As America's CBD Appetite Shrinks, This Lakewood Business Expands

Infinite CBD is based in Lakewood but ships across the country.
Infinite CBD is based in Lakewood but ships across the country. Elsa Olofsson/CBD Oracle
There's no denying that the collective popularity of hemp and CBD has fallen off over the past few years, but John Ramsay still believes in the cannabis extract's potential. The CEO of Infinite CBD has built his Lakewood-based enterprise into a national business over the past six years, making a name for the company with a popular line of vegan CBD gummies.

As the public wises up to what CBD can and cannot do, it's on CBD companies to create effective products that don't over-promise, according to Ramsay. That's not always easy, however, as research around hemp extraction continues to evolve and newer, sexier cannabinoids such as Delta-8 THC pop up and compete with CBD. We recently caught up with Ramsay to talk about the latest developments.

Westword: How has America's appetite for CBD changed over the past four years?

John Ramsay: We have seen America’s appetite change from anything “CBD” they could get their hands on to more of a focused, functional model where we serve different case studies with different unique formulations. Back then, people thought CBD would help with any and every ailment. Now the customers who are ordering regularly are the ones who actually do benefit from the amazing extract and have true needs to be met. Here at Infinite, we broke our whole line down to offer wellness, relax, focus and energy formulas to help enhance the day-to-day needs of our amazing customers. We did this by way of the feedback we had been receiving from our customers over the last six years.

What about education? How knowledgeable are people about CBD now as compared to 2017?

People are far more educated now than they were in 2017. Back then, I recall customers and sometimes even colleagues would debate the difference between hemp-derived CBD and cannabis-derived CBD, all the while knowing there is one CBD molecule and there was not a variance for hemp or cannabis derivatives. Nowadays, customers understand what certificates of authenticity are, and how they can ensure they get what they pay for.

What about Colorado, specifically? How has the state's relationship with CBD evolved over the years?

From the beginning, I would say that the state has been a great resource. Building a growing CBD company while [the state] was building a brand-new hemp program paired well, as we were able to consider them a resource along the way. As they created guidelines, we would follow them, and that allowed us to ensure compliance as we built out our product lines.

What's the competition look like nowadays? Has there been a weeding out of the CBD industry? There were a lot of fly-by-night CBD brands and snake-oil salesmen popping up a few years ago.

We have definitely seen many come and go. Running a successful CBD company is not as easy as we may make it look. Being a legacy brand and having over six years behind us, there are still more CBD companies opening up every day, and competition is still pretty fierce. There are only so many real CBD customers out there, and I feel at this point we are all selling to that same pool. Having amazing products, second-to-none customer service and fast shipping makes for a pretty good recipe.

How much have Delta-8 THC and modified cannabinoids affected the CBD trade?

D-8 and other modified cannabinoids like THCP and HHC have been interesting. They deliver a slightly different high than the traditional D-9 THC, and they are made by way of reactions using heat, salts and acids from industrial hemp oil. Once these cannabinoids hit the market, it was kind of like opening Pandora’s box. I have seen some pretty crazy D-8 products out there.

I personally love D-8 products, [but] I think they give me the worst cottonmouth. The demand for D-8 inspired us to open a facility in California for the manufacturing of D-8 products when Colorado made it illegal to manufacture products with D-8 in them. We recently created a small wholesale-only brand featuring our delicious gummy formula, but they are not available in Colorado...yet!

How do you view the longevity of modified cannabinoids derived from hemp? Will they stay around for a while?

I think that modified cannabinoids are here to stay. They are cost-effective in comparison to the cannabis market and provide end users with the experience they are looking for. Be on the lookout as regulation unfolds that will likely ensure added safety to keep these products from minors and better training and education.

Are vapes and gummies still the most popular CBD product categories? Any new or upcoming areas you're excited about?

It’s no secret that Infinite CBD is now and has always been the master of vegan gummies. They make up about 70 percent of our revenue. Vape cartridges are a giant in the space as well. We have a little something for those enjoying vapes in the works. Be on the lookout.

What does Infinite have in the works? Any news to share?

I’m really excited about the research and development we are doing in the functional/beneficial mushroom space. So many other products out there are being manufactured using mycelial content for their products, but we are taking a couple extra steps. We will soon be launching products that will feature beneficial mushroom extracts to aid in focus, energy, athletic ability and more. Stay tuned!
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Thomas Mitchell has written about all things cannabis for Westword since 2014, covering sports, real estate and general news along the way for publications such as the Arizona Republic, Inman and Fox Sports. He's currently the cannabis editor for westword.com.
Contact: Thomas Mitchell

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