An interview with Richie Harris of Dr. Jack’s CBD explains the connection between CBD and sexual wellness, while Harris answers some key questions retailers may have about what CBD is really all about.
(Note: This Spotlight appeared in the February issue of STOREROTICA Magazine; specifically, in the Special Focus on CBD products.)
There isn’t much that Richie Harris, co-owner of Dr. Jack’s, can’t tell you about CBD. But you may know Richie from his work: 23 years building the eros bodyglide and then the pjur personal lubricant brand in North America. How does one draw similarities from the CBD world and the world of adult retail? If anyone can merge the two markets, Richie Harris can. His passion for CBD (in all of its forms) is due to his personal experience with a medical crisis that left him searching for natural ways to improve his health.
After selling his interests in pjur in 2017 and with a looming health crisis, his well-being a top priority, Harris, along with his husband, Jack Palmquist, decided to enter the CBD realm full speed ahead. They created Dr. Jack’s CBD, a full line of CBD products, including tinctures, full and broad-spectrum oils, gummies, bath and body products and an anti-inflammatory instant pain freeze roll-on gel. Dr. Jack’s is becoming a well-known sexual health and wellness brand in the industry. In this interview, Harris explains just how powerful and influential CBD can be as a product for adult retailers, if only they take the time out to learn about the product, buy quality products and market it properly in-store.
SE: What got you interested in the CBD industry?
HARRIS: I had open-heart surgery in 2018 and three near-death experiences. After researching, I decided to integrate CBD into my healing regimen. My healthcare professionals were on board. Choosing a brand was difficult for me as it is an unregulated industry: Out of 100 brands independently tested, 75% tested under the milligram content advertised on the package. This is incredibly scary for a consumer. I browsed through brands and spoke to sales associates, who would always tell me how good each brand was, but they didn’t know how to access the certification or show me any proof of authenticity. It was and still is the wild west. It is truly the duty of the buyer to be very diligent. If I was going to start taking CBD personally, why not make it myself and a manufacturing partner directly. We’d formulate, test for content and then introduce a cool new brand to the world. It all just lined up. We could see the industry growing at laser light speed and wanted to be a part of it!
SE: What is CBD? Does all CBD contain THC?
HARRIS: Most people do not really know much about CBD. Simply put, it’s a cannabidiol which is extracted from the hemp plant. CBD actually traces back farther than its name, before we ever called it CBD. In the year 1900, Queen Victoria went out to her garden and ate some weeds to relieve her menstrual cramps. As it turns out, she was actually eating hemp.
There are several types of CBD: Full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, tinctures, and more. Initially, when you extract the oil from the hemp plant, it will have a small amount of THC. By law, in order to market that oil as CBD, it must contain less than .3% THC. THC is the psychoactive part or marijuana. Broad-spectrum is a great alternative for CBD users who don’t want any or cannot have any THC content. Broad-spectrum goes through an additional (and more costly) extraction process to rid the product of all THC. Professions such as hospital workers, military, law enforcement, pilots, flight attendants, and many others cannot have any THC in their system as they are drug tested for safety protocols.
If CBD can get us to just calm down, aren’t we apt to feel more sexual and to enjoy our partner’s company more? If you’re a calmer individual, you get your sexy back. — Richie Harris
SE: How do you conceptualize a crossover market between CBD and adult retail?
HARRIS: Testing products and in-store positioning are key components of “selling” CBD in adult retail. CBD needs to be treated very specially at retail. But there are lots of tentacles attached to the sexual health & wellness industry side of adult. First and foremost, CBD has a calming or relaxing effect. We are highly anxious beings during these highly anxious times. Everything we do moves super-fast as we all navigate this new technological age. If CBD can calm us down, aren’t we apt to feel more sexual. We are able to enjoy our partner’s company more? If you’re a calmer individual, you get your sexy back!
SE: What CBD products has Dr. Jack’s introduced into the marketplace?
HARRIS: We sell a lot of great products: For example, Total Body Therapy Oil. This is a fun gateway product for intimate play. People have been using the art of massage to “get some” since the dawn of time. By amping the massage oil up with 1,000 mg of CBD in the Total Body Therapy Oil, it’s a much more relaxing and sensual massage. Your body will tingle with delight.
We also produce advanced skincare products with amazing ingredient profiles. If your skin feels sexy, smooth and healthy, it’s safe to say that you’ll feel sexier, too. Our Relief Body Butter (CBD, shea and more) has an anti-aging effect and it leaves your skin feeling soft, healthy, and of course, sexy.
Another thing that ties into the adult market is bath time. Having the bath of your life is the best, and our bath bombs are infused to take relaxation to the next level. Plus, we add a romance-enhancing touch to the packing: Real essence of whatever scent experience you chose for your bath bomb is used as the packing material. So, for example, with our Lavender bath bomb, it’s packaged with real lavender. Dust your bath or pedicure bowl with real essence and add the bath bombs so you can totally enhance your bath for a truly romantic bath experience.
SE: What measures do you take to ensure that your products are pure, safe, and user-friendly?
HARRIS: We third-party test and certify all of our products and make it easy for customers to see all of the certifications. For further assurance, we also randomly verify with a fourth-party lab. Labs can make errors. I believe we are the only company that does random fourth-party testing. We vet the labs to make sure they meet our high standards, and all of our products are made in the United States. These are all important aspects of CBD; our mission and testing info are easily seen on our website, drjackscbd.biz. A great deal of time was spent creating content about CBD as well; by clicking the “learn” tab on the website, readers can find all sorts of helpful information about CBD.
SE: When it comes to marketing, do you offer retailers any help or tools?
HARRIS: We do, but it is really important that the retailer position CBD properly in-store and make it special. These products need to be featured and sexed up. CBD shelf talkers and LED signage help substantially. We have a sound-locking display system as well as other effective tools. CBD is new to the adult world and to the world in general. There needs to be some sort of connection from CBD to sex so that consumers go, “Okay, I get it now.
In-store sales associates must learn and then offer helpful information on how CBD is sexy. We have in-store informational brochures for a quick review of all the products we offer. We even have a mini bathtub, and if retailers buy 80 bath bombs they get the mini bathtub, which is a great eye-catching display and super fun!
Our goal is that everyone who sells our product gets certified, which involves reading through the “learn” area on our site, followed by taking an online test. All those who pass the test receive a signed certification document by mail. We actually have hundreds and hundreds of people in adult stores around the country who are certified. Knowledge is power!
SE: What sets Dr. Jack’s apart from other CBD companies?
HARRIS: We manufacture everything to very high standards. We produce in an FDA-registered facility and in one of the largest FDA clean rooms for CBD in the US. Raw materials are picked very carefully and formulations are advanced, and with all the vetting we do we have high manufacturing protocols.
SE: Do you see CBD as a long-lasting stream of revenue for retailers, or is this just what’s trending right now?
HARRIS: CBD sales will hit more than one billion dollars by the end of 2020. Forbes predicts it will exceed $23 billion by 2028. These CDB sales numbers are real and more and more users come on board every day. Young and old, the CBD train is out of the station, There are more and more studies in works and new research results coming out all the time. In 2018, the FDA approved the first CBD-derived drug, Epilox. There are three others soon to be approved and released. These are drugs for epilepsy. We know that CBD works and learns more and more about the many health benefits. Multinational corporations like Hershey Co., Coca Cola, Red Bull, and many more are investing in CBD. The revolution has begun.
SE: For stores that are just starting to integrate CBD products into their inventory, what are some products that you would recommend they try?
HARRIS: The first thing adult stores should do is dip their toes in the water with bath and body products because that’s the most familiar. Capsules are also good to carry because most adult stores already sell supplements. Our X-Freeze is a top seller. Oils are more specialized and must have well-educated sales associates. When that happens, oils become a big part of the business.
For more information, visit drjackscbd.biz.