Here’s a riddle for you: imagine you’re starting up a shop selling a brand new kind of product. It’s poorly understood and a lot of people mistakenly associate it with illegal drugs. Yet every day, new research shows up touting the benefits of what you’re selling.
That’s the situation that Sam Kauric, owner of Be Green Hemp finds herself in every day. Be Green is the largest CBD shop in the Chattanooga area, and is less than a year old! Tune into this podcast to find out how she dispels rumors, keeps her clients safe, and maintains trust in this emerging industry.
Pierson: Hey, everybody. This is Pierson Hibbs with Marketing is the Product. I’m here with Brandon Rollins and Sam Kauric from Be Green Hemp CBD Organics. Hey, Sam. How’s it going?
Sam: Hey, it’s going well, thank you. How are you guys doing?
Pierson: Good. We’re so stoked that you could come on the show and tell us about your journey, and your business, and kinda where… What led you to where you’re at right now.
Sam: Awesome. Yeah, it’s… I don’t think it’s that interesting, but… [laughter]
00:30 Brandon Rollins: Everybody says that, and then they go into something super interesting right after that.
Sam: Yeah. Okay, cool. [chuckle]
Pierson: I’ve been fortunate enough to hear a little bit of your story. And I can say, I absolutely disagree with the fact [chuckle] that it’s not that interesting. In the short bit that I’ve talked to you, I think you have a very awesome story in how you’ve gotten to where you’re at now. So, I think to start off, why don’t you tell us a little bit about Be Green Hemp and how you guys got started?
Sam: So, my partners are owners of the Chattanooga Vapor Company and I’ve been best friends with them for eight years. They actually know my partner, one of them knows my partner. So, we’ve been friends for a very long time. And he came to me about two years ago and asked if I wanted to start a hemp business with him. And, of course, I was like, “Yes, why didn’t we do this sooner?” But I think we got in right at a good time ’cause there was still a lot of confusion in the industry when we got started, so.
Pierson: Awesome. And if I remember correctly, I think you told me you’re from Canada, right?
Sam: I am, yeah. So, I’m originally from Windsor, Ontario. It’s kind of the armpit of Canada, but it’s… [chuckle] It’s Canada. [laughter]
Pierson: When did you move to Chattanooga?
Sam: I moved to Chattanooga in 2009, and I moved away for a year and then came back. So, it’ll be 10 years total this year that I’ve been here.
Pierson: Wow, that’s quite a long time to be in Chattanooga. You like it?
Sam: I love it. I fell in love with the outdoors, and just the whole scene, and how supportive Chattanooga is of small businesses, and the art district. And just everything is amazing about it.
Pierson: Yeah, Chattanooga is a pretty special place. It’s great in terms of the outdoor scene. It’s about as good as you can get here in the South for things to do outside, being on the water. It’s a insanely creative city in terms of the art aspect of it, so where… It’s a great place for a lot of people to settle down.
Sam: I completely agree.
Brandon: So, as I understand it, you… Be Green is actually the biggest CBD shop in Chattanooga. Is that right?
Sam: We have so many new ones that open up daily, I don’t know if we’re the biggest. I feel like we have the largest selection when it comes to just different varieties of products. There’s definitely places that have a larger selection of glass. But when it comes to different brands and having different options, versus wanting THC-free or THC products, we have tons of stuff to choose from.
Brandon: When did you get started with Be Green?
Sam: We opened up August of 2019.
Brandon: Oh, wow. That was not that long ago at all.
Sam: Uh-huh. Yeah, that’d be not even a year yet.
Pierson: Wow. Well, happy early birthday to Be Green.
Sam: Thank you. [chuckle]
Brandon: Yeah. Just to put this into respective, Pierson, Pangea as a marketing agency has been around since May 1st of 2019.
Pierson: Wow. Yeah, we’re both very young, young businesses.
Brandon: Yeah, absolutely.
Pierson: Well, Sam, I think one of the first things that I know we’ve talked about, and I think it’s a great place to start in terms of the discussion, is can you explain to everybody the difference between CBD and marijuana? ‘Cause I think that that’s a little bit of a gray area that some people don’t necessarily understand, and it can bring a lot of hesitation to use it for yourself.
Sam: Yeah. And even just the stigma behind the marijuana plant can make people, even family members, question what you are doing. So, yeah, the biggest difference is… It’s… So, CBD is actually hemp. So, there’s hemp, and then there’s marijuana. Both plants have different compounds. So, the hemp plant… The main compound in the hemp plant, the main cannabinoid is CBD and it’s very low in THC, where marijuana is very high in THC and low in all the other compounds like CBD, CBG, and so on.
Pierson: Okay. And that transitions actually perfectly into one of the other questions I had for you, is if you could explain what CBG is to everybody? CBG is something that I discovered a couple of months ago, and I think it’s really cool. And I wasn’t familiar with it beforehand. And I’ve used CBD for quite a while now. And we’ve talked about that, Sam, and that it’s great for joint pain, insomnia. Insomnia is what I personally use it for. But CBG is something that is a little different from CBD, right?
Sam: Right, yeah. So, there’s still a lot of new research coming around with all the other cannabinoids, but the main two ones that everyone knows about is CBD and THC. But CBG is just… When it… With the marijuana plant, you’re getting only one compound. With the hemp plant, and even research, we’re realizing that there’s… It’s so much more intricate than we realize. And what CBG is… It’s one of the minor cannabinoids, like CBD. And it’s known for being anti-inflammatory, it’s great for sleep. And a lot of them have similar benefits, but CBG is… It’s still so new. I’ll be honest, I don’t know a whole, whole lot about it. I’m still reading a lot of research on it myself.
Pierson: Yeah, it’s something that I personally don’t know a whole lot about either. I heard about it for the very first time a few months back and I was kinda intrigued by it as, like you said, there’s so much research coming out almost on a daily basis, it seems, on new elements of this that are getting discovered and new uses for it. And it’s a really fascinating field in that CBD shops are showing up everywhere, and all over the nation, and people love it. My grandparents use it. It’s something that a lot of people benefit a ton from.
Sam: There’s so many benefits. And half the people that come in are like, “Well, how can this do so many things?” And it’s just… We naturally already make cannabinoids. So, your body has the tools to do what it needs to do. But this just… I always say, “Everyone needs a little help every now and then,” so this is the helping hand. And it’s… Most of the people I see, it’s for different things like sleep, inflammation stuff, arthritis, and then anxiety is a really big one as well.
Pierson: Yeah. Anxiety is something that it helps tremendously with. I’ve got ’em right here and I was gonna show ’em on the video so you could see it. But since we’re just doing the audio, I’ve got the Lazarus Naturals, full spectrum RSO, the 1000 milligram CBD, and then I’ve got the Lazarus Naturals CBD tincture, high-potency 750 milligram CBD. And those are just two of the last things that I’ve gotten over there from you at Be Green. And the Lazarus Naturals one, you told me a pretty incredible story about that when I came in there to get that the very first time. And that has been a saving grace for me in terms of getting sleep and anxiety. And it’s pretty remarkable in the sense of I’ve tried all kinds of medicine for sleep, for anxiety, and you don’t… For me, I haven’t particularly seen results that rival that.
Sam: Yeah, I honestly have not either. I’ve tried other products, like other anti-inflammatory herbs. Turmeric and black pepper are great for inflammation for me and my pain. But in terms of anxiety specifically, there’s not a lot of other products out there that touch like the cannabis plant does.
Pierson: Brandon, do you have any questions?
Brandon: I’m just sitting here thinking that, “This is a really interesting industry to be in right now in particular because the research is so young in this industry.” You weren’t even allowed to do any kind of methodical and medicinal research into CBD, I don’t even think five years ago. But now, laws have changed so quickly and research has changed so quickly that we are actually able to see this on a large scale. I guess, I’m trying to think about a specific question to ask. So, maybe this: How do you get people to understand the benefits when they’ve never encountered anything like CBD before?
Sam: I usually just start by telling them my story and how I got started with it. But you’re right. There wasn’t a lot of research, so it was very hard to get correct research since they weren’t doing any actual scientific research with it. But usually, I’ll reference things like John Hopkins School. They do a lot of amazing studies on the cannabis plant. A lot of my research does come from marijuana studies ’cause that’s been studied a lot longer than the hemp plant has. But yeah, I usually just start out by telling them my story and how I got started, which is that I fractured my back as a kid, and I believe it is what caused me to grow a little uneven. [chuckle] Half of my body is a little higher than the other, which caused me to have a lot of neck and shoulder issues about three years ago now, maybe three-and-a-half, and I was dealing with it almost monthly. I was in physical therapy for six months. They wanted to put me on painkillers when nothing was working. None… No doctor could tell me what was causing these cricks and pains in my neck and my shoulder. And it probably didn’t help that I worked in the bar industry and was shaking cocktails all the time, but… [laughter] So, that’s where my journey started. And I usually will explain to them that I too didn’t know if it was gonna work, but I was not about to take painkillers. So, it is a personal testimony for myself before even getting started really in-depth in the industry and with researches.
Brandon: I am sorry to hear about the pain and the frustration of what you deal with regarding your physical injuries. It sounds like that this has been just a massive relief and it’s a very good thing to be able to share that with others who have, like you previously, not been able to get relief from pain, or in many other cases, anxiety, and stuff like that. And Pierson, it sounded like I cut you off. Was there a question that you wanted to go into?
Sam: Okay. Could you guys… I don’t know if you’ve heard any of the music playing. [chuckle]
Pierson: No, not at all.
Brandon: No, no.
Sam: Okay. Yeah, ’cause I could not hear you. I had to pause it ’cause somehow, music just started playing on the computer.
Pierson: Sometimes that happens.
Sam: Sorry about that.
Brandon: Yeah, it’s either gonna be that, or my dogs, or something.
Sam: Yeah, my dog… Or my cat definitely meowed at one point, too. Okay, sorry. But where were we at? [laughter]
Brandon: No, it’s fine.
Pierson: That’s okay. This is the reality of filming from home now, when you… In the COVID era. We’re all plagued by the… [chuckle] The distractions of our day-to-day life at home.
Sam: Yeah, definitely.
Pierson: What I was starting to ask though, is… So, you’re talking about how you wanted to steer clear away from pain medicines, and that’s something that I’ve heard from so many people that find CBD. What was it like for you when you finally did discover CBD and got on it, in terms of what it did for you and your physical health?
Sam: So, it was something, when I first got started using it, I had to take it every day. But that’s not something that I need now. That’s the awesome thing about this plant, is that once you get your system back to a homeostasis state or balance, you can kind of wean off of it. So, the benefits that I saw was… The biggest one was pain relief. And even now when I do get a crick or something in my neck and shoulder, where before it would last three to four weeks, it lasts max four days. I haven’t had any issues in probably three years until the tornado that came through a couple weeks ago here. [chuckle] That just… Because I carry my stress and my tension in my neck like most women do and that caused a little crick. But again, it only lasted four days so… And it was a lot more manageable. It wasn’t something where I was stuck with ice and a heating pad and not able to move. I was still able to function. I was still able to do my day-to-day stuff, even within those four days that I had that pain.
Brandon: It’s also remarkable I think just to have an alternative to really heavy opiates, which a lot of people will prescribe whenever you run into any kinda chronic pain.
Sam: Most definitely, yes. I’ve helped a handful of customers that are regulars now, get off of pharmaceuticals. One gentleman specifically, he had a slipped disc surgery and was trying to put off getting a spinal fusion ’cause that can sometimes make the issue a lot worse. And the first time I met him, he… I could physically tell he was in pain. I’m an empath, so I sense it immediately. He had his hand on his back, and he just looked so uncomfortable. And now, almost a year later, he’s a completely different person. He’s convinced that he will not even have to have the spinal fusion anymore, he’s off all of his pain meds. So, stories like that are amazing.
Brandon: Yeah, that’s a really good story to hear.
Pierson: One of the stories that I was hoping that we could get you to share, if you were okay with it, is the story of the guy that created the Lazarus Naturals and the skin cancer that you were telling me about ’cause that’s pretty remarkable, too.
Sam: Yes. Yeah, that’s… So, the company, Lazarus, they… There’s not a lot of companies that make that RSO oil that you were talking about, which is Rick Simpson Oil. He doesn’t work for Lazarus, but they copied his recipe essentially. But instead of using marijuana, they use CBD, they use hemp products. So, Rick Simpson, he’s a Canadian like me. He had skin cancer. And he went to his doctor, they found the skin cancer, they wanted to put him through chemo, but he had heard about the benefits of using cannabis. So, he did his own research and he ended up making a heavy-potency THC oil that he applied topically, and he ate it himself as well and cured his skin cancer. Now, these are claims that you won’t hear a lot of people make ’cause a lot of companies can get in trouble. But I’m just the middleman, so I don’t mind talking about this stuff. Be Green, us, we don’t make any products that we sell. We sell other brands.
Sam: So, anyways, he went on to make this RSO oil for cancer patients, teach them how to make it and would give it out for free. And he ended up getting dropped by his doctor ’cause he went back to his doctor, obviously, and they were amazed and didn’t know how he cured it. And he had talked to them about cannabis and they said, “Absolutely not. If you use it, we will drop you.” And so, they did. And he went on for years and he got in a lot of trouble ’cause this was back when cannabis wasn’t fully legal in Canada. They… It’s not looked down as bad as it is down here in the South. A lot of families use it regularly. [chuckle] I grew up around it since I was 14. So, it’s an incredible story. And you can literally just Google Rick Simpson and find out… You can find his recipe, and there’s tons of tutorials on how to make the oil, too, which is pretty phenomenal. And it’s nice because some people need the high CBD, and it’s hard to get that without doing that type of process, which is, it’s an extraction.
Brandon: Yeah, that’s a phenomenal turnaround for his health. I think that it is smart to be hesitant when you hear claims like that ’cause you just carry the products, and you don’t necessarily make them. And certainly, skepticism is warranted. I just have to wonder how many people will eventually pursue alternative forms of treatment simply because just plain old healthcare is expensive.
Sam: It is. And at the end of the day, you’re… Not only is it expensive, but it’s also detrimental to your health to a certain extent if you overdo it, where there’s no side effects or any studies that show that it’s possible to even get addicted to hemp cannabis products, so…
Pierson: And see? That by itself, to me, is pretty remarkable, as there are so many issues that are prevalent today with people getting addicted to opiates post-surgery and going through intense experiences like that. And not everybody… I know that it’s partly… You see somebody go through an addiction such as that, and it can really sway you from taking that yourself. And when you go through a lot of pain, a lot of people are looking to find a different solution to remedy that. And this is such an amazing thing that I think so many people have yet to discover out of the stigma that might come with it, or just not understanding it completely. And that’s something that we’re hoping to kinda start to dispel, is by understanding what it is, what it can do for you, why that benefits so many people?
Sam: Yeah, I completely agree. It’s… I think a lot of people, because it has such a bad stigma, they see it as a drug. And I like to remind people when they come into the shop, if they’re scared, they’re always like, “I’ve never done drugs before.” [chuckle] We’re like, “Well, let’s start out by rewording it. It’s not a drug, it’s a plant.” So, I think that’s the biggest difference, is…
Brandon: And it’s kinda like you had mentioned earlier. It does come from hemp, of course, but it’s also… You’ve got your THC-containing byproducts, which are what get people high in the traditional sense of the word. And then, you’ve got CBD and CBG, which are entirely different byproducts. So, it really isn’t the same as taking drugs. It’s just taking another chemical from the same basic plant.
Sam: Yeah. Yeah. There’s not a lot of stuff outside the body that we can put into the body that we actually have receptors for. And we… Since we already naturally make cannabinoids, we already have receptors for these phyto-cannabinoids from the hemp plant. So, phyto meaning plant.
Brandon: I feel like caffeine is almost a better analogy because caffeine will actually bind to your… I think it’s your adenosine receptors in your brain, and it’ll block the signal of feeling tired. I feel… As someone who doesn’t really honestly know that much about neuroscience, let’s be real, I feel like CBD does something similar, but with cannabinoid receptors instead.
Sam: It does, yes. That’s exactly what it’s doing. ‘Cause we have what’s called the endocannabinoid system, which endo, within, or endogenous, meaning we make it ourselves. And then, CBD and hemp products are phyto-cannabinoids, phyto meaning plant. So, it’s actually amazing, if you look at a neuron accepting the phyto-cannabinoids.
Brandon: I think I read a study actually, it was like marathon-runners, or something like that, when they ran enough, it would trigger chemicals in their brains, it would activate the very same cannabinoid receptors as well.
Sam: Yeah, it does. Yeah, it’s… Singing, dancing, and running are all very similar in that way, that they release those endorphins. And it’s coming from your cannabinoid system because our endocannabinoid system’s responsible for regulating everything from serotonin to appetite, mood, sleep, everything. So…
Pierson: It’s so fascinating to me just how a plant, as something natural, can do this much for humans. It’s pretty remarkable that there’s something that’s 100% natural that can do something like this.
Sam: I agree, it literally controls everything. Your immune system, metabolism, nervous system, hormones even, bones, everything. It really is a magical plant. [chuckle]
Brandon: Yeah. I’ve actually got a business question. I’ve noticed a trend with CBD shops where they tend to fall into one of two kind of branding strategies. You see some that will associate themselves closely with marijuana to try and pull in a particular sort of target audience. And I’ve seen some that will brand themselves as being very clean and clinical, kinda like looking like an urgent care, or something. Which of those do you think is probably the better strategy in the long run?
Sam: I think it’s somewhere in the middle. I believe you’re right in that, is that there’s even companies that have different branding and boxes for pharmacy-type places, like Whole Foods. I believe that it’s definitely somewhere in the middle because you want to make sure people that are uncomfortable with the cannabis plant, feel comfortable coming into your shop. But you also don’t want to remove the demographic that already loves and completely stands by the cannabis plant.
Brandon: That’s a tough needle to thread simply because yeah, you’re right. I guess you do really have to reach out to that core audience who’s already gonna support you, while leaving the door open for grandmas and grandpas in the South out there [chuckle] who are very new to this whole thing.
Sam: Exactly, 100% is… Especially here in the South, is… I had a gentleman come in and he just, he really just wanted to learn about it and know about it ’cause he said all he’s ever known about the plant is, “If you grew up in the ’70s, then all the hippies used it.” So… [laughter]
Sam: And I was like, “Well, do I look like a hippy?” [laughter]
Pierson: Is that something that you see a lot of at Be Green, people coming in to learn about CBD?
Sam: Most definitely, yes, yes. That’s something that I really pride myself on, is continuing to do research every day and find out new information every single day. And that was the main reason I opened the shop, was I wanted to have a place where people felt comfortable coming to me and getting the correct information. ‘Cause there’s a lot of information out there that if you don’t know what you’re looking for, it could be wrong. And yeah, I have a lot of people that just want to be educated.
Brandon: Yeah. And that makes sense because considering this is such a new market, you often find with emerging products and service categories, that sellers end up having to educate new people in order to get them to eventually purchase. Now, once something’s been around for 20, 30, 40 years, you don’t have to explain as much. You’re just sorta there. It’s kinda like dot-com companies in 2000 had to explain to people how online ordering worked. But now, you don’t have to do that anymore. People just know.
Sam: Right, a really good example for sure.
Pierson: Sam, if I can circle back and go back now to kinda how Be Green got started. Can you talk a little bit about the process of moving and getting that business up and going in a city that you’ve never lived in and what that looked like for you?
Sam: It was a little challenging because it was still such a new industry, and it still is the wild, wild west as a lot of people would explain it. And when we first got started, there was a lot of companies that weren’t even specifying whether they were full spectrum, broad spectrum, or isolate, which I’ll explain those three differences real quick. Full spectrum, you’re getting the full plane. You’re getting that small amount of THC, a legal amount. Broad spectrum is close to full spectrum, it’s just no THC. So, you still get multiple cannabinoids, just no THC. And then, isolate is exactly what it sounds like. They’re isolating the compound CBD from all the other compounds. So, when we first got started, there was a lot of companies that were mis-labeling and they would say, “Full spectrum with zero THC.” So, then, I would have to call them. And there was a few companies where I even had to ask them if there was a way for them to get this printed on their boxes and send us new boxes so that it’s labeled and sold correctly.
Sam: And then, finding clean, safe products was very difficult because a lot of companies weren’t putting their Certificate of Analysis, their test results on their website. So, you would have to reach out to all these companies and ask them if they could send it to you. And so, that was… We probably spent about just, I would say, two months of research on product placement alone, just finding clean, safe products, which for me, it has to pass my microbial test, which is mold, and then pesticides, of course, and then heavy metals. So, finding a clean, safe product with hemp was my biggest concern. And then, it kinda just… After we got the products, I was blessed with an amazing carpenter. And my other partner, she… Her and I designed the place together and it came together in about, I’d say about five months, four or five months.
Pierson: Wow. Now, Brandon, I’m not sure if you’ve ever been in to Be Green, but I’ve been in quite a few times. And in my opinion, it’s the coolest-looking shop on the inside of any place I’ve ever been in for CBD.
Brandon: I’m gonna have to see this.
Pierson: It’s so eclectic, and it’s so… It’s so cool and it makes you want to go into it because it’s so well-put together.
Sam: Oh, thank you. I really appreciate that. It’s my little beehive.
Pierson: Yeah, it is. And I… Everything from that, the Be Green hemp and it looking like a beehive, I love the aesthetic of it. It makes you want to keep coming back because of how cute it is. [chuckle]
Brandon: Oh, that’s fun branding. I like that.
Sam: Thank you.
Brandon: I tell you, it’s really interesting to me that there’s not a whole lot of regulation out there, so you have to actually read test results to make sure that your customers are getting quality products.
Sam: Yeah, that’s the unfortunate part, where the marijuana industry is ahead of us in that realm. But with hemp, it’s been a little bit more of a challenge. And companies are coming around, and there are a little bit more regulations now than there were. But you definitely still have to look at test results and even sometimes you need to even go a step further and make sure that the lab that they’re getting their products tested at is a safe, true lab, that they didn’t just make it. And some people are gonna test in-house, which you can change your stuff if you want to, to be whatever. So, it’s… Third-party testing is super important to me as well.
Brandon: So, I guess that’s one way that you can set yourself apart, is just by being thorough and checking for safety, whereas a lot of other places, maybe they won’t do that.
Sam: For sure, yeah. I have a lot of people that come into the shop and when it comes to the smokable flower stuff, I’ll ask them questions from wherever they’ve been before. “Is it indoor? Is it outdoor?” And half the time, they don’t know. And so, if somebody… If you’re buying a product and you’re not getting that information, then that means the person selling that product doesn’t know what they’re even selling. [chuckle]
Pierson: And that’s a very fair point, and I think that that speaks volumes to the fact of how meticulous you are in your testing and what you are okay with selling at your shop. It definitely speaks volumes to the quality of the products that you’re putting out.
Sam: I’m very picky. [laughter]
Brandon: So, I guess putting this into perspective compared to other industries, even something like board games, I’ve made board games, they have regulations for the kind of ink that you are allowed to print because it’s a child safety thing, and they’ve got codes in the EU and the USA, and you have to find people who make items according to that spec, or else they won’t let them into the country. And it’s just so interesting to me that that’s not something you put in your body, right? That’s something… [chuckle] Well, I guess you can swallow pieces, but that’s a different story. But that’s not something you ingest or do anything. It’s just sitting there on the table and they’ve got more regulation on that, than on what you actually consume and use medicinally. That’s so fascinating [chuckle] to me.
Sam: Yeah. I think if the FDA were to get on board, I think… I know a lot of people don’t think it would be good, but I think it would be… As long as it would be similar to essential oils.
Brandon: That is such a… I can see why people would be hesitant because you never know what’s gonna come out of actual oversight, too. We could see a lot of limitations and what’s sold. I actually have no idea how that would play out, I can’t even imagine it.
Sam: Yeah. I’m not sure either, but I would like for there to be a little bit more regulations when it comes to the requirements that people have to do in order to sell their products.
Pierson: Yeah, it’s… This whole field is kind of in the South more in that obviously with marijuana regulations, there are some states where it’s legal and it’s recreational. And obviously in those states, it’s a whole lot easier to do public research and publish stuff and attain that information, rather than being in Tennessee, where there still is such a stigma on everything, or it seems to be that there’s a stigma on… With a lot of people on what this is and what it can do. And I think that that association of, “It comes from the same plant,” I think people go to the fact of, “Oh, it must do the same exact thing that that does for me,” and that by any means is not the case. There are similar effects, I would imagine, but it’s something that it has its own complete healing ability.
Sam: Yeah, definitely. I like to kind of use roses, or different-colored roses, or different-colored apples, or even just different citrus fruits in how they’re different, but the same. [laughter] The biggest difference is that hemp is safe to have in high doses without worrying about being in a certain headspace, or being high all day to get those benefits without being essentially the same thing as you would if you were on painkillers, just not being fully there.
Pierson: Yeah. So, it’s staying conscious and with it, but getting all of the same benefits.
Pierson: And that’s something that for so many people with opiates, that’s a huge thing, is it’s… You wanna get the benefits of it, but you don’t wanna struggle with potentially getting addicted to ’em, with that, being out of it for hours and hours at a time. And with me, I have a lot of stomach issues. I had typhoid fever, of all things, a couple of years ago, and it’s caused a ton of stomach issues following. And CBD is one of the things that I love to use for when my stomach gets really bad. And it calms it and it makes it tolerable. Like what you were saying earlier, it doesn’t… It might not take it away all the time, but it makes it a whole lot more handleable in terms of a day-to-day basis.
Sam: So, if it were something that you could afford to take every day ’cause it’s not… It can be expensive and insurance doesn’t cover it, which I think is the biggest difference with pharmaceuticals and hemp products and why people have a hard time making that switch, especially if they’re addicted and we have methadone clinics for a reason. So, I think that’s… And that’s affordable, people do that option because it’s affordable. So, I hope that the new accept in the industry, is to have it be a little bit more affordable, which I think is where the regulations can come in to play ’cause the FDA has already approved… There’s a drug on the market called Epidiolex, which is for kids that have seizures, epilepsy. So, that’s literally the only cannabis FDA-approved drug on the market. And it’s a CBD isolate, so it’s just the compound, CBD. Even that can be expensive and sometimes not all insurance companies cover Epidiolex.
Pierson: Do you think we will get to a time in society where FDA does approve these types of treatments?
Sam: I hope so. I think we’re heading in the right direction with having them already have the Epidiolex approved. So, I think it’s a possibility.
Brandon: Having even one medicine containing CBD approved by a government agency goes a long way in legitimizing the entire… Just the entire concept ’cause people… I guess it’s just so hard to overcome the fact that people associate with hemp, and then people associate CBD with marijuana. When in reality, it’s just… And people need to see it for what it is; a byproduct, in the same way that you get plastic from oil.
Pierson: Yeah, [chuckle] that’s a great example of it. I’m gonna ask, with… So, with Be Green being as young as it is, where do you see it heading in the next couple of years?
Sam: I think that our… What we’re wanting to do going forward, is we would like to have more locations. And then, once the legalization does happen, we will carry both hemp and marijuana products. But for now, I think what is gonna set us apart and continue to help us grow is people coming in to Be Green and having a personal experience. I came from the bar industry, like I was saying, and you’re taught to create regulars. You create friendships. I bar-managed at El Primo for five years before moving to this industry. And creating those connections with people is what keeps them coming back. And I think that in the future, that will help us be able to grow and be in more spaces that is convenient for us to grow that relationship within this industry.
Brandon: You’re definitely already sowing those seeds. From what Pierson says, you’ve got interesting decor in there, and that it’s a fun experience to walk into the shop, and you are very proactive about teaching people what they don’t know and looking after their safety. Those kinda things make a big difference in the long run.
Sam: Thank you.
Pierson: That is the only other question that I could think of at the moment. Brandon, if you have any other questions?
Brandon: Oh, I got one last one. What would you do differently if you had a chance?
Sam: What would I change, or what would I do differently in my business?
Brandon: In the year that you’ve set up and run the business, is there anything that you would change particularly about the way that you’ve done it?
Sam: Yeah, I don’t… I really can’t think of a major regret that I have. It’s definitely a learning curve. It’s a completely new industry. It is the wild, wild west in a sense. But yeah, there’s not nothing major, honestly.
Pierson: Well, Brandon, I don’t have any other questions for Sam. I don’t know if you do or not.
Brandon: No, I’m all good.
Pierson: We really appreciate you taking the time to come on the show and answer some of these questions for us, and share a little bit about your story.
Sam: Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it.
Brandon: We’re happy to have you on. You’ve been listening to the Marketing is the Product podcast. You can find out more about us by going to marketingistheproduct.com. This is sponsored by the Pangea Marketing Agency. If you enjoyed this podcast, leave us a five-star review on any of the places where you can find us, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher, Alexa, TuneIn, and probably some other places as well. Thank you very much for listening.
Brandon: We’ll see you in a couple of weeks.
Sam: Awesome. Thank you, guys. Have a good day.
Pierson: See you.