Rebekah Hall is a millennial entrepreneur who has entered into the CBD space, and whenever she is asked about her career choice, there’s always someone raising their eyebrows after hearing the word “cannabis”!
Hall, founder of drinks business, Botanic Lab says that she is a middle-class white woman and she isn’t supposed to talk about ‘drugs’, let alone start a business in what many people refer to as ‘weed’. Her brand creates CBD infused soft drinks which are non-psychoactive in nature and are considered as rejuvenating.
CBD is the anti-inflammatory, non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis genus plants such as hemp. It is widely popular for its medical benefits such as treating anxiety, depression, insomnia, stress and also helping patients in dealing with physical trauma, injuries, accident recovery, acute pain, chronic aches, inflammation and many such ailments.
CBD or cannabinoid is often confused with THC, tetrahydro cannabinoid, the psychoactive component in hemp. It is THC which causes the ‘high’ when users smoke weed or pot. Though found in the same plant, THC is not related to CBD in terms of psychoactive levels. THC is a psychosis drug which causes hallucinations and even lead to mental disorders if used for a long time in high potency.
The CBD industry has experienced a boom over the last few months, specifically after the federal government in the United States legalized hemp derived CBD with a maximum THC concentration of 0.3%. According to the federal regulation, CBD is no longer considered a controlled substance.
After the Farm Bill passed in December 2018, that legalized CBD, many retailers, entrepreneurs, business leaders and consumers have actively taken participation in the CBD game! Several countries like the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia are also on their way to cannabidiol legalization with proper regulatory mandates coming up by next year (expected).
From patients looking out for suitable treatments to scientists working on a breakthrough medicine that could cure cancer, CBD has smoothly slipped everywhere!
Hall, 38, aims for riding the crests and troughs of the cannabis market to become the first person in the United Kingdom to have earned over a million from the cannabis industry. She plans on replacing the usual “glass of wine” post work with her CBD tea.
Hall has already stocked her products in Harrods, Ocado and Waitrose, and she has set her sights next on Marks and Spencer, the worldwide famous brand!
Halls says that she wants to be the “queen of cannabis” and adds that someone has got to become it and she wants it for herself. Hall has grown up in Somerset with her father working in the IT industry and mother in sustainability. She spent a decade working as an accountant and investment banker in Somerset after her university, and eventually she grew restless of the “boss-employee” code.
She admits that she had an itch whenever she looked at her bosses and didn’t want to end up doing a desk job for the rest of life, caged in glass offices. When she turned 30, it hit her that unless she gives it all up and begin from scratch, she’ll never be able to do it. She says that once you’re employed and have a safe job, you get caught into the income trap which is too good to be true and it’s too risky a game to quit and put it all at stake.
Despite the trap, Hall managed to come out of it and successfully start her own business. After running through several ideas, Hall, who had trained as a yoga instructor, finally decided to quit her job and open a health drinks business, observing that the market in the United Kingdom for healthy drinks was way less developed as compared to the United States.
Hall’s brand, Botanic Lab was launched in January 2014, with the ultimate aim of making “drinks that do something”, using natural ingredients that support a healthy lifestyle such as ginseng for immunity, turmeric to fight inflammation and CBD for the overall improvement.
Halls says that she was always on the lookout for CBD, but was waiting for the government to legalize it and the public to accept it.
The real turning point came when the case of Billy Caldwell, a 12-year-old boy who suffered from a rare and severe form of epilepsy which can be treated with medicinal cannabis was taken up. His plight led to a drastic change in the public’s perception about CBD. people could finally see beyond ‘marijuana’ and understand that though CBD is a compound found in a cannabis genus plant, it does not contain any psychoactive chemicals.
After Billy’s case, Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary issued a licence for allowing doctors to prescribe medicinal cannabis oil in the United Kingdom. Hall said that she brought her product to the market within four months of the announcement.