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Victoria Flores has made a career of breaking into the boys’ club. First, on Wall Street as a Morgan Stanley associate and later, as chief of staff for Katz Capital, a private equity fund. Then, as one of a handful of Latina entrepreneurs in the U.S. ever to do so, Flores raised $750,000 in venture capital funding in 2017 for Lux Beauty Club, the e-commerce beauty startup she co-founded that sold natural hair extensions to salons and direct to consumers.
But despite her fundraising success, navigating global supply chains and quality control became increasingly challenging for the startup. She and her business partner, registered nurse Leslie Namad, finally made the gut-wrenching decision to pivot. They were so stressed out trying to deal with overseas contractors in disparate time zones that Flores says she and Namad had begun experimenting with CBD tinctures to help them sleep and to manage their stress. That’s when a new idea was born. They began eyeing opportunities to get into the male-dominated hemp and CBD industry and started researching the space. CBD is the acronym for cannabidiol, the non-intoxicating sister compound of THC, and plentiful in hemp varieties of cannabis sativa. In 2018, they decided to invest in a joint venture with suppliers they could oversee much closer to home.
“We mourned for the old company but then we picked ourselves back and up and said, ‘This is a huge 25-billion dollar opportunity and we want some of that,” explained Flores of their decision to transition from hair to CBD.
It turned out, the timing couldn’t have been better. In late 2018, Congress passed the Agricultural Improvement Act, also known as The Farm Bill which took industrial hemp off of the federal government’s list of most harmful controlled substances and threw open the door for a massive consumer products industry. It happened so swiftly, the FDA is still formulating consumer safety guidelines to catch up to the explosion of products and health claims landing in mainstream retailers.
The two entrepreneurs initially decided to focus on a female market and began pitching beauty and wellness products to gift shops and small retailers in 2019. Then earlier this year, they scored a brand new opportunity that gives them entree to what was once a strictly men’s only club: the sport of golf. In a new licensing deal with Perry Ellis International, the iconic black and white image of the legendary PGA champion Ben Hogan will be emblazoned on new CBD products made by Lux Beauty Club and expected to be sold in at least 500 pro-shops around the US by the end of the year.
“Deals like this usually go to a bunch of white men. So it was really exciting to be able to close this deal with them (Perry Ellis). And more to come,” enthused Flores in a telephone interview. She believes the line represents the first major branded CBD products for golfers to hit the market.
The Ben Hogan items join a number of other new CBD wares capitalizing on the potential pain-relieving applications of the phytochemical that they hope will appeal to weekend warriors and amateur athletes. Over the last 18 months, a number of CBD companies have announced partnerships with pros including, Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ tight-end Ron “Gronk” Gronkowski and U.S. National Soccer Team superstar Megan Rapinoe, who started a CBD company with her twin sister.
“It is kind of cool and exciting for us as brown founders that they saw that as a win for them. It is a testament to them because it is Latina founded,” the New York-based executive explained.
The hemp-derived products include a pain-relief roller, salve and cooling cream that will be sold in packaging that resembles a sleeve of golf balls. The prospect came about when Namad’s husband Richard, a CPG branding expert and adviser to the company came on board as the third founder and together, they brought the idea to Perry Ellis, where Namad served as sales director for more than a decade.
Flores, a mom of a young daughter, says building the business has been an exercise in persistence, especially as the Covid-19 pandemic hit shortly after the company secured the Perry Ellis deal which slowed down the roll-out of the products. What helps, she says, is that as a small family-run business, all hands are on deck.
“We weren’t the founders that got $5-million dollars pre-seed to find something that might have a product market fit. We weren’t able to just blow through money and test and see what worked and what didn’t work We didn’t have an option but to be scrappy and to succeed. We have our whole lives invested,” she said.
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Cannabis Global, Inc, (OTCMKTS: CBGL) (“Cannabis Global” or the “Company”), a cannabinoid and hemp extract science forward company developing infusion and delivery technologies, is excited to announce the live public launch of its Hemp You Can Feel™ hemp-based alcohol substitute cocktail mixers.
Hemp You Can Feel™ mixers are now available for online consumer purchase as well as bulk purchase for wholesale distribution. Cocktails based on the Hemp You Can Feel™ mixers provide an experience on par with light alcohol consumption, but without any of the harmful side effects of alcohol.
“Because of the ultra-low levels of hemp extracts utilized, we feel we set a new standard for product-safety and satisfaction in the hemp food and beverage category with this product,” commented Arman Tabatabaei, CEO of Cannabis Global. “While our Hemp You Can Feel™ beverages likely have the lowest hemp extract levels in the industry, we believe we provide a vastly superior positive effect upon use. We invite all consumers and alcohol industry participants to try what we see as the first viable alternative to alcoholic beverages. Our website is www.HempYouCanFeel.com. Take the HempYouCanFeel Challenge!”
The cocktail mixer product line currently features three simple-to-use mixers: Margarita Jalapeño, Skinny Classic Cosmopolitan, and Hibiscus Mint Lemon mixer. The Preparation of a Hemp You Can Feel™ cocktail is simple: add 1-2 oz along with ice and sparkling water – and of course, no alcohol. The Company is planning to release multiple additional hemp-based flavors soon.
The Company believes the use of Hemp You Can Feel™ is significantly safer than the consumption of other hemp-based or high-cannabidiol (CBD) based beverages. Because of the natural water solubility of the preparations, only a minuscule amount of hemp extracts is present in the cocktail mixers. Laboratory analysis and results by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) indicated the presence of hemp extracts in the non-detectable category.
“The infusion technology behind our new Hemp You Can Feel™ alcohol-free cocktail mixers is highly advanced, yet ultra-simple,” added Tabatabaei. “It’s based on honeybees, powered by Bee-Fuse technology and our provisional patent on an all-natural, room temperature powderization technology. Nature has provided bees with unique enzymes that can naturally break down oil-based hemp extracts into a water-soluble compound, which we rely upon to create our cocktail mixers. There has never been anything like this product on the marketplace. Only nature could provide such a simple and elegant solution. Yet, it is highly effective, allowing us to produce the first hemp-based product that holds its own against alcohol-based beverages.”
Hemp You Can Feel™ is a registered trademark of Cannabis Global, Inc. Multiple pending and issued patents have been filed on the technologies discussed in the press release.
About Cannabis Global, Inc.
Cannabis Global, Inc., formerly known as MCTC Holdings, Inc., is a fully audited and reporting Company with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, trading with the stock symbol CBGL. The Company is an emerging force in the area of cannabinoid sciences and highly bioavailable hemp and cannabis infusion technologies. The Company does not engage in the production, distribution, or sales of any controlled substances, including marijuana. The Company has an actively growing portfolio of intellectual property having filed six patents in the areas of cannabinoid delivery systems and cannabinoid polymeric nanoparticles. The Company markets its consumer products under the Hemp You Can Feel™ brand name. Cannabis Global launched its Project Varin early in 2020, to develop new delivery methods for rare cannabinoid Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THV-C) and to develop products based on this cannabinoid.
About Provisional Patent Filings
Under United States patent law, a provisional application is a legal document filed in the United States Patent and Trademark Office, that establishes an early filing date, but does not mature into an issued patent unless the applicant files a regular non-provisional patent application within one year.
Bee Fuse Technology
Several of the company’s products are powered by Bee Fuse technology. Bee-Fuse Technology is an IP Protected method which enables bees to naturally express the full spectrum of the Hemp plant in their honey in a highly efficient manner, utilizing low amounts of cannabinoids as well as therapeutic terpenes which creates a unique delivery platform for any strain.
This news release contains “forward-looking statements” which are not purely historical and may include any statements regarding beliefs, plans, expectations or intentions regarding the future. Such forward-looking statements include, among other things, the development, costs and results of new business opportunities and words such as “anticipate”, “seek”, intend”, “believe”, “estimate”, “expect”, “project”, “plan”, or similar phrases may be deemed “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results could differ from those projected in any forward-looking statements due to numerous factors. Such factors include, among others, the inherent uncertainties associated with new projects, the future U.S. and global economies, the impact of competition, and the Company’s reliance on existing regulations regarding the use and development of cannabis-based products. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this news release, and we assume no obligation to update the forward-looking statements, or to update the reasons why actual results could differ from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Although we believe that any beliefs, plans, expectations and intentions contained in this press release are reasonable, there can be no assurance that any such beliefs, plans, expectations or intentions will prove to be accurate. Investors should consult all of the information set forth herein and should also refer to the risk factors disclosure outlined in our annual report on Form 10-k, our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and other periodic reports filed from time-to-time with the Securities and Exchange Commission. For more information, please visit www.sec.gov.
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SOURCE Cannabis Global, Inc.
Article written in collaboration with Natán Ponieman.
After his departure from cannabis behemoth Canopy Growth, former CEO Bruce Linton kept his senses open for new opportunities.
A brief, 7-month tenure as executive chairman of Vireo Health showed the world that, in spite of pursuing other non-cannabis ventures, the entrepreneur is still interested in the cannabis plant.
However, Linton appears to be sailing against the CBD current.
“I’m not super sold on CBD as a segment, but I’m hugely sold on the hemp plant,” he told us in a recent interview, conducted minutes before hopping on the virtual stage of the Prohibition Partners Live conference.
For Linton, the CBD craze will blow over, but the hemp plant is here to stay. And he doesn’t intend to be left behind.
Earlier this year, Linton launched Collective Growth, a special-purpose acquisition company that went public on the Nadaq exchange in May, and aims to exploit the potential of hemp, seeking to disrupt many industries that go well-beyond medical and recreational cannabis.
“The biggest disruption opportunity related to cannabis plants at large is to use the whole plant and hemp for what it can do. And there’s over 200 categories of things that you can disrupt,” he said.
Not CBD, Hemp!
Linton says he’s “on the outside looking in, as far as the belief in CBD.”
CBD is definitely a powerful cannabinoid, he adds. The therapeutic effect of high-dosage CBD in specific cases, like reducing spasticity in children affected from refractory epilepsy, has been clinically proven.
“That dosage response is true. But that’s super high dosages, right? This is like a thousand plus milligrams,” adds Linton.
And he has a point. While CBD has shown consistent results for the treatment of specific ailments, the panacea-mentality associated with the compound in recent years is likely to be far-fetched. In fact, some have gone as far as claiming CBD can cure COVID-19 – a claim that has not been proven anywhere and prompted the FDA to send a warning letter informing it would pursue “legal action, including, without limitation, seizure and injunction,” should the people behind it not retract it immediately.
“If you just rubbed it on your elbow and it is allegedly a 20 milligram total dose cream in the container, so you rub two milligrams on your elbow, I’m highly suspicious of any efficacy to your benefit.”
This position is consistent with Linton’s signature stance of looking at science and research before making big decisions. The executive lamented how in the past 18 months, research and science related to cannabinoids in general has slowed down immennsely, in benefit of more market-oriented practices and studies.
This disbelief in CBD as a segment led Linton to analyze hemp’s sustainable and economic potential.
“The more I went around and the more I looked, the more it was evident that everybody was growing the wrong kind of hemp plant,“ he explains.
In his eyes, many farmers are trying to make a quick buck off CBD, while failing to recognize the immense value of the by-products of the production of CBD from hemp.
The Collective Growth Corporation
Turning his ideas into action in a classic Bruce Linton fashion, the executive founded Collective Growth Corp, a blank-check company that aims to fuel the U.S. hemp industry.
In spite of the financial crisis, the company was able to raise $150 million and IPO on the Nasdaq on May 1, under the symbol CGROU. The company’s core team even got to ring the bell – virtually, as the only company that went public on the exchange that week.
Linton currently serves as chairman and CEO.
In his own words, if the company is able to execute the strategy it has planned out, it can grow to a billion dollar enterprise within 18 months.
Hemp’s ability to be used as an industrial material in countless supply chains in a sustainable way makes it a valuable commodity in the post-COVID world. In the “new normal,” global supply chains are starting to raise concerns arounnd logistics and sustainability.
Hemp is specially viable as a building material. Its fibers, says Linton, are stronger than steel, when looking at their tensile strength per diameter.
Opportunities In Europe
As opposed to the U.S., Europe never placed strong restrictions on hemp. That has put the region in a competitive advantage in terms of production capacity and technological development.
For Collective Growth, Europe is where the best purchase opportunities can be found. The company was founded as a special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, a type of company that raises funds in order to acquire other companies. SPACs has become very popular in the cannabis industry in recent months, and some argue they “saved” the cannabis market in a time of limited access to capital.
“You can buy a BMW right now, the E series…one of them is 21% made of hemp, and none of it comes from America. None, not a scrap of it. It’s all from Europe,” says Linton.
Collective Growth is looking at hemp companies that produce food and pharma products, as well as others that focus on disruptive uses of hemp for industrial purposes. Although Europe is where the best hemp technology is found today, Collective Growth’s mission is to bring hemp back as a significant crop into the agricultural system of the United States.
According to Linton, farmers in the U.S. who want to grow other crops are in trouble nowadays: soybeans face strong competition from China; corn, which is largely produced for the extraction of ethanol as a fuel, is bad business because oil prices are at record lows. The situation is starting to look dire.
Hemp, on the other hand, can become a viable source of revenue for U.S. farmers. According to Linton, if the plant is cultivated and processes correctly, every part can be utilized. This means revenue sources are increasigly diversified.
“By the time you get to the CBD, you’ve made enough profit off the whole plant that you can actually take a small part of that profit -less than half- use it to extract and get free CBD.”
Linton will be leading purchases for his new SPAC, while filling board seats at MindMed and Red Light Holland, two up-and-coming psychedelics companies he’s involved in. Linton also holds an executive post at Gage Cannabis and has co-founded a P2P rental marketplace called Ruckify, which already employs 100 associates and has country-wide presence.
On July 1 CBD-based sports supplements business Champions Legends introduced with the statement of the brand’s first set of professional athlete partners.
Signing up with the company were two-time Super Bowl champ James Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Thor “the Mountain” Björnsson, winner of several Greatest Guy competitions, world deadlift record-holder, and star in the hit series “Video game of Thrones.”
Throughout a current conversation, Thor explained his decision to join Champions Legends originated from the quality of the company’s products, but also from the fact that they are made from hemp, and not psychotropic cannabis.
” I am always looking for methods to end up being a much better athlete. CBD is still a new kid in town as far as supplements go,” he said.
Strong Outcomes For A Strong Male
Thor disclosed having attempted other CBD products prior to Champions Legends’. He had constantly knowledgeable disappointing outcomes.
He ‘d seen other athletes around him utilize it, and wondered why it did not work for him.
” I was absolutely reluctant to use CBD at the start, however after trying the Champions Legends CBD products, I can say they are effective for athletic preparation, efficiency, and recovery,” he voiced.
Thor then shared some stories about completing in the World’s Strongest Man contest, which forces professional athletes to take their bodies to their very limits.
” Often, this causes swelling and pain,” he described. Among other approaches he utilizes to deal with these is CBD.
” My body feels excellent. I seem like I’m able to recover faster, and even press more difficult throughout my workout sessions. Far, for me it’s been working marvels, I’m feeling much better during and after my sessions.”
In truth, CBD products are as good for healing as they are for real exercise, Champions Legends CEO Sonny Mottahed, a fan of strength-based sports himself, interjected.
” From our view and the product line that we have actually established, a lot of it is based around how the item is used and created, in addition to the does you’re taking for a certain time, when you’re looking for a particular type of effect. In the case of sleep, you require a greater dose of CBD, while as an athletic preparation tool, it’s a much lower dosage and various items.”
CBD And The Athletic Neighborhood
When prompted about the approval of CBD amongst the athletic neighborhood, Thor said it is growing fast.
” As an athlete, when you train hard, you push yourself, you get a lot of inflammation and pain in the body.
Strengthening his point, Mottahed raised the WADA’s (the entity that establishes doping criteria for professional sports, among others things) decision to get rid of CBD from their list of prohibited substances beginning in 2018.
” We are seeing numerous sports permit CBD too. It’s still the early days and the movement is slow, but the tide is definitely turning as we see a shift towards approval. A case in point is Major League Baseball, which has actually eliminated CBD, and even cannabis, from their testing lists,” he said.
” Attempt CBD out and see if it works for you. I know it works for me,” Thor concluded.
To end the discussion, a random Video game of Thrones question: Do you feel the series would have been different if the people in it would have had access to CBD?
” Yeah. For sure,” stated Thor. “Absolutely when I think of it now, it would have been fantastic to have Champions Legends items when I was shooting for Game of Thrones. Particularly, for the battle versus the Red Viper and the Cleganebowl battle, since those fights were incredibly difficult, not just psychologically, however likewise physically … And I’m sure it would have likewise made me look better on screen.”