CBD-Hemp, with a Conscience: 7 questions for Ojai Energetics
We met Will Kleidon, Founder and CEO of Ojai Energetics, at Spring Restaurant in downtown Los Angeles (257 S Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012), which has created an entire CBD-hemp infused menu designed to incorporate the benefits of CBD into a healthy, organic, lunch focused on wellness.
Marijuana Media: Your company’s mission underlines the importance of incorporating CBD into a healthy diet, but what makes your product different?
Will: CBD and hemp have been part of our ancestral diet for 1000s of years, and it’s only over the last 80 years it was removed. Most people don’t realize we’re CBD-depleted, or the effects this has on brain development, proper digestion, energy, and overall health and wellness. Awareness of this is increasing along with a growing scientific body of evidence. Other companies, in both the CBD-hemp oil and marijuana industry, have made claims about the cannabinoid benefits of the “whole plant”, but have offered products that don’t offer an effective delivery mechanism for absorption. We’re focused on incorporating 100% organic ingredients, and improving the delivery mechanism, allowing customers to gain the full benefits and proper dose needed.
Marijuana Media: Your website does not make any medical claims. The CBD-hemp market today is littered with companies pushing cures without (in many cases) scientific backing. You’ve positioned Ojai Energetics as a “wellness” product with nutraceutical value. But do you think you’re an indirect beneficiary of medical claims being made by “Hemp Hucksters”?
Will: The market is becoming more educated, and the customer more discerning. There was a glut of (poor quality) Chinese hemp oil saturating the market, which resulted in products that got a bad reception – and some of those companies aren’t around anymore. I’m not saying our customers are “smarter” or more experienced. But we’re not always the first CBD product a customer has bought, and the feedback we get is telling: customers notice the difference. We don’t need to make outrageous or unscientific claims – we’re convinced any patient or customer looking for the highest quality and most effective CBD-hemp product will find us. We haven’t invested in marketing, but sales have been expanding, with growth coming through word-of-mouth and repeat business.
Marijuana Media: Where do you see the company in the future?
Will: We’re working in several markets – we sell consumer products, and we’re also a business-to-business supplier, licensing our technology and selling processed CBD-hemp oils to other companies, who will carry the Ojai Brand mark on their labels. We sell our products online, in health food stores like Erewhon, and to holistic health providers (like acupuncturists and naturopaths). We’re also releasing new lines in cosmetics, sports gels, and pet foods. On the B2B side, we see a giant future ahead licensing our IP, with interest from beverage companies and food products (kombucha, sodas, juices, coffee) looking to create lines with CBD-hemp, and we’re in discussion with marijuana producers as well.
Marijuana Media: How does the restaurant and bar industry factor into this? This CBD-infused lunch menu has been fantastic. Your product is in several bars serving CBD-infused drinks in CA. Is this market a distraction from your overall business? Do you see any potential brand-confusion associating a “wellness” product with alcohol?
Will: The lunch menu at Spring Restaurant incorporates CBD as an ingredient, with food pairings that match the terpene profile of our products, where terpenes direct the cannabinoids. The menu is light and healthy, with CBD as a nutrient, which leaves customer with an overall sense of wellness. It’s a perfect brand fit, and this market is completely undeveloped. As far as the alcohol and cocktail market, we’re realists: even the most health-conscious will still have a drink. [Laughing:] We’re not promoting alcohol as “wellness”, but you’ll never get a heathier drink.
Marijuana Media: You mentioned marijuana. Will this become a larger market and focus for your company?
Will: Our patented oil processing and delivery mechanism will disrupt the industry. We are scaling operations now, and in discussion with major edible/manufacturing brands. The delayed onset of edibles is what makes them unpredictable. Faster absorption and higher bioavailability of our processed oil’s delivery mechanism reduces this onset to less than 5 minutes. We’ve also formulated a sobriety product to counteract excessive THC intake/dose.
Marijuana Media: Holy shit, there’s a giant market for that. How does it work?
Will: That’s our Intellectual Property. Water-soluble, hydrosome-encapsulated, delivery is the most effective mechanism for bodily absorption of cannabinoids, and reacts on a cellular level. There’s no separation of the cannabinoids from the food products they are contained in, which is why there’s been so much interest in licensing our IP.
Marijuana Media: You’ve set up Ojai Energetics as a B-Corp, which means you’re committed to giving back a percentage of returns through charity and donations. Has it been difficult because of this to attract investors?
Will: We completed our Series A round of funding. Some investors will pass on us as a result of our commitment to guarantee returns/benefits to the community. We’re not after investors seeking maximum returns, or looking to build that type of company. The fact is, Millennials will become the largest consumer demographic within the next 10 years, and they’re highly engaged with brands that not only preach a social mission, but structure themselves accordingly. We expect to see more companies, household-name brands, restructuring into B-Corporations in the future, responding to this ethical demand on the part of consumers. Our mission is to make the world a better place. And this isn’t an empty, well-intentioned, mission statement: our Corporate Bylaws back this.
More info: To learn more about Ojai Energetics, please visit their website: https://ojaienergetics.com/
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