Episode 11 : Enthusiasm, Education, Excitement at CBD U

CBD Podcast Episode 11

Joe: On this episode of "Tthe CBD University Podcast" our in-house experts who are part of the CBD University Seeing Is Believing seminars, educating distributors on everything CBD and showcasing our people, processes, and products to wholesalers and retailers. We're here to make sure our wholesalers and retailers are set up for success in the CBD industry. 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, thanks once again for tuning in. If you are a new listener, you are glad you found us on your podcast platform of choice. We'll get into those platforms a little later on and how you can subscribe to our podcast and we also invite you to watch full videos. Even if you listen on your favorite podcast app watch full videos on our YouTube channel, the Global Widget YouTube channel, you can see all of our past episodes. And if you have seen our past episodes, you recognize a couple of our guests today. You've also realized, that if you're watching you see three guests rather than the...this is the most we've ever had on any episode.

So, going from my left to right, did I do that right? I did. Margaret Richardson, John King, and Vince Gillen. We'll be talking about the Seeing Is Believing seminars which all three of you have a key part in whether it's on a forum, serving as the MC, with the tours and everything that goes on with those. So, as I mentioned, we'll be discussing more about our CBD University Seeing Is Believing seminars and distributors and retailers who have not yet taken advantage of that opportunity to come see our facilities. You can visit our website at www.globalwidget.com and you'll see the banner right there in the middle to request more information. As I mentioned, Margaret Richardson is our Vice President of Regulatory Compliance and Safety, Vince Gillen all dressed up as always to a tee is our Vice President of Sales. And in the middle is our Chief Technology Officer and VP of Marketing Operations, John King making his podcast debut. So, John, we welcome you to the podcast. I know you're an avid listener and strongly behind the podcast so we thank you for that. But welcome to your first appearance on the podcast.

John: Thank you. Thanks, glad to be here.

Joe: And since it's your first appearance, and everyone else is a podcast expert now we'll let you take the first question. So, when we first announced Seeing Is Believing way back in October at NACS [SP], has it lived up now that we've gone through a few? Has it lived up to what you thought of what is even more than you thought it was going to be?

John: Definitely more, it's been overwhelming. The whole concept has exceeded our expectations from when we first announced it. We thought that there was interest and, you know, from people who are out in the market talking more to our customers, we thought that that interest was there and we thought that customers would enjoy this kind of experience. But the response has literally just been overwhelming.

Joe: And I'll ask the same question to both Vince and Margaret. Vince, you first I mean, when you were at NACS, right, you know, in October, so maybe, you know, when this first was announced, did you...the reception it got from distributors that you work with and now what you've seen since.

Vince: Yeah, I would say at NACS we were definitely...people were actually thrown off that we were inviting them down to our facility. So, we were hoping to have maybe, you know, 5 or 10 guests. So, to have almost 20, the first one and then about 30 the second one was was great for us, it was a good response. And I think the wow factor is definitely there and it's a big production for us and it's been it's been really, really good.

Joe: And Margaret is part of the panel forum for our seminars, has this lived up to what you thought it would be before we got the first one underway?

Margaret: Yeah, I think, as Vince and John mentioned, we've had a really good response. Of course, we have kind of the prepared information which we always get through. But I think the real meat of it is the questions and answers. And we spend a lot of time on that and I think we've all been very pleasantly surprised on the engagement with the customers and the folks that come.

Joe: And then John is the host for the seminar and leader, you know, really for the tours of our facilities and over 100,000 square feet as we have talked about in the past of manufacturing and distribution space that we have here at Global Widget. What has stood out to you the most, you know, from the first couple of seminars that we've had?

John: Yeah, I'm gonna expand on what Margaret was saying. It's really the questions and answers. In the forums, the way we have this set up it's very conversational, and it's more than just us talking with the attendees, the attendees get a chance to mingle and talk with each other and learn about each other's journeys. And I think that they really really like that. They realized that they have similar questions and then as other people and maybe a few that are different but by talking to each other, they're learning throughout the whole first evening and then all the next morning. That's really the biggest, and then the second it's always fun when we take them on the tour the second part of the day. And we see them...you can see their faces light up as they see the facility and how clean and beautiful and they see what compliance really looks like, they walk through and through...and it's firsthand. They're walking literally right through all the equipment, we gown up and go back and take a look. And seeing their faces and how much they're really enjoying that is...those are the two biggest things that stand out.

Joe: And Margaret, John touched on it and I wanted to talk, you know, obviously to you about the complaints and safety aspect of this. And obviously, that's always on the minds of any retailers and distributors, especially those who have not yet gotten into the industry and offered products at their store. So, what's been the feedback so far on the response to some of the forums that you've been a part of in the compliance and safety realm?

Margaret: Well, definitely the feedback we've gotten from customers, they've never seen anything like the level of compliance that we are providing for the CBD industry. We've gotten very positive feedback from everybody that's been on site, you know, equating what we do. You know, as we've talked about too dietary supplements, and OTCs and the pharma space. So, you know, customers are coming in a little bit questioning, like they're unsure, they're a little bit nervous is this, you know, the type of product I wanna sell and they're walking out very convinced of the fact that you can make a very high-quality CBD product. And that lets them know what to look for from potential vendors, and, you know, hopefully gives them the feedback that our products are the ones they wanna select for their retail locations.

Joe: And speaking of which Vince, as the Vice President of Sales. You're right on the front lines with our distributors and or our retail partners. What have you heard as a follow up to, as you mentioned, now, almost more than 50 attendees at the first 2 seminars?

Vince: Yeah, actually [inaudible 00:07:28] what Margaret said with the compliance from anyone that's been here, from a small chain to likely, let's say they're 10, 20, 30 stores, all the way up to some publicly-traded company. So, the dynamic of the attendees is very different. So, and it's actually...they're all very impressed, I would say. So, it's not just you know, one type of vertical market, it could be convenience, it could be grocery, the supplement...the sports nutrition market. So, it's been great to get all of their feedback and it's been very, very positive. And I think it's because a lot of the other products out there are not made in a facility where they can go visit. So, that's the difference that being able to come here and have it, be able to see where it's made and everything. So, it's been great. And also with the compliance piece, a lot of the comparisons that we've heard have been to pharmaceutical manufacturers, that's really the only other comparison that people have. So, that also makes us feel pretty good about what we're doing.

Joe: And heading into our seminars in 2020. And as I talked about in the intro, if you're interested in finding more information out about the seminars and registering for an opportunity to come down here to Tampa you can visit our website at www.globalwidget.com and you'll see the visit our facility information right in the middle. What are the takeaways you hope that our upcoming classes get from attending the seminars? And John I'll let you answer first.

John: Yeah, you know, so we start off by going through some presentations and sharing some information and then we go into the Q&A. During that time, I think it becomes very evident to our attendees that they're coming in at the right time. We have data, some of the things that we go over in the initial parts of the presentation are showing them that although it seems like in 2019, there was this huge CBD wave from the 2018 Farm Bill and there was, but that is just the first wave, the bigger wave is coming behind it. And then I think that that's pretty clear to all the attendees that wow, we're getting in at the right time, when they're just getting ready to jump in or they've only recently jumped in and they're thinking of upping their game. And that that's I think the big takeaway.

Joe: And Margaret, from a compliance and legal and safety standpoint, obviously, that changes on a daily basis in this industry. So, from one seminar to another could be perhaps a whole different discussion, correct?

Margaret: Yeah, for sure. I mean, we've seen just...if you think most recently, we had the FDA come out with raising the smoking age to 21, looking at, you know, flavored e-cigarette cartridges, so certainly staying on top of that is really important. And one thing we really try to do is have a takeaway so that those customers that come they have information that they can take away and really go back to and share within their organizations, but also to know that we're a resource for them and we really try to do that. So, we help them stay on top of those ever-changing regulations.

Joe: And Vince, as I mentioned, setting them up for success, you know, whether they're in the industry, maybe looking to expand their product offerings or enter the industry. You know, what's a takeaway you hope to see from folks who attend some of our seminars here in 2020?

Vince: The biggest takeaway is definitely the education piece. There's a lot of misinformation out there and I would say people have been hearing about CBD for a couple years, like John said they thought it was big last year, even the year prior, and really now they get a chance to get what's correct in terms of regulation compliance. And probably another key takeaway could be the data that we have on what has good sell-through for the retail market from the different product lines. So, you know, those are definitely some of the takeaways.

Joe: So, from the takeaways to advice, so I'll ask all three of you again. If someone was on the fence and was trying to decide, is it worth it? Is it not worth, you know, heading down to Tampa to check out the facilities and being a part of one of our seminars. What one piece of advice would you give somebody who's maybe on the fence? And John, I'll let you go first.

John: Well, this time of year, I'd have to say a trip to Florida, it's probably snowing where you're at and come on down to Florida and enjoy the trip. But really it is the networking opportunity and then if you're thinking about making the jump, do it with data and information. And coming here and talking to...getting first-hand access to a Chief Compliance Officer, because someone who can tell you everything you want to know about what's selling and sell-through, those kinds of opportunities don't come up too often, and the way we help our attendees in their...you know, with travel and accommodations, it's just a great experience and access to great resources that you don't usually get. And if you're going to make a big jump, doing that jump with data is good.

Joe: And Margaret, what piece of advice from the compliance and legal point would you give?

Margaret: Well, I think, you know, first and foremost, you want to have a trusted partner, if you're gonna go into the CBD space. So, this gives you at least some reference points, some checklists of what you need to look for a trusted partner. From our perspective, you know, we feel very confident that we would make good trusted partner for anyone. But this gives you the opportunity to double-check yourself to look around, as John said, to talk to other folks, see what their experiences are. And I would also say that beyond just the internal experts, we do have a panel that includes outside experts. So, we do have other third parties that are coming in and again, providing that compliance legal background so that you have someone to ask questions for.

Joe: And Vince, on the sales side, what advice would you give a distributor or retailer thinking of coming down to one of our seminars?

Vince: Just to kind of [inaudible 00:13:55] and said, I really think it's time well spent. It's a quick trip, we do pack a lot into really a dinner and then the next day. But it's probably one of the most valuable experiences someone can have in terms of trying to learn about the CBD category. And I can say that all the people I've talked to that have been to multiple trade shows and some of the other events out there and seminars that have to do with CBD, you know, they go someplace for two days and they don't get half as much accurate information and really a hands-on takeaway, I guess, from seeing what we have to offer. And it's a very intimate setting being that we're all close together and it's a small group. So, I think it just worth the time if you're getting into the category. It's a big investment to choose what products to bring in, especially one that's like CBD and the education so important.

John: We cover a lot of ground in 24 hours.

Vince: Right, absolutely.

John: And then so we have to be able to have access to all that great information and learn all that. Yes, it's quite an experience for 24 hours.

Vince: Absolutely. And it's all expenses paid, you can't beat that.

Joe: Nothing wrong with that, huh?

Vince: Yeah, it's free.

Joe: And real quick, we'll wrap up. John, you talked about the 24 hours, why don't you just take us through that 24 hours. What does it look like for somebody who attends one of our seminars?

John: Sure. So, we have people fly down the day before the big day, but we like them to arrive early enough so that we can get together for a dinner and we have a nice dinner out. It includes a lot of mingle time and we're all available to be able to talk to during that dinner. We don't go into a lot of business aspects, it's really more one on one conversation so you can start asking your questions at that point in time. Then we get together the next morning, we get breakfast and then from... and there's check-in and there's a gift bag and some things to take home that you're gonna get. And then we go straight into presentations and we have probably just a little over an hour of presentations on several topics. There is general industry information and context setting. We lead in with compliance because that's one of the most important things that can be focusing on right now. Legal aspects, testing and how you know you're looking at good test results. And then we go into selling, not us selling to the attendees, but how they're gonna sell to their customers.

So that's the coverage and then from there we go into probably about an hour and a half to two hours of Q&A. And some of the Q&A you can tell people got it, just they won't have follow-up questions on what they saw and some of it are things that they brought with them. And then from there, we have a quick lunch and off to tours. We have three facilities here at Global Widget and a manufacturing and business office. And hands-on like I was saying, we gown up and walk right through, you're standing right next to machines, getting to see how stuff is made and how it's bagged, etc. And then we have an extraction facility as well, then we go the extraction facility and it's quite a lab, a lot of chrome tubes. Yeah, very shiny stuff, it's very... And we have our scientists explain how it's all working and it's pretty interesting. And then finally we go to our distribution center and then we have a wrap up at the distribution center. We've got a bus that takes you between the facilities and then back onto the bus back to the airport. You're back on the plane 24 hours after you got here.

Joe: So, lots to do and a lot to cover in 24 hours and we look forward to hosting more of our CBD University Seeing Is Believing seminars throughout 2020. I thank all three of you for taking time out of your busy days to join me on the podcast.

Margaret: Thanks, Joe.

John: Yeah, thank you.

Joe: And as I mentioned, we'll have more of our CBD University Seeing Is Believing seminars throughout 2020. Distributors, for more information and to learn how you can register for information regarding our upcoming seminars, dates, agendas, all that good stuff, you can visit our website at www.globalwidget.com. Click on visit our facility, it'll be right in the center. For continuing education and to stay on top of all the latest CBD information news, trends out of the industry and to have some more episodes with some of these guests and other guests, I invite you to subscribe to "The CBD University Podcast" on your favorite podcast app of choice. And we're around a number of them now including Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, Lipson SoundCloud, TuneIn Radio, iHeartRadio, and look for more podcast apps coming soon. Plus, you can also watch full video episodes on the Global Widget YouTube channel along with the Hemp Bombs and Nature Script YouTube channels. 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. 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 podcast is not intended to provide legal advice regarding the legal status of CBD and CBD products.