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Hemp Box: Denver-based startup aims to send subscribers monthly box of hemp products

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thehempbox.com
Three entrepreneurs who made their bones in Colorado's marijuana industry are starting a new venture focusing on weed's sober stepsister, hemp. It's called Hemp Box and the idea is that subscribers will pay to receive one box per month filled with samples of hemp body-care and food products (as well as one full-sized item). If subscribers like the products, the hope is that they'll order full-sized versions from Hemp Box's website. To launch the company, the Hemp Box co-founders have started a campaign to raise $10,000 on indiegogo.

"What we really want to do is engage women with Hemp Box," says co-founder Jake Browne. Cannabis tends to be associated with young men, and that's usually where companies direct their marketing. "The ads you see for dispensaries -- it's the sexy budtenders walking around in bikinis. That's not what hemp is about at all. And that's not what this industry is about, either," he explains. "If we can start that dialogue with women, it will move the hemp movement forward."

Browne has been involved with the marijuana industry since 2009, when he began working with Hemp Box co-founder Zac Maas at the Releaf Center, a dispensary that Maas opened in 2008. (Maas is in the process of leaving the dispensary.) Browne is also a freelance writer whose current gigs include working as a marijuana critic for the Denver Post's Cannabist website. Asked about potential conflicts of interest, Browne says he doesn't write about hemp; the Cannabist has another writer who handles that. Hemp Box's third co-founder is Sam Sandt, who helped start a cannabis seed company but is no longer involved with it.

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Hemp Box Facebook
Sam Sandt spots hemp milk at a local Sprouts Farmers Market store.
While it's now legal to grow industrial hemp in Colorado, that's not the case in most states. However, there are no laws against possessing hemp products, which are already sold at some health-food stores.

According to Browne, Hemp Box's boxes will include products such as hemp-body lotions and lip balms, as well as hemp food items. Spoiler alert: The very first boxes will be stocked with Sunny Hemp granola bars from Nature's Path, a Canadian organic food company. "Our focus is to work with high-end hemp brands that are established, as well as small businesses and entrepreneurs," Browne says. "It's important to us that we feature industry leaders and the future of the industry at the same time."

And why hemp? "Hemp foods, by themselves, are incredibly nutritious," Browne says, adding that they're rich in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids and high in protein. As for hemp body-care products, Browne says hemp's natural oils are incredibly moisturizing. "People find that it's really good, especially in our dry Colorado climate," he says.

Browne hopes that Hemp Box will eventually include products that can help people with serious ailments, like epilepsy and cancer. Certain hemp oils can be high in CBD, which is a compound in cannabis that doesn't make you high. (That's THC.) Recently, Colorado has seen an influx of families with seriously ill children hoping to take advantage of medical marijuana remedies, including high-CBD oils derived from marijuana. Similar oils can be derived from hemp, Browne says, but there's one problem: "CBD oil is incredibly expensive right now," he says. "If we can get enough subscribers, we can reduce that cost."

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Hemp Box Facebook
Sam Sandt shows off some hemp seeds founds at the same market.
For the moment, however, Hemp Box is focused on getting off the ground. The company hopes to ship its first boxes in mid-May and launch its e-commerce website by June 1. Browne says the goal is to charge subscribers $20 per month for the boxes.

Even if Hemp Box doesn't reach its $10,000 fundraising goal on indiegogo, Browne says the company will launch, anyway. But to entice donors to give, Hemp Box is offering a variety of rewards, including "good karma" for $1, three months of Hemp Boxes for $55 and six months of boxes for $105. The biggest prize -- reserved for donors who give $7,500 or more -- includes two first-class plane tickets to Denver, two nights at a luxury hotel, a tour of the city, tickets to a sports game or Red Rocks concert and a recreational marijuana shopping spree "with two of Denver's leading cannabis connoisseurs."

Watch Hemp Box's indiegogo pitch below.

More from our Business archive: "Marijuana: Denver Relief execs on partnering with ex-state pot regulator Laura Harris."


Follow me on Twitter @MelanieAsmar or e-mail me at melanie.asmar@westword.com


My Voice Nation Help
26 comments
Daniel Hickman
Daniel Hickman

nutiva hemp protein w/ chia, great for smoothies.

Emily Langley
Emily Langley

Hemp protein powder...and I do love my hemp kitchen cloths and pot holders...and my favorite hat...so hard to pick one!

franknjam
franknjam

There are a bunch of killer hemp based products, already available to Colorado and everywhere found on www.yourcbdsource.com They also use hemp oil to develop products to bring to market that are CBD Rich. Check em out. :)

Mya Luevano
Mya Luevano

My cloth diaper hemp inserts. All natural and great for her not leaking through her diapers. Hemp is great

Meredith Thomas
Meredith Thomas

Anyone know where to buy hemp shower curtains? What I mean is a hemp plastic liner.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Jake "the snake" Browne and  Zac Maas, marijuana industry players and dispensary owners for over 5 years ... and they don't have a measly $10k between them, they have to go begging for other people's money for this startup?


LOL!


... where are all the Burgeoning Marijuana Industry bazillionaires the media and propagandists are always hyping ??


$10,000 is only a few HOURS revenue at a dispensary -- a MILLION / DAY from just a handful of dispensaries --  if you believe the fraud promoted by Bullshit Betty Aldworth, Lyin' Brian Vicente and Mendacious Mason Tvert.





Monkey
Monkey

I love the "industry". They don't want to give away free samples to promote their products, like everyone else. They want you to buy their samples, every month, and people will probably do it. 


A good way to avoid taxes I guess. Instead of selling their products to you, they will probably record it as a monthly service fee, for preparing the package with free samples. They can then sell you $15 worth of merchandise every month for $20 and not collect any sales tax, while deducting the cost of those samples. And that's just off the top of my head, I'm sure they have much more sophisticated scams in play, but your collar needs to be bleached white to understand those.  

JakeBrowne
JakeBrowne

@Monkey I'm not sure we're talking about the same thing, or why the hemp "industry" deserves quotation marks. We're just a small business trying to introduce more people to industrial hemp. Feel free to send me an e-mail at jake@thehempbox.com if you have any specific questions about our business practices. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@gabbygirl ... seriously, 3 (three) self-described marijuana industry players and they don't have $3400 each to fund their newest great idea, they need to go begging to strangers online for a pathetic $10k?


Why does this appear like déjà vu given Jake Browne's participation?


.





DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@JakeBrowne


Hey Jake, the paper you currently work for -- the Denver Post -- has run propaganda pieces attacking the Constitutional Rights of Patients / Caregivers / Doctors to determine for themselves what is "medically necessary" and to restrict their personal private grows -- perversely labeling the rights granted by A20 to grow more than six pathetic plants as "a loophole" that needs to be closed, in favor of the business interests of Greedy Big $$ Dispensary Cartels.


What's your personal position on this self-serving MMIG instigated obscenity?


How can you work for such a repugnant kkkonservative anti-marijuana rag that only recently jumped on the bandwagon to grease their own advertising revenue?





JakeBrowne
JakeBrowne


Now that the legendary @DonkeyHotay  has weighed in, I know we've made it!


The facts (which I know you're dying for) are pretty simple. We're accepting pre-orders of the box, which will launch regardless of if we hit the 10K. The money we raise through Indiegogo will only go to fulfilling boxes, not funding our start-up.


We do have some tongue-in-cheek packages available, but our launch isn't contingent on selling those. If 10K is pathetic to you, I'd suggest buying one. I think we'd have a great afternoon together! Either way, keep rousing that rabble!

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