Tell us a bit about your experience as an entrepreneur and what led you to founding Magical Brands?
We started the company out of necessity, to solve a real problem. A close friend of mine who was struggling with Chron’s disease discovered that cannabis helped manage his flare-ups, but he had to stop smoking due to his Asthma. I developed the technology to process plant-derived compounds into professional-grade edible formats at home in order to help people, like my friend, who wanted to access the healing benefits of these compounds through ingestion rather than inhalation. That technology resulted in what’s lovingly known as the “MagicalButter Machine”.
The goal was, and still is, simple: we focus on health, wellness, and happiness. I firmly believe in the benefits and potential of herbal and plant-based medicine and that core ethos is infused into our culture, our brands, our community, and our business. What started out of necessity has grown into market leading product innovation, trusted brand recognition, and set us up for expansion into emerging sectors like psychedelics. On a personal level, I want us to have an enormous impact on improving public health and that’s what fires me up about what we’re building.
You helped drive cannabis policy changes forward in Florida. How were you able to do this and do you think psychedelics is on a similar trajectory to being de-criminalized and seen in a medical context?
Psychedelics are definitely on a similar trajectory. When we pursued regulatory change in Port Richey, Florida for decriminalization, it was driven similarly by arguing for public health alternatives; the opioid crisis hit our municipality and state hard. From a momentum perspective, there’s much to be excited about regarding psychedelics. Local municipalities are de-criminalizing psilocybin, most notably with Denver in 2019, and it’s on the ballot in other jurisdictions like Oregon. We also just saw landmark access granted to 4 terminally ill patients in Canada for use of psilocybin (“magical” mushrooms) to help with anxiety. Mental health is a massive public health issue and psychotherapy with psychedelics is yielding fascinating results. Our thesis is people will quickly become comfortable with micro-dosing and this not only benefits public health and happiness but also opens up a very interesting commercial opportunity once the regulator environment exists for commercialization. A personal prediction is that in the future people not micro-dosing will be at a disadvantage in the workplace.
Magical Brands has very impressive traction and sales as a company. Why enter in to the functional mushroom space? Could you talk about how you are going to introduce this new offer to your existing customers?
At our core, we focus on health and wellness so our expansion into mushrooms is natural and has been part of our strategic roadmap for some time. Mushrooms are adaptogens that support the body's natural ability to deal with stress. Their uniqueness is they adapt to your body’s physical, chemical or biological needs. The functional mushroom market is rapidly expanding and fairly fragmented, which means there’s a great opportunity to establish leading brands. Also, we know how to create, build, and sell innovative products, especially when it comes to hardware, so we’re introducing mycology grow kits soon as well. A little known fact is that our original extraction machine actually had a “mushroom” button on it! We have the advantage of starting with our existing community who currently utilize our products to process herbs and plants, including cannabis, CBD hemp, mushrooms and more into edibles and tinctures. We know our Magical community members are focused on improving their microbiome and overall health. Listening to customers and understanding their wants and needs throughout the years has always given us invaluable insights into what’s next. And, c’mon, what better name for a mushroom brand is there besides “Magical”?
Magical has built a global brand, with international distribution. How have you done that and how will Magical continue to scale?
We started this brand by being authentic, connecting with people and building relationships. When I started this company 8 years ago, it was in a closely regulated marketing world. The mission was very clear – it was about access and empowerment so people could focus on their health and wellness. So, we connected to customers on Facebook through original and engaging content. We built a 10k ft video studio to create a massive video database to teach people how to make edibles, lotions, and potions at home. We’ve given 1000s of extraction machines to those in need and through social giveaways. The word of mouth value has returned to us tenfold.
Over those 8 years we also formed an organically built community of nearly 1 million people. The future of commerce is online, but also, to thrive in the digital world, brands need communities. It’s not simply about slick branding and spending on ads. You can buy followers on social, you can’t buy community. Brands that form community have staying power and there’s no substitute for the time it takes to build those authentically. We think of ourselves in the same vein as great brands like Lululemon, Harley Davidson, and Nike and think very long term about what we’re building.
Does Magical have plans to enter in to the psychedelic space? Functional mushrooms are obviously non psychoactive. Do you see psychedelic medicines as a part of Magical’s future? What would that look like?
The psychedelics space is rapidly evolving and we are excited about the opportunities. We see our functional mushroom products and mycology grow kits as a quick place to land and generate revenue while doing what we’ve always done incredibly well: educate and engage with people around the broader conversation of health and wellness, of which psychedelics will play a major role. We believe micro-dosing will be a major opportunity. Our approach has, and always will be, to enter and build markets in full regulatory compliance so we will continue to advance the decriminalization conversation and focus on creating products that are simple to use, consistent, and build brand equity. We’re also working on establishing academic research collaborations to advance a data-driven and prudent approach to commercialization.
Magical has recently announced that the company is going public. Why did you decide to do that now and what will it enable the company to do in terms of growth?
The time to capitalize on the major tailwinds pushing us forward is now. Between psilocybin decriminalization, global cannabis legalization, e-commerce, psychedelic break-through therapy status, and even COVID (respiratory health and e-commerce), all of these secular trends have aligned and we’re incredibly excited about the position we’re in. We’ve put in many years of hard work to build our business and expect to do $20M in 2020 revenue, and we are profitable which is something most companies in this sectors can’t say. Magical is uniquely positioned to lead in this sector and are excited to welcome public shareholders to participate in the upside and also help spread the message. As I’ve always said, together we win!
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