Therapy Tonics & Provisions
La Jolla, California
Founder & CEO of Therapy Tonics & Provisions
Boardmember of California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA)
Chairperson, CCIA Manufacturing Committee
Boardmember, San Diego Cannabis Industry Association (SDCIA)
How would you describe your company? What is your specialty?
Therapy Tonics’ mission is to create healthy alternatives to traditional ways of consuming cannabis. We offer a wide variety of tinctures and beverages, with many vegan and low-sugar options, putting the power of dosing in the hands of the consumer. Our specialty is finding the most delicious and healthy way to ensure a consistent and enjoyable infused-product experience.
Our company is empowered by a team of creative and committed individuals who work tirelessly to provide consumers with Therapy products that are safe, tested and brewed to perfection. As we have taken a culinary approach to all of our formulations, we also encourage consumers to engage our products in ways that work for them. Whether it be a shot of our Mexican mocha added to their morning coffee or a few servings of one of our unique tinctures to charge up a salsa or salad dressing, we encourage this experimentation. This is part of what putting the power of dosing in the hands of the consumer really means.
What do you offer consumers that others don’t?
We are quite possibly the only beverage of our kind in the North American cannabis marketplace. We provide consumers a homogenized beverage made with 100 percent non-GMO ingredients, most of which are USDA organically certified. Our drinks are low-sugar, filled with antioxidants, gluten-free, with many vegan options to choose from. They also boast a full plant infusion, providing for quick onset and stable, elongated effects.
How and why did your company start up?
The long version of that story will make a great movie one day, but in short, I had partnered in another cannabis drink company in early 2008. It didn’t really work out. After an opportunity to revive the company several years later failed, I decided I could do it better. About five years ago, Therapy Tonics was born in my kitchen, working side by side with my good friend Elvis, spilling hot liquids, setting off smoke alarms, working with frenzied intent. The first day involved an exploding pressure cooker, a small, but formidable fire, and a quick lesson in how to break milk fats.
With the changing landscape of cannabis products, what do you see as the biggest challenges to your progress as a company? Any advantages?
The challenges are many. First, the regulatory environment, when one considers everything from federal law all the way down to the municipal level, is dynamic and overly repressive. Although permanent regulations are in place in California, there are still a lot of issues both with that regulation and the underlying legislation.
A second formidable challenge is specific to the cannabis beverage market sector, a single-digit percentage of the edible category, which itself only constitutes around 20 percent of overall California sales. Although there is a lot of hype around the cannabis beverage industry, the plain truth is, the anticipated explosive growth has yet to explode. In contrast to the acceleration principle, this market segment is seeing massive investment prior to increased consumption, further complicating the business dynamics.
Third, the higher costs of doing business are not limited to regulatory and licensing expenses. From track-and-trace to testing, the cost of doing business is extensive, further complicated by federal banking and tax laws.
And lastly, Therapy Tonics is a bootstrapped company grinding away in the shadow of deep-pocketed competitors. Even if we have the best products in the marketplace, even if we have a unique and compelling brand fueled by an amazing team of creative and passionate individuals, the likelihood of failure is much higher than that of success.
All that said, the story of the underdog is our real story, and that story resonates through the hearts of our team members and the products we make. This is our real advantage. From the last few bottles of Therapy in the fridge at a dispensary, to the budtender who wears our swag, our narrative is being written. Everybody loves the come from behind, go for broke struggle driven by an impassioned team, unyielding determination, and a shit-ton of luck.
What are the goals and vision moving forward, for your company? Where do you see your company in five years?
Well our vision is to put the power in the hands of the consumer. I am not talking about regulatory potency limits here or exacting dosing, I am referring instead to the vehicle through which consumers engage cannabis. It has to be controllable, dependable and discreet. It should be made of healthy ingredients, and it should contain a full plant extraction. It should taste amazing and provide a consistent experience, every time. It should improve the quality of people’s lives both directly and indirectly.
And our goal? Our goal is to expand our product line and empower consumers throughout California and beyond with our innovative offerings.
What do you hope to see happen within the next five years of legal cannabis across California?
We hope to see the regulators grasp a deeper understanding of the policies they implement and their effects on the industry as a whole. The illicit market has continued to grow with little to no consequences following the adult use legalization of cannabis. This, combined with over-taxation, pushes consumers to the illicit market to avoid the rising costs of the over-regulated market.
The hope is that state regulatory agencies are willing to take accountability for poor policy decisions and work with our industry to address the issues. The hope is that more local municipalities work to create equitable relationships with cannabis operators providing lower taxes and more accessible licensing opportunities. And of course, Therapy hopes to be there providing great products and educating the public on the functional use of both cannabis- and hemp-derived products.