Green Roads Interview at Their HQ offices in Deerfield Beach, FL

Kristin: All right. Hello, this is [Kristin 00:00:08]. I’m here with Leafreport and we are at green roads CBD in South Florida at Deerfield Beach. And I am here with [Danielle 00:00:15]. Hi, Danielle. Danielle: Hello Leafreport and everybody out there. Kristin: So, today we’re so excited. We are going to get an in-depth tour […]
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Kristin:

All right. Hello, this is [Kristin 00:00:08]. I’m here with Leafreport and we are at green roads CBD in South Florida at Deerfield Beach. And I am here with [Danielle 00:00:15]. Hi, Danielle.

Danielle:

Hello Leafreport and everybody out there.

Kristin:

So, today we’re so excited. We are going to get an in-depth tour of everything green roads has. All about their CBD. We’re going to get tours of both of their facilities, everything from the manufacturing process, to their shipping, the marketing and everything. So, Danielle is going to actually take us on a tour here at our first location. And why don’t you tell me a little bit about what we’re going to see today here?

Danielle:

Sure. So essentially, we’re going to go inside and we’ll see the office space. And then all of our wholesale warehouse, B2B, B2C side of the business where we actually house, ship, and pack product. So you guys will get a jam pack tour today.

Kristin:

I’m so excited. I can’t wait.

Kristin:

All right. Hi everyone. So I am here at green roads CBD, and I’m here with Laura. Hi, Laura.

Laura:

Hi.

Kristin:

How are you today?

Laura:

I’m great. How are you?

Kristin:

I’m good. Thank you.

Laura:

Welcome to America.

Kristin:

Thank you. So, if you don’t mind, will you just introduce yourself for our viewers and tell us a little bit about how you got involved in the CBD industry? I know this already because I read about you, but I think it’s really cool. So, tell us about it.

Laura:

So, I’m Laura Baldwin Fuentes. I’ve been a pharmacist for about 25 plus years, mostly specializing in compounding pharmacy. And so about 2013, a friend of mine and a friend of the family came into the pharmacy and he asked me about CBD and what I knew about CBD. Didn’t know anything about it at the time. Did some research, found out that they was doing a lot of good research in Israel, as a matter of fact, that’s where I got most of the research in the beginning. Found out that it was actually had some really good properties, interesting properties. So I went ahead and I made a bunch of products, things that I would have normally made in the pharmacy, adjusting prescriptions and making them into other forms of medications. And from there we made a bunch of products, gave them to friends and family, got really good results. To my surprise, got really good results. And from there we started going from store to store and trying to sell them. And, it just evolved over time to, this is what it is now.

Kristin:

Wow. So, you actually created these products. You use your hands and science and I’m picturing lab coats and goggles.

Laura:

Yes. Lab coats, goggles, all of that. Yes, I did all that in the beginning. In the beginning, I didn’t have access to true legitimate inactive ingredients and things. So, I improvised a lot in the beginning just to try to figure out how things would work. And it worked that way. And a really big lesson that I learned in the beginning, we went to talk to this company in California to see if we could make products for them to sell on their brand. And I didn’t know what an NDA was, so I didn’t have them sign an NDA. Took these products to them. They really liked them. They tried to reverse engineer them, which was probably impossible at the time because they were just prototypes and they were made with all different strange things, but got really good results. They loved it. And that was flattering to me that they tried to reverse engineer the product. So, I was really happy about that.

Kristin:

That is really cool.

Laura:

Happy and sad.

Kristin:

Yeah. Both at the same time.

Laura:

Exactly.

Kristin:

So, what’s the history of this company then? We know your history. So, how did what you do start to create this company?

Laura:

So, it started with my partner, Arby Barroso. He was a customer in the pharmacy also at the time. He had an addiction problem, but that’s his story for him to tell you one day. But he asked me about the CBD, made the products. We were able to get him off of the opioids with taking these products. It really helped curb his anxious and really desire to have those opioids. So, it really helped him a lot. And from there, we tried to go to any store we could. Nobody would listen to us in the beginning. Everybody was like, “Oh, that’s marijuana. Forget it. Are you crazy? You’re going to go to jail.” Blah, blah, blah. We couldn’t get anybody interested. Finally, we walked into a couple of Lifestyle stores and they were interested. So, we started selling to those Lifestyle stores.

Laura:

And over the years we noticed that grandma started going into the Lifestyle store because what was happening was the kids were taking it home to their parents and their grandparents and using it for all kinds of aches and pains and all kinds of things. And then grandma was going into the store. She’s like, “I got to have this.” So, at that point in time, we were like, “Hey, we’re really moving forward with this.” And we started branching out more, but we really just started in the Lifestyle stores and it really took a long time to get here.

Kristin:

Wow. That that’s really an amazing and inspiring story. I love that.

Laura:

Thanks. It’s incredible, honestly. The beauty of it is the plant works.

Kristin:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Laura:

It works. So that’s what’s so amazing about it. You just have to make it in the right formulation and make the quality product and then it really works well.

Kristin:

Right. That’s really amazing. So, tell me about the range of products. I see you have some products here. I don’t know. Maybe if you want to tell me about the range of products you have and maybe show me a few of those.

Laura:

We do. Sure. So, we have a range of products from capsules to candies to creams. We have pretty much everything. We have a lot of topical products. We have cool roll-ons and heat roll-ons, regular creams. It depends on what you’re looking for. For that more durable athlete, that’s out there trying to climb mountains and do all these crazy things, a heat roll on. They like that heat, hot thing. And your grandma with arthritis, those kinds of things, they like that extra heat in the capitation and all those things. Our oil or what they call in the industry a tincture, but it’s not really technically a tincture. I don’t know how we’re going to get out of that nomenclature, but it’s not really a tincture. So, ours are a suspension. They’re a combination of a vegetable glycerin, hemp seed oil, a sunflower lethicin, and then the CBD and they’re all mixed together into an emulsion.

Laura:

And it has a nice warm taste on the mouth when you take it and it goes down real nice and you get a quicker result from those kinds of things. And what’s great about the oral products is that you get a systemic effect. So, if you put the topical on, it’s only going to work where you put it, but if you take it by mouth, it works everywhere. And so what’s cool about these products is a lot of times people say, “Hey, I’m taking the CBD and I don’t feel anything. So I stopped taking it.” And then a week, two weeks later, they notice everything’s achy. They’re super anxious, all those feelings that you forget you had come back and then they started taking the CBD again and all that starts to go away again. So it’s pretty cool.

Kristin:

Yeah. I find that interesting. I think with some products like CBD, you don’t realize that it’s working until you stop taking it, then you’re like, “Wait a minute. Why does my arm hurt again? What’s going on?”

Laura:

Yeah. Because you don’t notice when you’re not stressed. You notice when you’re stressed and you don’t notice when you’re not in pain, those kinds of things just go away. And so it’s such a subtle thing. You just don’t notice it until you stop taking it and then everything aches again.

Kristin:

Right. You’re so right.

Laura:

You’re like, “Give it back to me.”

Kristin:

So, what is your best-selling product? Do you have one that’s your top? What do you sell the most of?

Laura:

Our best-selling products are our oral products. And I think that is because they get that systemic effect.

Kristin:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Laura:

So, you get the feeling everywhere, but we have these new gummies that we’ve just come out with that are immunity booster. They have a vitamin C and they have the B12 in there. So those have been flying off the shelf quickly, too.

Kristin:

Oh, I bet. Especially, yeah now.

Laura:

Yeah, everybody’s concerned about their immune system right now. Yeah.

Kristin:

Right. Well, that’s great that you guys were able to adapt to the market and you release that. So, I’m sure people love it.

Laura:

Yeah. And they taste so good.

Kristin:

Oh, I have to try one.

Laura:

Yeah, you do.

Kristin:

I think you already answered this question, but in your own words, what sets you apart from other companies?

Laura:

What sets us apart the most is that we really care about the end user. We’re not just in this for the dollar. Dollars are nice because that helps our business to keep going and keep growing. But I really am concerned about the end user. I’m a pharmacist. And what goes into people’s bodies is my priority. I want to make sure that I give a clean product and an effective product. So, I think that’s what sets us apart a lot. We’re very transparent. All of our products have labs attached to them. We test everything. So, we have nothing to hide. So we’re out front and center. And I think that’s really what sets us apart.

Kristin:

Yeah. On Leafreport, we do these reports, but you guys are in our top 10 for the most transparent CBD company. And that’s amazing because sometimes you see these reports and it’s not true, but you guys are totally transparent. You have everything. And that’s really great. People love that.

Laura:

I know. And it’s a crazy world that we live in right now with affiliates and with people pushing products. And, you can hire someone to say anything. I don’t want to do that. I want to hire someone that believes in the product, that takes the product, that says, “Hey, yeah, this is a great product.” If you don’t believe in the product, then I don’t really want you to talk about it. I want you to believe in something before you start talking about it like that.

Kristin:

Right.

Laura:

There’s so much just nonsense going on out there.

Kristin:

Yeah. There really is. Okay. So, why don’t you tell me a little bit about your supply chain and you can answer this however you want. I have some questions, but , where’s your hemp grown? Do you own the facility? And just tell me a little bit about that.

Laura:

So, we do not grow our own hemp.

Kristin:

Okay.

Laura:

We purchase the raw ingredients from a couple of suppliers. Our biggest supplier right now is out of North Carolina. They have their own processing facility there. They are not organic, but they do grow according to the organic standards and they are trying to get the organic certification. So, they’re in the process of doing that. It’s a thing. It’s a process, but it’s tricky in this field anyway, with calling it organic because I’m extracting it from the plant. So, that kind of takes away from its organic nature. You’re not eating the plant. So, it’s really not organic in my opinion.

Kristin:

Yeah. That makes sense.

Laura:

It doesn’t sound organic, but still people are putting organic on their products.

Kristin:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Laura:

I don’t get that, but that’s mostly what we do right now.

Kristin:

Do you know how they extract the CBD?

Laura:

They do it with an ethanol extraction.

Kristin:

I know you already answered about the organic, but are you guys FDA certified and do you follow the good manufacturing practices for dietary supplements?

Laura:

Well, there’s really no such thing as an FDA certified.

Kristin:

Okay.

Laura:

We’re FDA registered.

Kristin:

Okay. Got it.

Laura:

Our facility is registered with the FDA. We are CGMP certified. We do practice good manufacturing practices.

Kristin:

Okay. All right. Great. Great. And then, you said you get most of your hemp from North Carolina, one facility, there’s a few you get it from? A few different growers?

Laura:

A few different growers, but mostly from the people in North Carolina. We do get some things from Colorado and we do get some things from Oregon and somethings from California, but mostly it’s from North Carolina. I really like those guys and they have a really nice product and it really works well with our preparations.

Kristin:

Okay. Yeah. That’s what I was going to ask, how you go through that process of picking because I’m sure there’s so many growers, but it seems like you would be pretty particular and knowledgeable about this, but tell me how you select.

Laura:

I select based on their criteria. So, they have a lengthy form that they need to fill out and provide information for us about the things that they’re doing and what they’re doing. And we need to make sure that what they’re doing is right also. And then it goes by the taste and the quality and the consistency when I send their product to the lab, that it comes pretty close to being the same thing every time. Because if they send me something that’s different every time, then it changes all of my manufacturing processes. So, we have to recalibrate, recalculate, redo everything, and that’s a really lengthy process. So, just the fact that they can send us the same quality every time is what really makes them stand out.

Kristin:

Okay. All right. That’s great. Let’s see. And then, so you already answered this, but how do you ensure the products’ quality, purity, and cleanliness? It seems like you’re firsthand checking all this stuff.

Laura:

Yes. So, when we get the raw ingredient from the supplier, we send that to the lab to make sure that doesn’t have any additional contaminants in it. And that it is in fact what we think it’s supposed to be. And then we go ahead and we mix the products. We, what we call, blend the products and that then we take and send it to the lab and make sure nothing went wrong in the mixing process. We didn’t get any contaminants in it. And it is what we say it is. Then we bottle the product. Then after we bottle the product, we send it again to the lab to make sure…

Kristin:

Oh my gosh.

Laura:

Yeah. To make sure nothing got in there that wasn’t supposed to. And that is in fact what it’s supposed to be. So, we go through a three step process of testing to make sure that these products are clean.

Kristin:

Wow. That that’s amazing. And what’s your transparency policy? I already know, but tell me about it because I know I love this about you guys.

Laura:

We have a QR code on every product, so you can scan the QR code. It takes us to our website. And from there, you can see any lab on any product that we have on the shelf right now, you can see the lab for.

Kristin:

That’s so great. I think it’s great.

Laura:

It tells you everything. It tells you if there’s pesticides, solvents, heavy metals, everything is listed on there.

Kristin:

Okay.

Laura:

So, full panel.

Kristin:

That’s so great. And is this the third party test that you’re doing or are you doing it here?

Laura:

No, it is a third-party test. So, that company also has their ISO accreditation and we make sure that they’re a quality lab and every once in a while we’d send the product to another lab just to make sure that we’re all in sync and it seems to be working out well for us.

Kristin:

That’s great. So, you guys check and double check and triple check and make sure and you show the consumer all this. That’s really amazing.

Laura:

Yeah. We show it all, which is very difficult. It’s not easy.

Kristin:

I’m sure that takes a lot of time, energy. I’m sure.

Laura:

Yes. It does. It’s very difficult.

Kristin:

You’re like, “Believe me.”

Laura:

It’s not easy.

Kristin:

So, tell me in your opinion and your expertise in this industry, how you see the future of the CBD industry and just what you think about what’s happening in the U.S., the rest of the world, the legality of it, what do you think?

Laura:

I think personally that we’re going to discover that CBD is a nutrition. A nutritional supplement that we need. We have an endocannabinoid system. We make our own types of cannabinoids internally. So just like vitamin D, if you don’t get enough vitamin D, if you’re not in the sun enough, you have to supplement your body with something outsource. Same thing with CBD, I believe that is where this industry is going to head. When we don’t have enough, our body gets all out of balance. And then we have to substitute it with a phytocannabinoid, which we get from the hemp plant. And I really think that’s where the industry is heading. And then hoping that that’s what the FDA sees and makes it a dietary supplement and then we can move forward from there.

Kristin:

Yeah. It seems like it would then be easier for people to get it and just understand it.

Laura:

And understand what it does because it does do a lot of things. Now it’s not a cure all and a magic, but if you think about it, it does make our bodies balance. It puts us in homeostasis and when we’re balanced, then our bodies can heal themselves. So, that’s really an important part of why CBD works so well for everybody.

Kristin:

Yeah. I love that. That’s great. So, what would your recommendation be for a beginning CBD user, someone who has heard about CBD, wondering where to start, what they should do? What would your recommendation be?

Laura:

It depends on their level of, not risk but their level of daring. Being daring. If you want to be daring, I would go straight for the tinctures because they work quickly. They’re easy to manage. They come with a syringe, so you know exactly how much you’re getting and you can dose it that way. If you’re a little more skeptical and you’re not sure how it’s going to make you feel, then I would go with a gummy. Everybody likes a gummy.

Kristin:

Yeah. They taste good, too.

Laura:

Taste great. Yeah. I would definitely go with a gummy and then, take it and people take it and don’t feel like it’s helping them and then they stop taking it and they realize all the things that it’s been helping them with.

Kristin:

Yeah, absolutely. So, why don’t you tell me about, your company, there’s a new acquisition or merger.

Laura:

Yes.

Kristin:

So, I’m really excited to hear about this. Why don’t you tell me about it.

Laura:

So, we were recently purchased by the Valens Company from Canada. And I’m really excited for that because we now have an entry into Canada, so we can start selling our CBD products in Canada, but not only that, they have a big research facility there. They have their own types of extraction methods. They have different extracting methods. So, we’re going to learn a lot from each other. They have a different way of producing products there. We have a different way, we’re going to be able to mesh all that together. It’s really exciting to bring the two of us together. I think we’re both small, not small players, but small enough players that we’ll be able to figure out a lot together. We are not too giant right now that we won’t be able to handle it.

Kristin:

Wow. So that’s amazing. So, you guys are CBD, the new company also works with medical…

Laura:

They’re a marijuana company. So, we’re going to be able to mix their knowledge in the marijuana space and our knowledge in the CBD space and put that together. I think that’s real exciting.

Kristin:

Okay. But green roads will still stay the CBD brand.

Laura:

Yeah, we’re still a CBD brand, we are always going to be a CBD brand. Yeah.

Kristin:

Okay. One more thing. We did this pricing report and I was just wondering if you have any insight about this, that for the most part CBD prices decreased by a lot, about 17% we have from 2019 to 2020, except for pet edibles, those went up almost 50%, which is crazy. Do you have any insight as to this? That was from 2019 to 2020, now it’s a new year, but do you have any insight to this?

Laura:

I do. It all has a lot to do with COVID. People weren’t working, people were stressed and they were at home, wanted to hang on to their money. Didn’t feel like they needed to spend money on their personal care. And I think really that’s what happened. And the prices kept dropping and dropping because people were like, “Oh my God, you guys, I’m going to go out of business.” So, they started dropping their prices left and right to try to get rid of things. Trying to save themselves from going out of business. But the whole industry is turning around because now people are finally getting back to work. And, from being in the pharmacy, I always saw when we were had economic problems, the first thing that people stopped doing was taking care of their health. They would stop getting their prescriptions. They have to eat and they have to live, but their medical care, they could let that slide for a little while. So that’s what’s going to happen. And we’re going to turn that all around now, 2021.

Kristin:

Yeah. Okay. All right, Laura. Well, thank you so much for talking with me. You’re just amazing. I think you’re a wonderful person.

Laura:

Thank you.

Kristin:

So, thank you for everything you do.

Laura:

Thank you so much. I appreciate you guys being here and thanks.

Kristin:

Thanks.

Kristin:

All right. So I am here at green roads CBD. I am with Carlos, who is the director of shipping and logistics. Hi, Carlos.

Carlos:

Hi. Nice to meet everyone.

Kristin:

Nice to meet you. Thanks for being here with us. So, you’re going to show us how this whole thing works. From shipping orders, how it works and what do you call this room that I’m in right now?

Carlos:

This is the shipping area.

Kristin:

Okay, perfect. Well, that makes sense.

Carlos:

Yeah.

Kristin:

So, why don’t you start off by just telling us, I see you guys, it looks very organized here. You have a lot going on. So just maybe walk me through the process. If I’m a customer, I place an order on your website, what happens?

Carlos:

Yeah. So we have a three-step process right now set up. We’re fully integrated with our softwares. When a customer places an order, we’re live as far as in just minutes, the order would drop into our queue. It goes into a three-step process at that point where the order gets printed out, it gets into the picking queue. At that point, the order gets picked. It goes into the QC section. Verify the order. From there, it goes into the third and final process, which is getting the order actually shipped out to the customer. We have abilities to ship out with FedEx, UPS, USPS. We typically get the orders out within 24 to 36 hours. And the customers will get it into their hands from the point of it shipping out in two business days anywhere in the nation. We do have the capabilities to ship worldwide as well. Pallet loads, LTL, and full trailer loads. Hopefully we get a lot of those as well.

Kristin:

Okay. Wow. So, just what I’m looking at right here. I see these little bins and you have products in there. So, what is this?

Carlos:

Yes. So, these are the actual B2C, we’re on the B2C side at this point. The B2B layout is also similar.

Kristin:

And can you tell me the difference between those just for our viewers who might not know what that means?

Carlos:

B2B is a business to commerce and B2B is business to business.

Kristin:

Okay, great. Thank you.

Carlos:

Yeah. So the orders drop in and this specific customer here ordered three of our On The Go Gummies. The order comes in, the order gets printed out. Our picking team, which we have a person that’s right now, that’s picking, will use the RF gun to pick the orders. It goes into the QC process, which is a second phase to ensure that the customers are getting what they ordered for. The order gets scanned. It gets QC’d. Moves into the packaging and the shipping area where the labels gets created. And it goes from there. We have two pickups every day from our carriers, either UPS and FedEx, to ensure that the customers get the orders within the timeframe of two days from the time of its shipping out.

Kristin:

Okay. Yeah. It’s great. It seems like you guys are very efficient and organized and that you check everything two and three and four times.

Carlos:

Yes.

Kristin:

So, that’s really good to know.

Carlos:

Yes, we do.

Kristin:

Okay, great. Well, thank you so much for your time, Carlos.

Carlos:

My pleasure.

Kristin:

It’s been a pleasure being here.

Carlos:

My pleasure.

Kristin:

All right, Carlos. So, tell me about this area that we’re in now.

Carlos:

So, here, we are on the B2B side, which is a business to business aspect of it. The process is exactly the same as you saw on B2C. We do have a three-step process here as well, picking QC and the shipping. Here, we handle all of our local grocery stores, our local smoke shop, and dispensaries where you can find our local products. And the process is the same. Three-step process, we ensure that everything is quality control checked prior to it shipping out. And we can handle all types of carriers, FedEx, UPS, USPS as well, two days, three days, overnight, also shipping worldwide as well.

Kristin:

Okay. Me as a consumer, if I went to my local dispensary, I would be able to find your products and this is how you would ship them to those places.

Carlos:

Correct. Same scenario. We normally process everything on between 24 to 36 hours and we ship out depending on the customer’s request, if they want it overnight, we can handle that as well.

Kristin:

Okay. Awesome. Thank you so much.

Carlos:

You’re very welcome.

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