CBD entrepreneur Floyd Landis to share vision in upcoming NutraIngredients-USA webinar

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

©Getty Images - David Trood
©Getty Images - David Trood

Related tags Cbd CBD and Hemp hemp extracts Fda Hemp Cannabis Dietary supplements Food and drug administration

Some CBD entrepreneurs talk a good game when it comes to their companies’ mission statements. Former pro cyclist Floyd Landis has lived his.

Landis, the founder and CEO of CBD brand Floyd’s of Leadville, landed in the CBD world partly because of having both literally and figuratively crashed hard out of the pro cycling game.  Landis was once flying high as a member of Lance Armstrong’s team and having won a Tour de France on his own accord. Both Armstrong’s and Landis’ titles were expunged in the well documented subsequent doping scandal.  Landis’ decision to come clean about practices within the pro peloton at the time was a key part of that story.

In addition to his tense interactions with the doping authorities, Landis was dealing with the after effects of a high speed crash that had damaged his hip joint.  That ultimately led to years of pain and a hip replacement at age 31.

Discovering a new direction

Floyd Landis

So, at a time when many younger adults are just entering into the first full blooming of their careers, Landis had to face the end of his.  In addition to physical pain and the pain of disgrace, he was coping with a growing reliance on opioid medications.

“A few years ago I was working at a compounding pharmacy, trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life,”​ Landis said. “This was around the time they had legalized marijuana in Colorado.”

Landis said he had used the substance in the past, but never at regularly because of the intense performance demands (and doping controls) of pro cycling.  But later, in his new life as a ‘civilian,’ he thought it was worth a try.

“I started using it to try to get off the pain killers and to try to stop drinking so much,”​ Landis told NutraIngredients-USA​.

He later discovered that for him personally CBD products were just as effective for pain management and mood support as high THC products were. That led to the spark of an idea for a future life direction, one which he’ll share as part of a webinar on the CBD sector scheduled for Oct. 20​.

Natural fit for publicity

He entered the nascent Colorado legalized pot arena by buying a dispensary license in the small  town of Leadville, in the heart of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains.  Landis had competed in the epic Leadville 100 mountain bike race (as much a test of survival as it is of speed), so his name was already well known in the neighborhood.

And, as Landis jokes, “The headline almost writes itself.” ​ (Something along the lines of: Former doper now selling dope.)

In addition to the publicity, Landis was also well placed in terms of raw materials supply for his new brand.  He was raised in a Mennonite home in Pennsylvania and still maintained close connections to that community and to Amish farmers in the state.  Many of the Amish landholders had a history of raising tobacco, and so were able to easily transition to growing industrial hemp, at which they proved adept, Landis said.

Amish agricultural touch

“They grow a lot of organic produce so they really know how to take care of their land,” ​Landis said.  That’s important for growing hemp, he said, as the plant has the capacity to concentrate any impurities taken up from the soil.

Landis said his company started small, because they wanted to avoid the boom and bust cycle that has afflicted the supply side of the CBD industry in recent years.  That has seen some farmers left holding significant amounts of hemp they’ve been unable to sell.

“We set up an extraction facility in Pennsylvania. Farmers are always interested in crops that can bring in extra cash.  We contracted with about 40 Amish farmers, but we said, let’s keep it to two or three acres each.  It ended up being a lot of hemp,”​ he said.

Free webinar

Landis will share his experiences starting his brand and where he thinks the sector is going in an upcoming webinar put on by NutraIngredients-USA​. Landis will be joined by Steven Hoffman, principal of Compass Natural Marketing, Jonathan Miller, general counsel of the US Hemp Roundtable and Sibyl Swift, PhD, head of scientific and regulatory affairs for cbdMD.

The webinar is scheduled for 11 am Central time on Oct. 20, 2022.  For more information and to register for this FREE event, please click here​.

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