“Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.” -Jack Welch
With the consumer becoming more astute to what makes a quality CBD product, and consumers now wanting brands to cough up their lab testing results, it’s become more important now more than ever to model the way for quality in the CBD products space.
Steven Saxton, CEO and founder of Green Gorilla, is one of those business leaders who passionately owns his company’s vision every day as a leader in the CBD marketplace: to create a quality product that would stand out from other brands.
CBD Business Media caught up with Saxton, who commented on quality first when talking about his products. “From day one we were the first brand to have USDA Certified Organic products using the highest quality ingredients”, said Saxton, “Providing consumers with a seed to shelf product, being USDA Certified Organic and using good manufacturing practices make Green Gorilla stand out from other brands.”
Coming from an entertainment background, and hearing about CBD from celebrities in the early 2000’s, Steve founded Green Gorilla in 2013 after he and his wife discovered the benefits for themselves: “Seeing a terminally ill dog come back to life and getting relief from my previous injuries from dirt bike racing as a kid gave my wife, Katherine and I a passion for bringing this healing botanical in hemp to people around the world,” he said.
Driving the Vision
Green Gorilla currently has 22 USDA Certified Organic products available in their CBD line, as well as a world-class sales and marketing team to ensure that the products make it onto retail store shelves.
The head of the sales team, Herb Lewis, has launched three successful supplement companies, with his most recent being sold to Proctor and Gamble. The Green Gorilla brand strategist, Lee Daley, is a former chairman and CEO of Saatchi, working for multiple Fortune 500 companies, including Coca Cola, Microsoft, and Sony.
Steve has assembled an all-star sales and marketing team, to support his vision for Green Gorilla, and they are crushing it. Green Gorilla has brand availability in more than 5,000 retail locations in the United States and has expanded to the international market with a presence in 2,000 stores in Europe. Green Gorilla predicts an estimated 10,000 new accounts, globally in 2020, and is fully committed to upholding its industry-leading quality assurance program.
Ensuring Quality in A Crazy Market
“With seed to shelf operations, proprietary genetics and organic farming, we bring quality products to customers”, said Saxton. Green Gorilla proudly owns and operates its own farm in Arizona, on more than 1,500 acres of land, taking advantage of water from the Coconino-De Chelly Aquifer and clean air from the high plains.
“If the CBD industry as a whole is to move forward and grow as a legitimate business, we need to weed out those players who are just here to jump on the bandwagon and cash in on the CBD craze. Proper regulations and the establishment of standards will ensure consumers get quality products made with the best ingredients and adhering to the highest manufacturing standards”. – Steve Saxton, CEO
Green Gorilla goes through a vetting process with each of its laboratory and manufacturing partners and is vertically integrated to ensure quality, efficacy, and potency of the hemp extract used in their products.
“All of Green Gorilla’s laboratory and manufacturing partners are USDA Organic facilities, with some being FDA registered as well,” said Saxton, “These USDA Certified and FDA registered partners ensure all Green Gorilla products are produced to rigid and audited cGMP standards”.
Green Gorilla’s Vision for the Future
Right now, the CBD market is like the Wild West and there is an excessive amount of CBD brands flooding the CBD space. “The overwhelming majority of these brands would not stand up to even the most basic standards for quality and labeling,” said Saxton of the state of product safety in CBD, “If the CBD industry as a whole is to move forward and grow as a legitimate business, we need to weed out those players who are just here to jump on the bandwagon and cash in on the CBD craze. Proper regulations and the establishment of standards will ensure consumers get quality products made with the best ingredients and adhering to the highest manufacturing standards”.
Saxton prides himself in the fact that Green Gorilla adheres to the highest standards, even though he is not required to do so: “We want to live up to standards that do not even exist yet in an effort to help consumers cut through the clutter and have access to the CBD products they can trust”.