Podcast The Hemp Revolution

Overcoming Biggest Business Problems in the Hemp/Cannabis Industry by Building a Network

Ep 66 Sonia, James, Brinkershoff, Sumeet

In this episode of The Hemp Revolution Podcast mini-series, live from MJBizCon 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Sonia, together with James and Sumeet talks about their sponsors and the solutions that they are offering the hemp and cannabis marketplace, how they’re innovating technologies, products and advancing the way that they think about the industry’s big problems and how they are seeing the disruptions across multiple industries right now.

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Brands are popping up and what people are recognizing is that the formulations are unique, but the stories are not being properly told. – Sonia Gomez

Download The Episode Companion For This Episode

Some Topics We Discussed Include

2:16 – Challenges in the Canna & Hemp Industry
5:04 – How to be an Effective Brand for Distribution Channels?
14:19 – Formula to Success

People Mentioned / Resources

Connect with Sumeet Harish

Connect with Sonia Gomez

Connect with James Brinkerhoff, Jr.


Sonia Gomez: What’s up guys Sonia Gomez coming to you live from MJBizCon in Las Vegas, Nevada. We are super excited to be here on another episode of The Hemp Revolution Podcast mini-series. This is the official launch of our podcasts here at the 2019 MJBizCon where it is on fire with the cannabis and hemp industry, so much cool stuff happening out. 

And in this episode, we’re going to talk specifically about our sponsors and the solutions that they are offering the marketplace, how they’re innovating technologies products and advancing the way that we think about canna big problem revolution how we are seeing the disruptions across multiple industries right now. My co-host for today are Sumeet, meet and see okay, what that means is. we got Kwame behind the scenes to come over here Kwame [inaudible] scared. And then we got James pop in here. 

James Brinkerhoff: How’s it going, everybody? 

Sonia Gomez: Happy to be here with you guys. Hey, this episode and all the episodes here are sponsored by [inaudible] are specifically sponsored by Quivverpay who is offering some of the industry’s best solutions for merchant processing and CBD. I’m also happy to have Zohko CBD brands for energy mixed with hemp. We have Mad Flower manufacturing, an artist and manufacturer out of Oregon really incredible formulations coming out of there. James, what are you most excited to see here at MJBizCon right now?

James Brinkerhoff: I’m really excited to see the creators, people that are coming up with these brands, different formulations, different ways that they’re using this plant to get out there and help people. And for me, being in the on the cultivation side for years, I have an affinity for the cultivators, farmers, craftsmen that have been stewarding the plant and you can see here this in this giant MJBizCon all here for this one plant and it’s a massive event. I mean, they’re taking up the entire Las Vegas convention hall auctions. And this place is just jam-packed. There must be 40,000 people here.

Challenges in the Canna & Hemp Industry

Sonia Gomez: Is 40,000 people, I think we have 3,000 exhibitors and still no matter what no matter how high level or jetting said there are really some four challenges that we are seeing in the industry right now. It’s been talked about over and over again. Number one, merchant processing. Banking is still a big mess in the industry right now. And everyone’s looking for a dependable solution. 

That’s why we’re so excited to bring pay on because we have seen a stabilized solution, offering domestic banking solutions and merchant processing solutions for CBD brands and ancillary businesses. Been really excited to collaborate with Steve Anderson as well as PLS supplements or rehab. Who are we taking care of a lot of the manufacturing of CBD products, delivery and fulfillment for CBD, hemp supplements and then now they’re adding [inaudible] pay and merchant solutions to that whole ecosystem. Super [inaudible] CBD and hemp industry here. 

Likewise for cannabis, starting to see a lot of brands advance their technologies, which is great because we’re looking at the second challenge being a stabilized supply chain. What are some of the complaints that you’re hearing some meat from working with folks in the industry around supply?

Sumeet: Supply everybody has supply but everybody doesn’t have distribution. So when it comes to biggest problem with suppliers, trying to find distributors of product like you met a guy [inaudible] as he’s creating trust in fire it’s that way [inaudible] for the buyers North across where that’s coming from– [inaudible] me what I’m excited to see is first of all the growth in the marijuana nothing ever seen [inaudible] a lot of pics perspective, a lot of big players [inaudible] out of everybody looking at this is offline are they thinking about it what are their best strategies where they [inaudible] see what people are doing already right? What you know where a lot of things, a lot of art — there’s a lot of things I think [inaudible] because of the online social media marketing, all that [inaudible] right all the followers [inaudible]

How to be an Effective Brand for Distribution Channels?

Sonia Gomez: When we’re looking at delivery systems and branding, and you mentioned the third challenge for me the challenge with the supply chain is transparency and not really understanding like, what’s the source and the story behind any one of these brands, you got all kinds of different brands popping up here and what we’re recognizing is that the formulations are unique, but the stories are not being properly told. 

That’s why we were excited to bring on Zohko which is a brand that was combining the power of freedom, hemp, CBD and creating an energy product that is really good for people in the space fighters, MMA. And one of the things when it comes to the fourth challenge in the industry, which is distribution is how we effectively take a brand Zohko and get them distributed demographic so that we can create consistent revenue for them. Now a brand like this needs to be paired with an influencer that can effectively move this in their selected or niche market. 

So we’re super excited to have Zohko energy, full-spectrum hemp, CBD and energy freedom formulation over here as one of our sponsors for those of you guys who are tuning in and interested in finding out how to work with brands like Zohko, or Zuka or perhaps you’re looking for solutions on getting better, or more effective distribution book on an offline, The Hemp Revolution podcast, and The Emerald Circle media team is focused specifically helping you achieve consistently, reliable results, leveraging social media, or internet-based distribution channels as well as offline, creating those direct relationships with retailers and brand ambassadors who are interested in carrying and working with your brand long term. And if you’re asking yourself those questions like what are the things that you need to be an effective brand for distribution channels You need a really great brand–

Sumeet: If you’re building trust your product on shelves across America, I had to get off that [inaudible] Right? A lot of smoke shop dates off the top of the CBD brand off the top shelf. Google it, they won’t even have any brand. I don’t want to be a guinea pig here take the snake so definitely have a great brand, great story starts there– Absolutely. What we’re trying to do is [inaudible] understand the people behind the brand or the grow house or the seeds or whatever, right so that story adds that extra layer [inaudible]

Sonia Gomez: One of the up and coming brands that I’m excited to have here at The Hemp Revolution podcast is Best Bud [inaudible] I would call the successful and generally conservative folks who our upper middle-class folks, a couple of folks that when they’re done there’s the people in the financial industry, they don’t necessarily want to get high, but they do want to experience the benefits of relaxation that shouldn’t have anxiety and stress. 

They want to find a family-friendly solution for products. So big shout out to Jared and Josh, who are the founders of Best Buds. They have gummy, they have these sour gummy bears, they have a tincture. They have pet treats, and I’m one of my favorite things I don’t even– the gummy bears I just call them yummy gummy because they’re probably some of the best gummy bears. I’ve ever tried, they never survived a week at my house. We keep them on the back from, it’s my family, it’s actually free. So it’s totally kid-friendly mother fruit. And it’s a big way to integrate CBD into a household, which otherwise is still playing to the stigma that cannabis may not be, a viable solution for them. 

So, I love to see entrepreneurs like Josh and Jared breaking barriers, eliminating some of the toxification factors from their formulation and creating opportunities for a more conservative household to integrate CVD and open the conversation around safe and effective solution for managing stress, anxiety, occasional sleeplessness, you know, pain and discomfort or shame. Yeah– 

Sumeet: Everybody has– underdark right. Most people are– more relaxed people are aware people are healthy people.

James Brinkerhoff: So Sumeet, there’s a couple of other things I wanted to add. I’m talking about what makes a brand successful, right? So one of the things I’ve seen is creating having an irresistible offer somebody was just mentioning Burger King and McDonald’s. Those guys are always coming out with like the dollar burger. You know the buy one, get one. Buy one Whopper get another offer for free. So a lot of brands I’ve seen that are moving units moving, emptying out their warehouse. 

Biggest Business Problems in Hemp

They have these free plus shipping offers, or they have incredible like 60% off 70% off your first purchase. I mean, you’re really trying to these guys are aggressive in trying to get their product into people’s hands. They’re almost giving it away to get in people’s hands and then once the consumer has it in their hands, well, you know, they start going through the sales process and they’re, they’re looking at the other products that they sell and, and then you know, the company’s doing a good job. They’re upselling these people into their, bigger packages of product and their fitness programs or health programs or whatever it might be. Yeah, so that now the other thing I’m thinking of, too is the fulfillment, fulfillment got to be on, you have to have a way to deliver the product that’s like in two days, I’m going to get my studio my house, and it should be a box that’s like, I mean, the ones that I’ve seen that are successful, the whole experience when you get the box and everything yeah, you get in how you open it up and first kind of like 

Sonia Gomez: You can’t throw that shit in a padded envelope. — You better start researching fit, fab fun. You know, like, for real. We’re looking at the third wave of the entrepreneurial ship inside of the cannabis industry. So the grassroots movement, although it’s still very much a part of our cannabis culture here, it’s certainly we have been infiltrated by big business that we have to step up our game and the way that we are doing business in an advanced marketplace. We are moving from a local market that is running on the black lines into a white mainstream marketplace that is offering diversity– ports and Canada are looking at, you know, the innovation of science and innovation, we really get an opportunity to transform the way that we look at healthcare at construction fuel. This is no longer just about cannabis. 

This is really about creating transformation and finding better, more sustainable solutions that will carry us into our next generation but even if it seems simple, branding, your package your brand, your brand perience. How easy is it for you make a purchase?. Are you paired with the right processor? Do you have the right manufacturing and fulfillment partners? You have got to step up your game to stay relevant in 2020. Sumeet for you what kind of projections are you looking at for the 2020 market for cannabis and hemp?

Sumeet: In terms of eight beautiful stories [inaudible] are a bigger place. [inaudible] It gets women, women’s stories of women behind so there’s just so much opportunity to help women product stories, women into space. And that’s [inaudible] what women are doing is highlighting underserved market that’s already made a path [inaudible] there’s so much happening [inaudible]

Formula to Success

Sonia Gomez: When you say the riches are in the niches so as you look at the macro play in the industry like everybody wants to be everything to everybody, right? cannabis is for everybody, all for one, one for all, but it’s actually advancing very similar to other businesses, but you have to be laser-focused on who you are speaking to. 

And the formula for success in the 2020 marketplace looks like this. If you have passion if you have a purpose, and you want to solve a problem for a specific person, that’s where your products come in. Gone are the days of looking at products, people are looking at the people behind the products and subscribing to the brands because of the people and the passion and the purpose. 

Biggest Business Problems in Hemp

You have to look at something that’s bigger than yourself. Bigger than your brand. That’s why we’re excited to be aligned with companies like Zohku, kratom and CBD brands we’re really excited to be partnered in with Quivver Pay who is offering the most turnkey easy domestic solution for CBD and hemp-related processing, as well as their sister companies, PLS supplements a total turnkey solution for CBD manufacturing with really incredible technology behind a delivery systems that have incredible diversity of product selection, Medicine Flower who is an artisan manufacturer out of glide Oregon, as well as a formulator for aromatherapy and flavors. And then finally, our partnership with rehab, who manages all of the fulfillment for people in the supplement health care and CBD space. 

You have to look at something that's bigger than yourself. Bigger than your brand. - Sonia Gomez Click To Tweet

So congratulations to all of our sponsors. Really excited to be a part of a brand ambassadorship here at the 2019 MjBizCon event, the official launch of the hemp revolution podcast, shout out to Best Buds, yummy gummies and all of your guys’ pet treats really excited to have you guys on board with us. And check out for these brands coming into the future you’ll see a lot more of them. They’re really bridging gaps and creating relevant conversations for their communities, incredible giveback programs and really socially responsible brands that have a bigger purpose, a bigger mission and are creating a movement around the formulations and services that they’re offering this industry. I’m Sonia Gomez, your hostess with the mostess. This is Sumeet and we got my man James here we are at MJBizCon 2019. Oh, [inaudible] me back here. I’m MJBizCon 2019. I’m your hostess with the mostess, Sonia Gomez. And this is The Hemp Revolution podcast. We’ll see you on our next show. 

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