Leafreport – Noa Gans: Hi, I’m Noa, here in the CBD USA expo in Miami. I’m here with Ignite – Jim McCormick , the president of Ignite. Hi Jim.
Ignite – Jim McCormick: Hi. How are you? How are you today?
Leafreport – Noa Gans: I’m great. How are you?
Ignite – Jim McCormick: Excellent. Great. Glad to be here. Glad to be with you.
Leafreport – Noa Gans: Thank you very much. Same here. So, could you please tell us about your company and its history?
Ignite – Jim McCormick: Sure. Ignite was founded in 2016 by Dan Bilzerian. He originally started it as a cannabis company, and was launched in October of 2018. Since then we’ve changed a lot. As you can see, we’re into CBD in a big way, and also into nicotine in some markets. So, the company’s growing very rapidly, and CBD is a big part of our story.
Leafreport – Noa Gans: Sounds interesting. So, can you tell us about your manufacturing process?
Ignite – Jim McCormick: Our manufacturing process? We actually don’t manufacture anything ourselves, but we … because I can’t grow anything, so you don’t want me doing that. So we partner with the best producers that we can find from a … whether it’s growing the hemp, to processing CBD oils, to actually packaging. So we work with best practice partners, for example today we work with a company in Colorado that does all of our processing in the US.
We also are looking at sourcing in the EU as well. So, for us this market is evolving so rapidly, that we are always looking for better and better partners, and hopefully as we find these people, we work with them to grow the business together.
Leafreport – Noa Gans: Sure. How do you ensure the product’s quality, purity and cleanliness?
Ignite – Jim McCormick: Well, first thing, we vet our partners very closely. So we do all the due diligence, making sure that they are properly qualified, they have all the certifications. We look for FDA certification, GMP, really food grade, clean room environments. So, that gives us a first comfort. And then we look for the people that are running it, do they have that same commitment to quality that we do? So it takes time to go through that process, and then we continually vet them, whether it’s through external testing, our own testing processes. We’ve got a world-class head of quality on our own staff. So, it’s multiple layers of testing and quality assurance, to make sure that our consumers get the best product quality they can.
Leafreport – Noa Gans: Sounds great. What quality controls you have in place?
Ignite – Jim McCormick: The controls? Well, first of all, we have basic quality checklists. So, at the lowest level, our producers have to meet these things, and it’s just the basics, cleanliness, quality of personnel on staff, the testing procedures, are they GMP qualified? All of those things. So first they clear that. And then we go through, and do our own certification with our own people, to make sure it’s more than just … Well, when they take the boxes, again, do they have that quality commitment? And then it’s not a one-off process. So, we go in on a regular basis, the testing is ongoing, the certificate of quality that’s provided on every badge. So, it’s an ongoing assurance process to make sure that every batch, everything we send to the consumer, is of the highest quality.
Leafreport – Noa Gans: Great. What is your transparency policy? Do you publish the third party lab results?
Ignite – Jim McCormick: We do in some case, and it’s certainly available for anyone to review. It’s more on the cannabis side that we have that, but we do have traceability in place on all of our products. So, you can’t buy let’s say one product, and get the COA, but it’s certainly available, and all the testing results are kept as part of our traceability and commitment to quality. So yes, those things are available. I can’t say we can get them online immediately, but we obviously keep those things on track, and it’s part of our commitment to quality. So it’s really important for us.
Leafreport – Noa Gans: Yeah, it is. So can you tell us about the range of products or the highlights of each product’s family?
Ignite – Jim McCormick: Sure, sure. So our core product line is on the vaping side, vaping is becoming more and more a popular way to take all kinds of products, whether it’s nicotine or CBD now increasingly. So we like that as our alternative to people that don’t want to vape nicotine. It also has the different attributes of CBD that people like these days. And there’s other ways to take the product as well. We have our roll-ons, we have our lip balms, we have our pain relief cream, we have many more things in the pipeline, but … and the tinctures and drops for example. So, it’s a new product category, consumers are learning about it.
CBD affects an individual differently, so some people like the drops, other people like the vape. So we like to give a range, and then when we get the consumer feedback, we can tweak our product line as we go forward. But I can tell you we’ve got a number of other products, exciting products in the pipeline coming soon.
Leafreport – Noa Gans: It sounds very interesting, right? Okay. So, what’s your best selling products, and why do you think it’s such a good product?
Ignite – Jim McCormick: Our two best selling products are really our vapes and our drops. And really it’s the ones that consumers, I think, find the vape very easy, and a nice way to come into the product. Drops are a nice concentrated way to take CBD, and it’s very simple. So, I think it’s the ease of entry into the category, is the first thing. And then as people find out what works best for them, I expect we’ll see people exploring into different products. So, I think it’s such early days in the category, that people are looking for relatively simple ways to take the product.
And also word of mouth is important. So, if you look online, and you see the way people enjoy the drops, enjoy … whether it’s the calming and the lavender products, that help them relax before bedtime, or pre-workout CBD type thing. So, everyone’s a little bit different, but I think ease of use is very important right now.
Leafreport – Noa Gans: Definitely. What are your recommendation for the beginner user, someone who heard about CBD, and is curious how to started?
Ignite – Jim McCormick: Sure. Well, the first thing I would say is when you’re looking at CBD, make sure you’re buying … whether it’s Ignite or not, look for a quality manufacturer that has the same commitment to quality that we do. That’s very important, first and foremost. And be willing to experiment, because again, every consumer’s body is different, and their reaction to cannabinoids is different. So, try a couple of different things, try it at different times a day, and just see how it reacts, and be willing to adjust to it. It’s a great product, but again, don’t take it just one way. Just try a couple of different products, and see how you react to it, and you’ll learn just as we learned going along, how it reacts. And we’ve had such great feedback from consumers that have found it just helps them relax from anxiety or whatever. So, try it at different times during the day, and just … you’ll find out what works for you. That’s what we would encourage consumers to do.
Leafreport – Noa Gans: And what sets you apart from other companies and brands, and what makes you unique?
Ignite – Jim McCormick: Great question. I think the first thing is that we’re really … we think globally. So, it’s a brand new category, and Dan Bilzerian, he founded the company for us, and he’s got a global presence. So, my background is in global consumer goods. So when we look at Ignite, and we look at the future, we don’t look at just the US, we don’t just look at the UK, we look globally. And not just from where we want to go, but also consumers. So, when we get feedback, it’s not just from Miami, it’s not just from Kansas. We get feedback from the UK, we get feedback from Mexico. And we build all these things into our products, and into our thinking. So that’s the first thing, and then really again, that commitment to quality.
I’d like to say every company that’s in this space, and so many have come to market so quickly, having seen this in other categories before, I’m pretty confident not everyone has that commitment. And we do, from Dan on down, we take that very seriously. And so those two things I think really set us apart.
Leafreport – Noa Gans: Sounds very good. Thank you very much, Jim. It was a pleasure.
Ignite – Jim McCormick: Thanks for your time. I appreciate it.
Leafreport – Noa Gans: Thank you. Thank you very much.