Isodiol Executives Discuss Company Shift Towards CBD Consumer Markets
Isodiol International Inc. (CSE:ISOL) (OTCQB:ISOLF) launched in 2009 as a cannabinoid researcher and grew to become a globally-known bulk seller of CBD products.
It embarked on a new goal one year ago, with the introduction of Andrew Alvis as president.
Alvis was brought on board to oversee a new mission for Isodiol — conquering the CBD consumer markets.
Alvis, CEO Marcos Agramont and former NFL player Marvin Washington, who was brought on as a strategic partner, spoke with Benzinga about Isodiol’s new goals.
A Direct-To-Consumer Focus
Isodiol started off as a supplier of nano-liquid suspensions, isolates and hemp oil. After developing the first formulations, it created oils, topicals, capsules, pain patches and other products that were used to showcase all the versatile functions that were achievable with the bulk ingredients they had developed.
In 2017, ISO International — as the company was originally named — was acquired by cannabis distributor Laguna Blends Inc. Laguna changed its name to Isodiol, began trading under the stock symbol ‘ISOL’ and launched the newly-acquired Isodiol into the public markets.
Since then, the company remained focused on the best path towards profitability. That direction was crystallized with the appointment of Alvis as president in October 2019. He brought a vast experience in leadership with a background in finance and global expansion.
“I got brought on about a year ago, exactly,” Alvis said. “And a lot of our focus has been restructuring the company and the brands accordingly. We kicked off at the beginning of the year prior to the pandemic, a more of a direct-to-consumer channel focus.”
This approach ended up becoming the perfect strategy to navigate the current COVID-19 pandemic. Isodiol was already planning a pivot to a direct-to-consumer strategy based on e-commerce sales.
The decision was motivated by a clear shift in consumer behavior to e-commerce and online shopping. Today, Isodiol handles all nation-wide deliveries in-house.
Bulk sales make up about 20% of revenue; white label and wholesale make up about 40%; and the last 40% comes from direct-to-consumer operations.
Marvin Washington and IsoSport
Isodiol welcomed former New York Jet defensive end and cannabis entrepreneur Marvin Washington to the leadership team.
The team approached Washington with the idea of creating a sports-oriented CBD brand aimed at everyday consumers.
Agramont said Washington’s collaboration in the creation of the IsoSport brand was crucial, given his personal experience using and recommending CBD to fellow athletes.
IsoSport was launched in 2016 out of a joint venture between Washington and Isodiol. When the company went public, Washington became vice president of development for IsoSport and a board member of Isodiol International.
The goal of the brand was to use CBD to address the untapped market of professional athletes and weekend warriors.
“To this day, we’re the only [CBD] sports brand out there that is specifically targeting athletes, and the indications that come with working out and having that lifestyle, from soreness to recovery to energy,” says Washington.
Not Just Talk About CBD
Isodiol’s main differentiators are found in the different formulations behind each brand, the executives said.
“At one point in time, we had to make that pivot and not just talk about CBD,” says Agramont. “We started focusing on the everyday functions and dysfunctions that consumers were facing.”
This meant exploring which natural medicines could be combined with cannabis in order to carry added value to the products directed at each specific function like sleep, anxiety or sports performance.
“There’s an actual formulaic response to these products versus just adding CBD to some of the labels that were already out there,” adds Alvis.
Isodiol’s products are concocted with adaptogenic herbs and other naturally-sourced materials to provide more accurate effects.
Agramont says that the future of the industry encapsulates a re-validation of natural herbs and other adaptogenic products, in combination with CBD.
As a second differentiator, Isodiol is also looking to expand into improving product functionality by researching pharmacokinetics and pharmacogenomics.
This means analyzing and understanding exactly what happens to cannabinoids once they enter the body and how each person’s genetic profile affects their response to these compounds.
“Working with some of the doctors and the pharmacokinetic labs to produce this valuable data that we can actually share with the consumers, as well as share with the retailers out there, so that they know what they’re getting,” says Agramont.
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