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In Summary

Robert Morrissey CEO of Reef Drink Company joins Chase Nobles CEO of Kush.com on this weeks HempList Podcast

Chase & Robert talk about Reef Drinks’ great looking D8 drinks, and discuss how difficult it can be to get a supply chain going for something like a beverage company. They also cover the growing popularity of delta 8 and how it’s inconsistent legality from state to state makes distribution a challenge, including in Texas where the laws changed several times in a couple week period! Finally, Robert & Chase both agree about the future consolidation of cannabis and talk about what could lay ahead for the industry if cannabis was federally legalized. All products mentioned are federally legal and only contain ‘hemp derived cannabinoids’, but states can differ, make sure to look into your local laws & regulations.

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Transcript (Auto-Generated)

hey everybody chase nobles here we’ve
got robert morrissey from reef drink
company and we’re excited to see what uh
what they’ve got going on over there
some interesting and beautiful products
i must add i gotta figure out how they
did that and uh let’s let’s share the
share the word with the rest of the kush
community so robert good to have you on
the show hey thanks a bunch glad for
being here and thanks for having me yeah
it’s exciting to have a drink company we
haven’t had a ton of these and there’s
just really not a ton of these you know
drink companies in the market although
the distribution opportunity is huge
tell me a little bit about how you got
started what’s the what’s the background
behind reef drink company well the
background about behind reef is i
started in 2009 i’m the actual original
founder and the original recipe guy for
keith cola
uh and then me and you know all the guys
from keep cola went our separate ways
and at the about oh four years ago i
decided you know jump back in and
start doing reef drinks
and what i like about the drinks and why
you start seeing so few drink companies
is the science itself is out of control
you know the manufacturing is really you
know
quite
different from growing marijuana and
making a joint
or the simplicity of making a gummy or a
chocolate or something like that
you know you can’t bottle something in
your own kitchen it just can’t be done
you know this is actual real
manufacturing with all sorts of uh you
know like all of our stuff now is all a
very very high-end nano product
and so we just put this product out
which is our reef water
just to kind of show off
that we’ve got it down to a science you
know it’s this is literally water
and our nano technology and we had it at
25 milligrams we actually had to drop it
down because it was so strong so now
it’s 20.
right on no it’s a beautiful product
like i was saying you you know looking
looking you up and you know kind of
getting an understanding who you are
you’ve got a creative background and i
think that that’s amazing to be a
product person and have the creative
background to you know get the product
in the market but you mentioned
manufacturing
you can’t just buy a pound of drink and
roll them in your garage right you have
these
i mean the first thing you got to do is
like okay what color is the cap who’s
got you know 5 000 cats oh now i need 5
000 bottles now i need to store five
pallets you know it’s just on and on
then i have to ship you know multiple
things at a time so it’s it’s a much
different business model and i think um
my personal take is i as a user i would
trust the drink companies more than
anybody else as well
i mean like that’s a really strong
observation because of the barriers to
entry like you were saying how do you do
the manufacturing do you have like a
bottle or do you have a co-pack like how
how does what is the process for anybody
out there listening and going how in the
world did they do that what’s the
process for building that entire
supply chain and manufacturing
organization that you’ve had to build in
order to get these products into the
market absolutely well we used to have
our manufacturing facility here in
colorado um and just so everybody is
aware too all of our drinks were delta
eight
um we do have some thc stuff coming out
in oklahoma we’re actually the first
company bringing out the uh drink pouch
so we actually have a child safe drink
pouch that has a straw inside which is a
patent-pending right now
um and we had to and to give you an idea
we had to design
little uh jibs just to hold the pouches
so we we designed the entire
manufacturing process
from how we’re going to open something
to how we’re going to fill it to how we
have to mix it to how we’re actually
going to sterilize it once it’s done and
then package it ship it and move it and
so
um yeah with this one right here we
actually uh still make this in miami
but these bottles right here we actually
make in oklahoma
and so multiple areas multiple systems
we have two systems we own and we
actually use two other co-packers to
manufacture
can you hold that bottle a little closer
just some people yeah this is this one’s
great this is our
um likana royale
and so this is actually red wine clove
and this will get 23 people pretty good
this is 750 milligrams
and it’s designed to be as a shot or as
a mixed drink
and then we also have this one right
here which is the same this one’s
actually
licorice so it’s kind of like oozo
you know it looks like it glows in the
dark that is a cool looking color it’s
almost opal isn’t it yeah absolutely and
then we have this one right here and i
don’t know if you can see it
but it’s got a cinnamon stick in it
oh wow so is that more of like a
fireball kind of no it’s maple cinnamon
apple cinnamon beautiful maple maple
like maple syrup cinnamon so it tastes
like breakfast like a really hard
breakfast
oh wow put some of that on your pancakes
beautiful beautiful packaging though i
mean the glass bottles are a nice touch
obviously you must be going after the
the liquor and
you know kind of the distributor market
in that because it’s so well developed
how has that been with delta eight and
kind of the current challenges you know
a lot of places won’t even carry cbd but
you’re talking delta eight products what
what’s the what’s the
market response been like from the
established organizations in this space
well the the aesthetic so so what we’ve
found and this is so one of the reasons
we’re sticking with delta a2 is what we
found is all of the states that have
recreational marijuana legal man they
backed out of delta eight so fast so
they’re really trying to appease the
people who have the stores in the shops
and things like that
but what we’re finding especially like
down south and up in the northern east
is that the states that don’t have
recreational marijuana laws are kind of
like
let’s stick with medical
or let’s not have any laws at all and
then let’s allow delta eight to just
exist and we don’t have to go through
all the craziness that all these other
states have done changing all these laws
and you know because delta eight
theoretically as far as we know is
completely legal
according to the federal government
because it’s kind of the dea recently
i’m sure you’re watching all this stuff
that was the oh yeah my phone just blew
up like
you know it’s like what
and so and and then when you try delta
eight too it’s especially when done
properly in the nano concept you know
it’s different than a vape and you know
smoking bud that’s been sprayed and
stuff like that but when you look at how
a nano drink works it’s cleaner it’s
safer it
all the things behind it it’s a much
better high
and it’s a much more predictable
high you know it’s like each water is
going to get you the exact same way
and that’s something that i think the
edible market’s been working on for
about a hundred years you know where’d
you write one brownie and it’s like oh i
didn’t feel anything the other one then
it’s like oh i’m going to crawl into my
refrigerator and hopefully i don’t die
in here you know it’s it’s
um and so we you know a lot of people
fear edibles for that
and so what we’ve done is created kind
of a constant buzz that’s super healthy
and we try and be as 100 natural as
possible
like you’ve got you’ve got 750
milligrams in
the the glass bottles and i assume
they’re 750 milliliter bottles so it’s
one milligram for per milliliter is that
right exactly so one shot is 50
milligrams
all right
that can be a pretty potent shot though
correct oh absolutely yeah absolutely
but you know like
i think uh you know one of the things
we’ve done is we’ve made this which is
the most inexpensive drink
in cannabis history as far as we know
this is supposed to be less than four
dollars
per bottle at every convenience store
and every uh small grocery store you
know as we’re starting to get into those
in the south
um this one here
is designed for somebody who you know
this it’s also the most expensive drink
on the market but it’s also designed for
people who you know 20 milligrams isn’t
enough
you know there’s tons of people out
there that you know they’ve been doing
this for so long that 100 milligrams 150
milligrams is fine for them
right we wanted to do is allow
more people to enter into and experience
the cannabis market in a more friendly
more
uh i don’t want to say viable but you
know everybody’s used to drinking
you know eating a brownie and getting
high is an unusual concept don’t get me
wrong a lot of people do it and there’s
a huge business in it
but when you think about how people have
been
getting
mentally displaced for the last hundred
years
they’re either smoking a joint or
they’re drinking whiskeys or beers or
something like that
and i think most people also are just
blown away
when they find out
companies like ours have it fully
controlled
right right and that’s that had to be a
challenge from uh you know a
manufacturing side of getting that two
years in the making of
i mean
even on this one i have so our first
batch that came out it said 25
milligrams on it came out at 36
milligrams insurance won’t cover that so
now i’ve got 3 000 of these i can’t use
you know and what do you do you just you
go back in and you narrow it down and
you hit it again and you just push them
out
right right and you know
from what i’ve heard is you got to make
sure that the
everything’s water soluble so it doesn’t
stick stick to the side of the bottle or
anything like that has that been a
challenge as far as as getting that
correct dosage every time that you you
consume it’s been a little bit of a
challenge once we got into the nano
stuff um that really changed everything
for us i think the biggest problem with
nano the hardest thing we have
is
saying you know it’s only 20 milligrams
in this bottle
but it’s probably stronger than a 50 or
60 milligram gummy
because of the way that the body handles
it i mean to understand nano is kind of
like you know
non-nano or just oils is kind of like an
ice cube right and if you put that ice
cube in your mouth you only touch so
much surface area
nano you take that ice cube and you
shatter it with a hammer
and then you hit it one more time you’ve
got massive amounts of particles and
massive amounts of surface area then you
put that in your mouth and you get to
reach and feel the entire
ice cube all at once and it melts faster
it goes in fat all that kind of stuff
and that’s kind of the difference
does it process faster through your body
have you noticed that
absolutely not only faster but different
right um
like i was saying
because of this
especially the we we just
in the last
four months really narrowed in who and
what and how and the machines we’re
using and not only that what we’re
buying to put in the machines to
nanowires so we we end up with 99 to 98
pure before we even analyze
wow and so many were you know 80.
yeah the reason i ask is you know one of
the potentially off-putting side effects
of consuming cannabis orally is the the
length of the
the the the high right and waiting for
it too is that what we went forward too
and so nano seems to have solved some of
that especially the waiting because it
goes through your system so much faster
oh yeah this one you can start the onset
you can feel the onset of it in about
seven minutes maybe you know five to
seven
and then about 20 minutes after that
it’s literally a straight line straight
up for about an hour
wow wow
i want to talk about your packaging and
design you have a history you know a
background in a career in photography
and video yep
how did that influence the the design of
the products that you’ve created and
brought to the market
well
what’s interesting is a big portion
about 12 years of my career as a pro
photographer uh i was a food
photographer for companies like
celestial seasonings uh albertsons
horizon dairy like you know silk soy
milk uh you know do you know the terra
chips those potato chips that are you
know everybody sees them out there the i
i went through and was photographing all
those chips with the art directors and
all that kind of stuff
and it really allowed me to be in touch
and in place and and
uh side by side with people who that’s
all they did was professionally think
about how to package something what it
looks like i mean that was their
day-to-day we were the final because
these guys will work on a package for
you know months and then have us
photograph it and you know just having
that close
uh proximity with these people i learned
a ton about what attention to detail
is means and and why you should do
something so cool
uh why it’s so important to you know
feature a specific aspect of whatever
product it is right and what are the
aspects for for your products whenever
you wherever you kind of roll back and
think about you know how particular
these these you know marketers were with
the you know things they wanted to
capture whether it’s through video or
photo how what are those what are those
features of your product that you you
know are super particular about whenever
it comes to
you know any exposure in the market well
well like so so this bottle right here
right the reef bottle right it’s it’s
literally designed to not be
scary
in any way not be offensive in any way
i’m not making any type of statement
with our stuff other than
you can trust us
right and then it’s in a plastic bottle
like like every single thing and that’s
the coolest thing about drinks is every
single thing is thought out right so
we’re a colorado company blue orange or
sorry blue orange simultaneously miami
dolphins it’s made in miami and so you
know all that kind of stuff but what we
look at is
how do we make these drinks communicate
to the people that we want to use them
and if you take a look at this one like
this one here you know
it’s 150 bucks a bottle minimum
and we actually have some other ones
that we’re working on that are uh
[Music]
basically gift sets
so it comes you know engraved bottles
engraved glasses engraved you know the
whole nine yards
and what we’re saying with our marketing
on this one high-end we want it to look
like it’s been around for decades
um and part of that you know if you look
back in time
most people were using emblems and
things like that you know heraldry
if you look at you know this one here we
want this one to be
available and readily available for
people in every you know quick trip 711
you know grocery store piggly wiggly you
know all over the country
and by making this
very clean very clear and just to the
point
i think allows people to say hey we
trust that you know
it follows the same trends of normal
drinks you know you look at a red bull
and things like that there’s a whole lot
of design and design experience in it
but it’s still designed for you to trust
visually
with the with the mass consumer product
in the water bottle and getting it down
to four dollars out the door to the
customer which is incredibly affordable
yeah
incredibly affordable
has the market’s response been because
delta eight already is one of those
i don’t know if we can carry that
products right and then you’re talking
about getting it into the piggly wiggly
getting it into the 7-elevens what is
the response been because still
and and you and i both know that that
the fda‘s in the everybody’s afraid of
losing their liquor license or losing
you know or getting some kind of
suit or claim or anything like that what
is what has that process been like you
know kind of the real struggle because i
i’m
sure it’s been there yeah it’s been
there a bunch and and the reality of it
is is
some places absolutely adore it you know
and they go crazy for it other places
like texas
you know we were getting ready to launch
out in almost 10 000 stores
as soon as they decided
randomly it was illegal and then they
decided okay
well maybe it’s not illegal and now it’s
just like trapped in court well you know
we dealt with that because of the texas
him convention was held right in that
you know in that time frame that’s one
of the biggest shows that we produce as
a company yeah
and so you know exactly what i’m saying
everybody’s like you know up in the air
so there are the moments of
holy crap i cannot believe that they’re
just swinging back and forth especially
on this you know my personal take is
there’s a whole lot more things we
should be worried about in this country
other than people getting high
especially i agree with you completely i
think i think it’s kind of like that
that ideal world we live in though and
that you know kind of endless optimism
or else you’d quit
entirely from um
like just overall
these dispensaries and
the farms and all the licenses and
everything that in the recreational
states like you were talking about
earlier
it’s it’s a model that does work
but wouldn’t everybody like to be able
to go to their convenience store and
just buy a product that also works for
um
well that’s the reason we’re taking the
delta eight direction
because my personal take and this is
just me personally i’ve been in the
industry a long time and i’ve projected
out and predicted a lot of things
it doesn’t mean i’m going to be right
here
but
i believe what we’re going to see
is
when marijuana federally legalizes the
dispensary will be almost destroyed just
like after they were done you know after
a prohibition there were hundreds and
hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of
beers and wines and liquors and then all
of a sudden it became federally all over
the place
and you know it narrows down
and as much as it pains people to hear
that
i agree with you completely i think
rails are are being built and
the consumers are you know flocked to a
couple of places you know the grocery
stores the convenience stores and then
online right and it’s it’s one of those
things where
and gas stations right that that market
is going to
you know completely take over whenever
it comes to cannabinoids
exactly wherever you get beer and wine
that’s where you should be able to get
pot
and
i think everybody would agree with you
but a whole industry has been built
around dispensaries and specialty shops
right it’ll be maybe a tough bill to
swallow you and i both making that
prediction right now but
yeah i agree with you three five maybe
six years right right that is going to
be where the market is and it’ll be
interesting to watch the companies as as
the ones that open up those channels
become the winners absolutely and you
got to ask yourself the real question if
marlboro jumps into this
do they really care about your
dispensary no they don’t care at all
where are they going to want to put all
their cigarettes right next to all their
other cigarettes where beer and wine are
sold period no questions asked and they
have no loyalty to your dispensary nor
will they ever
and they have the money to make the law
the way they want
that’s what gets me really excited about
the future actually is is the startups
that are here now have a real early
opportunity
to open up these channels and have a
stake in the market because if this was
federally legalized
all out of the gate before any states
went recreational
who would own the market
yeah it’d be totally over it’d be over
right so this is that golden era and we
just went through kind of the great
filtering of everybody and their brother
that wanted to join the space
price crash all that you know now now
the companies that are here to stay are
are still here right and it builds a
market it’ll be really interesting to
see what shakes out because yeah this is
kind of that golden opportunity zone in
my opinion of when the real big
companies are going to flourish so well
and that happens too and i mean this is
like dead business right this is
probably something you know whoever sees
this will really understand what’s going
on and
what we’re shooting for
but the reality of it is is i don’t care
how popular you are in a dispensary you
might be selling 10 000 units a day
as soon as it’s federally legal and
you’re not pumping out
thousands of units a minute into the
actual systems and into that
distribution you lose
you know we were if we were looking at
dallas and we still have dallas as an
opportunity and so we’re actually going
to do new orleans probably in the next
90 days is our launch there and there’s
over 11 000 convenience stores and small
grocery stores and like other little
tiny shops in new orleans area that we
can sell it
well that’s 5 000 more areas and more
shops than there are dispensaries in the
entire united states right right and
that’s i think that’s the big missing
key to a lot of people’s you know view
of the market because you look at the
public markets and they’re going oh you
know this multi-state operator is like
well look that multi-state operator has
30 stores there’s 30 000 in this small
section of the country right you know
yeah it’s ridiculous like you have guys
that own like 250 stores all the way
across an entire highway
i’m glad you see that too robert this is
the first time i’ve brought this up on
on our on our podcast on our channel
because you just you know hit the nail
on the head with me because i you know i
think we’re aligned in what’s gonna
happen and i’m excited to watch you all
grow and uh continue to do business with
you all and and work with you all to
expand to this amazing market you know
it’s been really good and
what we’ve noticed is too is is we’re
now we we started off especially when we
started because it was you know we
started talking with lots of small shops
right well the small shops get really
scared
and now we’re talking to companies that
have you know 16 18 25 000 stores they
service
and their biggest question to us is can
you keep up
it’s like i don’t know i don’t know what
that looks like so if you need two cases
for all 16 000 shops it’s kind of like
oh crap and we got to put it out there
and let it sit and get paid back in 90
days so it’s like okay so i may drop
about a half a million two and a half
million dollars over a certain period of
time
and yeah those are those are bets i’m
willing to take
well i think we probably need to
communic you know continue this
conversation outside of this podcast
because it sounds like we should already
be working together um look at us it’s
the largest wholesale supply chain
solution in the world and uh i think
reef you’re a great addition to that
robert congratulations on the amazing
position yeah continue the conversation
and i’m looking forward to working more
with you guys that’s perfect yeah yeah
because uh
as soon as you stop recording i’ll tell
you what we’re actually getting ready to
launch here
oh oh oh all right everybody it’s a
pleasure having you guys on the show
robert appreciate your time and we’ll be
in touch thank you