Q&A with Brandon Beatty

The Founder and CEO of Bluebird Botanicals aims to be the voice of reason in the CBD industry, guiding consumers to accurate scientific information

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Brandon Beatty, Founder and CEO of Bluebird Botanicals, is ultimately responsible for developing and overseeing its long-term and short-term strategies, managing senior level employees, negotiating and executing deals on behalf of the company, and directing most strategic endeavors whether legislative, regulatory, forming alliances and partnerships, or conducting interviews with the media. He ensures that the company is running smoothly, is well-staffed, has proper resources being allocated, and has a strong foundation to succeed. With the aid of consultants and attorneys, he also helps to ensure that all operations are compliant with the various laws the company is bound by. Beatty currently serves as executive vice president of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, chairman of the Roundtable’s Policy & Messaging committee, and director at Hemp Industries Association (HIA). He serves on the American Herbal Products Association’s Cannabis & Government Relations Committees and on its Board of Trustees, as well as the steering committee of the Colorado Hemp Agricultural Advancement Guild. Beatty is also a co-founder and former treasurer of the Industrial Hemp Research Foundation, and a former advisor to the National Hemp Association. Company information is available at bluebirdbotanicals.com.

This interview was originally published in Nutraceuticals World

420AC: In 2018 Bluebird received a best CBD company award from Cannabist. Why do you think you were worthy of such an honor?
Beatty: Bluebird has long been committed to leading the CBD industry in quality and transparency. We’ve invested substantially into our industry-leading public database that contains third-party lab test results for every single batch of every single product that leaves our facility. Bluebird believes customers should be able to shop for supplements the way they shop for food and should have sufficient information available to them to make the best decision possible for their needs. We work hard to earn our customers’ trust by offering the highest-quality products and most accessible customer service in the industry.
420AC: You have a variety of product categories. What are a few of your most popular products?
Beatty: Our most popular products are our core line of CBD oils. This includes our Hemp Classic, Hemp Complete, and Hemp Signature CBD oils. These are all full-spectrum hemp extracts, meaning they contain the entire array of 80+ cannabinoids plus the additional components of the cannabis plant such as terpenes, ketones, flavonoids and more. Customers like these blends because they can choose the one that best fits their lifestyle and needs. Some find the taste of Bluebird’s hemp products to be a bit too strong since we don’t add any artificial flavors to our blends. For this reason, our CBD capsules are also a bestseller, offering a taste-neutral option. Capsules are the perfect way to get a consistent daily serving of CBD on the go.
420AC: Is the CBD product category price driven?
Beatty: Price is a factor, but not necessarily the main factor. It’s certainly important to many customers, especially to those who are looking to try CBD oil for the first time and are unsure of what brand or type of product to go for. There are many other factors that are often more important than price, though. The quality, type of product, and brand reputation all play into the customer’s choice when embarking on their wellness journey. Although some people shop based on price, many others will gladly pay more for top quality CBD products regardless of price.
420AC: Are there any gaps in the CBD marketplace?
Beatty: The CBD marketplace is already filled with just about every type of product you can think of. The biggest gap is the lack of CBD products you can trust. So many companies use misleading advertising that promises CBD as the cure for all kinds of diseases and ailments, yet their products don’t contain as much CBD as they say they do. Some don’t even contain any CBD at all, but use language that leads consumers to believe that they are purchasing a potential cure-all. Unfortunately, the responsibility has fallen upon the consumer to figure out which products and brands to trust. At Bluebird, we aim to be that voice of reason and information. We are always happy to guide customers to the most accurate and scientific information possible.
420AC: Is there too much CBD competition?
Beatty: The marketplace is certainly saturated right now. The good news is that the industry is big enough to accommodate a wide variety of brands and products. The bad news is that many CBD companies out there don’t want to follow the rules set in place by the FDA, including refraining from making misleading health claims about their products. As industry leaders, we at Bluebird are more worried about those bad actors than about the amount of competition. The companies who try to skirt industry regulations give a bad rap to the whole industry, making it more difficult for the “good guys” who are trying to follow the rules and provide high-quality hemp and CBD options to the people that truly need it.
420AC: Which is most important to your organization—mission, core values or vision?
Beatty: Is this a trick question? They’re all important. All jokes aside, Bluebird’s core values define both our mission and our vision for the company, and we tap into each core value on a daily basis companywide. Bluebird’s core values are compassion, transparency, generosity, reliability, and altruism. These values give guidance to our mission of making happy and healthy lifestyles radically accessible to all. They also inform our vision of becoming the industry’s top CBD company that leads from its heart, not from its bank account.
420AC: As CEO of the company, how accessible are you to your customers?
Beatty: While my days of answering customer phone calls have passed, I still strive to be as accessible as possible. Even though I’m no longer on the front lines communicating directly with our customers, I make it a priority to stay connected to their needs. Our whole team works in conjunction to offer both the highest quality products and the highest quality customer service every day. I may not be the person chatting on the phone, but I am the person hearing your requests and figuring out how to best address them. And of course, I have a virtual open-door policy where anyone can reach out to me anytime with questions or comments.
420AC: What keeps you up at night?
Beatty: Thinking about all the work that we still have to do. Even with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, the hemp industry’s fight for sound legislation isn’t over. The FDA is still working to provide updated regulations for CBD companies, and many state legislative bodies have shared contradictory messages about the legality of CBD. While hemp is federally legal, we still have our work cut out for us in terms of spreading education and awareness about the legality, safety, and efficacy of hemp and CBD.

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Sheldon Baker

Sheldon Baker, The 420 Area Code show host, possesses more than 30 years of creative and media experience. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications and broadcasting from Columbia College in Chicago, the premier marketing, media, and arts educational institution in the U.S., and has developed and directed a wide range of corporate marketing programs, celebrity promotion, and product branding for the natural products industry. More info here.

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