The Gathings: We own Hempoholic, a black owned company that cultivates
high grade, hemp based CBD and some THC products using proprietary
inputs. We have experience in growing and producing organic & vegan
hemp based formulations without harsh chemicals or animal products.
Our mission is to improve the wellness and health literacy of our
customers as well as aid other entrepreneurs in starting their own
hemp based companies. Our journey into CBD started when Jason was
living in constant pain due to old injuries he sustained during his
collegiate football career. He did not want to take addictive pain
medication but could not find a suitable alternative. CBD was
recommended and he found instant relief and improvement in his overall
well being! At the same time Ayo was working with patients as a
psychiatrist that repeatedly told her that they didn’t trust the
medications she was prescribing enough to take them. This serious
distrust in “traditional” treatments left many, often in minority
communities, in distress. They either had to suffer or live in fear.
So, we decided to do something to address these gaps with a mission to
provide awareness of natural ways to attain wellness. We created
high-quality hemp based products that work and educate the masses to
understand that CBD is an alternative that can be trusted.
● There are many misconceptions about what CDB is. Can you explain
what it is and how it differs from THC? What are the health benefits
that CBD may present?
The Gathings: CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring
compound from the flower of the cannabis plant. While CBD is closely
related to marijuana, it does not contain delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol
(THC) which is the active ingredient in marijuana that is psychoactive
or produces a “high.” The CBD allowable in the United States is taken
from the hemp cannabis plant not the marijuana cannabis plant as the
CBD from the hemp cannabis plant contains low levels of THC and does
not cause intoxication. CBD does not act mainly on the body while THC
acts on the nerve cells in the brain. CBD is a potent botanical shown
to have numerous positive effects due to its action on the body’s
already present endocannabinoid system. It is a proven anti-epileptic
and has been approved by the Food and Drug administration for the
treatment of two seizure disorders. Research also shows promise in
regards to aid in various anxiety disorders, sleep promotion and pain.
Other exciting studies in the works are looking at proving CBDs may
help reduce some cancer-related symptoms and side effects related to
cancer treatment as well as protection of brain and heart health.
● What are some challenges that you’ve faced growing within a $6.36
The Gathings: We faced almost every hurdle and roadblock purposefully
created for smaller CBD companies. We had issues finding legal banking
and merchant processing, building an FDA compliant website, and had to
fight for our company name trademark. We even experienced an outright
inability to market our company or products digitally with
restrictions on running Ads, educating our customers effectively with
appropriate terminology and a social media shadow-ban; but we did not
let that deter us. Because of the history of a high risk designation
of the CBD industry, there are challenges in operating in this area
without large infusions or reserves of cash. It is becoming more
accepted with legal advances, but it is still hard for small
businesses to flourish in the area without self financing or personal
borrowing due to restrictions on loans and start-up funding. Also,
there were little to no resources or connections to even learn where
to start in the CBD business. There is no real alliance or certifying
body for the industry and of course no one currently in existence was
offering to give a helping hand. Even now small businesses, budding
entrepreneurs, and minority communities lack the fundamental knowledge
of how to get into and succeed in the CBD space despite large
companies taking advantage of knowledge
grandfathered to them for years. But we still decided to jump straight
in with no direction and learn as we went. We knew the world and
particularly our culture needed us to persist not for our financial
gain but to bring these products and business knowledge to the masses.
That is why we decided to blow the lid off of this secretive industry
and get more traditionally marginalized people in this area by
developing the educational and developmental area of our business.
● There are many wellness practices with claims of great benefits, why
should more people look into incorporating CBD into their regimen?
The Gathings: CBD is not just another fad, it is the real deal. As a
psychiatrist and behavioral analyst, we know health and wellness; we
have seen products or trends come and go; but CBD isn’t going
anywhere. The FDA has already acknowledged its effectiveness for
seizures and the research is there for many other areas. From mental
health, immunity, digestion,, skincare and more CBD is showing that it
can improve various body systems and overall health in so many ways.
There are endless options to start incorporating CBD into your
everyday routine! Whether it be a facial cleanser, a pain relieving
topical or a mood uplifting gummy you can start reaping some of these
amazing benefits now.
● As an industry expert, what are five tips on how someone can get
into the CBD industry?
The Gathings: It may seem overwhelming when trying to get into the CBD
business, but there are some essential things to know before you jump
in like we did!
1. YOU HAVE TO DO YOUR RESEARCH
You have probably already decided that you want to get involved in the CBD movement and have great ideas for
your business. But now, it is time to contrast your idea with some
reality. It seems like CBD is readily available and accessible, but
there are many nuisances to this industry due to the highly regulatory
nature that make it different from starting a different type of
business. So before you even come up with the name, location or entity
for your business please do your due diligence by reading up on the
things that you need to do differently even from day 1.
2. DECIDE WHAT TYPE OF CBD BUSINESS YOU WANT TO ESTABLISH
There are so many ways to be involved in the CBD area from owning a farm like we
did to manufacturing, retail stores or even podcasting! There
opportunities are endless, but you have to sit down and decide where
your wallet, passion and knowledge base will best serve.
3. DESIGN A SOLID AND COMPREHENSIVE CBD FOCUSED BUSINESS PLAN
A CBD business plan is not just throwing ideas out there and doing a
quick Google search. Take your time and develop a plan specifically
for the area of the industry you have chosen and look at the specifics
of start up costs, partnership needs, legal updates and eventually
marketing and advertising needs. Continue to include funding and
financing sources as you want to be in it for the long haul and may
need to secure non traditional funding due to legal restrictions.
4. LEGITIMIZE YOUR CBD BUSINESS
Once you have done your research and business plan, it is time to make
your business official. If you are not well versed in laws and tax
details of entity formation, consult someone who can help you
determine what your business formation should look like.
5. FIND A HEMP FRIENDLY BANK AND MERCHANT PROCESSOR
The luxuries we generally have regarding comparisons of fees,
services, and amenities in order to make decisions surrounding banking
relationships are not necessarily possible. With the climate of the
country being 1 foot in and the other all the way out of hemp−based
CBD businesses, legislation and culture; banking may just have to be
the best of the slim pickings for now. You will hear from someone even
internally at the big banks that are open to a CBD business account,
but learn from our two closed accounts and go running straight to a
credit union or local bank that is committed to serving the hemp
community. Similar story with your merchant processing company. There
will be higher costs and fees, however you will have ongoing access to
your funds without them being held without your knowledge! You will
also be compliant with the legislative details that arise in the
● For anyone just learning about the great work that you are doing
within natural medicine, what is one thing that you like to leave them
with regarding you and
The Gathings: We are a movement in business and health with a mission
of meeting the needs of their customers, other entrepreneurs and the
culture. The goal of Hempoholic is to bring hemp based products to the
mainstream, provide alternatives to pharmaceuticals, and aid other
minorities in getting into the industry that often excludes us. We
feel our success lies with staying true to our mental health and
wellness roots in guiding our endeavors as well as prioritizing God
and family above all else.