KING of the CBD Movement
Jeff Riman, CEO of KING KANINE, discusses the therapeutic benefits of CBD products, as well as what retailers should look for when evaluating suppliers in this fast-growing category.
What is driving the overall CBD trend in pet care? How do you see the trend developing over the next year, the next five years and beyond? This is a great question that I may have answered very differently a few years ago. However, with the rise of social media whistleblowers, things have been changing pretty rapidly when it comes to pet care products. Pet owners are finally realizing what is really in their pet products and also what is not—from bad pet food to ineffective products that simply don’t have the pet’s interest in mind.
This is actually helping to drive the CBD movement. Pet owners want natural alternatives, whether it’s natural pain relief or something that actually can control seizures and anxiety. CBD just needed the exposure and recognition, and now that pet owners are seeing the therapeutic properties of cannabidiol—seeing these great results firsthand—it definitely seems to have driven them to give it try.
I think the next 12 months or so will bring a tidal wave of pet owners looking to see what CBD can do for their dogs and cats. We have also noticed curiosity about CBD for pets starting to increase with international pet owners as well. In 2018, KING KANINE has shipped more KING KALM CBD internationally than the previous few years combined.
Over the next five years, I can only imagine that the CBD market will be loaded with more discoveries, findings and uses for CBD, and this is so exciting for our pets. We’d also love to see legislation continue to change for the benefit of pet owners simply looking for the best natural and plant-based care for their four-legged best friends.
Why are pet specialty retailers uniquely suited to realize the full potential that CBD products hold for the pet care market? My experience over the past several years working with these kinds of pet retailers has really shown me that they have their finger on the pulse of what pet owners want and need most. Having some of these great storeowners take a chance and introduce our KING KALM CBD products to a relatively uninformed customer was a challenge that many of them were willing to take, and it has paid off. Knowing that their customers were looking for natural alternatives, CBD was a natural fit for these retailers.
Grassroots marketing and education is essential for a product like CBD, and specialty retailers can educate their customers in a way that big-box stores cannot. Customers getting informed by their local pet store owners is so valuable for the growth of the product.
Given that the quality of CBD products and suppliers can vary significantly, how can retailers make sure they are partnering with the right companies in this category? This is the most important question a retailer could ask. All retailers are responsible for the products that are on their shelves, so it is in the storeowners’ best interest to make 100 percent sure that the CBD products they stock are fully tested by a third-party laboratory and are 100 percent transparent. It can get cloudy for companies that are selling CBD without someone keeping them honest and confirming what they’re selling. There should be no fraud, no deceiving the customer and absolutely no false ingredient claims.
This is how KING KANINE has been different. We have always held ourselves to the highest standards possible by going the extra mile to provide 100 percent transparency for our customers, from the sourcing of our raw materials all the way to our finished goods. From day one we have lab tested each and every batch of our CBD oils, treats, topical balms and sprays. Even our KING KLEAN shampoo is organic and natural.
In early 2018, we developed a great working partnership with Evio Labs, one of the nation's premiere Independent ISO-17025 certified testing facilities in the cannabis and CBD space. With their premium equipment, we are able to fully test our CBD products like never before. Things we are normally looking for are pesticides, solvents, extraction residues, methanol and anything foreign that could make our pets sick. We also want to assure storeowners that when they sell a KING KANINE product, they are selling the most ethical and tested products available. For instance, if a store is selling our 300MG KING KALM CBD, we want that retailer to confidently sell it knowing that it’s exactly what their customer is getting.
What makes King Kanine stand out from other suppliers in the category? What types of quality and safety standards does the company use? We have such a great team of professionals who care so passionately about the pets we are helping and the products we sell. I think this is what people notice most about KING KANINE when they meet us. However, equally important is that we have one of the most experienced groups of associates in the CBD space. From day one we have had such a successful partnership with our sister company, Green Roads, which is one of the most credible and compliant companies in the human side of the CBD market.
KING KANINE and Green Roads have risen to become the top CBD companies for one reason, and I’d like to think it starts at the top. As an owner, I’ve always insisted on having the best and most natural products and formulas possible, and Green Roads CEO Laura Baldwin Fuentes feels the same way when it comes to her ingredients, formulas and production. Many people refer to Laura as “The CBD Magician.” She is a 25-plus year licensed pharmacist with nearly a decade of experience working with CBD, and she insists that if her hands touch it, it better be the best. This is also our philosophy and what makes us stand out from the pack.
What are some of King Kanine’s most popular products? What are some of the company’s newest introductions? KING KANINE originally got our start by introducing our KING KOMB Deshedding and grooming tool in 2014. We have had a few really great upgrades to it, and it still remains our flagship item. I would also have to say our organic shampoo, KING KLEAN, has been great.
However, the real push has been behind our KING KALM CBD Line of products. Our 300MG KING KALM CBD and our KING KALM SOOTHE hot spot spray have really been strong for us. We also just launched a product called KLEAN PAWS, which is an alcohol-free paw cleaner. This product has gotten a lot of retailer interest as a great candidate to replace traditional wipes.
Later this year, we will be launching an alcohol-free mange and ring worm spray and shampoo, as well as an alcohol-free topical cleaner that will be great for retail locations, groomers, veterinarians and even homeowners to clean and disinfect any surface that their pets may have come in contact with or may come in contact with later.
Still, I’m most excited about our new proprietary CBD products, which will change the landscape of what’s on the CBD market now. We will be talking about these new items very soon.
How should retailers go about educating pet owners about the many benefits that CBD products can hold for their animal companions? I feel the education process can be pretty simple. I don’t think anyone wants a science class or an educational seminar, but rather a brief overview of what CBD is and how it can help pets. Explaining that CBD oil is extracted from the hemp plant and that it’s not cannabis or marijuana is important. This is not a THC-based product, there are no psychoactive properties and no, your dog won’t get high. Lastly, I think it’s important to let the customer understand what CBD can be useful for—from pain and inflammation associated with arthritic conditions to anxiety relief, digestive issues and even controlling seizures, where CBD has shown some real progress.
What are some common mistakes or missed opportunities among retailers selling CBD products? I think there are more missed opportunities than mistakes. Once a retailer trusts the product and sees how therapeutic it can be for so many different types of issue and ailments, this will open the door to opportunities. For instance, we have people calling our KING KALM SOOTHE a miracle product. We attribute it directly to the anti-inflammatory properties of the CBD and the combination of colloidal silver and tea tree. So many people don’t even know that CBD can be as effective—if not more effective—topically than it is internally. Also, one of the most sought-after remedies among pet owners is for anxiety relief. CBD has been so helpful in relieving anxiety caused by thunderstorms, fireworks, separation and car rides.
What does the future hold for King Kanine and CBD products in general? The future for KING KANINE is exciting. Our goal is simply to be the best at what we do. Our mantra has always been, “We don’t need a ton of products, but just a ton of quality.” This is how we will continue to mold our company and our brand message moving into the future.
As far as the future of CBD? Well, if more and more pet owners and retailers realize there is a natural alternative that really works, and the pet companies that make CBD products are making the best products possible, like KING KANINE does, all I can say is the future looks really bright for both CBD and our pets. PB