Interviews

Interview: CBD Pioneer & Wholesaler Gives Advice to Retailers

If there is anyone who knows hemp and CBD inside and out, it’s Katie Devoe, one of the first female leaders in the hemp and CBD industries. Co-founder of brands Paradise Candy Co and Sacred Biology CBD, wholesale and white-label company CBD Nationwide, and cannabinoid education company Canna-Certified, Devoe has dedicated the last decade of her career to spreading cannabinoid education while elevating white label CBD brands to the market.

CBD Business Media had the opportunity to catch up with Devoe recently, and we asked her to share some wisdom to retailers who are considering carrying CBD in their stores.

Here’s what she had to say:

Understand the Product

First and foremost, “understand the product,” advises Devoe. In the last few months, news has been spreading about CBD products that when tested reveal contaminants like pesticides, heavy metals, and bacteria. “Retailers must see the lab results, or don’t buy the product,” she says.

The USDA requires all CBD products to be lab tested in a DEA-certified laboratory. Testing facilities like SC Labs exist to test batches of cannabis for R&D and compliance. Every batch of CBD that gets tested through SC Labs receives a Certificate of Analysis (COA) that shows cannabinoid content, terpene profiles, and other crucial details of the product that verify what’s on the label is actually in the bottle.

Retailers have a right, and a duty to access this information so to protect their consumer and their reputation.

Katie Devoe

See What Computes

“Be a conscious consumer by reading your label,” says Devoe, “Don’t carry brands that are unclear in their labeling.” For instance, some labels will advertise that a bottle of CBD oil has 1000mg of CBD, but is priced very low. “See what computes,” says Devoe, suggesting that if there is a high advertised cannabinoid content in a product, but the price doesn’t match it, you likely are not getting a quality product.

“Know your products,” adds Devoe. “Some CBD products out there may actually contain 2-3% THC,” says Devoe. While legal states that sell cannabis products will sell CBD that contains THC, the U.S. Farm Bill prohibits THC from being present in hemp-based CBD products in concentrations higher than 0.3%. Many consumers are wanting to access zero-THC products and will want to be able to be shown that a product contains trace amounts or zero THC.

Cheap Does Not Mean Good

Many retailers will struggle with pricing their CBD products at price points that are both accessible to consumers and help drive sales. “Retailers need to understand the connection between price and quality,” says Devoe, “Cheap does not mean good or a better option for the consumer.” Devoe reminds us that people invest in good food, so why not invest in good CBD? “Invest in yourself,” is what she tells retailers to tell consumers who are buying their CBD based on price alone, “and always encourage [those you sell CBD to] to be a conscious consumer. Know when to switch things up when needed.”

Educating Mainstream Retailers

Devoe has spent the last 10 years getting to know cannabidiol inside and out, and has now taken it upon herself to help educate mainstream retailers about this impactful cannabinoid.

CannaCertified is a certification program that allows people to gain knowledge about cannabinoids, what they are and how they work. The program was created to close the gap and correct misconceptions about cannabinoids and the lack of education in the industry.

These educational courses offered online and in-person help mainstream retailers help discover applications of different types of products, which products to use and how to help consumers choose the right CBD products for them.

If your retail store is interested in gaining extensive cannabinoid education to help inform your consumer, consider connecting with Katie Devoe for customized in-person or online training.

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