Medterra CBD is a Kentucky-based CBD retailer and processor that is on the forefront of the fast-growing CBD market.
At SXSW 2019, TechRepublic Senior Editor Teena Maddox spoke with Medterra CBD's Jay Hartenbach about how Medterra CBD is on the forefront of the fast-growing CBD market. The following is an edited transcript of the interview.
Teena Maddox: Tell me about Medterra and what you guys do.
Jay Hartenbach: So Medterra is a CBD retailer that sells through all 50 states, as well as internationally. We take high quality CBD that we grow in Kentucky and we process it in our farm in Kentucky and then put it into various infused products, like tinctures and gel capsules, as well as topical creams and other supplements that combine other ingredients to even enhance the effect as well.
Teena Maddox: Why is the CBD industry doing so well right now?
Jay Hartenbach: I think there's really two reasons. The first is that I think Americans, just in general, are moving to more health conscious, natural treatments and solutions for various conditions that they have. And CBD, being that it comes straight from hemp plants that we grow in the United States, provide a natural alternative to some of the synthetic treatments that people are currently taking. In addition, hemp itself is now becoming a crop that now is being able to be legally grown in the United States. So in 1937, it effectively became illegal. And in 2014 was the first time that hemp can be cultivated legally in the United States. And with the 2018 farm bill passing, making hemp permanently legal, as well as CBD permanently legal, it was ripe for that explosion with that push for the natural products on mainstream consumers.
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Teena Maddox: Tell me about some of the technology that you use in the CBD industry.
Jay Hartenbach: So our farm uses Co2 extraction, which is a relatively new way of extracting CBD and hemp. And so instead of using solvents, like butane and ethanol, we actually use Co2, which is obviously a gas found in the atmosphere. And we use super-critical extraction to extract the CBD out of the hemp, which results in that solventless extraction, so there's no risk to the consumers. On the digital marketing side, we use a lot of technology to develop products specific for our consumers. When we first started selling products, we were really selling the tinctures and the gel capsules. And what we saw was an older demographic using those products because they had concerns that we were seeing later in life with inflammation and various conditions. And we started developing more use-specific products, like our creams and our good morning pills, to go after younger consumers as well, that could be benefiting from CBD. So our topical CBD combines menthol and arnica to attract that younger consumer that might be getting a little bit more active or working out more, as well as people that are a little bit older and might be having other conditions or concerns that deal with inflammation.
Teena Maddox: Can you talk to me a little bit about how you're using data to serve your customers?
Jay Hartenbach: We're a very data-heavy company. We started as an eCommerce retailer. And so what we do, when we look at our data, the biggest data or the biggest concerns that we have are reorder rates and how efficacious is the product, right? And so every product in every line that we have, we're continually looking at how often people are reordering the product and how often they're using the product. And so that allows us to design, hey, maybe we need to make a smaller size or, for example, maybe we need to increase the dosage on it because the reorder rate is not where we want it to be. And ultimately, as a CBD company and as an eCommerce company, it doesn't make a lot of sense to get that first customer and not have them reorder. So we want to make sure that we're getting those efficacious products. And having that data is essential to making sure that the reorder rate is right where we'd want it to be and consumers are ultimately happy with our products.
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Teena Maddox: So what do you think the future holds for the CBD industry?
Jay Hartenbach: I think the CBD industry has a lot of potential. And looking at one, the science and the data of where we're going with the industry and making sure that we're not relying on pure anecdotal evidence, but actual clinical research, to make sure that we're treating CBD in the most efficacious way possible. The other thing that we're looking at is combining CBD with other ingredients. So just as now CBD is becoming more familiar with mainstream consumers, I think the next step is to start looking at other ingredients that we can combine with CBD to increase that efficacy. At the end of the day, consumers aren't taking CBD to take CBD. They're looking for that end result. So if we can include other ingredients, whether it's theanine and tyrosine to help with mental clarity or menthol and arnica to help with inflammation, that ultimately benefits the CBD and makes the products more efficacious for consumers.
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