About HERBL: HERBL is California’s largest cannabis distributor and supply chain solutions company servicing more than 850 storefront and non-storefront retail licensees. Founded in 2016, HERBL’s team is composed of distribution and retail experts with extensive experience in large-scale global supply chains. HERBL brings the state’s leading cannabis retailers and top brands together through world-class technology, unparalleled service, and high-security, state-of-the-art facilities and trucks. Exclusive brand partners include the leaders in flower, vapes, edibles, topicals, pre-rolls, and concentrate. To learn more, visit www.HERBL.com
Warren Bobrow=WB: Where are you from? Where are you located now? What do you do? What was it about natural foods that intrigued you?
Mike Beaudry=MB: I’m originally from Warwick, Rhode Island. I now reside in Santa Barbara and am admittedly enjoying the West Coast winters.
What intrigued me most about natural foods was the passion of the founders of the movement. It was created by people who wholeheartedly believed in the virtues of their product, not just someone with a good idea. The very same thing is happening now in cannabis. Today’s the United States’ $ 40+ billion natural food industry was born on the backs of artisanal brands, each with their own unique story yet with a communal mission to bring their goods to market for others who may want and need them. It is no different in cannabis. I believe it’s incredibly important to realize and remember where things started, and to always pay homage to the roots and history of this business. I admire those who built this industry, having overcome so many obstacles and working so hard to get us all to where we are today.
WB: Please tell me about your company? What makes you different, therefore more agile? What are your six and twelve-month goals?
MB: In 2016 I attended my first cannabis show, MJBizCon, and as I walked the floor I harked back to my roots in organic and natural foods. The booths were hosted by long-time believers telling their story and relentlessly encouraging others to discover the plant. After a two year journey to learn all I could about both California’s industry and beyond, I launched HERBL in 2018 and feel fortunate to have built a tremendous team that bridges the best brands with the right retailers that bring their product to the end consumer. As the legal market grows and evolves, so does its need for an innovative and industry leading supply chain solution. I believe we are that leader.
As for goals, they remain the same: to be the best distributor and supply chain solutions partner in the business, and to build solutions that are based on people, processes, and technology that are unlike anything else that is out there in cannabis today. The space has enormous potential, but to be able to meet the growth opportunities – and the challenges – we need the right people and infrastructure.
WB: What obstacles do you face? How do you propose removing those obstacles? What new markets do you want to enter? Why?
MB: Like any start up having been around for less than two years, we are still discovering where the needs and the challenges are in both our business and the industry at large. The way we can dismantle obstacles is by approaching everything we do with a focus on quality. Having a quality-led operation is about finding the problems, and not only working to fix them, but to create and implement the best possible solution.
The cannabis supply chain has to be top notch, or we all fail. As of early June, we partnered with Blue Yonder to implement one of the world’s most sophisticated supply chain platforms. This tech stack is used by major corporations, including FedEx, Clorox, CVS, IKEA, Nike, PepsiCo, DHL – to name a few – and we’re excited to bring this level of technology and operations to cannabis.
The best we can do for partners is ensure quality distribution by managing products and correctly forecasting, helping our partners see where the needs lie in the retail network, and giving them enough notice to meet demand and keep the revenue stream strong. Part of that is eliminating guesswork in inventory and offering a real-time way to view and predict demand. It is all about creating stability and growth for our brand and retail partners, and ultimately help drive California’s cannabis industry forward.
WB: Do you have a favorite food memory from childhood? Or something more recent? What does your favorite meal consist of?
MB: My favorite meal is one shared with family and friends, call me simple. I grew up in a meat and potatoes family and therefore healthy was not really part of the menu. I recently visited Cabo and attended a special dinner hosted by Michael Mina, it was a spectacular culinary experience, suffice it to say that there was no Shepherds Pie served.
WB: What is your passion?
MB: I’m passionate about making meaningful connections in my life. And in business, it is no exception. We spend a lot of our days working, and to me that means showing up and being yourself, and encouraging others to do the same. Frankly, cannabis is refreshing. There are a lot of genuine people in it. If there is an upside to this crazy year in our lives, it’s been remarkable coming together as a community as we weather so many storms. I am saddened and disturbed by all that has gone on, yet inspired to see how people step up to help each other. Just last week we asked our brand partners if they might be interested in joining us to help our retail partners that were impacted by the recent mass lootings and organized theft. The response was humbling. Even in troubled times, those are the moments you see great hope in humanity.
But then again, the ethos of cannabis is compassion, sharing, and helping others.
Another thing I love about the industry is the number of compassion programs available. Be it to assist veterans of our country or others who could benefit from medicinal cannabis, but may not be able to afford it. I’m proud to say we recently partnered with SPARC and SweetLeaf Joe’s in Northern California to donate products to those who need it most. Look anywhere and there is someone that could use the help. Look again and in cannabis you’ll see that those around are already helping.
Finally, if you ask my family or anyone on my team, they’d definitely tell you I’m equally passionate about growing an industry that has such potential, and of which I’ve never had more confidence. And while growth has been immense, the journey has just begun.