Episode 31: More Made in the USA



Joe: On this episode of the "CBD University Podcast," we are wrapping up our special three-part series on the launch of our new CBD gummies. Now, we take you behind the scenes with our in-house manufacturing team to hear more about how our in-house team is bringing you more flavors, more value, more CBD, and more gummies in our year of more. This is the "CBD University Podcast," and it starts right now.

I'm Joe Agostinelli, the host of the "CBD University Podcast." If you are a returning listener or viewer, we thank you once again for tuning into our podcast, and if you are a new listener, we are glad you found us on your podcast platform of choice. If you would like to catch full video episodes of our podcast, hit that subscribe button on our YouTube channels of each of our brands, along with the Global Widget YouTube channel. And in full transparency and honesty, if you're watching on our YouTube channel, you may notice angle or two of myself a little banged up from a recent bike accident, but nevertheless, the show must go on and that's because we are wrapping up our three-part series on the launch of our CBD gummies. And joining me for this episode, our chief compliance officer, Margaret Richardson, who's back once again, and our chief operating officer, Salim Baltagi. First episode that Salim has joined us for, so we're happy to hear him here on the podcast. And thank you both for joining me today.

Margaret: Thanks, Joe.

Salim: Thanks, Joe. Good to be here.

Joe: Now, just over a little gosh...it's a little over three weeks ago now we launched our new CBD gummies across our Hemp Bombs and Nature's Script product lines. We've discussed more flavors, more gummies per package, more value for our customers. Now, we're taking, as I mentioned, you behind the scenes to talk about our manufacturing process and I figured who else to talk through that then both of you. And you may not know this, but 110,000 square feet of manufacturing and distribution space we have here. And so, I alluded to it in the introduction, but the first point to make that everything we make and ship directly to our customers through our eCommerce websites or even our retail and distribution partners is made right here at our Tampa, Florida facility, that's correct?

Salim: That's correct. That's absolutely correct. Under one roof.

Joe: And then so in May, we debuted our new CBD oils. In July, we revamped our bestselling CBD gummies. So, let's discuss our manufacturing of the gummies. And as I mentioned in our recent episodes, we had on our food scientists to discuss the flavors. We had on one of our co-founders to discuss the investment that went into the gummies launch. But our gummies made from scratch right here actually at this facility where we house our podcast studio. What goes into that whole process now? And maybe we'll start with the manufacturing process, Salim, and then after everything's all set, that quality compliance part of it.

Margaret: Sure.

Salim: Absolutely, Joe. So, we're excited to have that gummy line. You know, we launched the gummies like you said, three weeks ago. And so, it starts with the batch. It starts with the formulation and we have the best in-class formulation team. And then they simply basically prepare the batches for our production personnel. From there, everything is measured precisely from cooking the sugar to adding the flavors, to the temperature that we cook it at. So, it's all under one roof, it's all connected together, it's automated, and it's simply just a labor of love. So, you know, having the sugar cooked at a certain temperature, adding it to the pectin and gelatin at a certain temperature, cooling it down from there into the hopper, and then cooling it through the tunnel, it's all once basically process that is streamlined. And it's the gummies coming out on the other end, delicious.

Joe: And for those who have seen the video, not too long ago, we posted a video on our LinkedIn channel. It was Margaret, you and I discussing that whole process and we kind of hit on everything there from the machine to the dehydration room and really all the ins and outs for our retail and wholesale partners. So, from the quality and compliance standpoint, what does, you know, making gummies here in-house take?

Margaret: Well, as Salim mentioned, step one making sure we have a really good formulation that is shelf-stable. That's very important because, of course, once the gummies are packaged, they're going to be shipped and then potentially sit on the retail shelf for a couple of weeks. So, that's one of our key starting points. Second is as we also talked about making sure that everything's measured appropriately. So we have a batch record that our production folks follow. It's very detailed. It gives them specific temperatures that they're looking for and key points that we do QC throughout the entire process. And then when the gummies come off, as you said, we put them into the dehydration chamber and there are still additional QC checks as they come out of the dehydration chamber to make sure that they've gotten to the right moisture level. So that again, when we package them, they're going to be shelf-stable for a long period of time.

Joe: And we've talked about this on recent episodes, but still the new look its...you know, you can see some of the bottles here on display in the studio, but you can also see them on our website at hempbombs.com and naturesscript.com. But despite what the new look may have, the packaging still, the QR codes on the back you still scan them to look at, you know, the lab results. So, nothing's changed from that aspect when it comes to quality compliance and transparency.

Margaret: Yeah, no. All of that is still there. What we've really done is made sure that the label is easy for the consumer to understand. So, we've added the nutritional facts panel so that they can really see what they're getting in terms of calories. And a serving size, it's very clear in terms of how we would suggest that they take the product. And then as you said, they always have the QR code that they can use to see the certificate of analysis for that particular batch.

Joe: And Salim, one of the other points I wanted to talk about when we talk about the...and I know Donald went into great detail a couple of episodes ago in regards to the large investment that was made in the machines. And we profiled the machines in the video that I just alluded to. But I know something you wanted to talk about was the people behind the machines and the machines may make the gummies, you know, but it does take a whole team to at least get to that step.

Salim: That's correct. Yeah. Absolutely. I mean, and we have one of the best teams, the best in class. They're dedicated every step of the way. They watch every step of the way. They take pride in what they do every single day. And the gummy doesn't make itself. You know, you have to basically make sure that process is continuous. And, you know, it's what makes us. Our people make us great. And then we're proud of them.

Joe: And another topic that we've talked about is more capacity and the ability to manufacture more gummies on a daily basis for our customers. This means more value because they're getting more gummies per package along with that quality compliance that they expect. So, when it comes to capacity, what does it take now to meet...and you could see some of our new sizes, we have the 100-count bottles now, which is you know, up from 60 and 70. We have the 50 count bottles now that was up from 30. And really even the smaller package is now a package of 8, rather than a package of 5. So, what does it take from a capacity standpoint and how many gummies are we making on a daily basis?

Salim: So, when we started making the gummies, of course, it's been a long process to get to this point. But so far we've made over 5 million gummies and it's not just the capacity, but we've increased our cooking, batch sizes. So in order to make sure that we run enough gummies to satisfy orders out orders have increased dramatically for those gummies. And we have another line that is on order that's ready to come in to even increase our capacity more. We basically can run somewhere between 200,000 to 250,000 gummies a shift. And then if we run 24 hours a day, that's 500,000 gummies, with a second line, that's even going to double that capacity. So, we're probably going to be able to make at least a million gummies on a daily basis. That is what we're excited about.

Joe: And we've also increased the potency of the CBD in the high potency gummies now 30 milligrams per gummy, correct?

Margaret: That's correct. Yeah. And the important point here about the CBD is, again, remembering that it is infused into the gummy itself. So, in the process as Salim talked about, we cook the sugar, add the gelatin and pectin, and then in the final step, we actually add into a giant [inaudible 00:09:14], the color, and the flavor and the CBD. And so, that really ensures that every single gummy is very consistent and has the same potenc,y you know, throughout the entire batch on a per gummy basis. So, you as a consumer can be really confident that the label is accurate and you're getting the product that you're expecting.

Joe: And I'll let you both answer this. What's the secret to carrying out more stages of production under one roof?

Salim: So you control the supply chain, that's key for us, controlling the supply chain. You have a lot of companies that just have co-pack here and co-pack there and get their labels from somewhere or manufacture the...it's all under one roof. The key for us is that we can control it from the time the ingredients come in until the finished product goes out to our customer. Having that supply chain control is critical for our process.

Margaret: Yeah. I would definitely agree. I think beyond just the fact that it makes sure that there's products there for the customer, it also allows us to be very consistent in terms of quality and compliance. So, again, we're looking at those raw materials coming in. They have to go through a quarantine process and then be released. We're controlling where the supply is coming from. You can test the process and the product during the manufacturing, and then, of course, in the finished goods. So, it really allows us not only to make sure that we always have product for customers, but to be consistent with that product.

Joe: And a final point, with our manufacturing process, how has it enabled us to give our customers... because it's important to note that we are offering more gummies and bigger sizes and people would say, "Oh, that means the price is gonna go up." But that's not necessarily the case for those who have been shopping and they understand that the price has not gone up. How are we able to do that?

Salim: It's value for our customers first of all. It is efficiencies. We look at efficiencies in our process. We automate a lot of the processes that we have, specifically on the gummies. We're making as you alluded to, our co-founder had mentioned the huge investment, the capital investment that we did at our production lines. That is to make us more efficient. Our people are efficient, our machines and equipment is efficient. We maintain them 24/7. That's the key to making sure that we provide the value at an efficient operational price. That's basically the secret for it. The more efficient you are, the more value you provide for your customers.

Joe: Anything to add to that, Margaret? I know we discussed that a little bit on our video and even from the customers to the resale and wholesale side too for vertical integration.

Margaret: Right. I mean, I think, you know, as we talk about, we have a lot of vertical integration, right? So, we have everything from, you know, hemp going into crude, going into isolate that goes into our product that we control, having commercial-scale equipment, you know, that can produce 500,000 gummies in a day. That really allows us to control costs and lower the costs on a per gummy basis so that we can offer more value to the customer.

Joe: Anything else that either of you wanted to mention that I forgot to maybe cover today? But I think we've just about discussed everything for the manufacturing side.

Margaret: I think so. Again, for the customer, I think it's a win-win, more product, great flavors. And in the high potency, you know, more potency per gummy.

Salim: Yeah. And there is more to come. I mean, we're excited about the future and what's happening. You know more lives of product coming down the pike. So, we're looking forward to that.

Joe: You stole my line. That was it. That was my closing line, more to come. So, I'll have to come up with something else. I want to thank... Salim, thank you for joining us...

Salim: Absolutely.

Joe: ...on your first podcast episode. Only... What are we on the 31 now. So it only took over 30 episodes to have you finally on, but we're glad you finally joined us. So, we look forward to doing it again soon.

Salim: Thank you.

Joe: And Margaret as always, thank you for taking time out of your day to join us.

Margaret: Thanks. Sure.

Joe: For more information on the products that we discussed, our new CBD gummies, I not only invite you to go back and listen to any of our past podcast episodes or watch some of our video extras on our YouTube channels, but you can also visit the websites of both of our brands www.hempbombs.com or www.naturesscript.com. Don't forget although we're talking about gummies, we do also offer an extensive line of pet-specific products and pet-specific edibles. You can visit Perfect Paws Hemp at perfectpawshemp.com for information on that. To catch up on any of our past episodes of the "CBD University Podcast," I invite you to subscribe to our podcast on your platform of choice or also visit our website at www.globalwidget.com. As Salim said, more to come. So, stay tuned for more new products, more product releases, more news, and more education on the "CBD University Podcast" as we continue to roll into the second half of 2020. I'm Joe Agostinelli, the host of the "CBD University Podcast." Thanks for tuning in.

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