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Gabriel Suarez is the Founder of Natural Life Franchise Corp. In honor of this month’s National CBD Day, CBD World News contributor and cannabis journalist Heather Allman talked with Gabriel about the state of the industry and Natural Life’s role within it.
CBD World News: Give me your perspective on the current mainstream madness of CBD. Why do you think the CBD industry has grown so quickly and exponentially since the 2018 Farm Bill?
Gabriel Suarez: My perspective on the current mainstream madness of CBD is awesome. I think it’s incredible that the beneficial and healing powers of the cannabis plant have found a way to be easily available to the masses. This is all primarily due and thanks to the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, which federally legalized industrial hemp once again.
CWN: In your opinion, what are some of the ultimate benefits of the current CBD market’s rapid, expansive growth? Drawbacks?
GS: The biggest benefit is opportunity, opportunity, and opportunity. Due to the CBD market’s explosive growth, it allowed for massive amounts of opportunity for smaller players to enter this growing market. With that said, this also creates the drawback of having what seems to be a lot of competition. There seems to be a new emerging CBD brand around every corner.
CWN: What’s the consumer appeal of CBD?
GS: CBD is very appealing to the consumer because of many things. Some reasons include: It’s cannabis-derived, which is actually attractive to a lot of consumers; CBD has no abuse potential and is harmless; it works with our already naturally existing endocannabinoid system; CBD is non-synthetic and all-natural; and it’s anti-big pharma, which also appeals to many consumers.
CWN: What’s the business appeal, or why the CBD market?
GS: The biggest appeal to my team and me about this industry is simply that we get to come to work every day and make a living by improving people’s lives. Customers come to our Natural Life stores to learn more about CBD and browse our extensive selection of products. If our products do not genuinely help this person, they are not likely to come back as a repeat customer; so, it is in our best interest to help improve their quality of life in order for us to stay in business. I couldn’t be happier with this business model.
CWN: What is the biggest challenge or barrier that remains in/concerning the CBD industry at large?
GS: The biggest challenge is the lack of and constantly evolving legislation and regulation. The regulations and rules that companies have to follow today are very different from what was in place 12 months ago and 24 months ago; and I expect the same will be said about the next 12 and 24 months. Entering the CBD space right now means being able and willing to continuously pivot and adapt to the changing rules governing this industry.
CWN: What is the biggest obstacle that you’ve professionally encountered concerning the CBD market?
GS: General lack of consumer knowledge and accurate understanding of CBD. At our business, we are first and primarily educators (people come to us to learn more), and secondly, we are your main source for quality CBD products.
CWN: Give me an example of your company’s solution to that specific challenge?
GS: Educate yourself and those around you on an ongoing basis and raise your standards in what it means to the staff in your company to be knowledgeable enough and qualified to sell that product.
CWN: Describe your current—and emerging—CBD consumer/client demographic. Has your consumer or client base changed or pivoted since the pandemic?
GS: We know that there are some main things that CBD is known to help with and those experiencing things like anxiety, trouble sleeping, inflammation may want to try CBD. But over the years in this business, we have learned that almost anyone will find some level of improvement in their quality of life when taking CBD on a regular basis similar to other supplements or vitamins. Through this pandemic, our younger customer base has grown, and our older customer base has shifted more to our online shipping services.
CWN: In our current climate, with cannabis and thus CBD being deemed an essential service, what was one of your responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, or what responsibility do you feel you have to your current and prospective CBD consumers?
GS: We immediately began pivoting to accommodate the suggested safety guidelines such as offering touchless curbside pick-up, local home delivery, and even began giving away masks and hand sanitizer with qualified purchases. Customers loved this!
CWN: What is one key element of your company’s plan to maintaining your existing high-caliber brand or ancillary service?
GS: We try to keep our standards high and always operate within our core values. We will continue to do those things while always improving all aspects of the customer experience.
About Natural Life Franchise Corp.
Natural Life is a chain of retail stores to specialize in cannabidiol (CBD) products and other holistic plants such as kava, kratom, akuamma, and more. As a result of its rapid growth, Natural Life Franchise Corp. expanded to a franchise business model as the company continues to expand in the dynamic space of wellness products, including cannabis (hemp-derived), kratom, and kava. Throughout its stores, Natural Life offers more than 1100+ products and over 20 brands. Quality and safety are at the forefront, and the company ensures that these brands are compliant with all regulations. Natural Life Franchise Corp. was founded in Tallahassee, Florida, by Florida State University graduate Gabriel Suarez, who wanted to help members of the community find wellness alternatives. There are stores currently open in the Tallahassee and Jacksonville markets. Natural Life is one of the three founding members of The Florida Hemp Council, a nonprofit that works collectively to advance the Florida hemp industry. For more information, visit naturallifefranchise.com, call (850) 900-5182, or email email@example.com.