Cannabinoids Cannabis Podcast The Hemp Revolution

Why People Are the Best Investment in the Cannabis Space with Cooper Dodd and Austin Hunter

Partners Cooper Dodd and Austin Hunter are the lead chemists of NutraLife Biosciences, a hemp extract production manufacturer in Coconut Creek, Florida.

Austin has a dual degree in Chemistry and Secondary Education from Northwestern University. This former high school chemistry teacher is now the lead formulator at NutraLife Biosciences.

Cooper got his bachelors’ degree in Biological Health Sciences at the University of South Florida. He specializes in product development and formulation of oil and water emulsions, which many people in the industry know as “nanoemulsions.” He also has a strong focus on regulatory compliance and quality assurance. He is the new leader of research and development at NutraLife Biosciences.

In this episode, Cooper and Austin discuss why micelle, nanotech, or water-soluble technologies in CBD products are so important. They also talk about the right things that one should invest in in the cannabis space and lots of valuable insights about the future of cannabis.


Investing in the right things like regulatory experts, and quality assurance, and legitimate formulation talents, would be some of the best things you can do because the more you innovate, the more you increase competition. Then you’ll lower prices, and if you lower prices, then more people can participate and raise awareness to this really awesome thing we’re all trying to do. – Cooper Dodd


Download The Episode Companion For This Episode

Some Topics We Discussed Include

3:27 – Austin’s background and motivation for joining the cannabis movement
5:32 – Cooper’s history and how he ended up in the cannabis space
9:01 – Why is the use of micelle, nanotech, or water-soluble technologies in CBD products so important?
15:39 – What sets NutraLife Biosciences apart from their competitors
18:22 – NutraLife Biosciences’ ideal partners
19:50 – Their product suite
25:01 – Goals and hopes that they’re bringing into the CBD space
32:11 – How prepared they are when it comes to compliance
34:54 – What CBD and healthcare is going to look like in the future
39:26 – Key pieces of advice to help overcome the challenges in this space

People Mentioned / Resources

Connect with NutraLife Biosciences

Connect with Sonia Gomez

Transcript

Sonia Gomez: Hey guys, Sonia Gomez coming to you from Denver, Colorado on another badass rock your socks episode of The Hemp Revolution Podcast. Super excited to be here with you guys yet again to explore the journeys of the incredible entrepreneurs who are pushing this industry forward making moves and making splashes with their families and communities, whether they have service or product basis businesses, this is the place to hear behind the scenes or under the hood of all of the things happening in the industry from the perspective of the business owners. 

Now, if you are a person looking for products you can depend on to deliver the results you are hoping for, check us out at medicalsecrets.com and if you are a budding entrepreneur or established business trying to break through the inevitable challenges with merchant processing, banking, stabilized supply chain, marketing and advertising or distribution, check us out on theemeraldcircle.com. We are happy to help. 

In today’s episode, we are going to be talking through the journey of a pair of entrepreneurs. Cooper Dodd, excuse me, and his partner, Austin are the lead research and development chemists for NurtraLife Bio– NutraLife Biosciences,. My tongue got tied there in saying all these fun things. It is a hemp extract production manufacturer in Coconut Creek, Florida. 

Backgrounds in, with a bachelor’s degree, this is for Cooper. Background with a bachelor’s degree in Biological Health Sciences from the University of South Florida is currently interviewing at medical schools for the fall of 2020. He specializes in product development and formulation of oil and water emulsions, which many people in the industry known as nanoemulsions or water soluble-CBD. He also has a strong focus on regulatory compliance and quality assurance and as someone that hopes to be a leader in medicine, legitimizing CBD is certainly part of his passion. 

Now, his coworker Austin who has also received an incredible invitation to this podcast, will be bringing up the rears, telling his story and sharing their experiences and bringing this incredible company and technologies to the marketplace. Please help me welcome our good friends, Mr. Cooper and Austin. Hey guys, how’s it going?

Cooper Dodd: Great, thank you. So glad to be here. 

Austin Hunter: Thanks for having us.

Sonia Gomez: Yeah, really excited to have you both in here as well. I want to hear first from Austin. A little bit about your background, and how and why you’re entering into this space. And then Cooper, we’ll jump over to you and hear from you as well.

Austin’s Background and Motivation for Joining the Cannabis Movement

Austin Hunter: Definitely. So I actually got a dual degree from Northwestern University in chemistry and secondary teaching. So I was a high school chemistry teacher for three school years and got into that role and as many [00:03:58 unintelligible] and understand it. It was a very demanding job and it wasn’t really seeing the outcome shift that I really wanted to. So I ended up at NutraLife working as a chemist. And since I started here about a year ago, I really started to specialize in the formulation and start to understand the basics and both the nuances of formulation in both ingestible and cosmetics. So now, I’m the lead formulator here at NutraLife BioSciences.

Sonia Gomez: Oh my god, boss, dude, I can’t wait to talk about it. And I love that you guys are doing water-soluble. This is not something that we have talked a ton about because obviously, not everyone is doing it. And there was a scientist by the name of Chuck Stebbins, who was behind a lot of the sports nutrition supplements that we will be aware of if you’re in my age group, which is 35. 

If you’re in my age group, you’d be aware of some of the things that he has created. He once said that the reason why nobody is really talking about these nano or micelle-based products while water-soluble products are very difficult to explain on a molecular level, how and why these tend to be so much more effective when it comes to CBD absorption, which we’ll talk more about here in just a minute since I have the Papa bears of formulation on the line with me. 

Cooper, why don’t you give me a quick and dirty on your background and how you ended up in the CBD movement?

Cooper’s History and How He Ended up in the Cannabis Space

Cooper Dodd: Sure. So really the chemistry journey began I would say about junior year of college. I was never much of a scientist in high school. I didn’t even take physics one. But sort of as I continued my education I began to kind of see degree there’s more of an investment and I guess I kind of took that all the way [unintelligible] decided to kind of shift to pre-med. As a part of being pre-med, you’re basically required to do some research in your undergraduate years, and I joined a drug discovery labs. They focused on novel antibiotic synthesis. So I kind of got my feet wet there. 

Once I kind of graduated from school, I was working as an EMT, and being an EMT was a really great experience and I really wouldn’t trade it for anything else. But like how Austin broke out from education into the industry, I kind of didn’t see the outcome that I really needed to see to pay my rent in South Florida, being that it is extremely expensive. 

So I began a contract pharmaceutical position as an analyst at Lupin. But I just kind of realized that the pharmaceutical industry, especially at a large scale is very corporate and a lot of the skills that I work really hard in school to master weren’t being manifested because everything was very cookbook in the sense that you follow instructions, and that’s about all you do. 

So I decided to not renew my contract over there. And I joined NutraLife about a year ago. And since then, it’s basically been a huge learning experience. I mainly focus on R&D, the lead of R&D, and I basically just do things like optimizing products, especially difficult ones, like emulsions, like how you’re saying. so since kind of learning all the formulation aspects, I also kind of like really like regulatory too, because it’s such an important aspect of our industry.

Sonia Gomez: I Yes. Well, it’s the thing governing how we can or cannot operate and it seems to be pretty stringent especially now with new regulatory amendments coming out all the time, new letters being issued. It’s kind of sketch mark, I want to just make sure that we stick here with some subject matter that is not often spoken about and seems to be a unique differentiator for you guys in the industry is the fact that you are using a water-soluble product. 

There are a few different ways certainly many companies trying to claim that they have, “nanotech.” Here’s some of the buzzwords that you guys will hear in the industry would be liposomal, which is an in fact, water-soluble, but liposomal and nano and micelle and all of these things tend to be buzzwords in the industry. But at the end of the day, that consumer doesn’t care. You could literally be speaking gibberish and it would have the same amount of meeting. 

Why don’t we just take a second and explain sort of what these different things are and why they’re so important when you’re looking for products and delivery systems. Why is micelle, nanotech or “water-soluble” technologies so important to use in CBD products?

Why Is the Use of Micelle, Nanotech, or Water-Soluble Technologies in CBD Products so Important?

Austin Hunter: Definitely. So I’m gonna shoot this one over to Cooper because nanotech is kind of been in baby since we started here. And I’ve kind of just been assisting him with his main project here, so I’m gonna shoot it over and cover this one. 

Cooper Dodd: Yes, so it’s really interesting, right? Because micro and nano are really just units of measurement, right? They’re just exponent. So a micrometer is 1e-6 of a meter, right? So, one more something is nano size, we’re just kind of trying to give some perspective as to how small it is. The pertinence of these kinds of products namely will be, unfortunately, another industry buzzword which is bioavailability, right? and bioavailability can basically just be described at the graph, and it’s basically the rate of absorption in the bloodstream, we call blood serum levels as a function of time, right? 

So, in pharmaceuticals, you’ll notice that most of the very [00:10:17] and popular drugs are oiled in themselves. So, suspensions, which are actually another form of oil and water emulsions are already very popular and really what CBD has done is commanded attention to this kind of delivery system in the dietary supplement space. 

So to put it as briefly as possible, you get more bang for your buck with these water-soluble products, it’s just that there is an extreme amount of difficulty trying to get them stable. Actually achieving the emulsion within the first hour. You’ll think you’ve done a great job, but the worst part is when you’re coming to work the next day, and you’ll notice that separated out for you to pull retain and test it and you’ll see that your CBD levels have dropped. Really what we’re trying to do is just kind of take out old adage of oil and water don’t mix and basically tell nature that we don’t agree with that.

Sonia Gomez: Well, that’s semi no brainer. So will you take a second? Because I still think humanizing– Let’s talk about liposomal for a second, and I know you guys are not necessarily working particularly with this, but considering that “nanotech” or “bioavailability” is really the goal of any CBD product so that the human body can actually absorb it. And we can actually experience the benefits that CBD and so many of these other cannabinoids promised. Liposomal, for instance, gained notoriety and fame for being a fat molecule. That you can actually have a plant-based version of this, but it’s a fat delivery system that is closest to the molecular makeup of breast milk. So nutritionally it hosts similar types of “fats.” And if you look at CBD independently, by the way, I’m not the scientist here, I’m just have been around this for, you know, 400 years nearly so I’m speaking from like an experience place, but I’d love to hear your scientific take on this as well. 

But from what I understand, the CBD molecule is actually too big for the human body to absorb independently, which is why you have to have some sort of like the fat delivery system to put it inside of unless the molecule is broken down into “nano” size or further which would be micelle. Am I right in saying that, yes or no?

Cooper Dodd: For someone that says they’re not a scientist, you have a fairly good understanding of it when I was getting too technical. Liposome and among these other words, liposomal and micellular are essentially the same thing. It’s like a cell wall, right? So when you’re taking biology in ninth grade or so, they tell you about the cell wall and how it’s made of phospholipids. And phospholipids are obviously very important. Actually, we, in our formulations, we use clean label emulsifiers. So we’ll use something like phosphatidylcholine, which would strongly resemble the makeup of your cell wall. 

So really, when someone says CBD is too big to enter the cell, it’s a half-truth. Really, what the main issue is that the cell wall doesn’t like a few things, it doesn’t like things that are too charged and it doesn’t like things that are too big. So, intuitively speaking, a drug made of fat might seem like a great idea, because if it’s already made a fat then it’s not charged and it should be able to go right through. 

But the issue is that our body is mainly made up of water. So when you’re ingesting something, it’s insoluble, right? And it can’t diffuse into our bloodstream very easily. So it’ll kind of undergo something called the first-pass metabolism. And that’s basically where our liver does a great job at detoxifying any drugs we take, but unfortunately, during that detoxifying process, you will experience a very large degradation of the drug. So when you’re taking something that’s like a regular oil-soluble tincture, you might be getting 10 to 20% of what you actually took. And that is also assuming you’ve held it under your tongue for a good 90 seconds. 

A fun regulatory fact there is if the word sublingual is on your labels, I would actually recommend taking them off because, from a regulatory standpoint, sublingual delivery is considered to be a drug delivery system and now qualifies it for the FDA. So just for notes there.

Sonia Gomez: Yes, we will definitely get to the wide to and why not to include things like that on your labels here in just a second. Okay, good. Well, I love that I got the ninth grader’s view of how this whole thing works inside of the body. And again, I’m happy to leave the science to it and it makes perfect sense when you look up at the human body is 80% water when we’re trying to ingest an oil, which is so many folks are extracting this plant down into an oil in order to become a product. It’s no wonder a lot of people are feeling like some of their brands are not providing the results because the absorption is probably not there in “basic formulations.” 

Talk to me a little bit about what you guys are doing at NutraLife Biosciences that makes you guys the cut above and will set you apart in the overcrowded industry right now.

What Sets NutraLife Biosciences Apart From Their Competitors

Cooper Dodd: It’s always my pleasure to brag. So what I really like is that our team, you know, we’re a smaller company, I would say exceptionally small and many CBD companies are. So I think that’s why we can all really empathize with things like version banking issues or regulatory ambiguity. But I would say what sets us apart is a lot of companies will claim that they take a scientific or empirical approach to their formulations and marketing. And that’s a very easy thing to say. But what people don’t really understand is that there are hundreds of hours of research and development that go into our formulations, especially our emulsions. 

We often are very grateful in the sense that a lot of our senior staff, our colleagues have all had at least a decade of pharmaceutical industry experience and they know how to navigate records that could be tricky, and they know how to manage projects in a way that’s efficient and safe. But really, the science of NutraLife is what brings us to the table. We are the kind of people that will cold call potential scientific collaborators. Get collaboration and input from people that have PhDs in physical science. 

We do have a clinical director that has an MD and really what we do is we get the opinions of every expert we can find that are credible. And then we synthesize that with our current knowledge. And then we use that to kind of roll out what we believe to be pretty groundbreaking products in the sense that these are stable oil and water emotions. And something that we do not do is we don’t over-promise and undersell. We do the opposite. We will always undersell and over-deliver because we believe that’s the way to gain customer satisfaction. 

We will always undersell and over-deliver because we believe that's the way to gain customer satisfaction. - Cooper Dodd Click To Tweet

Another thing about working in a small business is that you really can’t rival the customer service experience of a smaller business because when you send us an email and our email tabs are open all day, we keep that in mind. You will always be our first priority because we understand that we’re all in this together. And we know that cash gets tight in the CBD industry all the time and we’re there to work with people, and we’re there to give them the resources they need to have a successful business.

Sonia Gomez: I love that. And so are you guys. Share with me a little bit about your guys’ business model? Who is your ideal partners or customers to be working and collaborating with?

NutraLife Biosciences’ Ideal Partners

Austin Hunter: Yeah, so we do a lot of white labeling for our customers. And when we have a customer come in with an idea, as Cooper was saying, we really want to take an empirical scientific approach to that idea and make sure we can bring it to fruition. But not only just take the idea that the customer agrees to us but really bring our own experience with CBD to that. So using our experience with past products and things that we really have worked on for months and months and we know work, we really like to kind of collaborate with our white label customers to figure out what is best going to achieve their goal, block bill being a viable and effective product. So we’re really just interested in having a really close relationship with those white label customers and working together and bringing their drive and motivation and our background knowledge to make sure that that can come to market in again, reliable and effective way.

Sonia Gomez: Yes, I love that. Okay, so talk to me a little bit about your guys’ product suite. And stabilizing the supply chain, by the way, is like, hey, huge for the industry right now, especially with all of the things that are happening regularly on the regulatory side. Tell me a little bit about your guys’ product suites. What are you guys offering? How many different products are available? What is your MOQ’s? Things like that.

Their Product Suite

Cooper Dodd: So I’m pretty proud of our product line. I think it’s pretty robust. Lately, we’ve been shifting more into topical products because we recognize that the regulatory scrutiny for injectables will fundamentally and always be higher than a topical, right. So, as of recently, we’ve launched I think in a new product line called PCR pure. PCR stands for Phyto Cannabinoid Rich and Phyto cannabinoid-rich hemp extracts. Because at this point, putting the words CBD directly on your label, if you have the word CBD directly on your label, and you’re making a lot of money, you should expect the FDA to come to your door soon, right. 

If you have the word CBD directly on your label, and you're making a lot of money, you should expect the FDA to come to your door soon - Cooper Dodd Click To Tweet

Sonia Gomez: Yes [00:20:48 unintelligible]

Cooper Dodd: Yes. well, you’d be surprised what we get. And so moving over to topicals. And that sort of language has been our most recent focus. Also has done an amazing job at formulating these cosmetic key. I’ve put in so many hours. And really what we like about our product and OBS is that we take products that are already effective on their own. So many of these formulations you will see them on the ingredient list for maybe often what’s the good cosmetic branch?

Unknown: [00:21:20 inaudible ]like a clinic or something? 

Cooper Dodd: Yeah, so we’ll take higher-end formulas right? We’ll take those ingredients and then we’ll implement them into our in-house brands and then we’ll infuse them with CBD to kind of maximize the therapeutic benefits they tend to offer. Like I said, we’re a small business so MOQ’s are fairly reasonable. I believe the total transaction amount and don’t quote me on this I just worked in the lab cave I don’t really work with the people upfront. But if I think about $5,000 starting. 

So something we offer is the barrier entry into the CBD market is normally very high, and many people will honestly price themselves out of the market and price their white label customers out of the market. But that’s not something we do because we understand that the best way to kind of grow the industry as a whole and to have a big picture standpoint for the greater good of the people and not necessarily the people’s wallet is to give reasonable MOQ amount. So that’s also something we do. 

We understand that the best way to kind of grow the industry as a whole and to have a big picture standpoint for the greater good of the people and not necessarily the people's wallet is to give reasonable MOQ amount. - Cooper Dodd Click To Tweet

But as far as injectables go, we have all the usual suspects. We have tinctures. We have our oil and water-emulsions, and those are all themes by a certain supplement that’s kind of out there already. So for example, we have energy and sleep and our energy will have something like resveratrol which is why everyone loves to drink red wine is the antioxidant property, but also we pack a fair amount of caffeine in there, right. So this clip, the CBD sort of gives a unique delivery and unique effect on the end-user. And it’s for the sleep. We do put melatonin and valerian root and Magnolia bark in there and these are already supplements you will see on the shelf already. We just kind of facilitate bringing it all into one easy-to-take supplement. Right?

Sonia Gomez: Yeah love that. So both of you, having sort of this medical or scientific background certainly more of a “mainstream mentality” that comes along with that and pre-interview we were sort of talking about the dichotomy between the self-care holistic health, natural, I call it the leg, stiletto hippie movements. 

Unknown: That’s a really good–

Sonia Gomez: It’s like this sophisticated, who was really big, there’s a couple of superstars who are just like huge and promoting all of this, like Kourtney Kardashian for me, would be like a stiletto hippie. the girl is totally loaded but doesn’t want to serve anything that’s not 100% natural plant-based blah, blah blah to her kids or having their household or what she’s always preaching about the toxicity and such and such and such. 

So there’s this whole movement around these like yuppies sort of holistic health practices and preferences versus the old school traditional and trusted medical system. There’s a lot of upset from the consumer to the medical system because, in the sense, the consumer feels duped and abandoned by the very professionals that are meant to be their trusted caregivers. 

On average, we’re seeing seven minutes spent per patient by doctors and it’s a major, major challenge that you’re only in the room long enough to get a pharmaceutical prescription to be to bandaid, whatever the immediate symptom is, rather than exploring the syndrome as a whole. As a new doctor, understanding this pretty significant contrast right now. What are some of your goals or hopes or aspirations that you are bringing with your education and experience into the mainstream medical field, but also with the work that you’re doing in the CBD space?

Goals and Hopes That They’re Bringing Into the CBD Space

Cooper Dodd: That’s a great question. So as someone that kind of always felt like I’ve understood both sides, between medicine and the holistic movement or the stiletto hippie, which is very eloquently put, my main goals are to kind of reconcile the general mistrust we have in science right now with new potential therapeutic products and CBD really exemplifies that. I shadowed an orthopedic for a very long time, and when we would read x rays together and he was teaching me all of the boring stuff on once you hear about, he said something very profound to me, he said, “At the end of the day, at this clinic, we are treating patients not images.” So really what that means is we don’t do any medically unnecessary procedures to collect an insurance reimbursement, right. So, if someone’s knee looks really terrible on an X-ray, but they could manage with maybe some physical therapy and losing some weight and some swimming, we would 100% make sure that they do that first before we even let them touch a pain medication. Right. And really, the doctor, his name was Dr. Goldsmith and really what Dr. Goldsmith taught me was, there’s more than one way to do something and a lot of my future colleagues, I imagine that it might feel pressured to kind of follow the right because this country is very rude and [00:26:48 unintelligible]. Many of our laws are not officially legislative, they’re defacto Supreme Court rulings that kind of set opinion on things. And the medical field is not exempt from that sort of unofficial bias. So, as someone that has had this really good experience in the stiletto hippie movement, but also has encountered some of it worst pitfalls, and I would say that would mainly be unrealistic expectations and really egregious claims, my main hope is to kind of treat the patient lifestyle instead of just their symptoms. 

It’s well known that we can make a lot of money off of drugs, and it’s well known that we can make a lot of money off of surgery. And I think that’s fundamentally perpetuated by our economic system being capitalism and the best way to keep something running is to make a lot of money. But I do really foresee a paradigm shift in both– it’s already happening in the people but also with the professionals. So just kind of keeping all that in mind and taking a grain of salt in the sort of things I perceived to be opinion in my potential medical education. 

Sonia Gomez: I love it. Spoken like a true G. You’re gonna end up being like somebody’s medical spokesperson. I’m excited to see this new wave of professional coming out of medical school because I think– how old are you guys, by the way?

Unknown: I’m 23. 

Unknown: I’m 26

Sonia Gomez: Okay. Okay, so you guys would be considered on the cusp of millennial/Generation X. You could probably get away with some– Some people may view you as Generation X. I would say you guys are more on the millennial side. So I’m excited to see the millennial professionals coming out of the legal accounting, medical professions. 

This is going to be a very, very exciting and innovative time where people become people really allow themselves to access the freedom, piece of their brain that really makes them more investigative rather than compliant. I think that we have seen like in my parent’s generation, there’s quite a bit of rebellious, very rebellious nature which drove a lot of the decision making. 

Whereas in this generation, we’re looking at like very educated advocates for one’s freedom of choice and recognizing what are the viable options that any one person gets to make when considering their own health and well being or that have their family and loved ones. This revolution that’s happening right now and pretty significant disruption that’s happening around this holistic health care which has been around for like eons, but is only just gaining like this trendy popularity right now. It’s going to be so interesting to see. 

Do you recognize amongst your colleagues in school, do you recognize a similar sort of mentality around like, this is our chance to change what has been and what will be?

Cooper Dodd: Yeah, definitely. I mean, I really empathize with you know, you talking about our parent’s generation and one of the biggest things that got me really into hemp and it’s healing properties is my mother and my sister both have Crohn’s disease and autoimmune disorder. And they’ve been countless Western medicine regimens and biologic drug. My mother’s been really struggling to get back into remission for about 10 years now. And she really got to this point where, when talking to her doctors it was like, well, we can try another biologic drug and a new fusion and this and she got to this point where she was kind of like, feeling rebellious nature just like, “go through it, none of this is working, maybe I should try more naturopathic way of dealing with it” and through sort of a roundabout way that led her to become more informed on CBD and different cannabinoids and [unintelligible] could help her. But I think with our generation, we are seeing a different process where people are getting more informed before taking that step and [00:31:24 inaudible] I think, you know, we have a lot more resources and a lot more conversations around this stuff than our parent’s generation and just really taking in information-based approach to using things and incorporating them into our healthcare regimen. So I definitely see that in my peers.

Sonia Gomez: love it, love. What is the– let’s go back to the regulatory piece here for a second because I think many businesses– big or small, and honestly I think that there’s kind of that center ground of people who are just getting started and are trying to posture themselves to be? Well, quite a bit ahead. So my question is when it comes to compliance, how are you guys prepared to move into the future? And are you implementing that preparedness now? Or are you waiting for regulations to come in before making the necessary changes?

How Prepared They Are When It Comes to Compliance

Cooper Dodd: That’s a great question. So we happen to be very lucky. We have someone on staff, that’s a regulatory specialist, and she has had experience with pharmaceuticals and dietary supplements, right? And what’s interesting about dietary supplements as a regulatory body is they’re more or less like food but a little more stringent, right? So like I said earlier, our new product line, the PCR Pure we’re already kind of being proactive on that regulatory jump that we think we’re going to see. 

We personally think that having cannabinoid or CBD or any specific cannabinoid on your label is going to kind of get you into a bit of a quagmire if you would when it comes to the FDA. Really hemp extract is something we’ve already been putting on our labels moving forward. And another thing we see on many labels is THC free. And I would warn anyone that puts THC free on their label. because realistically, if you’re using full-spectrum and even broad spectrum it’s fairly well documented that CBD can be stable to a lot of conditions with respect to not turning it to THC. 

But with things like supply chain instability, and potential cash strapped suppliers that are not supplying on a certificate of analyses, which is more common than you would think, is kind of a pre-emptive move we’ve done. So we will say that at the time of manufacturing, this product contains under point 3%, delta-nine THC, or we’ll specify which raw material it’s made with. So, you know, maybe our label wouldn’t say THC free necessarily, but if it’s made with isolate or broad-spectrum, you could kind of deduce that it would not have as much THC as a full spectrum product would. And these are just two examples of things we’re looking into the everyday. Mainly a lot of our time spent is going on the actual FDA website itself, and deciphering what the language means with expert opinions and then making action plans for hypothetical so if the FDA says x then we will do y and all the label crews will be ready to go. This formulation changes can be made. And I think when it comes to industrial hemp in the industry as a whole, staying ahead of regulatory is going to be the best way to tread water instead of going under.

When it comes to industrial hemp in the industry as a whole, staying ahead of regulatory is going to be the best way to tread water instead of going under. - Cooper Dodd Click To Tweet

Sonia Gomez: Amazing. Love it. Um, tell me a little bit from both of your guys’ perspective. Here what the future of CBD and healthcare is going to look like CBD or cannabis. What is your prediction? Or what are the secrets in the web’s right now on how CBD and the traditional healthcare system are going to be in collaboration?

What CBD and Healthcare Is Going to Look Like in the Future

Austin Hunter: Yeah, I think these are going to be used just like any other tool in medicine, like prescription medications, lifestyle changes, diet, all of these things are going to be used as I think, cohesive tools that can better help someone manage their health condition or just general wellness and I just definitely see a higher level of regulation coming and weeding out all these bad actors in the space right now that just kind of want to get in on the boom. Once that boom kind of subsides a little bit. I definitely think that there’s going to be quality products with different cannabinoids and terpenes, different constituents of a plant that really can be used effectively and safely. 

I think right now a lot of the avoidance and trepidation that consumers are feeling is with good reason. A lot of these products are not safe, they’re not that good. And once we start weeding out these companies that are putting out unsafe products, I think, again, these will just become another tool in the toolbox when it comes to a medical approach to life. And Cooper can add to that.

Cooper Dodd: Yes. I mean, overall, I definitely agree with Austin in the sense that in the future cannabinoids and cannabis will likely be another tool we have in our toolkit to help people. But I think something that’s very important about the CBD industry in the hemp boom, is definitely in the products and then the therapeutic indications and uses of the products but really what it’s giving people on a psychological level. 

I think that the industrial hemp industry is started teaching us to not necessarily always trust what’s being told to us. And that is a very good thing. And it’s also a very bad thing, right? Because there’s a very fine line between legitimate scientific inquiry and investigation and ignorance. And you don’t want to be on the side of ignorance because at the end of the day if you are someone that is not 100% informed on the things you’re selling, formulating marketing and any sort of aspect of the industry, you’re ultimately going to be doing people a disservice. Because God forbid, there’s a terrible recall by a big company and that’s all it really takes for the Feds to kind of shut the door on this stuff. 

I’m not saying that to fear monger or fire and brimstone anyone. But you have to look at the precedent for the regulations. Historically, when an ingredient is an unapproved drug, like EPA dialects, for example, which does contain CBD. The historical precedent has been to take that ingredient. And since it is an ingredient in an approved drug, that substance in itself is a drug. So what the FDA says in their emails is that they’re considering stakeholder’s interests, which is another way of saying a lot of people have a lot of money and a lot of interest in this. 

So I think so long as we continue to act in good faith. And with legitimate inquiry and investigation, it’s very possible that we could still see CBD be a dietary supplement. But I think right now, the industry is definitely at a crossroads. And I would really implore my colleagues to just do it by the book for right now because that’s the only way we can get something legitimate off the ground.

Sonia Gomez: Wow, I love that. And our final sort of exchange here in the interview, we always do something what we call the Words of Wisdom which you already sort of did in the last response that you gave. But I want to give you guys an opportunity because I believe that you have a ton of value to add to this question, what would be some words of wisdom or pieces of advice that you could offer the entrepreneurs out there who perhaps are hitting a glass ceiling or are having some sort of challenge, you know, getting involved with this space? What would be one or two pieces of advice that you could offer them to help them sort of troubleshoot past those challenges and get back on track towards success?

Key Pieces of Advice to Help Overcome the Challenges in This Space

Austin Hunter: Definitely, I think something that I quickly learned, moving into the space from teaching is how valuable it is to just talk to other players in the industry. Reaching out to people even if they are being at the competitor, and really just bouncing ideas off of them, seeing what’s working for that and seeing what’s not working for them. And just really kind of developing relationships with people that are in this business has taught me the most. Website or book or anything like that can teach you as much as having a conversation with somebody who’s going through the same thing that you are. And Cooper?

Cooper Dodd: terrible verbal cues. I mean, lots of words of wisdom. Y I think that the market is saturated. And you’re right to say that. And I think that the best way to kind of mediate saturation is to promote innovation. And it is unfortunate that formulating CBD products is definitely a very technical thing. So this is a kind of a lesson that we learned as someone that is a white labeler, right if you ask for our pain cream formula, and we sell it to you we sell you the product, you’re likely gonna have the same pain cream formula that all of our other customers are going to have unless you make a very specific request, right? 

So I think that shifting towards in-house brands is a great way to drive up innovation. And the best way to do that is to invest in legitimate talent. I think something that is a bit of a confound in the industry is a lot– and this definitely is not everybody, but many of the people I’ve spoken to kind of carry us, mistrusting scientists, and they think it’s very profit incentivized. But if you find the right scientists with the right talent and the right education, they will take you much farther than maybe something like having a really flashy web page would. 

So I think investing in the right things like regulatory experts, and quality assurance, and legitimate formulation talents, would be some of the best things you can do because the more you innovate, the more you increase competition, and then you’ll lower prices and if you lower prices, then more people can participate and raise awareness to this really awesome thing we’re all trying to do.

Sonia Gomez: Man, that’s some good shit from both of y’all. I love it.

Unknown: [00:42:02 inaudible]

Sonia Gomez: I mean that’s the scientific term for what just came out right now. By the way, I just love that scientific terminology. Okay, I’m gonna piggyback on this because I would have to second what both of you said, however, I will innovate. The last thing that you said Cooper and say that at the end of the day, anything and everything that you do has to connect directly with your ideal customer. And if you do you not know who you’re building a brand for, or innovating product formulations for, it’ll be quite difficult to craft the message that will capture the attention of your ideal marketplace, create that connection and move them into a conversion so they can, in fact, touch and feel and smell and taste whatever product it is that you are developing. 

So much incredible things are happening behind In the scenes that the marketplace or consumer base has no idea about because there isn’t proper marketing and exposure. Raising awareness and creating a “cult-ture” or cult following around innovation. So my suggestion would be if you do in fact invest in the proper talent, that that should also include a sick marketing team who understands the power of building a brand image and story that directly connects and collaborates with the consumer giving them a voice, but also giving the brand itself a voice and a position in the industry to earn trust and respect from the consumer. 

We’re looking at a time now where the consumer is a) not trusting because they’ve spent hard-earned money on brands that do nothing for them. But more importantly than that, we’re looking at the survival of the fittest mentality of brands who are looking to partner and collaborate with distribution channels with media channels, and with the proper talent that they need behind the scenes to move from a me-too product to a truly unique formulation that will allow them to stand apart. And so while you are investing time and attention in bringing in the right science, make sure that you are including people who understand the front-facing aspect of that as well. 

The final thing that I will say is that without a community, your commodity will not matter. People are sick of buying products, people are buying people. That’s why we’re seeing such a significant and very rapid sort of hockey stick growth in any social media channels. And social media is a really great way to use a compare and contrast when it comes to any innovation. Facebook was sort of MySpace turned into Facebook turned into Instagram, which is now turning into Tiktok, right. And we’re finding out that the human brain is only capable of keeping attention for around seven seconds before they realize that they’re bored with themselves. 

And therefore with everything else that we just have. We’re on information overload. And at the push of the button or click of a phone, we have access to more information than anyone of our brains could ever absorb. And yet, we sit there scrolling for hours at a time sort of feeling this like visceral response if we somehow leave our technological connection behind. So my word of wisdom on this is while you are innovating, incorporate the things that are most relevant to today’s marketplace and make sure that you are in front of the eyes that you want to be serving. 

And really be clear when you’re creating products that you’re solving a specific problem for a specific demographic. And therefore, you will be able to see the harmonious transaction between your passion and your identified purpose turn into a profitable business with the types of products that you know are actually transforming the way that people are living and feeling and functioning on a daily basis. Those are my words of wisdom on today’s episode. Guys, where can people find out more information about you and your business and finding ways to work with you?

Where to Find Them

Cooper Dodd: So you can go to our website at nutralifebiosciences.com. That is our parent website, and our stock symbol is NLBS. We are in at one fully reporting stock so you can also check it out on the stock reporting website. Then our newest product line again, it’s called PCR Pure and you can go to PCRpure.com and we’re currently accepting preorders for all those great new products that we’re coming out with.

Sonia Gomez: Amazing cannot wait to celebrate all of that stuff. I’m definitely going to be watching you guys. Offline, I’d love to talk about some more collaborations. As I mentioned before stable supply chain has to be one of the number one, one of the top three things that I get asked about every single day from the hundreds of brands that we’re interviewing and working with. So we’d love to talk more about those collaborations for those of you who are tuning in, all of the social media handles, as well as the websites mentioned in today’s episode, will be listed inside of the blog posts surrounding this video. Make sure that you check out our show notes or highlights from today’s show. And leave us your comments and share episodes just like this with people that you know are going to benefit from information whether you’re a consumer or business owner, we work and live to serve you, Making sure that you have the most up to date behind the scenes perspective of what is happening inside of the canna boom right now. As you know it is our mission to empower you with the truth about cannabis and hemp so that you can make educated decisions about how you care for yourself the people that you love, and the conditions that you may be suffering from but also give you the opportunity to take advantage of the fastest growing cash-rich industry in the world right now. Any final words before we end today’s episode guys,

Cooper Dodd: So thank you for having us and it’s a pleasure to stop, collaborate, listen with some really good people doing some really good things. 

Austin Hunter: Yes, stop, collaborate and listen.

Sonia Gomez: I love it. I’m literally gonna turn that song on right now. You guys are so so badass. Thanks so much for coming in. I literally would not have guessed 23 or 26 super smart, so bright and really excited to see all of the innovations coming out of your guys’ lab, and maybe even coming to check you guys out on one of my next trips into Florida. For those of you who are tuning in, make sure you check us out on theemeraldcircle.com. For more information on how you can find people just like us, our guests, and myself in the industry and help you troubleshoot the inevitable challenges you’ll face by being a part of this incredible industry. I’m your hostess with the mostess Sonia Gomez and this is The Hemp Revolution. We’ll see you on the next show.

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