The vast possibilities of hemp are emerging as the legal barriers to hemp-based products begin to disappear, and among those possibilities is manufacturing products not for consumers, but for other companies. While many businesses involved with hemp and CBD are eager for the spotlight, others would rather do their work without the attention, in exchange for a manufacturing fee.
To learn more about the cannabis industry's white-label products — something produced by one company for another to rebrand and sell — we talked with Maruchy Lachance, co-owner of CBD white-label company Boulder Botanical & Bioscience Laboratory.
Westword: How did you find yourself working in cannabis?
Maruchy Lachance: Established in 2015, Boulder Botanical & Bioscience Laboratory was born out of X8 Brands, which develops nutraceuticals in the health and wellness space. Our niche is to use all-natural ingredients in our formulations that were supported by clinical research on efficacy and bolstered by a consumer-friendly delivery system. That resulted in our company receiving an invitation from the University of Miami to join a group of medical professionals and parents of epileptic children to discuss the best delivery methods for the cannabis plant compound cannabidiol (CBD).
This was a turning point for our business, because it truly changed our perspective of cannabis and its medical applications. We saw what daily life was like for these children and parents, and while it was heartbreaking at times, that was the motivating factor that led us to become the passionate supporters of CBD we are today.
Why hemp instead of psychoactive marijuana?
We’re invested in providing the medical benefits found in cannabis to individuals who do not want the psychoactive effects. Focusing on CBD allows us to reach children, veterans and others. Additionally, working with CBD over the THC side of the industry allows us to serve consumers beyond the legal THC markets.
Why create a white-label product in the background? Why not be out front, letting everyone know it's your business making these? Does hemp/CBD's legal status play any part in that?
Boulder Botanical offers proprietary lines of hemp-derived CBD products, including Boulder Botanical’s Cannabinoid Complex as well as Smartleef. In developing these products — and with our background in the nutraceutical industry — we knew we could work with leading cannabis brands who have a vision and original formulations and help fine-tune them to perfection.
When we were developing our own product lines and working our way through the supply chain, supply sources for hemp didn’t meet the strict standards we had developed for our nutraceutical manufacturing, so we acquired a hemp cultivation. We did this all along the supply chain. Now, with our new 26,000-square-foot headquarters in Golden (GE’s former health device manufacturing facility), Boulder Botanical is able to bring good manufacturing practices and standard operating procedures to some of the leading brands in the space because our methods made us the most proficient formulator and manufacturer in the space.
Do you think white-labeling will become more prevalent in THC products, or is it already?
Yes, “white labeling” is happening already in the licensed marijuana space: Because of the federal legality and complexity of touching the plant, most cannabis brands are essentially intellectual-property holders, with their IP being recipes and research and development. When they enter new legal THC markets, they are generally partnering with a contract manufacturer, which is essentially the private-label business model. Additionally, not every company will be able to afford product development, large-scale manufacturing, insurance, human resources and other costs to properly put its product on the shelves. Private labeling will give those entering the cannabis industry the most compliant and cost-effective way to establish a foothold and be competitive.
Are there any differences during the extraction and production process for infused products with hemp or CBD edibles as compared to THC edibles?
Extraction is different for both, because there are different objectives and outcomes for CBD than there are for marijuana extracts. At our company, we only work with hemp-derived CBD. And because we work with formulations and in large-scale production, our infusion process is different than many others in the industry.
What are some upcoming advancements or trends in CBD consumption that you're excited about?
Boulder Botanical is gearing up to release a variety of products for fitness-minded consumers. I’m looking forward to bringing fun and effective new products to our athletic and spa lines, in particular. We have capsules and gummies developed for athletes, and we have bath bombs and salves forthcoming that will be spa-friendly.
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