Apothery Producing Hemp-CBD Infused Cashew MilksBy Dasmer Singh
Apothery Producing Hemp-CBD Infused Cashew Milks
Apothery makes hemp CBD-infused luscious cashew milks to help stave off everyday stressors. Blair Ballard and Jessica Patton, two first year MBA students at Stanford, created Apothery to deliver healthy substitutes for alcohol, cannabis, and other psychoactive substances often used to combat stress.
Apothery is a fresh organic cashew milk drink that is infused with hemp CBD oil. CBD has significant mental wellness and medical benefits and has been proven to decrease anxiety, inflammation, and pain, without disconcerting feelings of lethargy or dysphoria often associated with the psychoactive substances people use to regularly reduce stress today. This is because CBD activates the endocannabinoid system which in turn regulates imbalances in the nervous and immune systems. Like yoga or running, Apothery was created as a step towards embracing a healthy lifestyle for high-achieving individuals, but without the time commitment.
The Hemp CBD Stigma
For this product to succeed, Blair and Jessica will have to actively fight the negative stigma around the consumption and commerce of hemp CBD oil. CBD is found in both the hemp and the marijuana plants, two plants that are commonly confused to be the same. Both come from the genus Cannabis and species Sativa, but are completely different in function, cultivation, and application. Marijuana has high amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical known for its psychoactive properties, while to be considered hemp, the plant must legally have less than 0.3% THC. According to the Section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill, products made from hemp are legal to buy, sell, consume and ship in the United States.
Still, many corporations are conservative about doing business around hemp products because of the negative stigma and association to psychoactive drugs. For example, Whole Foods will not sell any products with CBD, even if it comes from the innocuous hemp plant. Apothery recently faced a hurdle by Stripe, their former online card processor, who stopped processing apothery.com card transactions because the company fell into Stripe’s category of “Prohibited Businesses”.
The two Co-CEOs are taking advantage of the unique resources at Stanford as they build Apothery and overcome the challenges of being a business that is tangential to cannabis. Through the GSB Cannabis Business Club network, alumni have shared their experiences around the challenges of this industry and have provided insights on how to navigate strategy and messaging.
It’s Still Early: The Road Ahead
In the meantime, Blair and Jessica are still taking orders on apothery.com. They make the drinks fresh in a shared kitchen nearby, with the best organic ingredients, and sell it exclusively for pick-up at Stanford. The drink’s relaxing benefits, taste and slick bottle design have gone viral among busy students across Stanford’s campus, who pick up a bottle after a long day or before an assignment is due. Classmates are giving feedback on the taste, messaging and design as Blair and Jessica continue to improve the drink’s size, price, formula and design.
This summer, Blair and Jessica will work to scale the business by expanding to employees of early and growth stage startups. They plan to stock office refrigerators throughout the South Bay and sell at local farmers’ markets. They are confident that as regulations continue to ease around the sale and consumption of all cannabis, the negative stigma and hurdles around selling innocuous hemp CBD oil will abate. “We see hemp CBD as a huge opportunity to solve for an unmet need as regulation and the stigma around cannabis loosens.” said Jessica. As their drinks gain adoption, the co-founders look forward to expanding Apothery around the country and providing high-achieving individuals a means to drop the glass of wine and pick up a healthy, wholesome way to achieve mental and physical wellness. Follow them on Instagram @apothery.