Joe: On this episode of the "CBD University Podcast," the season may have changed, but the year of more continues. Now in the summer of more, first, we added more milligrams of CBD to our oils, offered more flavors, and more value. Now we introduce our new CBD gummies. More gummies in each package and bottle means more value for you, more milligrams of CBD for your money plus more flavors. It's more gummies galore on this episode of 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, welcome back to our podcast. Thanks for tuning in again. If you are a new listener or viewer, we are glad you found us. I invite you to subscribe on your podcast platform of choice wherever you get your podcasts and get notifications when new episodes are published each week. You can also see full video episodes of the "CBD University Podcast" on the global widget YouTube channel and the YouTube channels of our brands with more than 25 episodes and over 12,000 downloads. Now we're approaching 15,000. We thank you all for your support of the "CBD University Podcast."

We'll have some video extras on our YouTube channels on this podcast because our year of more continues. And since everyone loves summertime, we're kicking off the summer of more with more new products for you. Our bestselling CBD gummies have a brand new look, plus they now feature more gummies per package and per bottle, which means more milligrams of CBD for you. Plus you'll get more gummies for your money as the price of our new gummies stays the same. To break all of this down, we welcome back to the podcast one of our co-founders download Donald Biedrzycki. Welcome back to the podcast.

Donald: Thank you for having me.

Joe: As my branded headset falls. There we go. We're better. And we'll just roll and right with that. So first off we just don't push a switch and boom, new gummies start appearing left and right.

Donald: That is true. That is not the way it works.

Joe: No, I know. Large investment. Tell us a little bit about that.

Donald: So we...you know, being one of the pioneers in the CBD space we've been in since early 2016, and early 2017, we launched our gummies and the demand just built from there. So we recognized over time as the industry matured and as, of course, the demand for our product group, that we were gonna need to become the experts, the best gummy manufacturer in the CBD space. So about 18 months ago, we decided that we were gonna make a very large commitment to our gummy department and we invested in new equipment, high capacity, high-speed equipment. We invested in talent. We invested in R&D and recently we've put into production our new gummy department.

Joe: And along with all the equipment, when we talk about this investment manufacturing space, it also increases the capacity. So a little bit about the capacity and what that means to...

Donald: So what we do is, the machine is about 60 feet long, it's like a 24 head depositing line, and we run that right now at about 25 to 30 strokes per minute. So every minute, you know, we're making hundreds and hundreds of gummies. It's really a unique process because we used to do things on a much smaller scale, and as we ramped up for this, everything just changed.

We had to reformulate, we had to work on the formulations so that based on the type of equipment it is, we can maximize the output. So you have to find your right balance between gelatin and pectin. And it was 18 months of R&D and studying and trying to figure that out. But now, now that we've refined all that, we feel that we're running the machine close to an optimal speed with the desired formula, which is best received by the market.

And I think our capacity currently is around 5 to 7 million gummies a month. And what we've done is we're adding a second cooking line on the existing machine that we have. And then we're actually in production right now with a full second machine. So in the next three to four months, our capacity is gonna be around a million gummies a day.

Joe: That is a lot of gummies.

Donald: It's unbelievable.

Joe: And something to go back on that you talked about is the formulation. I mean, regular gummies, you can see in any candy store, people think, "Oh, anybody can go and make gummies." But that's not the case.

Donald: Oh, it's really not, because it all depends on the type of equipment you're using and then your desired outcome. So because we've got a continuous conveyor system machine, we have to get the gummy to cure in a specific period of time, so by the time it makes it around...the mold to be deposited again, that the gummies have cured and have been ejected from the mold.

So it was a long process. There was a lot of R&D to it, but now we feel that we're borderline experts on it. In our inner formulation department, we've got two formulators, two food specialists that specifically work on gummies. So we've got vegetarian gummies or vegan gummies. We've got our gelatin-based gummies. We do sleep gummies. We do high potency gummies. We do gummies in two grams up to four and a half grams. So we're very confident in our manufacturing ability with gummies right now.

Joe: And with that increased capacity, you mentioned a million gummies. That's just so hard to fathom because you see...and we'll show off some of the samples here, but you see a pack of gummies has now eight rather than five. And we'll get into that in a few minutes. So you talk about million gummies a day. I mean, it's just hard to fathom.

Donald: It's a lot of gummies. Yeah, it's a lot of gummies. It's cool. They just continue to come out the end of the machine, go through the dusting tunnel. And then what we do that I believe is unique is we put it through a dehydration process because we want to pull as much moisture out as possible to maintain the integrity of the gummy because it raises the melting point and you get a much better quality gummy at the end.

Joe: And it's also important to note that all of those folks that you mentioned are all in-house teams.

Donald: That's correct. That's correct. We do everything in-house. When we started the project, we of course hired consultants. And then we spent some time locating experts and we brought them on full time. So their main job right now is we're looking at what products, what gummy products are out in the market and we're making formulas that we feel are popular at the market. And then we're getting on stability tests because it's very important that you've got things that have gone through stability tests before we put it out into the market, so we can put an honest expiration date on it. And we know that our product maintains its integrity for a reliable period of time.

Joe: So when you have the capacity and you have brands, you know, and a business that's reputable and people are familiar in making great gummies, what kind of possibilities does that open up?

Donald: So what we realized is, as we got closer to being in production in our gummy department, we were getting a lot of white label customers coming to us. Customers that have their own brands that sell on the internet and stuff like that. And they needed a consistent supplier because there's a lot of guys out there. There's one thing to say to can do something, it's another thing to deliver. And that's what we do. Because everybody knows that we deliver, and we do what we say we're gonna do. So the opportunities are just endless for us. People are knocking on our door every day for gummies.

Joe: And we'll hear more about that on a future episode of the "CBD University Podcast." We look forward to hearing more details about all of that. And all of this ties into our quality and compliance of our products. In addition to the capacity, we talked about the in house teams, all of these gummies, even with this stability testing you touched on, still, go through all the third-party lab testing.

Donald: Absolutely. Absolutely. We have our in house QC department. So we do tests, you know, while things are in production but then based on most states laws, we have to have a third party test which is traceable. You can click on the QR code on the back of the package, and then you can see that third party test for every batch.

Joe: Leading right into my next question, because now with the in house formulation comes the possibilities with our gummies. And we talked on the most recent episode with our food chemist about the flavors. You have touched on, you know, we can offer gummies with the folks with dietary restrictions. We get a lot of customer outreach about vegan, sugar-free, and you touched a little bit about that with the formulations. So something we can do now?

Donald: Yeah, absolutely. We're actually working on that as we speak. So we started with the formulations that meet, of course, all the criteria of the products that we have on the marketplace. And then more specific, specialty unique products that are out there, we're working on that now. The formulations are being completed and the products are going on a stability test.

Joe: And now it's time to do show and tell. This is where the YouTube video extras come into play. When our gummies launched just a few days ago, and we hope you all saw that launch across our social media channels, customers may have noticed a new look. And in addition to the new look, and we'll get into this, the more gummies really per package, whether it's the five-pack is now an eight pack. Now there's... I gotta cheat and look. Now we have 100 counts, 50 counts.

Donald: That's correct.

Joe: And we sort of do this with the CBD oils too. It's that more milligrams. So, but we didn't raise the price. So why would we add more, but keep everything the same?

Donald: So one of our main focus in our business is vertical integration. And what we did is, along with the gummy project that we started 18 months ago, almost 24 months ago, we started an extraction facility, started building our extraction facility. So we were actually extremely vertically integrated. We buy hemp at the farms and we can process that all the way through the finished API that goes into our product, which brings the cost of our raw materials down, which then, in turn, we're able to pass that savings on to our customer by offering more milligrams and not charging for it.

Joe: And so let's get into that, and this is the show and tell portion. So if you want to head over to our YouTube channels, and we can certainly have some video extras here. So the new look and on the Hemp Bombs line, you can notice...and I've got two cameras here, so there's a one here. This is the Hemp Bombs line. You can notice a brand new look, and we talked about in-house or in house graphic design and packaging team, the new look in there.

Now for consumers, everything's still the same. So you're still going to get your nutrition facts, ingredients right on the back of the label.

Donald: It's all compliance-related. We really have one of the most compliant labels in the industry. Our in-house compliance, the legal department literally talks to the decision-makers in each state. And we follow the rules of every state as much as possible, based on what the state knows at that time. Which that's a semi moving target so we have to do revamp of small, specific things on labels, you know, frequently. But it's not anything that the customer would notice.

Joe: And then the QR codes, as you mentioned, still on the back, still scan the QR codes for your independent third-party lab tests. You can actually view those lab tests for your batch number as you're picking this up at a store or looking online. And then the CBD goes to our CBD 101 website. And this is the 50 count bottle which replaces... I've got my cheat sheet in front of me. The 50 count bottle replaces the 30 count bottle. So you're talking 20 more gummies in that bottle.

Donald: A hundred counts.

Joe: Yeah, we got 100 counts. So what was a 60 and 70 count...and this is the high potency version. You'll notice the red band on top. You got the 100 count.

Donald: That's correct.

Joe: And again, that replaces the 60 and the 70 count. This is the high potency version. Nice big bottle. I'm gonna have to get one of those. And then, and especially for our...on the retail side, what a lot of our products are available in over 25,000 retail locations nationwide. And a lot of folks are probably used to these little packages that used to come in a five-pack. Now the same pack...

Donald: Eight count.

Joe: Eight count.

Donald: That's correct.

Joe: Eight count gummies. Some more gummies. We talk about more milligrams, more gummies, and this is what that pack's gonna look like. So before you send over a picture on social media, "Are these really yours?" Yes, they are. They look different. Shifting gears to the Nature's Script brand, same thing. Now the eight count, which was the five count, and this is the high potency, five count's, now, the eight count. And then something I'm excited about is the bottles now. And here we'll get the Sleep. A hundred count. Is that the 100 count one?

Donald: Yep.

Joe: Again, that replaces the 60 and the 70 counts and same thing. There's the high potency version. So in a nice new crisp look also on the Nature's Script side. And then everything you can find right down the back with QR codes and all that info. So the new look gummies visit our websites to get a full overview of everything. And it's an exciting time as we continue to bring more products to our customers.

And so in this year of more we're, hard to believe, just about just at the halfway point now of 2020. What are you looking forward to the most as we continue on in this year of more for our consumers and our retail and wholesale partners?

Donald: I think for the end consumer, what I'm most excited about is we're able to give more products for the same dollar amount. We're able to now offer the 120-milligram gummies for the same price that we used to have a 75-milligram gummy package for. So we're just able to continue working on a business, working on that vertical integration, which then we're able to pass that savings on. So that's very exciting for us internally, and it also gives us, of course, a competitive edge over our competition.

If we look at the industry as a whole, from the business aspect, what I'm very excited about is, you know, during these trying times, there's, unfortunately, some of our competitors are having a...they're having to do deals to survive. We're doing deals and we're continuing to expand to thrive, where the one thing I think is most important that I want our wholesale customers to know is we are arguably one of the most stable, financially stable CBD companies there are.

So we do not have anything that's going to interrupt our supply chain, that's going to interrupt our quality, our capacity, anything like that. So the end consumer can feel comfortable that if they're buying the Hemp Bombs or a Nature's Script product, that product's always going to be on the shelf. Our distributor can feel comfortable that if they're buying from us, that they're going to continue to be able to buy from us. One day, you know, we're always going to be here.

Joe: And we'll have more on our new gummies in subsequent episodes of our "CBD University Podcasts." You want to make sure that you subscribe to our podcasts to get notifications when those episodes are out. And some of the other stuff we talked about, look for more on extraction, look for more on the white label and future episodes. I thank our co-founder Donald Biedrzycki for joining me today. Great conversation as always.

Donald: Yeah, great. Thanks for having me.

Joe: Thank you and thank you for tuning in to this episode of the "CBD University Podcast." Don't forget if you have not done so yet, subscribe to our podcast to receive notifications when new episodes are published weekly. And for more information on the new gummies on the hemp bomb site, please visit www.hempbombs.com. You can also find all of our past episodes of our "CBD University Podcast" at our website at globalwidget.com. And for the Nature's Script gummies, you can visit www.naturesscript.com.

If you have questions for our guests on future episodes, feel free to email us at podcast@globalwidget.com. We'll answer those questions and maybe even give you a little gift just for sending something in. Once again, I thank you for tuning in to this episode of the "CBD University Podcast." I'm Joe Agostinelli, and thanks for tuning in.

Man: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. CBD products are unintended 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.