Episode 100 – From CBD to CPG: The Gold Standard for 100 Episode



Joe: On this special edition of the "CPG & CBD University Podcast," we're turning 100. So, sit back, take a listen, or watch on YouTube as we look back at how it all began, share our favorite moments from the first 99 episodes, and look ahead to the next 100. This is the "CPG & CBD University Podcast" and our 100th episode starts right now.

I'm Joe Agostinelli, host of the "CPG & CBD University Podcast." And if you are a returning listener, welcome back. And if you are a new listener, we are glad you found us on your podcast platform of choice, wherever you get your podcasts. Hit that subscribe button, you'll get notifications when new episodes are published. The date was Friday, November 15th, 2019. That was the date that the team here at Global Widget launched our new podcast. It was first known as the "CBD University Podcast" and now it has evolved into the "CPG & CBD University Podcast," which we made that evolution on episode number 78. We're passionate about what we do every day and it shows, not just in the awards our products and our podcasts have won, but by all the great feedback that our guests and you the listeners and viewers have provided. You are an extension of our podcast family as evidenced by the over 160,000 downloads and thousands of video views across our YouTube channels.

In our first 99 episodes, we've been privileged to welcome industry advocate and attorney, Rod Kight, "Hemp Industry Daily" editor Kristen Nichols, and our distribution partners on an ongoing basis. Officials from the State of Florida including the commissioner of agriculture and consumer services, Nikki Fried, and Florida's first-ever director of cannabis, Holly Bell, have been here in-studio. And we brought you a look at the industry worldwide through our international guests from Mexico, Chile, and the European Union. So, how did we get here today? For our YouTube viewers, enjoy our video retrospective of our first 99 episodes. And if you're listening on an audio platform, take a listen at how we got to where we are here today.

I'm Joe Agostinelli, and welcome to Global Widget's new "CBD University Podcast." This indeed is the premiere episode. And as we set out to educate you, the consumer, about the CBD industry...

Kevin Collins, co-founder, Global Widget: The point of the podcast is to educate but educate the proper way, right? Let's give people what they need, and the knowledge that they need, but the true knowledge, right? And that's really why we did this.

Martin, Mobimo Distribution: We started out with a starter pack, and the rest is history from there. The product just flew right off our shelves and we've had to reorder many, many, many times since. You know, a lot of CBD products are kind of expensive. With Hemp Bombs, you can kind of get a smaller pack of gummies, or have capsules, or something like that, and you can try the product out without having to buy a huge quantity upfront. So, that's, kind of, what really helped us grow the brand in South America, it was an affordable product that everyone could try out and we could scale it quite largely.

Thomas Mulloy, CStore Decisions: As the owner, I did a podcast with him not too long ago, about 6, 8, 10 months ago. And he is all in for it, I mean, based upon his firsthand experience with CBD products. I think he's in his early to mid-60s, he says that it's helped him out with his daily aches and pains, he feels better, he moves better, he wakes up better, he sleeps better, and he's using CBD and so...

Joe: Prior to recording this episode of our "CBD University Podcast," you had the opportunity to get a firsthand look at the Global Widget part of our facilities, your thoughts on what you've seen here and how Global Widget is contributing to the industry here in Florida?

Holly Bell, Director of Cannabis, State of Florida : So, the commissioner and I have always said the goal for Florida is the gold standard. And when I walked in here and got the facility, I thought, "This is the gold standard. This is what the industry needs." You guys really have embraced that and brought that to Florida. Very impressive. And we just need to get the word out and let more and more people know. But, yeah, no, you are a gold standard. This is exactly the vision that the commissioner had when she started the program.

Joe: We wanna be that company that not only are we doing all of our products right, not only are we, you know, ensuring the safety and quality of all of our products for our consumers, our distributors, and our wholesale partners, but we wanna be the authoritative, educational voice, you know, in the industry. You know, none of this would be possible if it wasn't for the continued support of our listeners, our viewers, you know, 25,000-plus downloads, and that doesn't even include all the video views across our YouTube channel. So, it's really all about the listeners who have taken to this podcast, continue to listen, episode in and episode out, we get some great emails and some great questions from listeners. So, without them, none of this is possible. And, you know, just them validating this podcast through their faithful following shows that we are indeed accomplishing our goal of educating them on a number of platforms.

Marcelo Gracia, Secretary General, ANNICAN: Yes, a little bit about Widget, it's a well-recognized brand and a key player in the U.S. industry. This is the kind of players that we want in Mexico, well-suited brands with an open-market share, a proven track record, and a variety of products, high quality and the willingness of exploring this new market.

Debbie Verdugo, Hemp Bombs Customer: I think I bought a bottle. And that did it. That did it. And I think there's been three versions of it since I started taking the CBD. And it's the best. I went from four prescriptions a day, four times a day, to once.

Joe: Your thoughts on what you saw?

Nikki Fried, Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, State of Florida: Very impressive. I've had the opportunity the last five years to see everything from how THC grows and manufacturing out in the West Coast to the East Coast and everything here in the State of Florida. You have a terrific, amazing operation here, just the professionalism and the science that you all are doing, the precision of making sure that your products are safe for the consumers, that you're creating that training ground for your employees, and really being a leader in this industry and showing everybody else how it needs to get done. You make my job a lot easier, absolutely. And I do love that you're doing these episodes because a lot of it is education, is really trying to educate the consumer to be looking for those QR codes, be looking for the labels, looking for the Department of Agriculture's license when you're going into buying products, making sure that retailers understand that they have to comply and register with our department. So, you all doing these podcasts and getting the word out to the community and making people aware, "These are safe products, this is for your health and wellness, this isn't gonna get you high, this is gonna just make you feel better."

Margaret Richardson, Chief Compliance Officer at Global Widget: We also had to do a number of different safety studies. And I think, you know, that, again, provides some comfort to our consumers that CBD is safe, and that there aren't any issues with it in terms of ingesting it in reasonable amounts.

Dr. Bundy, Global Regulatory Services: I guess the overall objective really is to prove safety. So, really that's what the regulators...that's the bottom line for them, you know, is the product safe? Is the CBD safe? So, I won't, kind of, go into all the technicalities of the studies, but you basically have studies to look at what they call gene intoxicology, which is, like, does it affect the gene level, the DNA, you know, in us?

Joe: I think like, is there anything I didn't cover? I think we covered just about everything.

Sara Brown, Formulator at Global Widget: I mean, one thing that allows us to keep our gummies, like, just as stable and very good quality gummies is, like, we're also doing all the stability studies, like, concurrently. That's what gives us our fast pace is that we...the minute that we start formulating something, we're already trying to start the stability studies on those gummies to make sure that we can ensure that the customer is gonna know that in a year or two years that gummy is still gonna be a very good gummy. We're always doing research on the, like, newest coming-out products and things that people are...you know, things that are trending, or things that people are really starting to want. So, every week, we all have a day to spend just doing straight-up research on new ingredients, new formulations, new types of gummies, and industry things that are going on that we wanna possibly bring into our line of gummies. We have a great team of really experienced chemists that are very knowledgeable, like we've been saying this whole time, that are capable of doing that research and bringing it out in their products.

Kevin Collins, Co-Founder, Global Widget: Yeah, right? It was awesome to get Nikki Fried and Holly Bell here. You know, obviously, we have the head of the Department of Agriculture and we have the head of the cannabis division here, two of the highest positions in the hemp and THC realm. And both of them gave us, you know, two thumbs up, Holly Bell called us a gold standard, Nikki Fried did a great piece here with Bay News 9. We gave her the full tour. And I would have to say, you know, it's extremely rewarding for us as a business and then as individual contributors, right, because a lot of what they see are the facilities, the employees, the manufacturing space, and one thing that we've always prided ourselves on here is we do everything in-house.

Rod Kight, Industry Advocate/Attorney: And Delta-8 just happens to be the particular cannabinoid that's of great interest right now. We're gonna continue to see more rollout over the years. In the meantime, there is a major demand for hemp-based products by the population, and a growing demand. As the population becomes more educated about them, people begin to experience them and the effects they can have, positive, you know, in terms of pain and anxiety relief, and just general wellbeing.

Joe: How do we work trending ingredients into the formula or flavors, you know, of gummies? And Zach, or whoever, Jessica, wants to start on that one?

Jessica Quinn, Formulator at Global Widget: Well it depends on what the customer is asking for but we try to work with the dosages that they want for the gummy, and then try to give them the flavor and color that they want.

Zach Burrell, Formulator at Global Widget: Yeah, and sometimes we have to work back, like, say, someone wants to put 100 milligrams of something in, but that was too much for whatever it be, a color problem, it makes it too brown or too...I mean, just not the color they want, we have to dose it back and, kind of, work with the customer that way to get them that perfect gummy.

Michael Patterson, CEO – US Cannabis Pharmaceutical and Research: So, Joe, I have to interrupt you. What you're saying is, if you're a player in this industry, you're gonna be on Joe's show. That's what you're telling me.

Joe: What does it mean to you guys as formulators that products you are creating are winning industry awards?

Sara Brown, Formulator at Global Widget: Huge sense of pride. It's a really great feeling to know that the stuff that we're making is liked by anybody, by other people. To be liked enough to be voted to win something is just an amazing feeling. It's great. Yeah.

Nelson Rodriguez, Quality Manager at Global Widget: I agree. Like, yeah, I mean, it's a team effort, right?

Sara: Right.

Nelson: So, the whole team is always like, "Oh, we won this award." We're, like, super stoked. Like, yes. It keeps morale very high to know that we work in such a fun environment plus we're getting awards. It's just amazing. I love it.

Sara: Heading down the right track.

Nelson: Oh, yeah.

Joe: I'm Joe Agostinelli, host of the award-winning "CPG & CBD University Podcast."

Mac Norton, Business Development Manager at Global Widget: I love it.

Michael Diaz, Technical Services Manager at Global Widget: I love that. It has a great ring to it.

Joe: It does, doesn't it? Yeah, if you haven't heard the news already, it's on our social media networks, but Ragan Communications and PR Daily recently announcing us as the podcast of the year in their digital media and social media awards. You can check that out on our website at www.globalwidget.com. And we do thank you all for the support and all my great guests like you guys who make this podcast as fun and educational as we possibly can, so.

I look forward to hosting the podcast for many, many more episodes to come.

It certainly has been a fun and educational ride so far, but we're just getting started. As I said at that close, I hope to host this podcast for many, many more episodes. That was at the end of episode 1 and now we're on to our next 100 episodes. We will continue to evolve our podcast and manufacture innovative products that help retailers maximize sell-through and help consumers achieve all their health and wellness goals. I wanna thank everyone who continues to make this podcast a privilege to host and produce week in and week out, and give a special thank you to our editor, graphic designer, videographer, photographer, David Kislik, who makes each episode look and sound great week in and week out.

On behalf of Global Widget, I wanna thank you, the listener and viewer. Many podcasts have come and gone in the CBD space, but you continue to tune in each week, bringing us more than 160,000 downloads and thousands of video views across our YouTube channels. It's because of you that we have been able to evolve our podcast into what it is today and because of you that we will continue to bring you the latest news, topics, and new product details each and every episode. So, honestly, thank you for your attention and support through our first 100 episodes. So, here's to the next 100 episodes of the "CPG & CBD University Podcast." We look forward to having you along for the ride. I'm Joe Agostinelli, host of the "CPG & CBD University Podcast." Don't forget to hit that subscribe button so you don't miss a minute of the next 100 podcast episodes and then some. Thanks for tuning in to our 100th episode of the "CPG & CBD University Podcast."

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. CBD products are not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. Always consult with your personal physician about CBD and using CBD products. CBD should never be used by anyone under the age of 18. This podcast is not intended to provide legal advice regarding the legal status of CBD and CBD products.