Paul Fiore here with my good friend Colin Maclean (u/CBDeezee), coming to you live from the NatureArc headquarters in Los Angeles.

Proof: https://instagram.com/p/BpXEI6AHEPW/

Our website: https://www.naturearc.com/#AMA

I was an executive producer of Freakonomics. Later, I started a POS company, now merged with POSaBIT, which allows cannabis dispensaries to manage sales and inventory while accepting credit & debit cards. Patrons use their cards to buy Litecoin, which is then exchanged for product, then the POS converts the Litecoin back to cash.

After leaving USC, Colin trained to shoot archery in the Olympics. Then he went to manage the EA sports division, and was eventually recruited by Sony, where he created Playstation Underground, and later Playstation Online.

A few years after Playstation, Colin’s newborn triplets were facing immense medical complications that created unique mental health & drug issues his family life-- problems and stressors that drove him to wonder about alternatives, and ultimately spend late night studying cannabis derivatives. My own brother Tim was researching CBD in-depth just before he passed of opioid overdose, hoping for a way out.

While federal policy has held clinical research behind, the anecdotal evidence available for cannabinoids is compelling.

According to HelloMD and the Brightfield Group, 71% of users reported that their cannabinoid product was as effective or more effective than their prescription medication, while 82% said their cannabinoid product worked as well as or better than OTC medication.

For our first formula, Nature Rx Everyday Wellness, we wanted to develop a CBD oil that actually tastes good. We found a way to enhance the natural, citrus flavonoids and terpenes in the extract, rather than masking the undesirables.

We added only 3 simple ingredients to our cannabinoid extract: MCT Oil, Monk Fruit Extract, and Cold Pressed Orange Oil. We're a little biased, but we think it's the best tasting sublingual tincture available. If you would like to give it a try, enter “AMA10off” at checkout (no-questions-asked 30-day guarantee).

Next, we set out to be the first to remove THC entirely from an otherwise full cannabinoid, terpenoid, and flavonoid profile. A true full-spectrum hemp oil, minus the THC that gets you “high”. This is important because cannabis components, of which there are hundreds, have more potent effects when taken in unison. This is known as the Entourage Effect.

The FDA recently approved a cannabinoid/CBD product as a drug that will be priced at $32,500/year. Big pharmaceutical companies have strong incentives to try and classify cannabinoid products as drugs, and lobby for restrictions on cannabinoids as supplements.

The Trump administration is currently seeking public comments on cannabis classification. Please, if you haven’t already, leave your thoughts (we have until 10/31). https://www.reddit.com/r/trees/comments/9peox0/the_fda_is_taking_comments_on_whether_or_not/

Thanks for having us. Please, ask away about mental health, hemp, and cannabinoids!

Comments: 461 • Responses: 36  • Date: 

edghn180 karma

How is it possible to remove THC entirely from something? Doesn’t it attach itself to other parts of the contents? Wouldn’t it be more accurate to say 99% removed?

Pdfiore200 karma

You're correct that completely removing THC or other components won't get to 100%. There are primary extraction methods which separate individual cannabinoids, and further refinement processes such as chromatography that can isolate individual compounds such as CBD up to over 99%. The trace elements are effectively non-detectable.

Goosejwg166 karma

Is there any truth to the idea that textiles companies have lobbied against hemp because hemp last longer than cotton and would result in people buying less clothes over time with reduced wear and tear?

Pdfiore209 karma

There's arguably evidence that competing industries helped form the "Marihuana Tax Act of 1937" which significantly hindered the hemp industry.

MakeYourMarks77 karma

What are the economic impacts of hemp going to likely have on a global scale?

Pdfiore115 karma

In 2017 farmers harvested 400,000 acres of hemp worldwide, 25,000 of which was in the U.S.

That number (25,000 acres in the US) will likely double in 2018 and again for the 2019 harvest. The profit per acres is significantly higher for industrial hemp than for other crops, so likely more jobs, and more money in the pockets of farmers as well as others in the value chain for hemp.

MakeYourMarks22 karma

Seems like a risky crop, considering legislation could snuff out all of your buyers pretty quick. Hopefully that changes soon. Permanently.

Pdfiore45 karma

Good point that regulation is murky, especially at the federal level. A good site to support US hemp is www.hempsupporter.com

The 2018 farm bill is making good progress in committee and hopefully will translate into new law early next year.

IL71071 karma

how do you justify the price? i buy cbd isolate for $20/g and make my own 200mg capsules for daily use. why should i pay 6x that?

Pdfiore34 karma

Wow, this is a great question. Thanks for the softball! lol Seriously, though. There is so much "questionable" CBD product out there. We are so completely dedicated to the highest quality, highest potency product and because we make it our priority to be completely transparent with our lab testing (you can see the the results at https://naturearc.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/lab-results.jpg

Cheap product coming from overseas is often synthetic, or polluted with pesticides or heavy metals, or have residual solvents....all very detrimental your health. The rule of thumb is --and I can't speak to your specific unnamed brand--if the product is cheap, there's a reason for that, and that reason ain't good.

wilsonator-59 karma

Why did you decide to take on so many differing careers?

Pdfiore112 karma

In my case, having a quest is key. Each career transition started with feeling that I had accomplished everything I started out to do and wanting a new challenge or a chance to learn a new industry. Change keeps you on top of your game and you're still able to leverage and use your core skills and competencies.

MakeYourMarks7 karma

Seem a lot more fun than taking one on for 60 years.

Pdfiore12 karma

For me, yes, though a 60 year career in the same field is admirable.

djbisbey40 karma

My mom is proudly taking CBD. I hear a lot of people talk about how essential oils is bull shit, is this different from that?

Pdfiore39 karma

We encourage people to look up the studies concerning the endocannabinoid system on pubmed, as well as the wiki page on the endocannabinoid system.

KelechiOkeke31 karma

Do you ever get chastised by religious people who believe you are propagating the "devils cabbage" and encouraging moral decay by selling hemp?

Pdfiore77 karma

My dad is a pastor in a small church in NY and he personally believes that plants are a natural part of life and have inherent properties that can heal.

One of our core partner farms in Oregon is run by a multi generational farming family and they're devout Christians.

bayhay127 karma

Is cryptocurrency the only safe way for dispensaries to operate? I keep reading these scary stories about dispensaries having to lug 200k cash to the bank because payment processors won’t accept them.

Pdfiore33 karma

It's amazing that the industry is forced to deal with running their business with cash, especially with the inherent security concerns and risks. Some dispensaries have figured out how to accept debit cards that avoid the V/MC rails. Crypto is an option, and others have used a prepaid card based system using an app to 'store value' vs. using a card.

gargar725 karma

Do you feel any remorse or responsibility for the gross scientific fallacies related to climate change perpetuated by Freakonomics?


Not to mention that the original book has also been widely criticized in its views on crime reduction (which are much better explained as a consequence of phasing out leaded gasoline).

Pdfiore19 karma

My role with Freakonomics was in financing and distribution of the documentary. The content was the responsibility of the creators, so I'm not sure it would be right for me to take a stance on the legitimacy of what they believe and published.

DooDooBrownz12 karma

i was a big fan of the podcast (still am to some degree), but the episode on koch bros was shameful. the softball questions and ass licking you people displayed in that one was shameful. i guess my question is, whose idea was to suspend all journalistic integrity for that fluff piece?

Pdfiore9 karma

My work was focused on the documentary, particularly in financing and distribution. I am not involved with the podcast. Sorry I could not provide any insight here.

thedaveg8 karma

The FDA recently approved a cannabinoid/CBD product as a drug that will be priced at $32,500/year.

I'm confused by that sentence... do you mean $32.5k per perscription/person per year? Surely that's an unrealistic barrier to entry.

Pdfiore10 karma

Very good question. This is precisely why healthcare costs are so outlandish.

Who will pay these prices? Not necessarily just the patient. Pharma, Insurance, and hospitals may pick up the tab, but everything trickles down...

Mr_Italics_Man8 karma

Are you hiring right now? :)

Pdfiore10 karma

Keep an eye on our website :)

BigAlBerk8 karma

How do you like your new jobs versus your old jobs?

Pdfiore13 karma

My early career was banking software over the internet, then I did financing for a number of independent films, and now an exciting hemp venture. The common theme is finding the trend; fast growing parts of the economy in industries that are ripe for disruption and attract entrepreneurs looking to make an impact. Just like organic farming and consumer demand for natural, healthy products drove changes to how our food is grown and consumed, hemp is going through a similar trajectory.

WinterWight7 karma

Why did Freakonomics go from telling interesting stories to audio-fellating rich people?

Pdfiore3 karma

I am not a creator, nor involved in the podcast. My role involved financing and distribution of the documentary-- ensuring it achieved the reach necessary to have an impact.

Aquiffer3 karma

How does the medical benefit of marijuana with high THC content compare with marijuana with high CBD content?

Edit: also, what is your opinion on legalization, recreationally and medically? How should we go about it?

Pdfiore8 karma

Due to federal regulations, we cannot make any claims about the medical efficacy of cannabis. We encourage you to check out our FAQ, as well as PubMed for peer reviewed medical cannabis information.


If you'd like to see cannabis legalized, make your passions known to your elected officials and be sure to vote.

i_suck_things2 karma

What are your levels of education that lead you to where you are today?

Pdfiore6 karma

I didn't have the means to attend University straight out of college, so I began work as a clerk at a bank after high school. I was lucky to have the right mentors along the way that helped me progress my career at that bank and others over the next decade.

3 years after high school, I began taking night classes at Nassau Community College while working full-time. After 3 years at Nassau, I attended night classes at NYU for another 6 years to complete my degree.

Ragnarotico2 karma

Where are you guys located? Do you need any help at the moment?

Pdfiore5 karma

We are headquartered in Los Angeles, with operations in Oregon and New York.

Keep an eye on our website-- where openings will be posted as they become available.

waiting4op2deliver2 karma

Are you going to get really stoned and play Red Dead redemption later?

Pdfiore3 karma

No comment.

CaptchaKing4Reviews2 karma

Why produce hemp oil instead of cannabis derived CBD oil?

Pdfiore3 karma

In our case, it's a desire to comply with federal policy. Although hemp and cannabis are regulated by different governing bodies, CBD derived from hemp is the same molecule as CBD derived from cannabis.

kitikitish1 karma

What's for dinner?

Pdfiore3 karma

Love watching nfl games, so maybe HQ Gastropub in Woodland Hills...

marythekid1 karma

How can I get a job with you?

Pdfiore2 karma

Keep an eye on our website as well as social media - we may post opportunities in the future. https://www.instagram.com/naturerxhemp

r0b0tdin0saur1 karma

Hi, thanks for doing this AMA!

What type of extraction methods are legal in CA and which method do you use most frequently? In my state, I believe only supercritical CO2 extractions are legal, which creates an enormous barrier to entry in the industry, considering the price of the required equipment.

Have you explored extraction of terpenes, followed by reintroduction after removing THC or isolating CBD?

What prices do you pay for hemp? What is the CBD content of the hemp you buy? How many different hemp suppliers do you procure from and how much material do you process in, say, a month?

What is the cutoff on THC content in hemp for it to meet compliance standards in CA?

Edit: just spent some time on your website, looks like you guys use CO2. Have you explored any other extraction methods or solvents?

Pdfiore2 karma

We procure all of our CBD from large scale certified organic farms. When buying any CBD product, consumers should focus on how the hemp was grown and how its been extracted (in our case CO2.) All of our products are tested internally and validated by third party lab testing and are always testing at virtually 0% (the legal limit is 0.3%). Current lab testing is available on our website. In addition, we are able to process thousands of pounds of biomass every day.

PrimeFuture1 karma

When the federal government does begin allowing banks to do business with retail cannabis companies, is there any reason for a dispensary to continue using POSaBIT?

Pdfiore2 karma

We do both Crypto POS and regular POS. If dispensaries want to switch in the future-- great. We're here for them.

BuckOHare1 karma

How did you get roped into the hemp business?

Pdfiore1 karma

I see what you did there ;)

It was an industry I had been monitoring for the last decade. It was the rise of anecdotal evidence, my own friends and family's experiences, and especially my brother that inspired me.

Jbliu1 karma

For both of you to answer independently:

  • What are your families' net worths? What were they, on average, as you were growing up?
  • How many square feet were the houses you grew up in?
  • How many houses and/or businesses did your parents own growing up?
  • How much did your educations cost? Who paid for them?

Thank you!

Pdfiore2 karma

  1. In the hundreds of dollars. My dad worked for the transit authority, and is now a pastor. My mom was a housewife.
  2. Small house an a middle class neighborhood in Long Island.
  3. Just the one.
  4. I started at community college for three years, then did six years of night school at NYU. My employers assisted me, for which I am very fortunate.

okki21 karma

what made you think you are interesting enough to warrant an AMA?

Pdfiore2 karma

Our younger teammates insisted we give it a try. I don't know if I am interesting enough or not, but we're having fun so far.