There’s been a lot of hullabaloo about the cannabis ad that was rejected for Super Bowl placement on CBS. That’s understandable, since it’s a story about an enormous holding company backed by former House Speaker John Boehner that was trying to run a spot calling for medical weed legalization.
At the same time, you’d think that there would be more noise about the relative feat in this realm, as there was also a recent announcement that Baristas Coffee Company will air ads for its new line of EnrichaRoast CBD coffee in and around Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta during the game. Sure, the business press took notice, but for the most part, mainstream pubs ran with the prohibitionist Boehner story instead.
As for us, we’re primarily excited to see that the beanery with which Baristas is collaborating on this historic commercial coup is Flower Power Coffee Co., which we praised last year for its product’s subtle brilliance and effective recipe. We reached out to the company’s president, Leighton Knowles, to catch up about this major moment.
When you started Flower Power Coffee, how accepting did you feel the market was at the time of CBD products? How about CBD coffee? How open were people to it?
Flower Power Coffee Company debuted last July when we first began our research and development. After three months of fine-tuning our measurements and processes, our website went live in September 2017, and we made our sales on the first day.
We wanted to get cannabidiol (CBD) into the general public in a way that would not alter their daily routine. We looked for ways to pair CBD with commonly consumed products, and coffee worked out to be an amazing vehicle. Coffee being consumed by almost 80 percent of society also makes it a great way to introduce people to CBD. We have travelled the world to trade shows, events, and speaking engagements as we advocate the benefits of the cannabis plant and help remove the stigma of cannabis consumption.
What has your brand tried to do to get people acquainted with CBD coffee? What’s been your central message?
CBD is in the public eye because of the many health benefits being reported in recent medical research and public use. Also, as the opiate crisis continues to skyrocket, people are looking for safer and healthier alternatives for pain management. Cannabis has been prohibited since the time of World War II and information about the efficacy and usefulness of cannabis suppressed. Today, thanks to the tireless effort of the many heroes in our community, we now have access to this information.
How did this relationship come about with Baristas? What is a big brand like that looking for in a partner on the CBD front?
Back in September 2018, Baristas Coffee Company contacted us directly, as they were exploring the potential of including marijuana derivatives as part of its new EnrichaRoast brand of functional beverages based on coffee. The new blends are infused with substances that promote weight loss, vitality, sensuality, and recovery from hangovers, as well as potentially other health benefits. At Flower Power, our mission is to provide coffees and edibles that will enhance the life experience of health-conscious consumers through the use of legal, non-mind-altering infusions. Upon the initial discussions, [we] quickly realized the similarities between the two companies and the synergy of our respective mission statements.
Did you ever think that there would be CBD commercials during the Super Bowl? In 2019? What might that look like?
[In April 2017], [we] held [our] first CBD-infused “Prohibition Dinner” in New York. A few months later, and after several long nights of brainstorming and a few pizzas, the Flower Power Coffee Co seed was planted. We started appearing in local flea markets and food festivals, as well as launching our online store and selling to coffee shops in New York City. We’ve been on major news stations and publications as we advocated for the healthy and responsible consumption of cannabidiol (CBD), and were … one of the first cannabis companies to advertise on billboards in Times Square during the dropping of the ball on New Year’s Eve.
The past 12 months have been an amazing year of bringing the counterculture of cannabis to the mainstream.