hemp. We extract it into CBD and then we put that into our consumer brands for lots of different categories. And with that being said, your categories though are very broad. I think your real goal is to kind of, let's say, be one of the leaders in the CBD area throughout the nation, is that right? Yeah, that's right. And, and when I say different categories, we really think about all the different places that cannabinoids can have an impact on people. And so when you start thinking about it and such as people we have pet care is actually a there's lots and lots of evidence. Now coming out that can add cannabis-based products. CBD can help with pets, arthritis, or super excited pets. So we have a pet brand. We don't think that the same brand you give your, your, your puppy is going to be the same brand you'll put on your injury or you'll drink before a workout, or you'll put on your face for cosmetics. We built brands around different segments, of the use of the product. And we've got beauty health and wellness brands kind of workout athletic brands, functional brands. And in each of these categories, we've also kind of zeroed in on different demographics and, and audiences that we feel we can, we can serve. So the idea is we've created a house of brands if you will. And if you look at lots of big consumer package companies like Wesley or P and G or Diageo, or, you know, a lot of these companies have a portfolio of brands in different categories, but they don't say the same brand on every category. You know, I think it's always interesting when I get into the brand discussion. When you look at the CBD world, you see a lot of big letter CBD on a lot of the same brands and it, to me CBD is a wonderful ingredient that comes from the cannabis plant, but it is an ingredient. And it's not a brand. And so we're building, I, we think authentic real brands that happen to use this incredible plant to help with people's needs, whether it's sleeplessness, anxiety relief for pain relief, and, and we're seeing lots of great results as a result. Well, I know that you have those in development. When are you actually going to begin the release of your, your basic product lines? Well, we're live with about 11 brands today. We've got our website, the well shop.com where you can get them. We also have a network of Sales agencies, brokers who are representing our brands and helping sell into different channels of trade. As the market opens back up from COVID and we're seeing retail shops open up again and malls open up and restaurants and hotels, we're going out and w through distribution and through rep groups, getting our brands into physical distribution. So we have online stores, places like Macy's is selling our organic candy factory. They could be the very purpose, you know, perfect for a lifestyle brand like towels. So we've really got a kind of wide range of offering there. Live. Now, the thing that's the big brand launch that's about to happen in early summer is we have a partnership with Kathy Ireland and we're doing Kathy Ireland health and wellness CBD solutions. And that will launch the summer, but a lot of the other brands are already available. Excellent. Now I want to, I'm going to drop back a year. Okay. And most businesses, and of course you're being a part of so many and such a high at a high level. You certainly were able to think outside the box, but I understand. And 2020, and before, even 2020, there was a little trick played on you. That caused a little problem in the business. And in a new industry, you can't really rely on the ecosystem. There's not one that's developed. So we thought we've had to be in that. So when we, our partner farms planted 1800 acres of hemp in 2019, the CBD oil that would come off of that crop was probably worth three to $400 million. By the time the harvest came around in October, that was, might've been worth 30 to $50 million. So we had a complete compression of pricing, everything from the hemp plant itself to the CBD after. The thing we had, the biggest was an industrial drying operation. So we were able to dry a lot of hemp and it turns out that some of the big bankruptcy's had a lot of wet HAMP that needed to be dried and processed. And we were able to get contracts to do 18 million pounds of other people's generated cash. Got, got us back in business, bought us time to get our brands ready to go. And you know, it was, it was an important pivot. It, it, I don't think I would set out to be a hemp drying processing business if I started from scratch. But it's good. Maybe a good example for your audience who, you know, you have to pivot and you're, you're It . KEYWORDS Hemp CBD THC Brands Acquisition Farm Bill Product Development Ecosystem Hemp Plant product development,