Steve Smith is currently the president of Pet Releaf, a firm that manufactures cannabidiol (CBD) products like CBD oil for dogs that are meant for pets. He is a life coach full of enthusiasm, especially when it comes to the pet industry.
His optimism is unmatched, and he has managed to grow the firm in a record seven years. He has developed Pet Releaf from a home-kitchen firm that was based in Florida to a spacious facility of about 25,000-square feet. The Colorado-based facility will be complete soon.
Pet Releaf sold 25% of its stakes to Elixinol Global in March. Elixinol specializes in CBD extraction and is based in Colorado. The firm paid $2 million and $4.5 million in stock and cash respectively.
While formalizing the agreement, Smith said that they were strategic partners with Elixinol and their partnership dates back to 2014. He went ahead to say that they have shared a lot and decided to make their engagement formal. He noted that the move was strategic as the firm was on a growth trajectory and needed a higher amount of capital.
The president said that the firm’s revenue was $8.25 million as of 2018. However, with his company now controlling over 65% of the market, the revenue may increase by up to 200%. However, he admitted that there are challenges which range from unsavory players to regulatory and legal issues.
Here’s what the president had to say:
News on Pet Products (PPN): Do you consider CBD as a niche product in this pet industry?
Smith: Yes, currently it is a niche, but there is a little confusion among the members of the public. They don’t understand if it is hemp or marijuana. They just hear anecdotal and crazy stories about the snake-oil, and they can’t even differentiate CBD oil for pets.
Some even claim that CBD can cure cancer tumors. However, these stories are unfabricated and untrue. However, CBD is now a homestead name, and you will probably find CBD in every coffee shop in New York City.
PPN: What is fueling this growth, and where is it coming from?
Smith: Political factors are the major propellers of the CBD industry’s growth. This is because there is massive support for the industry in Washington D.C. Senator McConnell has been supporting the hemp industry, and he has influenced other lawmakers to support it.
Now they have a political caucus that supports hemp. Senators Cory Gardener (R) and Michael Bennet (D) are among the vocal supporters of the hemp industry.
PPN: Why the relocation to Colorado from Florida?
Smith: The move was made due to Colorado having many people with advanced knowledge of medical marijuana. We needed people who are conversant with the plant and have skills on how to best work with it.
PPN: What are your final remarks?
Smith: I would like to thank the players in the CBD industry. We are optimistic that the pet industry will be at a professional level in five years and the American folks will embrace it. We also have plans to open branches in Brazil, the UK, and other European countries.