More than 10 years ago, Trista Okel developed an acronym that would serve as a philosophical map in the efforts to legalize cannabis. EMPOWER: End Marijuana Prohibition, Organize Women, Enact Reform.
In 2013, Okel officially started her company, Empower BodyCare, which has today become one of the leading cannabis-infused topical brands in the country.
“We are helping end prohibition one relief experience at a time,” Okel says.
Retail: Empower has two distinct product lines: Its hemp-derived CBD products that are sold in about 450 mainstream stores throughout the country, and its products that also contain THC, which are sold in about 350 cannabis retailers licensed by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.
Growth: According to BDS Analytics, Empower is the No. 1 topical company in Oregon, commanding more than 20% of the state’s adult-use market.
Okel credits some of Empower’s success in the Oregon market to being one of the first well-branded cannabis-based topical products in the state. But perhaps more importantly, Empower’s formulation is different than most other companies, using both THCA and CBD.
“The 1:1 THCA-to-CBD (ratio) is something no one else is doing right now,” Okel says. It’s more expensive to produce, but it “makes a big difference in efficacy,” she adds.
The company’s top-selling product is its topical relief oil, followed by its topical relief lotion.