Infused topical producer takes a running start to building organic products and company model
Eighteen months ago, Laura Beohner had never even heard of cannabis topicals.
Today, her company’s CBD-infused salves, body oils, bath bombs and lip balms can be found in 12 stores across New England, and she expects to have another 10 retail partners lined up within the next few months.
“Right now, CBD topicals are how we meet the most people, but we want to go for licensing in Massachusetts and be able to provide full-spectrum products,” that contain THC and other cannabinoids, says the 26-year-old co-founder and president of The Healing Rose.
In December 2016, Beohner helped start the company, which manufactures nearly organic topicals; 98% of the ingredients used by the company are organic, with only federal regulations barring the cannabis-based 2% from being certified. While the hemp extract comes from organic-style farms in nearby states, Beohner sources the rest of The Healing Rose’s organic ingredients without leaving Massachusetts.
“We actually have an organic distributor right in Boston that we go to,” Beohner says. “It’s one of the best in the country and we don’t have to pay for shipping since we can just go pick it up.”
Because The Healing Rose only uses hemp-derived CBD extract and which contains zero THC, the company feels safe shipping across state lines without trouble from federal enforcement, Beohner says.
As a medical marijuana patient for five years, she decided even before graduating from college that her career would be tied to cannabis.
“I graduated when I was 24, so I pretty much went into this straight out of college,” Beohner says. “All my business classes, all my marketing classes, all my consumer behavior classes, I would think: how does this apply to the cannabis industry?”
But it wasn’t until she suffered a dislocated knee that she found her entrepreneurial muse. Within six months, she had launched her business, starting out with just a handful of loans from family members and adding new products and sales accounts only when she was certain she could meet her own lofty expectations consistently. Maintaining organic standards is particularly important for Beohner, because so many beauty and wellness products come with unwanted side effects.
“When you use all-organic ingredients you’re not going to get those pesticides and heavy metals that are on so many cosmetic ingredients,” Beohner says. “A lot of people don’t think about that, but when we got into organic skin care formulation, I just couldn’t believe that these products were out there and everyday people were putting them on their skin. It was kind of creepy.”
The next step for Beohner is to expand The Healing Rose’s product offerings to include tinctures. And if the company secures the appropriate license, it will eventually move into THC-infused products.
“We still have friends and family calling to donate, but we’re pretty self-sufficient,” Beohner says. “As we look to grow we have those friends and family there and they are pretty passionate about our company.”