feat. Allison Bentley | Allison Bentley talks about applying her lessons-learned at an international retail company to help differentiate a new startup in an evolving industry from its many competitors.


As head of women’s fashion for Zappos, one of the most revolutionary online shopping companies of all time, Allison Bentley of Hemp Synergistics learned alongside the renowned and brilliant — the late Tony Hsieh.

Before online shoes and online shopping were a thing, Hsieh believed that online shopping powered by transparent, real-deal customer service (even executives, like Bentley, answered customer calls) could engage early adopters and create an online shopping industry. Now, Bentley turns her focus onto CBD, as one of the only female leaders in the growing, yet unpredictable hemp industry.

We talk about how Bentley is deploying lessons-learned at Zappos to differentiate Hemp Synergistics from competitors, why Bentley made the shift from shoes to CBD, and much more.

Read the Transcript

Speaker 1 (00:00):

Welcome to “On Crisis.” I’m your host, Joanna Doven. And I have dealt with a lot of crisis shit for the past 15 years or so as press secretary for a big city mayor and in running my company, Premo Consultants. And I think we all need to know more about how to handle crisis management in the age of fake news, political discord, lightning, fast news cycles and social media shaming. It’s essential that your business has a plan in place to handle crisis communications. We’re going to have some really cool people on our show talking about behind the scenes stories in city government, in corporations, employee scandals. Ultimately, we’re going to bring on people that will share stories with you to help you inform your own strategies. I promise we’re going to have fun.

Speaker 2 (01:11):


Speaker 1 (01:14):

I’m so excited to have Allison Bentley on our podcast today on crisis. Allison was a key executive at Zappos.com, worked there for about 10 years, and she now is in Pittsburgh working for a biotech startup company called Hemp Synergistics, where she is leading a line called Lily Rein our line of really good CBD products geared towards females. So nice to have another female executive on the podcast, our first female executive. So we’re gonna talk about really what’s happening in the CBD hemp industry because there’s a bit of a crisis happening when it comes to hemp the market for it, the lack of FDA regulations. And then what I would like to say people who become overnight experts and want to get product in the market because it’s popular right now. So how, how do we inform people that you know, they need to find a good high quality CBD Allie.

Speaker 1 (02:12):

Thanks for having, thanks for coming on today. Thank you so much, Joanna. I’m happy to be here. So we do work together in full disclosure. But I have to say that one of the impetuses for me watching you on the podcast was all of the news I read on a daily basis. You know, I’ve recently read about the tragic death of Tony Shay saying that. Right, right. I don’t want to. Yeah. And it really made me think about all of the experiences that you have in working@ahighlevelatzappos.com and really how lucky, you know, your company is to have you there. Talk to me about what you did@zappos.com. So

Speaker 3 (03:00):

While at Zappos, I was there a little over nine years, nine and a half years, I held various roles. But my last role, there was our director of our women’s fashion division. And that encompasses our fashion, footwear women’s apparel, handbags jewelry, accessories. So it’s very it was an amazing job, an amazing company and it w it was a tough decision to leave, but I knew it was the right time for me to take a next career move and gain more experience in a new and growing industry, which is why I joined Hemp Synergistics.

Speaker 1 (03:35):

So CBD for our audience. Can you explain to them exactly what is CBD?

Speaker 3 (03:43):

Yes. So CBD is a cannabinoid from the hemp plant, and there’s a big difference between the hemp and marijuana. They are two different, different plants. The main point of difference is the level of THC and in marijuana, it is greater than 0.3%, much greater. And in the hemp plant, it naturally has a lower THC content. And legally it has to be below 0.3% THC. So that’s the main difference between hemp and marijuana that a lot of people do not know, and that hemp is legal. And within the hemp plant, there are many different cannabinoids. And one of those is CBD, which a lot of people are very aware of what that ingredient is inside the hemp plant. And I think we’re using the CBD ingredient to formulate other ingredients, to incorporate them into products, as well as consumer products.

Speaker 1 (04:43):

So talking about products so you, you came from a place where you were really on top of the world and the digital retail space. I mean, what, what Zappos did was transform digital retail. I mean, I think it, you know, really before Amazon hit its stride, Zappos hit its stride first until it was acquired by Amazon. Right?

Speaker 3 (05:06):

Yeah. We were Zappos was created in founded in 1999. So it was the epitome of the.com boost

Speaker 1 (05:19):

And the idea of how to bring a product to market and get people to buy it online was relatively new.

Speaker 3 (05:28):

Yes. Yeah. The e-commerce was just beginning. And, you know, when they switched Zappos started it, when people wouldn’t have dreamed about buying shoes online, you thought you had to go to the store to try them on, to make sure they fit, you had the right size. And so they were definitely a leader in, especially in the footwear industry for providing customers with another option to buy their footwear. Right.

Speaker 1 (05:51):

And then transitioned, then they became the powerhouse and now it’s like, okay, what else can we sell? Can we sell handbags and other things? And that’s where you came into play, because your role was to find really good product that your customer would want. Right?

Speaker 3 (06:07):

Yep. Yeah. So we were, as a women director over women’s fashion, we wanted to serve our customers with the best assortment and quality in women’s fashion

Speaker 1 (06:18):

Quality. That’s tough to find these days. Yeah. Speaking as a female, you know, it’s, it’s really tough. Allie, you have two kids, right? How old are your kids? Five and almost two. I just had a, okay. I’m around run the same age, just had a holiday photo shoot with the kids. I was looking for a dress for my toddler and just something cute. And I went to Carter’s cause you know, I was usually, I do things online, but I was it was last minute, two last minutes. And I could not believe I’m sorry, Carter’s if you’re listening, but the quality and what they were charging for this dress, it was so thin. It was a $40 dress for a two year old, horrible quality. And I it’s. So it’s just so frustrating as a consumer when, when your, your quality isn’t, isn’t great. And I think now more than ever, because there’s so much out there, we have to rely on somebody that you know, companies that are really going to care about quality which is a good transition to a crisis that’s happening in the industry right now. And that is consumers don’t really know what they’re getting when they buy CBD. Tell me why. Correct.

Speaker 3 (07:27):

And that’s because it’s not regulated right now. We, and anyone could go start their own CBD, Brandy go online. So search CBD products to white label, and you could go out, start to Joanna CBD and tomorrow you could have your own product. And I think that is why there’s been a boom in the industry and why people say the market is flooded. It’s because it’s so accessible to create a brand that contains CBD products. What is not as accessible and easy is to create quality CBD products that are also following, you know, the nutraceutical and supplement guidelines that we have have synergistic follow to ensure whenever the regulation does come, we are ready for it. And we’re actually excited for that regulation to happen because we think it’s really going to help legitimize this industry and bring trust into the products that consumers, consumers want to know what they’re ingesting or what they’re applying to their bodies. And we want to be very forthcoming on what we’re providing those customers.

Speaker 1 (08:29):

Got it. So the, you know, in crisis community, this is really the cris- The industry is in somewhat of a crisis because there’s so much product out there and there a lack of regulation on these products. And so now it’s up to you, right as head of, you know, VP of what marketing you do a lot. There, you do everything right, but you’re running, you’re running the Lily Rein product line right now, but the onus now is on these good companies. And there’s only a few of them, right. To communicate and cut through the noise, this, that crisis of how do we get people to pay attention to what we’re doing is focused on quality and not just the, the, the flop of the packaging, although we know that packaging matters. So TA talk, let’s talk about that. What, what differentiates, let’s start with where you get your hand and sort of why you’re different than something I could pick up at, let’s say sheets,

Speaker 3 (09:27):

Right? So where we get our hemp, first question is we work with a variety of vetted the local growers in the Pennsylvania region, as well as we have a partnership with one of the largest organic farmers out of California, that, so we have a consistent supply of high quality hemp that we know from trusted sources. So that’s, you know, supply is very important, but we at Hemp Synergistics pride ourselves on quality science and solutions. And so those are really the three pillars in everything we do and making sure there’s science behind it, making sure there it’s solving a solution and making sure it’s high quality. So anything we produce always has to go through those three pillars.

Speaker 1 (10:12):

Let’s talk about the science. So we know that the, the quality is, you know, you’re taking it from, you know, one of the world’s largest organic farms, the hemp that is, which is, is, is remarkable just to be able to get that product. And I believe you’re one of their exclusive extractors too. So that says something, yes. Right. I’m not sure if we can name them, but look it up more organic farm and you’ll find out. So then, so then, so now you get, you get the raw plant. Now I know this because I’ve worked with biotech companies before just because you’re taking something that’s high quality, right? Doesn’t mean your body’s going to absorb it because we have digestive enzymes that break down food and break down molecules, you know, before it goes into the intestines. So talk to me about the science, how are you guys making better CBD products?

Speaker 3 (11:11):

So we’re looking at where the solutions need to be in this industry. And I think so first off we found that there was a problem with the the amount of THC or THC non-compliant THC and a lot of products, which is why we deal with all full and broad spectrum. Full spectrum. Spectrum means it is at that 0.3% THC level or below and broad spectrum means it’s non-detectable levels of THC. So consumers can feel comfortable consuming our products and not having to worry about possibly failing a drug test. So I think that was one of the first problems we saw.

Speaker 1 (11:49):

Let me pause you there, because I don’t think that our audience understands this. If you just simply Google it. I think the best thing to Google would be grandma arrested for marijuana in Disney. Okay. That what is happening right now and it’s happening less, I think because let’s face it, look up one third of all States have approved recreational marijuana use, right? So it’s, the culture is changing, but law enforcement can still arrest you if you, if you’re, if in possession. Right. So the thing is, you might think you’re smoking hemp or taking a tincture that just has CBD in it. When in fact it’s not regulated and there are bad producers out there that are putting THC in CBD, that’s above the 0.3% legal limit. And there have been people jailed and that’s scary.

Speaker 3 (12:48):

Yeah. And I think it also goes back to the consumer trust is them not knowing what’s in the product that they’re consuming or applying on their body. So we always want to be very forthcoming all our products in our ingredients that contain CBD have third-party lab tests that support the THC content as well as the CBD content.

Speaker 1 (13:09):

Yeah. I mean, that’s really important to have those third party lab tests, man. Sorry, I’m getting my charger. This is, this is the real, this is the real deal when you’re doing it a podcast from your home office, there’s always something. No, no, totally. So, so the, the third party testing, so talk to us about what it’s testing for it. So it’s the THC level. Anything else

Speaker 3 (13:33):

You, you, of course you can do full panel testing to test, to make sure which we do do for all of our ingredients, make sure the lead levels, the microbial lab. I mean, there’s a variety of different lab reports. You can do. It’s a little out of my scope, but I kind of stand in the lab operations. And the science side of the business, I focus on, you know, what I do now. But we definitely make sure that we are full transparency about what is in our ingredients and products.

Speaker 1 (14:03):

So you come from Zappos, right? You’re at you’re at a very high level. And I understand that you, when you worked very closely with the executive team, including the CEO leading women’s fashion at Zappos, that’s an incredible position at one of the most amazing companies. And now you’re, you’re handed the keys and basically you have, you have the best, I mean, I’ve done all my reading on this. I’ve had to cause your client, but you guys have the best CBD in the market. Right. And now you’re you’re so then you have the challenge and really bad opportunity of okay. Create our, our CBD product line for the female demographic. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (14:52):

I think, I think to the back of a little bit, we- at Hemp Synergistics. We, like I said, the quality scientific solutions, but we have three pillars within our company that does separate us from other hemp and CBD, not only brands, but corporations out there. So we do have the whole full lab operations where we work with growers and farmers to take their hemp crop and turn it into a usable CBD oil. Or we use our, we created our own patent pending ingredients, which powderized the hemp oil. So you can use it in a capsule formulation for supplements. You could also bake with it. You can create a, you know, variety of edibles with our ingredients. So that’s more of the lab operations. And then, and also the ingredients that we offer under the Hemp Synergistics brand. And then we have the branded solutions as well, the product solutions.

Speaker 3 (15:43):

So internally we, we saw that there was a big void in the market for high quality consumer goods. And so we created the two brands, peer Synergistics, and Lily Reign to focus on those voids in the market place to bring our product formulations in house. And or we do the product formulations in-house to bring them to market. And I think that’s another big point of differences. We don’t buy white labeled products and just put our brand name on it. We do all our formulations in house. We supply the hemp and CBD that are incorporated into the products. And then we also work with a variety of different other brands or clients that are looking to incorporate CBD into their product assortment as well. So I think it’s not that we’re just a brand, which a lot of other CBD products, branded products out there, it’s like, that’s it, that’s their brand.

Speaker 3 (16:37):

We have so many different areas of our business that we can offer solutions to really improve this industry and move it forward because that’s what we do want is we want more regulation. We want consumers to trust the products that they’re consuming and understand the benefits that CBD can offer somebody. I mean, and that’s what really made me join this company is the opportunity to improve people’s lives through this ingredient and through this plant. I think it’s just the beginning of what we’ve tapped into and you know, the testimonials, I know you take our hemp capsules and you say, you’ll never not take them. And we hear those testimonials every single day. And there’s a, still a vast majority of the population that is still very skeptical of this ingredient and these products. And so that’s what I think we’re helping to do is change that perception

Speaker 1 (17:29):

No better way to change it than to have people communicate their real life experiences. Yeah. I mean, I can tell you, I, you know, I suffer from an autoimmune disease and I’ve, I would say if, if one to 10, 10 being somebody who knows, like knows their wellness, like top of the shop reads wellness news knows their wellness. Zero being like no one like the super bowl. Yinzer sorry. I’m probably, I’m probably like an eight, right. And I was looking for CBD to take and I didn’t know, I didn’t know where to go for it and I wasn’t going to buy it at the gas station. Whole foods, isn’t carrying it at least around here. And that’s where I typically will chat. And I can tell you that it’s completely changed my life. My body pain is like half of what it was, if not more. And it’s, you know, it’s one part of wellness, right? It’s not just take CBD and it’s a miracle cure, but it’s one, it’s one key ingredient from my own wellness. And you know, I know where the product’s coming from. And so there’s, you know, I’m going to make that investment.

Speaker 3 (18:40):

Right. And so JAG,

Speaker 1 (18:43):

Well, let’s talk about, because we don’t have tons of time and, and I, I really want to get into some cool things here. You know, Lily Rein. So you developed a product line specifically. Now we know there’s other product lines within Hampton, just six, but the one that you developed for the female demographic for female executives like myself or my mom, right. Or even my daughter, because they’re CBD bath bombs. Talk to me about how, you know, your, your, your, how you’re the best thinking at Zappos when it, when it comes to customer service, when it comes to quality, when it comes to, you know, merchandising, how, how did you take all that you learned and just sort of, you know, you had an as like a sponge to sort of ring it out onto this line called rain.

Speaker 3 (19:29):

Yeah, no, I think all your experiences, then all my experiences that I’ve had throughout my career definitely grow upon each other. And I always take every opportunity as a learning opportunity, whether it was a good or bad or, but, you know, whatever it is you always learn from it. And my time at Zappos was amazing. And that, you know, I’ve told you before, I have nothing but amazing things to say about the company and the people that work there. But I think one thing it really did is and why I even joined Zappos nine plus years ago is because customer service was so important to their culture. And they always said, you know, we’re a customer service company that just happens to sell shoes and handbags and clothes. And so that’s what made me join Zappos in the beginning. And even when I left back in March, that was still very much important piece of the business. So I think that’s something I’ve always been a common thread throughout my entire career.

Speaker 1 (20:16):

Let’s give the audience an example of really how important customer service was like, tell us a story

Speaker 3 (20:23):

At Zappos.

Speaker 1 (20:24):

Did you have to answer phones? I mean, I read something, I read something on wall street journal where that you know, the late Tony, you know, the impeccable CEO that he would have his staff answering customer service calls. And it didn’t, you know, the customer service wasn’t outsourced to India, right. It happened onsite and that you would stay on the phone with the, for however long it took to make them feel good. Is that, did that really?

Speaker 3 (20:51):

Yeah. Those they’re all. Yep. Those are all true stories. And yet every holiday season, we were all encouraged to jump on the phones and the answer, you know, our customers’ questions, which we all looked forward to doing, because it was our way of speaking, having that direct, especially in the merchandising side, having that direct communication with your customers firsthand. So that was so valuable

Speaker 1 (21:12):

Time out. So you’re, you’re the head of fashion and you’re taking customer service calls. Oh yeah. Everyone did. Yeah. I that’s, that’s insane to me. I think it’s really cool, but that’s, Hey, that’s definitely customer service, right?

Speaker 3 (21:26):

Yeah. And so I think I definitely at Hemp Synergistics, you know, overseeing our sales merchandising and marketing efforts making sure that customer service is also common denominator throughout our company and all the, you know, amazing partners we have, we truly do view them as partnerships. You know, it’s not us working for somebody or someone working for us. We all truly feel like we’re invested in improving this industry and offering solutions. So I think that’s always something that I will take in throughout my career is the importance of customer service and, you know, treating people with respect. And at the end of the day, you know, we’re all people, and especially this year 2020, we’re all dealing with a lot of, you know, a lot on our plate. And especially as, as both as working moms and it, you know, we’re all dealt with challenges. And so at the end of the day, I think we need to remember we’re all people and human beings and treating people with respect, I think is good,

Speaker 1 (22:21):

Very important. Speaking of the 2020 crisis, and I, I want to talk about Lily Rein and let’s go through the products there too. But I just want to give one example of when we had the, the we placed a story for you guys in, in, in a, in a regional newspaper and it made a regional newspaper and a doctor saw it and reached out and said, we, you know, I want to surprise that the females on my staff, you know, the nurses, my admins, things like that with with your, your female line with Lily Rein. And I found this out that you personally got in touch with this doctor and yeah, he gave him a steep discount, which we won’t, we won’t advertise that, but it’s just that, you know, you could have easily forwarded the email to to the, to fulfillment, but you, you took it as a hands on opportunity to build a relationship.

Speaker 3 (23:18):

Absolutely. Yeah. I think those relationships, especially, you know, we are still a startup company. I, you know, been around two years, but still, you know, building those relationships early on in your business is so important and making sure you leave a glassing and PR positive lasting impression on people. So yeah, you know, I was happy to partner with a local doctor to provide local nurses with our Lilly rain product. I mean, there’s nothing more fulfilling than that. So absolutely I’m packaging bags, bags, and going to get those shipped off to him actually tomorrow. And so

Speaker 1 (23:52):

So so Lily Rein let’s talk about, okay. So how did you decide what products would be in the line? Yeah,

Speaker 3 (24:03):

Yeah, I think so when we started conceptualizing the brands that we wanted to create under Hemp Synergistics’ umbrella one was very clear. It was, we wanted to make all natural, maximum strength, a CBD brand, and that is Pure Synergistics, which is you know, very, I would say intentional formulations to achieve maximum strength and formulations. Anyway, sorry. That was not a very good now.

Speaker 1 (24:32):

Well, I can jump in there cause I use, I use that too. I use the the, the South and I, I broke my foot. My friends know this cause I kept it. Like my foot was broken, broke my foot about month and a half ago. And it’s, I use this very concentrated CPD style and I rub it on my foot every night and you know, it’s not like I did a beta test to know if it, if it made a difference, but I can tell you I’m walking. So, but it’s highly concentrated. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (24:58):

Yeah. And that was the premise and thought behind Pure Synergistics it’s it’s for severe pain management. Our hem capsules are under a Pearson under six line and we have people that are weaning off opioids after taking our hemp capsules. So Pearson logistics is definitely maximum strength, but we also, through our consumer research and the CBD industry research, we found over 50% of the current CBD consumers and projected CBD years, users are female 57%. And so that was kind of eye-opening to all of us. And when we did market research, yes, there’s plenty of CBD brands out there. Not saying there’s not. But there wasn’t, I mean, you like you and myself, I never even consumed CBD before starting at this company because I didn’t know what or how, Oh, you know, what was this? And so I think there was a lack of education around CBD products.

Speaker 3 (25:50):

How much to take, what is this? Is it a drug? Is it not? Is it marijuana? You know, so I think the premise behind Lily Rein, which stands for “pure flower” in German, so it does have some meaning and our, our slogan is pure and simple hemp therapy. And that is kind of the gist, the gist of the brand. We want it to be very simple, easy to understand a great entry point into CBD. It is still effective formula dosages for CBD. So I don’t want them to think it’s not effective. But it’s just a great entry point for general wellness. You know, we’ve formulated our products, mostly the starting assortment on topicals. So we have a body butter, a hand soap, a bath bomb. And then we for, because the topicals are a little bit more safer entry for people that are maybe a little unsure of consuming CBD, but for, and the topicals do help pain inflammation redness, soreness, joint pain, but we also have ingestibles and our CBD drops, which is an oil tincture which I get all the questions all the time.

Speaker 3 (26:55):

Like, what do I do with this? Do I put this on my body? Do I put it on my mouth? I put it on my tongue. And so I think to educating the consumer, how do use these products is really important and our CBD drops, you can put it directly under your tongue daily. You can put it in a smoothie, you can put it in your tea. And we formulated with elderberry for additional immune support. So all the products and you can see, as I’m speaking about them, they all have meaning behind them and were formulated with additional ingredients. Our bath bomb was formulated with lavender to help relax with 200 milligrams of CBD you know, we have customers that use our bath bomb at night and they said they slept eight hours. You know, just helps with relaxation, general wellness.

Speaker 3 (27:45):

You know, I, after using CBD for the past almost 10 months now, I will not never use it. And it’s part of my daily routine. And that’s what we want Lily Rein to be. It’s just part of your routine. You don’t think about it, you experienced the benefits over time. I can say my stress and anxiety levels have been much more manageable this year or using our CBD as well as I’ve been getting a good night’s sleep, even with everything going on. So, you know, I’ve experienced the benefits firsthand through testimonials of friends and family that have now incorporated in their daily lives. I think that’s what gives me motivation for the potential in this industry.

Speaker 1 (28:25):

You know that yes. I mean, that’s, it’s everything you’re saying is so spot on, you know, I think a big flaw in the way our government’s communicating with the public right now about the COVID-19 pandemic is that no, one’s talking about wellness. They’re just saying isolate, avoid, you know, immunize is coming, but there’s no talk about, okay, prepare your immune system when your body, as much as you can right now for if you do get it. And I know elderberry is something that I’m reading a lot about that has great immunity benefits. CBD was actually in a university research study the cannabinoids can, can reduce lung inflammation and COVID-19 patients, which that’s the, you know, and, and I keep I tell you what I’m telling my family and my loved ones, friends. In fact, I’m going to I’m going on a small girl’s trip to Florida with my aunt this weekend.

Speaker 1 (29:26):

And she has not been around anybody’s since COVID, but she, so we’re talking to them this year. Wow. But she’s almost 70 and she’s, she can’t do it. And I said, listen, here’s what you’re going to take. You’re going to take CBD every day. You’re going to take elderberry or take vitamin C I’ve run D three anyways of good things. And and then we’re going to get some sunshine and we’re going to live our life. And we’re going to focus on our wellness. Of course, we’re going to wear masks. We’re going to be safe, but the whole wellness conversation, I think if there’s any silver lining with the COVID epidemic, I think for some people it’s that I need to prepare my body for, for something that could happen to it. You know, whether that’s, it could be cancer, you know, it could be, you know, but we, you, there is power to, to prevention. So your CBD does have out out of area. And I know that the curious nature, six line CBD tincture has vitamin D D three in it. So, so you guys are thinking full-scale and then you, you have, I believe one of your board members is a renowned. Talk to me about, about your board. So you have assigned to the advisory board, that’s guiding a lot of the, of the science.

Speaker 3 (30:42):

Absolutely. And I think to your point of, we’re not just creating another oil or another CBD product, we’re trying to, for each of our products to really have a point of difference. And, you know, within formulating our CBD drops with elderberry, for Lily Rein and Pure Synergistics, fortifying them with vitamin D. So you’re getting a hundred percent of your daily vitamin D value along with a hundred milligrams of CBD per serving. So these are just kind of the thoughtfulness thoughtfulness. We do put behind every single product we produce. Uand in addition, we partner with people that are aiding in the research and moving this industry forward, like Dr. [Inaudible], we partnered with him to bring to market cannabis, which is the patent pending probiotic and CBD wellness water on natural flavors and ingredients. And he is leading research studies that have been cited by the world health organization to promote,uCBD as a potential solution for lung inflammation and severe lung inflammation obviously happens in the severe COVID patients.

Speaker 3 (31:46):

So, you know, I think not him as a great example of he’s an amazing partner to Hemp Synergistics. He’s an amazing person as well. And doctor and physician moving this industry, helping to move this industry forward by leading research studies that support the benefits of CBD. Because I think the big thing,ubecause CBD is not regulated by FDA, you cannot make claims about this drug. And we’re very aware of that. And we follow the guidance of the FDA and we don’t, we’re not saying CBD is going to cure anything. Ubut we’re saying, try it. It’s definitely, we’re saying it’s safe enough to try, and we’re not making any claims. Ubut we’re saying the proof is in the product and we’re providing quality product for our customers to try knowing that more regulation is going to come in, you know, in every large company that we speak to or governor, or, you know, any, you know, officials we speak to, I could say executives,uwe could, everyone says, it’s not, if it’s when, and you know, if, if you have people that have experienced the benefits of CBD themselves, unanimously, everyone says, absolutely.

Speaker 3 (32:59):

It’s not. If it’s when and we’re just waiting for that one to happen. Cause we know it’s going to, and we’re, we’re just setting ourselves up to be ready.

Speaker 1 (33:07):

Yeah. And I think that’s a really good, you mentioned point of difference. Because it, there is a, I would say because anybody can produce it quickly and market it online. There’s, there’s a bit of a go to market, you know, crisis, right? Because, because you have to either spend millions of dollars to get it in front of people, right. Or grow really grow behind, grow it behind the scenes, by communicating the quality. And I know you’re doing that many and there’s so many other product lines that we haven’t gotten to today to have, have had the co-founder on sometime, Russ Cersosimo, who is very much a visionary leader. But you know, one thing that is important with, with any strategy when you know, something’s coming right, is to prepare for the inevitable, right. And prepare your operations for the inevitable, prepare your communications for the negative. And that inevitable is that the FDA is going to say something soon. And from what I understand, you guys are making your formulations with dosages that you believe are going to be FDA compliant once they released their rules, because on staff, I mean, you have people on staff that have worked with these agencies for decades and they might not have direct insider information, but they have knowledge as to how the bureaucracy works.

Speaker 3 (34:37):

Yeah. I, you know, and I think it’s not just our gut feeling. It’s based on research and we, the New York state health department actually announced about a month ago now, their own regulations for CBD consumables and edibles and we’ve are following that because we think, you know, New York state is a very large state population and we think many other States are going to follow suit and that’s 25 milligrams of CBD per consumable. It cannot be marketed or targeted to children, which we agree with. And we’re following suit of that. I don’t agree with that just for the [inaudible] you have the toddlers. So yeah, you know, so I think we’re constantly every single day, you know, researching this industry and making sure we’re staying up to date on the latest trends as well as regulations. And we were excited for the day, you

Speaker 1 (35:38):

Know, the FDA, you know, make some more decisions on the regulation of hemp derived, CBD. Awesome. Well, Allie, I want to thank you for your time. I think we could talk for longer, but I think it’s been about an hour and you know, I’m, I’m really looking forward to, to watching your brands grow in particular I’m bias for Lily Rein because I, and I, I just, one quick plug is that the people who have consumed CBD products, right. Know that the hemp plant can have a very bitter taste. I mean, it can taste gross, but what you’ve done, what your scientists have done with adding MCT oil to it. And the Elderberry is like, I could drink, I could drink the oil, but I know, well, it probably would be good for me if I did, but it’s a little pricey, I mean, but you’re getting what you pay for. It’s good stuff. So, right. No, thank you. Thank you for having us on. And yeah, I think, you know, reach out to anyone at our company or visit our websites for our brands. And we’re excited to see where this industry goes in the next year and on, and tell, tell us the website and spell it out for us please. Lily Rein, Lily Rein, it’s “L I L Y R E I N” .com. Perfect. Easy to remember. Thanks Ali. Thank you so much. Have a great rest of your day.

Speaker 2 (37:33):



On Crisis: Episode 7

On Crisis: Episode 7

Billie Jo Weyant, the Executive Director of a small nonprofit, discusses the soaring need for abuse and sexual assault victim services during COVID-19, despite limited resources and diminishing public funding.



Pittsburgh Public Information Officer Chris Togneri talks about how he transformed his office’s social media channels into a newsroom, social media’s potential to allow people to make their own news, and more.



Aurora’s leadership talks about the company’s work with self-driving vehicles, the long-term communications mindset, and why aggressive communications on the company’s “safety first” commitment is paramount.



Top legal mind who represents dozens of school districts, Ira Weiss, discusses the importance of having a robust school district communications plan, especially right now.

Crisis Communications Podcast Art Joanna Doven


Hosted by Joanna Doven, Premo CEO and one of the youngest big city mayoral press secretaries in the United States, On Crisis is a podcast that delves into a daunting challenge that all sectors inevitably face: how to skillfully navigate a crisis. Joined by guest speakers of all industries, Doven takes you “inside the crisis,” discussing real-time decision-making and providing helpful takeaways that can be applied to any business plan.

New episodes airing regularly. Check back soon! 


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