Click HERE to listen!
On this episode of the Ministry of Hemp podcast, we’re confusing our neighbors and getting very relaxed as we try smoking our CBD, probably the original way most people experienced the benefits of cannabidiol.
Our host Matt talked with Nick Warrender, the CEO of Lifted Made, a subsidiary of publicly traded Acquired Sales Corp. Lifted Made creates “Urb” brand hemp flower pre-rolls. Smoking CBD is rapidly gaining in popularity. Nick tells us how he changed his business model to accommodate the simplest and oldest way to take CBD: inhaling it.
But before we talk about smoking CBD, we need to address some very sad news that left our whole industry grieving last week. Of course, we mean the the tragic loss of CBD lobbyist and force-of-nature Charlotte Figi. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who knew Charlotte, memorialized her beautifully on the air, leaving even the host in tears.
For more, check out our memorial tribute to Charlotte Figi.
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!
Send us your questions and you might hear them answered on future shows like this one! Send your written questions to us on Twitter, Facebook, email@example.com, or call us and leave a message at 402-819-6417. Keep in mind, this phone number is for hemp questions only and any other inquiries for the Ministry of Hemp should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
SUBSCRIBE TO THE MINISTRY OF HEMP PODCAST!
Be sure to subscribe to the Ministry of Hemp podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Podbay, Stitcher, Pocketcasts, Google Play or your favorite podcast app. If you like what your hear leave us a review or star rating. It’s a quick and easy way to help get this show to others looking for Hemp information and please, share this episode on your own social media!
HELP US OUT AND BECOME A MINISTRY OF HEMP INSIDER!
If you believe hemp can change the world then help us spread the word! Become a Ministry of Hemp Insider when you donate any amount on our Patreon page. You’ll be the first to hear about everything going on with our special newsletter plus exclusive Patron content including blogs, podcast extras and more. Visit the Ministry of Hemp on Patreon and become an Insider now!
After his basketball career became derailed, Nick Warrender eventually found his way into the CBD industry, and focusing on hemp flower for smoking.
Smoking CBD: Complete episode transcript
Matt Baum: I’m Matt Baum, and this is the Ministry of Hemp Podcast, brought to you by ministryofhemp.com, America’s leading advocate for hemp and hemp education. Welcome back to the Mystery of Hemp Podcast. My name is Matt Baum and I am your host. I hope your quarantine is going well. I know mine has been really good. My wife and I have been trying to keep our spirits up. I’ve been cooking. She’s been working on her cocktailing, and she’s getting really good, by the way.
Matt Baum: If you want to see what we’ve been eating and drinking, you can follow me on Instagram @-Y-O-B-O-F-O-F-A-S. That’s yobofofas. It’s a silly name that I use because it’s never taken. Today on the show, we are going to talk about the simplest and oldest way to take CBD, and that’s actually smoking it. Now, just a word of caution here. Smoking is bad for you, period. It doesn’t matter what you’re smoking, you shouldn’t have smoke in your lungs.
Matt Baum: With that said, we’re not talking about cigarettes here. We’re talking about hemp, not marijuana, mind you, but hemp. Yes. Like I said, it’s still not great for you, but if you’re looking for a very quick way to get the benefits of CBD, got to say, it works very well. Before we get into that though, there’s some pretty sad news in the hemp world this week.
REMEMBERING CHARLOTTE FIGI
Matt Baum: On April 7th, Charlotte Figi, a 13-year-old girl who became the face of CBD, and cannabis, and the benefits it can bring to people with serious illness passed away. According to a Facebook post by the family, Figi died of respiratory failure, and cardiac arrest after an extremely severe seizure that was likely brought on by what they think is COVID-19. Figi suffered from Dravet syndrome, which is a very rare and severe form of epilepsy.
Matt Baum: It begins in the very first year of a child’s life. Dravet syndrome causes frequent, intense, and prolonged seizures. And the condition resists conventional forms of epilepsy treatment. Figi’s family had tried all manner of different medications and remarkably, it was CBD that brought relief from the hours-long seizures that she often suffered reducing their length and frequency.
Matt Baum: In 2014, the International Business Times called Charlotte Figi, “The girl who was changing medical marijuana laws across America.” It was through the lobbying efforts of her family that Charlotte became the figurehead of the movement. And soon, lawmakers were changing cannabis laws allowing thousands of children, and others with severe untreatable epilepsy to access CBD. Charlotte led the way to a nationwide legalization of hemp in 2018.
Matt Baum: There is even a low THC, very high CBD strain of hemp called Charlotte’s Web, and it was one of the first strains bred for this purpose named after Charlotte Figi. And today, the largest CBD supplement brand in the industry also bears her name. They call themselves Charlotte’s Web. This is a terrible loss, and it really drives home the seriousness of the Coronavirus pandemic, and how deadly it can be for those out there with existing medical conditions.
Matt Baum: Charlotte was amazing, and she was the Greta Thunberg of the CBD movement, and this really is a massive loss. I will have a link to a CNN report that Dr. Sanjay Gupta did, where he interviewed Charlotte, and I’m going to warn you, it is a tearjerker. We’ve also got a great piece on ministryofhemp.com about Charlotte.
Matt Baum: I encourage you to take a little time and give it a read. It’s awful to hear about things like this, and I know there’s a lot of bad news out there. But remember, there are things that you can do to prevent further stories like this. Stay inside, wash your hands, avoid groups of people, do the right thing and stay quarantined for now.
Matt Baum: We, the Ministry of Hemp just want to thank Charlotte and her family for everything they have done, not only for CBD and hemp in this country, but for people that are suffering, who now have an option of a treatment that could help make their life a little better. Thank you for everything, Charlotte, and I’m glad you’re not suffering anymore.
MEET NICK WARRENDER
Matt Baum: My conversation today is with Nick Warrender. He is the CEO of Lifted Liquids, and the COO, and vice chairman of Acquired Sales Corp. I spoke to him from his warehouse in Zion, Illinois, so you might hear a little noise in the background. He was still working. Nick has got a pretty interesting origin story, and I’ll let him tell that to you.
Matt Baum: But he also has a product called Urb, which are essentially pre-rolled hemp joints that are making a lot of users rethink the way they get their CBD, and try it in a very basic, and probably the first way humans ever learned to experience the benefits of CBD. This is my conversation with Nick Warrender.
Matt Baum: Welcome to the ministry of hemp. Nice to have you aboard. Before we really get into anything here, you’ve got a hell of a backstory about how you came in to hemp, and I would love to hear this because I set it up a little bit in the intro, but I said no spoilers. I want to hear it directly from him. So, tell us about this.
Nick Warrender: Yeah. Cool, man. I mean, I guess one question is how far back do you want to go, if there’s anything in particular? It’s been such a crazy journey personally, and in the business where that-
Matt Baum: Let’s start with basketball, let’s start there. You were playing basketball.
Nick Warrender: Yeah. Yeah. I played basketball at a young age, at a really high competitive level, man, had the honor to travel around, and play AAU, and go to a lot of different schools, and meet a lot of different people, and basketball was like my life. I absolutely loved it, adored it, and long story short, through a family vacation, we went on this cruise and unfortunately, I ended up getting abducted in Belize, a third-world country, and-
Matt Baum: I don’t mean to laugh, but that is crazy.
Nick Warrender: Yeah. It was wild, man, and it changed my life forever. No doubt.
Matt Baum: What happened? What was the story there?
Nick Warrender: Yeah. So, I was with my brother, and my best friend, and you come into these ports, and we had gotten some weed from pretty much all of these ports, just to be honest. There was a scenario where police, and drug dealers, and all of these people in some of these third-world countries, they work together, and they [inaudible 00:07:18] tourists. So, we got kidnapped, we got snatched up, we ended up in the back of some truck with rice bags over our heads, the whole nine yards.
Matt Baum: Oh my God.
Nick Warrender: It was crazy ever happened to me. And we ended up getting sold to the police, and the police brought us in, and they really wanted to make a lesson out of us. So, we ended up in third-world prison, right? And my dad leaves my mom on this cruise ship, and for all she knows, her whole family disappeared, and there’s no cellphone reception on these things. There’s no way of communicating, just a total mess.
Nick Warrender: And so, we found a way in this prison, and my dad had met this lady, God bless her, that knew the magistrates, and knew what was going on down there, and literally lived in like a mud hut. But really was well-connected down there, and she helped get us out. She helped get us properly stamped in because we were illegally now entered into the country-
Matt Baum: Oh my God.
Nick Warrender: … after the cruise ship had left, and it was really crazy, man. When we got back in the States, I ended up getting sick, picked up some virus. Unfortunate to talk about in these days, but I was in and out of the hospital for many years after that, and couldn’t play sports anymore, and came across entrepreneurship, and this other way to be impactful, still be competitive, but be able to impact people’s lives in an even better way.
Nick Warrender: And we came across nicotine products at that point, and vape. The vape industry had just started, and a lot of the products were getting imported from China, and there was a lot of ingredients that were maybe questionable that were being used. And there’s only a couple companies here in the States that started making vape liquid. So, we wanted to help people get away from cigarettes.
Nick Warrender: We found that a lot of research and studies that were being done, vape had a lot of potential in helping people curb smoking cigarettes, and was also proven in a lot of different ways to be much safer alternative. So, we did, we started in that realm, and I got introduced to cannabinoids in 2016 beyond THC with CBD, and CBG, and some of these other things. And it just really felt fit right into our mission, which was, how can we help people that really need it the most? I had a really good friend of mine that had OD’d on heroin and-
Matt Baum: Oh, that’s terrible.
Nick Warrender: … that’s struck for me. And finding out that people that were dealing with opioid addiction, and wanted to come off of it, there was a lot of potential benefits with cannabinoids. So again, following in the mission of just how can we make a positive impact, and not only in our own homes, and communities, but beyond there has just been our main focus.
Nick Warrender: And entrepreneurship and basketball were real similar, building up a team, and communicating, strategy, and find alliances, and having good coaching, and all these other things, man. It opened up a new life for me. So, I’m thankful for these industries. I’m super thankful for the impact that we’re able to have. And we hear about it every day with good testimonials, and just how these products are changing people’s lives for the better, and what it’s doing for them.
Matt Baum: I’m thankful you got out of a forceful confinement in a third-world country, and found your way home to do this.
Nick Warrender: Yeah. That really-
WITNESSING THE BENEFITS OF CBD
Matt Baum: Can I ask? You said you found your way to cannabinoids that were not THC back in 2016, how did that happen? What was your introduction to hemp and CBD? Because obviously, it made an impact. You started a company dealing in CBD, so how did that happen?
Nick Warrender: Yeah. So, I had a few people that were using it, and at that time, it was extremely expensive, and it was federally illegal. But some of the States were allowing it, right? So, I’m the type of person where if I want to try to take something, I typically like to try to make it myself first, right?
Nick Warrender: This is again, before all these farms are producing, and kilos isolate are 25 grand, and I found a supplier. I think I picked up 50 grams of isolate, and we brought some in-house, and found how difficult it was to break this stuff down with a lot of the things that you would need for vaping products, right?
Matt Baum: This was like you were de-engineering a crashed UFO basically, like you found the wreckage and you’re like, “How do we make this technology?” And you just tried to de-engineer it from there?
Nick Warrender: So, we got some isolate in, and we’re working with polypropylene, vegetable glycerin, and propylene glycol, and then some of these other things. And it was just like, “Okay, well, this isn’t really working.” Vape product aren’t going to work for CBD. So, we started moving into polysorbates, and at that time, nobody even really knew what MCT oil was, right? There wasn’t tinctures yet. There wasn’t all of… the CBD industry just didn’t even exist yet.
Nick Warrender: So, we had finally come up with a solution that worked as like a vape additive. You could add it to your tank. It was all food grades, and you could use it as a tincture. And we started with two milliliter, 10 milligram, tiny little bottle that was like $4.99. So, people could try CBD without having to spend 100 bucks, just try it.
Nick Warrender: And we were at this little festival, we roll these things out, we had people coming up, they had put it in their beers. Well, two or three hours later, these people are coming back and they’re like, “Man, I haven’t been able to open my hand all the way for 10 years.
Matt Baum: That’s cool.
Nick Warrender: I’ve got to work worst on arthritis.” And there’s some immediate effects, and I know there’s people that it could take 30 days, and some people that it really doesn’t even help at all because they had no cannabinoid system. But it’s just seemed like for the majority of the people we had come across, it was helping with all sorts of different things, and the miracle cure all that that became CBD. We were just finding that depending on what your deficiency is, this thing could help you with all sorts of different things.
Matt Baum: You handed it out, and people were trying it like in their beers, and whatnot, and coming back to you and saying, “Hey, suddenly it don’t hurt. What did you give me?”
Nick Warrender: Pretty much, and I’m not high, and I’m not anxious, and some all the other things, right?
Matt Baum: Right.
Nick Warrender: So, we started doing some research on even THC, like why is there a big percentage of people that don’t like THC? Why is there a lot of people that get anxious from THC? And it’s like, well, you start thinking about it the way that we cultivate THC, isn’t the natural cannabis product.
Matt Baum: Not at all. Yeah.
Nick Warrender: We are stressing these plants out, and it’s just bagging to reproduce, and that’s going to affect the chemistry of it.
Matt Baum: Sure. It’s like giant genetically modified chickens where they have huge breasts and gigantic thighs and that-
Nick Warrender: It’s not the same.
Matt Baum: Not quite the same thing.
STANDING OUT IN THE CROWDED CBD INDUSTRY
Nick Warrender: Right. So, it was like, you my dad, or older people from the ’70s are like, “I used to have to smoke an ounce to get high.” Because it wasn’t that high in THC. So, I found hemp is I don’t want to say more natural in the sense, but as we still are isolating it from the male plant, and all these other things. But the way that the cannabinoid profile, it seemed to be a little more… it was more broad. You walk into a cannabis dispensary and you might find minor-minor CBG, minor-minor CBD.
Nick Warrender: Most of it is just pure THC, where we’re able to get these really vast profiles with all of these cannabinoids. And it just seemed like it had a better effect for the majority of people. And a lot of the people that didn’t like THC or actually hated cannabis we’re actually turning a corner. So, I was like, “This is awesome.” This is where cannabis can actually go mainstream even beyond what THC, in my opinion, could ever do.
Matt Baum: Does Illinois allow growing right now? Where were you guys getting your hemp from? Was it coming from Illinois?
Nick Warrender: No. So, at this point, everything was coming from Colorado, mostly Colorado, and then Oregon started opening up. But yeah, there was really no processing that was being done out this way at that point. And CBD Isolate was actually hard to get your hands on. It really wasn’t that long ago.
Matt Baum: Yeah. This isn’t like the last two or three years, we’re talking.
Nick Warrender: Yeah. This is within a couple of years. So, now, CBD is extremely cheap and everybody’s got it. But there’s all these other cannabinoids, and you see all these industries, CBD is becoming an ingredient. Big industries are moving in, and they’re utilizing it in health, in food, in beverage, cosmetics.
Matt Baum: Yeah. It’s just a matter of time for Gatorade and Coca-Cola have a CBD drink here, so.
Nick Warrender: Right. So, you had this CBD industry that formed, and then you have all these huge industries that are coming in, and utilizing it as an ingredient, and it’s making it really hard to just be a CBD company.
Matt Baum: Right.
Nick Warrender: Right? It’s really hard to differentiate yourself, and there’s all this new technology, and nanotechnology, and now, all these other minor cannabinoids that are being used. And it can be extremely noisy.
Matt Baum: Yeah, absolutely.
‘COMING BACK’ TO SMOKING CBD
Nick Warrender: You’re just like, “What do we do?” So, we’ve always tried to be on the cutting edge with… we’ve had nanotechnology for over a year. We’ve been doing all sorts of formulations. Well, now, what we’re finding is people are coming back to flower. Just like what happened in the THC industry.
Matt Baum: It’s getting very popular.
Nick Warrender: Dads came out of cartridges, and disposables, and crumble, and live resin, and butter, and-
Matt Baum: I got to say that’s one of the things that turned me off initially. When I started learning about CBD, was everything was it tincture, or vape liquid. I mean, it’s cool to look at that, and talk to people, and go, “Oh yeah, this is how we make it, and this where it comes from.” But if you just walk up and look at it, well, what the hell is that? Where did it come from?
Nick Warrender: Right, exactly.
Matt Baum: I know what the flower looks like, and you sent me some pre-rolled joints. We should mention Urb is your company. U-R-B.
Nick Warrender: Yeah, Urb.
Matt Baum: You sent me some pre-rolled joints, and I open it up, and I looked at it, and I was like, “I know exactly what this is.” And I felt good about it.
Nick Warrender: Yeah. So, it was just funny because where we’re at today is the most simplest form. And as with all the noise, and all of these industries, and all of these massive companies moving into CBD, and cannabinoids, and all of these things, it’s like this breath of fresh air where you’re just like, “Let’s go back to the simplest form, which is arguably the most effective.” Inhalation is an immediate-
Matt Baum: Without a doubt.
Nick Warrender: … absorption rate, high bioavailability. You’re getting a true full spectrum product with all the natural terpenes based on that strain, and all of these other things. Because I mean, even if you go and you grab a cartridge off the shelves, most of the time, it’s just that’s the same distillate, and it’s just a different botanical terpene. So, you’re just not getting that variety of what all can come through the strains. So, we’re still doing a lot of new technology products, and we’re looking at all these other industries.
Nick Warrender: But a big focus of what we’re doing right now is just flower, man. And it’s bringing people back to its natural form, how nature intended it to be, and how we can find something that’s going to really work for people, and they find a good strain for themselves. And it’s incredible, man, people that never smoked, people that were totally against cannabis, these people are sparking up pre-rolled joints right now because it’s really helping them. So, not to go off on it-
Matt Baum: I have to say, my neighbor looked like I was insane.
Nick Warrender: It’s just really, it’s been interesting as a small business with not having a ton of funds behind us, not having a huge staff, coming into this thing on the pioneer side, watching it explode, and then what’s happening today, which is volatile, it can be really nasty. And it’s like, “How do we get back to the simplest form, and stick to our mission, and just keep the blinders on? And regardless of what’s going on with all of this, we’ve been in this industry from day one.
Nick Warrender: So, now, we just get back to our roots. We find good people that are for the right reason, but you stay aware of the dangers, you stay aware of the nasty people and the nasty companies. And you just keep your network right, keep it honest, keep the moral, and do it for the right reasons. So, that’s then this journey over the last few years, and what brought us to today with this Urb brand. It’s pretty funny to just see, come back to the simplest form, man, and probably help the most people with it.
SMOKING HEMP AFTER THE VAPE CRISIS
Matt Baum: Can I ask you, what was the thought process when you started to move away from, I mean, distillate, and from tinctures, and liquids, and go back to a pre-rolled flower joint? And for those of you who don’t know what we’re talking about, we are literally talking about rolling hemp the same way that you would roll a marijuana joint, and smoking it for the CBD benefits, not the THC benefits.
Matt Baum: And I will say, you sent me a few, and I was in my backyard grilling out, and my neighbor looked at me like I was insane because I was just smoking a joint, and told him it’s not what it is at all. And it did hit instantly. I got to say almost instantly. And I haven’t come across that in a lot of other CBD delivery systems. What was the thought process? Was it to get just something that was more pure, something that was easier, and faster? I know you guys have isolated a lot of CBG and a lot of CBN as well. Is it better delivered in a smokable process like this?
Nick Warrender: So, inhalation is unfortunately, one of the most bastardized ways of taking these products. One, because there’s a connotation with THC like you witnessed with your neighbor. But also, you look at what happened with the cartridge market, right? And with people dying with the Vitamin E Acetate, and that really turned people away from the vaping products, right? Disposables.
Nick Warrender: I mean, that whole part of the industry, I know everybody felt that. I don’t care who you were. And it still hasn’t bounced back. So, coming from the vape space, and understanding how inhalation as a method works beyond just people looking at it as smoking is, you take a gummy. Well, that has to go through your digestive tract. A lot of it is not going to get absorbed into your system.
Nick Warrender: And it’s going to take a while for you to feel any effects, if you do feel some anything at all. Inhalation, it just bypasses all of that. It goes right into your lungs, right in your bloodstream, and you’re breaking that blood-brain barrier rapidly. So, the other part was how are we… we’re going through all of this processing to get it to its purest form, and to get it to a honey oil distillate, and then we’re going to reintroduce the terpenes, and all these things.
Nick Warrender: And it’s like, “Well, we can just bypass all of that if we can get quality strains, if we can get everything intact.” Look, people have gone back to flower as one of the highest selling products in the THC industry. Even as a consumer myself, it’s like, there’s always something different with flower.
Matt Baum: Right. Without a doubt.
Nick Warrender: It’s edible, it’s as great as the concentrates are, there’s just something about the flower. So, another thing that we had seen was in the industry, pretty much all of the same strains were present as an offering. There was five strains that every company that was selling flower had. And a lot of the packaging wasn’t very transparent, and you didn’t really know what the breakdown was.
Nick Warrender: So, one, we wanted to come up with… find new genetics that weren’t just present in the industry, and give people a new offering. With that, we wanted to be able to let people know how this breakdown was so that if it works well for them, they can look for other strains with a similar profile.
Matt Baum: Right. I should say each one, I’ve got a container right here, and each container, like this one was called Jupiter. There’s another one called Stormy Daniels, and I want to know where the names came from as well. We’ll talk about that in a minute. But right on it, it’s a CBG 0.69%, CBD 9.38%, THC, a 9.13% that which, so you know exactly what is in this?
Nick Warrender: Right. And that just wasn’t really present in anything that we could find in the industry.
Matt Baum: Definitely, definitely.
Nick Warrender: Especially, at the time. And then, there’s the jars, and a lot of people are using glass, and it’s breaking, and it wasn’t keeping it… it was just, look, everybody seemed to be doing the same thing when it came to packaging. And we love taking packaging as a challenge, and an art. So, it was like, how do we come up with something that’s different?
Nick Warrender: How did we come up with something that’s going to stand out? How do we get new genetics, and new strains? And the other thing that we liked about flower was it was entry-level price point. So, people can try something like this, and not break the bank. If you want to go into a CBG or a CBN tincture, well, it’s going to be at least a $50 product-
Matt Baum: Yeah. Entry level, 50 to 70 bucks easy.
Nick Warrender: It’s still going to be really low, and in concentration to try to hit that price point, and it was just like, how are we going to be able to get this out to a lot of people, and give people the ability to try it? And then from an efficacy standpoint, we tested it. So, smoking flower had the fastest and the most effect out of any product that we had tested.
Matt Baum: I completely agree.
Nick Warrender: And this is internally, so it’s not like we didn’t hire out a huge case study to be done, but look, if out of 20 people, 90% of them are seeing the best effect from flower. For me, that means something. So, it’s just interesting to see that this most simple approach can potentially be the most effective. And now, we’re starting to roll out moon rocks, which have the flower dipped in distillate and then rolled in Kief, and then we’re also reintroducing other terpenes to that.
Matt Baum: Oh wow.
Nick Warrender: But again, it’s going back to just smoking, and the inhalation side is just something that I think is, I don’t want to say game changer because it’s been around forever, but there’s something about lighting it on fire. I’m a huge advocate of vaping as well because it is a safer way. You don’t have the combustion, but it’s tough because you typically need to create a formula for that. And there’s nothing wrong with that, but taking the flower lighting it on fire, that’s about as natural-
Matt Baum: It sounds like we’ve just been-
Nick Warrender: … keeping it as natural and as simple as you can.
THE BUSINESS SIDE OF SMOKABLE HEMP
Matt Baum: Yeah. We’ve just been overthinking it basically. And doing it all these different scientific ways, when this is the old school way to do it, and it works just fine. Can I ask from a business point of view or perspective, I guess, which is more expensive, cooking it down and turning it into a distillate, or setting up a system to just pre-roll flower? I mean, is it cheaper on the business side too, or is it still pretty much the same?
Nick Warrender: Well, you would think that it’s cheaper. The machinery is not much, much cheaper. One thing, and then there’s variables. So, we have high quality control, everything gets looked through multiple times, and there are some ways. If there’s mold, that’s an issue. So, even though these are third-party tested, and there’s no microbials, you still have to go through, and make sure that there’s not one nug that got moldy from the inside out because it was too close to a different nug.
Nick Warrender: There’s a lot of quality control, and there’s a lot more waste than I think most people would think. But another thing was we watched the market crashed with isolate, right?
Matt Baum: Big time.
Nick Warrender: We watched isolate go from at 1.6 $7,000 to under $1,000 in a matter of six months. That’s a whole off crash. And what that did is it hurt a lot of these farmers. So, farms got to a point where if they’re sitting on biomass, not to go off on a tangent, and I will answer your question.
Matt Baum: No, please.
Nick Warrender: If they’re sitting on biomass and there’s a processor that’s like, “Yeah, we’ll do a split toll process for you. You have to pay this amount and then we take 50%, and you keep 50%.” It got to the point where that farmer could go and buy the distillate for cheaper than he would be able to go and toll process his own biomass.
Matt Baum: Ridiculous.
Nick Warrender: So, now, this farmer that’s being absolutely just beaten up by massive labs to the point where they’re able to make the product that he’s growing, they’re cheaper than he would be able to himself. So, it was unsustainable business model, right?
Matt Baum: You’re right back to soybeans and corn at that level.
Nick Warrender: Right. So, with flower, we can pay a higher rate for it than you can for biomass, a substantial rate, 10x, right? So, look, I would rather pay a fair value to a farmer for flower, and help support him, and ensuring that he’s going to grow next year so I have a true organic farm of generational farmers that can produce our crop. I’m not a farmer. I’m a marketing guy, and a brand development guy.
Matt Baum: Fair enough.
Nick Warrender: And we set up systems of manufacturing, and that stuff, but-
Matt Baum: The farming is hard work, man. It sucks. I mean, I wouldn’t want to be a farmer either.
Nick Warrender: Yeah. That’s a very tough job. So, in our marketing material, we touched on this is a big part of our mission again is to support these American farmers. Because these are usually the first guys that get pinched. So, do we pay a little more than we should? I said then we can, yeah. I mean there’s always a better deal out there, and there’s always somebody that maybe, this was their only thing, and they’re just trying to get out.
Nick Warrender: And you see that a lot. You see a lot of people coming into this industry, and going right back out. So, we want to build a relationship with farmers. We want them to not have to deal with a lot of these brokers that take advantage of these situations, or these toll processing labs that sign these people up for something that they have no idea what the outcome is really going to be until they… and now all of a sudden, they’ve lost their whole crop, or they’ve lost their whole investment, or they’re sitting on a product that they can’t sell.
Nick Warrender: They don’t have distribution channels, they don’t have manufacturing, and brand development teams, and all this stuff, and they can’t go sell it under market value. So, it’s really put them in tough position. So, just as important as it is to us for us to help the people that we make products to. We want to be valuable on the backend with farmers, and with other vendors, and support these other businesses because it really does take all of us to make these great products.
Matt Baum: That’s awesome.
Nick Warrender: It’s the different process. I wouldn’t say it’s cheaper. It’s very expensive to deal with isolated cannabinoids, and formulations, and dialing in formulations, and making sure that your numbers are right, and they test out correctly, and it’s consistent throughout big batches. There’re quality control measures that go into that no doubt, but people that think you’re just throwing these things into a pre-roll, and throwing them-
Matt Baum: Right. There’s a bunch of dudes just sitting around like, “That’s a good looking one bro, next.”
Nick Warrender: … and making sure… right. Yeah.
Matt Baum: It’s not exactly how it works.
Nick Warrender: Yeah.
THE FUTURE OF SMOKING HEMP
Matt Baum: So, what is the future of Urb? Where do you go from here? Are you guys going to be looking into like more of the pre-rolled different strains, stuff like that? Where do you go from here?
Nick Warrender: Yeah. So, with Urb, we rolled out a CBG strain, and our goal with CBG is to get it to a better consumer price point. We want people to be able to try CBG. We’re really excited about these trains that are rich in CBG. I think that that’s going to be a cannabinoid that you hear a lot about this year.
Matt Baum: Definitely.
Nick Warrender: Hopefully, when people get back out there. So, we’re excited to roll that out. We’re rolling out the moon rocks. So, we’re doing a strain specific moon rock for CBD, as well as CBG. So, we’re doing a CBG moon rock. We do believe that that’s the first to market, but maybe somebody else has done it. But we’re excited to do CBG moon rock that’s entail CBG distillates. Also going to have CBG Kief.
Nick Warrender: So, we’re rolling those out. Again, very transparent on the packaging so people can see the strain of distillate, the strain of Kief that’s used, and the strain on the flour that’s used. And we’re repairing those two skews also with the caviar cones, which will be the pre-rolled joint dipped in distillate, and then rolled it on the Kief too.
Matt Baum: That’s crazy, yeah. I want to try that. That sounds really cool.
Nick Warrender: Go to the next. Definitely get you some to try out. Those are the next skews. Everything is in. So, those should go into production, and we should be looking at a week or two launch on those. We’ll definitely launch them digitally, and get them online.
Matt Baum: Very cool.
Nick Warrender: But we’ll get some samples out to you over there.
Matt Baum: Awesome.
Nick Warrender: You can try them-
Matt Baum: I appreciate that.
Nick Warrender: … in your grill out, and your neighbor can ask you-
Matt Baum: Yeah, man. Hey, thanks for coming on. This has been really good, and it sounds like you guys, I love the packaging. You guys are doing a hell of a job. And I really like the idea that it’s just simple, and it’s the old way to do it. And if the old way isn’t broken, we don’t need to fix it. And when you do it responsibly, and you take care of the farmers, and you know what you’ve got, you have a great product.
Nick Warrender: That’s it. Yeah. Keep it simple, stupid. Someone once told me.
Matt Baum: Exactly. Thanks so much for coming on the show, man. I really appreciate it.
Nick Warrender: Yeah. It’s my pleasure, man. Again, I appreciate-
Matt Baum: Thanks again to Nick for joining me on the show. He’s a busy guy with a lot of cool stuff coming, and you’ll hear more about it right here on ministryofhemp.com. If you want to find more information about Lifted Liquids, and everything they have going on including Urb, and they’re pre-rolled hemp joints. I will have links to all things Lifted Liquids in the show notes for this episode over at ministryofhemp.com.
FINAL THOUGHTS FROM MATT
Matt Baum: That brings us to the end of another episode of the Ministry of Hemp Podcast. My name is Matt Baum. I have been your host, and I cannot thank you enough for downloading, for listening, and for interacting with us on this show. We love to hear from you. You can email me directly at email@example.com with any questions or comments about the show.
Matt Baum: You can call us at 402-819-6417, and leave a message with your hemp-related questions, myself and ministryofhealth.com. Editor in Chief Kit O’Connell like to collect a bunch of them, and then answer them on the show, and I think we’re going to have another Q&A show coming up real quick here. Huge thanks goes out to everyone that has jumped on our ministry of hemp patron.
Matt Baum: You can find that at patreon.com/ministryofhemp. Any donation will make you a Ministry of Hemp insider, and it really does help us to get this message out there. If you believe in what you hear on this show, and what you read on our site, please help us out, and help us spread that message even louder and further by becoming a Ministry of Hemp patron.
Matt Baum: This week, the Podcast Extra is going to be with Nick, and we are talking about where they got the names for their pre-rolled joints, and it’s a pretty fun little story so I hope you dig it. Be sure to head over to ministryofhemp.com, and read that story that I mentioned about Charlotte. I’ll have a link to that in the show notes. There’s also an excellent article about how to start a white label CBD business.
Matt Baum: Very cool stuff for anyone looking to get into the hemp or CBD business. Be sure to check us out, and follow us at ministry of hemp or backslash ministry of hemp on all of our social media platforms. And I know I said it earlier, but right now, it’s very important. Remember, we’ve got to buckle down. We’ve got to wash our hands.
Matt Baum: We’ve got to stay away from large groups of people, and we’ve got to beat this Coronavirus crap together. So, when I say this, I really mean it, okay? Remember to take care of yourself, take care of others, and make good decisions, will you? This is Matt Baum and the Ministry of Hemp signing off.