Verdant Notes: Recently, we had the honor of sitting down and speaking with Beauty Independent Editor-in-Chief, Rachel Brown, for a "Launching Beauty" feature covering our story, industry leading quality standards and products.
"Blockchain Technology, Triple Testing And Organic Sourcing: How Verdant Is Going The Extra Mile To Assure Customers Its CBD Is Tip-Top" ~ Rachel Brown, Editor-in-Chief, Beauty Independent
In the contemporary cannabis rush, plenty of consumers will be swindled by peddlers of fool’s green.
Verdant is going to great lengths to separate itself from the charlatans and solidify its position as a credible purveyor of CBD or cannabidiol, the constituent of the cannabis plant that doesn’t produce a high. The emerging Minneapolis-based brand founded by siblings Kara, Kirk and Travis Soule taps blockchain technology to store unimpeachable records of its ingredients, subjects its products to testing by three different laboratories, releases comprehensive formula information to customers, and depends on organic CBD and MCT carrier oil.
“We want to be radically transparent and honest about our product and processes,” says Kara Soule, CEO of Verdant. “We offer a ton of information, and there are brands that offer almost no information or false information. We want to be a resource for people to learn about our products and the industry more generally.”
It took the Soules over a year to shore up Verdant’s supply chain and testing facilities. The brand’s small starting assortment includes full-spectrum hemp extract in 200-mg., 400-mg., 800-mg. and 1,200-mg. options priced from $45 to $145. The hemp its extract comes from was cultivated on a Colorado farm and, in the current batch of products, it was harvested last year. CBD often is from China, and can contain contaminants and levels of THC, the psychoactive constituent of cannabis tetrahydrocannabinol, above or below the federally allowable THC threshold of .3%.
“We hoped we could go faster, but we were very surprised by how risky much of the industry is,” says Travis. “There are reports of synthetic elements being in CBD or there being no real CBD or way too much THC. The hemp plant can suck up heavy metals and, if it isn’t processed correctly, you can end up with them in the CBD oil. It took us a long time to get the supply chain down so we were able to feel comfortable selling to our customers.”
Testing is a critical component of Verdant’s value proposition. The Soules point out testing can vary in the CBD segment. Some tests may be inaccurate or incomplete. Verdant’s product testing covers potency, residual solvents, heavy metals, terpenes, pesticides, and microbiological and CBD levels. CBD makes up over 80% of Verdant’s hemp extract. Customers can input product batch numbers on the brand’s website to view testing results.
“Testing is such a huge element and not all testing is the same, which is why we triple test our products,” says Kara. “There is so much mistrust and misinformation in this industry. That’s why we didn’t test it one time or two times, we tested it three times to get a lot of back-up verification that what you bought is what is in the bottle.
Blockchain technology offers an extra layer of security for customers. Verdant uploads its testing data to a blockchain platform, where it can’t be changed. “Blockchain is a digital passport,” explains Kirk, who handles advanced analytics for 3M in his full-time job. “The goal that we had with this is to let our customers know with openness and transperancy that we have done all the work and all the testing to make sure they are consuming the best possible product.”
Verdant didn’t ignore packaging as it firmed up its supply chain and testing. Its hemp extract is housed in frosted amber bottles that are screen-printed. The bottles were selected to protect the ingredients and not be slippery. The cap has ridges and a large bulb for easy usage by people with oily fingers or fingers that are bigger than average. The dropper extends from the cap to the bottom of the bottle to suck up the contents to the last drop. The details are thought-out, but the design isn’t fussy. Kara says, “We wanted it to be really clean and simple, reflecting the clean and simple nature of the ingredients in the bottle.”
Skincare is in the product development pipeline and could be out later this year. Available online at the moment, retailers are distribution possibilities for Verdant, but the Soules aren’t rushing to strike numerous retail deals. While Travis, a principal at Convergent Capital, has long worked in a private equity field that compels companies to grow rapidly, he’s taking the opposite approach with Verdant.
“Our goal is the uncompromising integrity of our ingredients, and part of that is bootstrapping the company ourselves and growing slowly. We have been self-financed and will continue to be self-financed in the future. Even if that limits our growth, that’s fine because it comes back to ingredient quality,” says Travis. Adds Kara, “Of course, we want to be a profitable business, but we believe that, if we focus on the quality of the product, the profits will come.”
References & Resources
"Blockchain Technology, Triple Testing And Organic Sourcing: How Verdant Is Going The Extra Mile To Assure Customers Its CBD Is Tip-Top" (source article)