“I wish someone told me that the CBD industry would continue to have a stigma associated with it.” with Vincent Vitale and Fotis Georgiadis
I wish someone told me that the CBD industry would continue to have a stigma associated with it. Even though we make 100% CBD products we are constantly stigmatized and treated differently. A lot of traditional companies haven’t caught up or simply don’t understand the difference between CBD and THC. There also isn’t enough information and education about how different/great CBD is.
As part of my series about “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started Leading a Cannabis Business” I had the pleasure of interviewing Vincent Vitale, a veteran digital marketer. Originally from Detroit, he graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree from their world renown school of journalism. Vincent started his career by managing a branding program for Nissan. He quickly pivoted into the startup scene and created his own digital marketing agency. His latest stop before joining the CBD industry was managing business development for Aspire Food Group and successfully getting Americans to eat crickets. Since then, he ultimately joined Quanta Inc, as director of digital marketing and sales.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you share with us the story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Thank you for the opportunity! I had worked closely with our CEO Eric Rice for a few years on a previous venture before joining Quanta Inc. Before signing on I was living in Austin, Texas. Every day I read a new article (or 20) about how CBD was emerging as an industry. Eric asked me to fly in and meet the team he was putting together. Within seconds of seeing the office, and meeting the team I knew this was something I had to be a part of. Fast forward 2 months and I got married, went on my honeymoon, and moved to LA to help lead the Quanta team forward!
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
On my first day in the office our payment processor got shut down. This made it impossible to take online sales and since my main job with Quanta is to grow online sales, it was definitely an interesting start to my new career.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
The mistakes I made early on in this industry stemmed from me treating CBD like other traditional industries. Fundamentally it is different. Originally I tried to toe the line when it came to advertising our product and find ways around the rules and regulations, but this industry is in its’ infancy and there simply aren’t guidelines on what is and isn’t allowed. The biggest lesson I learned so far in my failures is to double down on what works and to not think conventionally.
Are you working on any exciting projects now?
We just launched a muscle rub plus that utilizes extraordinary patented technology (polarization and nanotechnology.) Essentially, the nano-sized particles we create allow for easy absorption of our all natural ingredients making our product truly stand out. Our upcoming exciting projects are mostly releasing new first in class products. Lastly, we are launching our muscle rub product nationwide in a large number of popular gym franchises.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
100% my mother. Early on, one of the most important lessons she taught me was to be kind to everyone. Growing up I was nice to, and friends with, a plethora of people ranging from chess club members to football players. I learned to connect with a variety of people from different walks of life. This allowed me to become a connector and seasoned networker in every aspect of my life, especially my business career. Without this, I would not be the man I am today. Thanks mom!
This industry is young dynamic and creative. Do you use any clever and innovative marketing strategies that you think large legacy companies should consider adopting?
Currently CBD/Cannabis companies can’t utilize traditional marketing mediums like Facebook ads or Google Adwords. Nothing earth shattering here, but we are doubling down on product sampling as a company. We know we truly have an extraordinary product (thanks to our patented technology) and when people try it, they feel it. Having people try our product and get it on their skin has caused our sales to increase dramatically.
Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the Cannabis industry? Can you share 3 things that most concern you?
1. Market growth — CBD is one of the fasting growing industries. Period.
2. Different walks of life adopting CBD. A large variety of people are using CBD products which I didn’t see coming. When I bring up what I do for a living I constantly hear, I use your rub before/after workouts, or I eat a gummy before going out on the weekends to reduce social anxiety. It’s safe to say CBD is now mainstream.
3. Products that are truly making a difference for people. We have received extraordinary testimonials of drastically altering the quality of peoples daily lives in a positive way.
1. Discrepancies in regulation. State by state regulation vs federal. What is legal to say/do (still a lot of gray area in general).
2. Online payment processing.
3. Some of the people in this industry (compared to other industries I’ve been involved in) lack professionalism. As a company, we do what we say we are going to do. Ideally, other companies and people would reciprocate this mantra.
Can you share your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started Leading a Cannabis Business”? Please share a story or example for each.
1. I wish someone told me processing online payments for CBD was going to be as difficult as it was initially. On my first day of work our payment processor got shut down after we were doubling or tripling online sales in consecutive months.
2. I wish someone told me how unprofessional certain individuals in this industry are. There has been a lot of hype and potential, but some people haven’t followed through with what they said they were going to do. I understand Rome wasn’t built in a day but construction of the city did start. At Quanta, when we say we are going to do something, we do it.
3. I wish someone told me how unclear the laws would continue to be. There isn’t one place to go to get clarity on what is legal and illegal regarding several different aspects of this industry. Including state law, advertising, product labeling, shipping etc.
4. I wish someone told me that the CBD industry would continue to have a stigma associated with it. Even though we make 100% CBD products we are constantly stigmatized and treated differently. A lot of traditional companies haven’t caught up or simply don’t understand the difference between CBD and THC. There also isn’t enough information and education about how different/great CBD is.
5. I wish someone told me how quickly CBD would become overhyped/oversaturated without most products having a real point of differentiation. People are adding CBD to everything, take pizza as an example. You can’t just drop CBD oil onto pizza, because the woodfire oven burns the CBD oil off. CBD doesn’t belong in everything. Our product is fundamentally different than what has gone mainstream because it is backed by science and we have a true point of differentiation (our patented technology).
What advice would you give to other CEOs or founders to help their employees to thrive?
Cultivate an environment where people feel confident and comfortable to give their opinion. Also, spend at least 30 minutes on brainstorming with your entire team for important projects.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Our movement/mantra as a company is to operate at a higher vibration. This means to do what is right for the greater good, even when it isn’t easy.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
Also, can we please have a backlink somewhere to https://quantacbd.com
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!
“I wish someone told me that the CBD industry would continue to have a stigma associated with it.” was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.