Will Kleidon is an award-winning pioneer and futurist of the Hemp and Cannabis industry. He is known for cracking the CBD code by creating the most effective and clean CBD rich hemp products on the planet. He has also collected one of the most interesting executive boards in the world, including famous athletes, doctors, and well-connected members of the entertainment industry.
Featured in Cheddar, Forbes, Money, Entrepreneur, LA Times and a regular keynote of the Cannabis Forum and Bevnet, Kleidon is a subject matter expert when it comes to the art, science and technology of the Cannabis business, history of hemp and what it means to our future.
Key Takeaways From Our Conversation
In order to remain at the forefront of your industry, you need to become an expert in what products are currently available on the market.
Once you know what is already available to consumers then you can educate yourself on the quality and standards being offered.
This will make you aware of the gaps or problems that need to be resolved, and allow you to position your product as the better option.
By embedding your business with a clear mission you are able to establish a core belief system for customers, while taking a stance on the issues within the market.
“I think people would rather participate in a company that is a force of good. Being in the pioneer element of this emerging industry, there’s a lot of confusion of legalities. So there was one year where we could not take anything other than checks, so merchant services was one of the biggest pains.
With that in mind, I went and designed the consumer products element to run on beta and stealth, to prove with our NVP that we were changing the game. Which we have.” – Will Kleidon
- You can become a leader in the industry
- Your products will continue to evolve
- Your business will stand out from competitors
- You’ll be able to help more consumers
“When someone’s life is legitimately changed for the better, they tend to share it. We got this amazing word of mouth following and that’s what gets us up everyday. We call it the ripple report, where we’ve changed a life and we see how that life ripples out and changes more.” – Will Kleidon
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Get in touch with Will Kleidon
Resources · Transcript · Tell YOUR Story
Dive into the science of the endocannabinoid system by visiting ojainergetics.com and learn everything you need to know about launching a career in the CBD industry. Also find more conversations with Will Kleidon by searching his other podcast appearances. Join the conversation today!
Nicole Holland 0:00
Hey there. Welcome back to season one, episode nine of fascinating founders. I'm your host, Nicole Holland and I am thrilled to be your guide as we dive in and uncover the stories that came before the success of some of the world's most fascinating founders. hailing from a multitude of industries and socio economic starts, you're going to learn what's made these fascinating men and women realise their dreams from an inspired idea to millions in revenue disrupting, innovating and impacting humanity for the better. You never know what's going to come up in our casual conversation. So get your notebooks ready, cosy up with a great Cup of Joe and join us as I dive in to learn how these inspiring individuals have figured out how to thrive in a time where most people give up on their dreams. I'm changing things up today before introducing my guest because I want to let you in on something that's very personal and has been a bit challenging to record but I feel like It's important to record one because I am so, so grateful for what this guest today did for me how he helps me personally in my life. Also, I think it's important that we do talk about things that sometimes aren't so comfortable because through being transparent and sharing that is what gives other people permission to be transparent and share as well. And I asked a lot of my guests on this show, and they share a lot on this show. Sometimes it's very vulnerable. So in that spirit, I want to let you know that fascinating founders was meant to be produced and distributed months before it actually finally has been. One of the reasons for that is that I personally had a bit of concern, health wise in the autumn of 2019. I received report a lab result from an ultrasound that indicated some concerns some cysts on my ovaries and some issues with my uterus is pretty scary. And it wasn't really sure what was going to happen for a number of months. So after I recorded this interview that you're about to hear with Will Kleidon, founder of Ojai Energetics we were talking about some of the research that his company has done and I got curious about more about CBD. I've heard a lot about CBD over the past year. I haven't really actively taken huge interest in it to be completely honest with you. I had tried it I didn't really understand the benefit. So I didn't really didn't really concern myself with it. But I asked Will today's guest, about my situation. I really hadn't spoken to anybody about that. kept that whole situation pretty quiet and private. Very few people up until now have actually even known it was a thing. And so I shared quite vulnerably with Will after the interview during our post chat about my situation after asking him some questions about what they've done and what they've seen in terms of treatment for cysts and cancer and different ailments. So we chatted about it, and he recommended that I that I use his hemp elixir, all I cared about was getting healthy. And I believe in mind body connection. I believe that stress and troubles can lead to real physical ailments. I figured that I had nothing to lose. My focus was on being healthy being well, and that's all I cared about. I was set to return for a follow up ultrasound And between the time I spoke with will and returned for the follow up ultrasound, I use Ojai Energetics hemp elixir therapeutically. And while I can't speak for anything other than my personal experience right now I'm looking at my follow up ultrasound report. And it shows that everything in my body is completely normal, and there's no signs of the cysts. It's like nothing ever happened on paper. And so I just feel really compelled to share that because this interview literally changed my life. And so with that, I am honoured to introduce you to today's guest, Mr. Will Kleidon. Hey, will welcome to the show. Let's kick things off with you giving our listeners just a quick overview about what you and your company do and the market that you serve.
Will Kleidon 4:58
Awesome. Thank you so much for having me. So I found it Ojai Energetics back in 2014. And what we are is a cannabis technology company. We've made a lot of innovations in the field and cannabis, as a plant has so many different uses. And we focus on innovating and providing the most efficacious technology with this plant ranging from having 32nd onset edibles to the antidote to THC intoxication, all the way to scalable supercapacitor, supercapacitor batteries out of the hemp stock, so a whole range of things
Nicole Holland 5:39
amazing. And I am not really I mean, I'm just becoming aware of the cannabis industry. So forgive my ignorance here negativity but 2014 wasn't really in stores, like people weren't talking about CBD products at that point. Tell me about that. And also, when you started the company. What was the What was the reason behind it? Like what was the issue that you said, Oh, well, this is what I want to do. And this is why
Will Kleidon 6:11
Yeah, so I have all my brain works. I'm a systems thinker. I really am fascinated with patterns and how different things interface and with that I tend to be pretty good at predicting trends before they move. And in this case, back in end of 2013 I was looking for a CBD product for personal usage with like nerves and anxiety and I thought I had to get it at a dispensary wasn't looking to get high. And Google that and it ended ended up seeing an Amazon banner pop up with CBD and I was quite perplexed, clicked on it and it was fulfilled by Prime and Amazon I went this is very strange, ordered it showed up in my mailbox and went, Wow. Clearly if Amazon's legal has cleared this something's happening here that is curious, did some due diligence This is pre 2014 Farm Bill. So there was a loophole where it had to be from stock and stem technically, from Non Us grown hemp plants and hemp is a legal definition, not a botanical distinction. I looked at the ingredients and it was filled with synthetic crap. I could not get any lab analytics on the product. Turns out that that particular one would have been coming from will legally be like toxic sludge from EPA standards with the heavy metal toxicity they were deriving it from Chinese industrial hemp waste and the height. So I thought, well, someone's got to be making a clean, organic product that I would feel good taking and with searching, no one was said that was the primary catalyst was I wanted to create something that I felt comfortable and good taking that I would feel good sharing with friends and family in the world. And I had been studying the plant before that through permaculture, which is a systems design science for Regenerative Agriculture. And I've always known it was a super awesome, like powerhouse of a plant. And little did I know, I was just scratching the surface of the rabbit hole.
Nicole Holland 8:26
Cool. So and why did you even know these things? I mean, can you give us a little bit of his backstory? Like what were you doing before you recognised and decided to launch Oh, hi, and get into the business of cannabis. Like what was happening in your life before? Were you already an entrepreneur were you..?
Will Kleidon 8:46
It's funny, I remember the first time I asked my somehow is in middle school and a friend was saying, Oh, my dad's an entrepreneur. And then I didn't even like it must have been in there somewhere. But I went Oh yeah, I'm one and didn't They know what it meant back then. But I there's some residence. I studied sustainable community agriculture, or sustainable community development. That's my major, minor and holistic health at a leading environmental studies, liberal arts school, Preska college. And one thing that really drew me to it was you can go out into the field and actually develop your own curriculums and work with the experts in those fields. So it's more like a Master's programme, but with undergrad and one of my mentors, was a leading researcher in essential oils and terpene science. And so part of my curriculum was working with her, and I developed as part of a class and essential oil company with her. Then I went and studied permaculture design as part of the curriculum in Australia and permaculture is essentially it's a systems design science where you're looking at the patterns of nature and you're designing in harmony with them to generate maximum output for minimum input. So it's a high upfront cost of design and mental energy. But then once you get the systems rolling, you get really solid resilience and abundance. And so I took that, that design science and applied that to building Ojai and it's applicable across fields. It's not limited just a regenerative agriculture. So I'd already had this essential oils business than that. Then I discovered the CBD opportunity and merge them I had an early mentor, but they said, Well, why are you bringing the essential oils it seems like that's cluttered and distracted. And I knew that there that they needed to stay. So I kept them as part of the transferred rights to these blends into the company. And lo and behold, it turns out that these compounds inside of these essential oils called terpenes, are actually incredibly important for the endocannabinoid system and cannabinoids and actually serve as like bio routers where we can we can customise mood With our tech with our water solubility technology and also you really targeted payload deliveries of the cannabinoids to particular cell sites so I'm glad I did that. So yeah, that was and also I wanted to generate a vehicle I kept hearing all these awesome ideas and people wanting to start eco villages and regenerative ag communities stories of housing developments like like the amount of people moving to golf course centred housing developments is on the decline whereas community gardens instead of a lawn with a golf course was on the rise stuff like that and I wanted to like feed and participate and help catalyse I'd like to support cool systems and one of the generate a vehicle to create abundance in a way that was regenerative for on every level from our products that we're offering to our to our structure and to be a catalyst of good on the planet. And so that is what I set the company up as a public benefit corporate I were one of the first public be corpse in the hemp space. And so that that's the Those were the driving threads in the tapestry. Yeah.
Nicole Holland 12:09
Very cool. And so you were a leader in this industry from I mean, it's still a new industry on the rise. So you were earlier in and you were doing things in a way people hadn't done before. And with mission opposed to it sounds like with mission opposed to just commerce in mind. So can you talk about some of the as a pioneer some of those roadblocks that maybe you ran up against with great ideas and great planning, but that maybe you ran up against holding you back from moving forward with things did not happen at all?
Will Kleidon 12:49
Yeah. So the triple bottom line is like super. It's actually embedded in the fabric of the structure of the company. There's a charter can legally bind the entity with a conscience as opposed to, if you take that vehicle public instead of legally being bound purely to maximise profits for shareholders like including if you had to clear cut a forest just to save money, instead of having that be a legal bind, it's actually legally bound to the charter as well, that has social environmental service. And so there's definitely read economists talk about externalities and unintended consequences of action. And with this we built in in mind and operating duty to not hope for someone else to take care of them, but for us to do our best to internalise them. And so there's definitely points where it's more expensive to use recycled only recycled paper and veggie nx. And yet simultaneously, I think people want that and would rather participate in a company that is a force of good that's one element and then traditionally, being in the pioneer element of this emerging industry, there's a lot of confusion of legalities. And so you had, we had one year where we literally could not take anything other than checks. So Merchant Services is probably the one of the one of the biggest pains from being in that early phase. With that in mind, that's why I went and designed the consumer products element to run on beta. And self essentially proved with our MVP that we were changing the game, which we have and have done and then simultaneously be building in the back end and intellectual property catalogue. So that we can be in multiple sectors and have resiliency if there was industry upset and stuff like that. Yeah, it's, it's a lot of fun. It's, it's it's puzzles, right?
Nicole Holland 14:55
Cool. So so you have the correct me if I'm wrong here, you know, Give us more details you have the front facing sort of customer product side and and can people buy that outside of your website? Or is that just online? How do people get your products?
Will Kleidon 15:11
Yeah, so online and then we have a tonne of inbound of like limited brick and mortar distribution and then lots of practitioners all over the world. Work with us. We've got now I've built out, we're ready to take the brand kind of out of the stealth mode. We're already recognised as leaders in the industry because I'm products actually work whereas the majority of people without our technology, people just are not getting a functional dose due to poor bioavailability or absorption, usability of the compound. And so with that we've got, for example, like with some of the leading grocers, brought me out to their headquarters to educate their legal counsel and they're ready to pick us up and we've built out a amazing, I've got this team now that we're ready to come in and turn the lights on with with tremendous success and CPG our chief growth officer was the president and making juice came in when they were kind of struggling against Odwalla and took them from 40 mil to 300 million in under five years, sold out the Pepsi. That's where our CFO met Tom. He was president and then Alan our CFO was was part of the private equity fund that own naked juice. And then they went on to run monster energies, non energy division. It's kind of funny. That's huber's lemonade, and peace tea and brands like that. And they, they took that built it up, accelerated it and sold it to coke. And so they've got interest in their superheroes. And so they're now on board and we're about to be in all your major, major big box, we've got all the relationships with the with the big box and we're going to roll out with design, but big and, and yeah, so right now best bet is to find this online. And then also like we've got kind of cult followings in different areas like we've got Michelin chefs who work with us, and we're Different coffee houses and it's a lot of fun because we like the product actually works and so a lot of people take CBD and they're like, I don't think it really did anything. And that makes sense, because the data shows you really need about 500 milligrammes of fat based CBD equivalent, at bare minimum to properly nourish our bodies that it can happen right systems and people are aren't taking anywhere near that they'd be drinking entire bottles. And it would be incredibly cost prohibitive. And so with our innovation of encapsulating it in water, we're able to deliver actual effective dosages for less than a cup of coffee a day. And so we've got this, this fractal of when someone's life is legitimately changed for the better, they tend to share it. And so we got these, this just amazing word of mouth following and that's that's what gets us up every day. We call it the ripple report where we've changed a life and then you see how that Life ripples out and changes more. And we're excited to now turn the lights on and really accelerate it.
Nicole Holland 18:06
Phenomenal. So awesome. I know so many people who are, you know, over using CBD now. It's something that we can talk about it. How can my listeners if they want to get more education on this because I think that's a big part of what you do as well. So if they want to get more education about what you guys put out and CBD in general, as well as if they want to test out your products, or anything you want my listeners to do anything that can help them go down the rabbit hole with you. Please let us know.
Will Kleidon 18:41
Yeah. So we're going to be so I've got other other podcasts with different practitioners where we go like really nitty gritty into the science of the endocannabinoid system and how to properly nourish your body's endocannabinoid system and why that's important. So if Google, my name will quite an array of energetics, you'll find that online. Also our website is great. And then we're going to be cranking out more and more content and like deep dives, shortly on our own platform, so that will be exciting. And then in terms of like just arming yourselves with proper information that you're being bombarded with a lot of people who are just trying to make a quick buck. And so, one one way to like discern is make it like at the bare minimum, the company should be providing third party analytic results beyond just for the cannabinoid content. You should look for the voc the pesticides, the herbicides, the heavy metals, the microbes, and the cannabinoids and terpenes, we pioneered that we were the first company to do third party batch posted to our website for all of those that you could link to your product and see what you're putting in your body every single time. It's really important. That's one that's probably the best pro tip initial navigation and then and then it gets down to like, are you getting bioactive DOS and want to make sure that it's soluble and insoluble, what they're actually using to make it soluble. We figured it out back in 2014 how to do it without any synthetics, and half the IP on that there are a lot of people who are IP granted is broader than just the clean way to do it. And so we're consider stewards of the planet. And so we will be cleaning up people using like nano petroleum, which I think is disgraceful. It's really not good for the body. So you want to make sure that there's nothing like, nasty synthetics in there. And sometimes people hide it, like vitamin e. not technically legal to do that. But if you see terms like TPG s, that's vitamin E that's connected to a synthetic compound derived from petroleum and it's made up of multiple antifreeze molecules. And if you dig into the data, the leading research in Researchers in that field looking at the toxicology of that never recommended for regular use. So that's another layer. We're about to be everything, we only support certified organic practices and farms. And so we're about to there's a period where the USDA wasn't certifying the hemp extract, it would the flowers, but not the extract even though we were doing and certified organic compliance, but that's about to change. So that's another good navigation tool is just like make sure it's certified organic. And there may be a little bit of a lag but you can always request that from the from the manufacturers to see the documents that the farms are certified organic.
Nicole Holland 21:36
Great. Well, we'll kind of Ojai Energetics. Thank you so much. It sounds like there's a whole lot of nonsense going on out there that most people aren't aware of. So thank you for sharing about your journey. Thank you for doing what you do. And again, folks can go check out your website to learn more and search for your name to find more podcasts that you've been a guest on where you guys have gotten more into into some health benefits and and more information about the oil. Thank you so much. Thank you for the awesome thanks again to will Klein for being my guest today on the show and sharing his founders journey with us and more than that for sharing his gifts with me for sharing ohai energetics with the world for doing what he's doing and improving lives. I have no words to express my gratitude, but we will have links for you to connect directly with him resources discussed and the full transcript of this episode and more at fascinating founders.com remember that successful people surround themselves with successful people. Until next time, this is Nicole Holland signing off.
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