Tobacco Business

[ 88 ] TOBACCO BUSINESS [ JANUARY / FEBRUARY | 22 ] Y You hear it all the time when it comes to business: Go with your gut feeling. That’s exactly what Lee VanTine, the founder of CannaAid, did when he decided to bet on cannabis being the new green frontier. When he was just 18 years old, VanTine moved to Colorado so that he could learn all there was to know about cannabis. This was before it was even legal in the state and before cannabidiol (CBD) went mainstream. VanTine’s instincts about cannabis and hemp proved to be good ones. He launched his new business venture with three or four CBD products in 2014. CannaAid’s growth came after VanTine applied what he’d learned in Colorado to his business and its products. First, he knew that price point was important. He worked to ensure CannaAid’s products were affordable. As cannabis became more widely accepted and more research was conducted and studies were released about different cannabinoids and their benefits, CannaAid expanded its own product offerings to match the category’s growth. Soon CannaAid became a one-stop shop for a wide range of top-shelf hemp products that included Delta 8, THC-O and CBG, among many others. In addition to advertisements, blogs, email marketing, social media and trade shows, CannaAid’s best marketing has been the buzz generated from customers who’ve tried its products and encouraged those in their social circles to do the same. Nicholas Groat, who serves as the chief operating officer of CannaAid’s manufacturer and distributor, Alternative Health Distribution, states that the key to CannaAid’s success thus far is a result of giving consumers a consistent and quality product. “No one wants to get something that’s different the next time around,” he says. “Consumers want to have a product that they spend their hard-earned money on ASAP. At the same time, consumers always want new and innovative products. CannaAid offers so many different ways to enjoy these products, so we make it easy for anyone to find something they like.” CannaAid is consumer driven and works hard to stay ahead of the industry’s trends and to develop innovative products that will appeal to large swaths of consumers. INSTINCTUAL GROWTH ALTERNATIVE As a teenager, Lee VanTine had a feeling that cannabis would eventually be big business. Now he leads one of the most successful manufacturers of affordable hemp products in the U.S. By Antoine D. Reid Photography courtesy of CannaAid