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Interview with Bryce Foreman – Co-Founder of BLAZ Hemp   VEGAS CANNABIS MAGAZINE: Tell us about your background. BRYCE FORMAN: My background… I come from an analytical background working 9-5 in large oil and gas companies which gave me a great working knowledge of the vital nature of large supply chains and all the systems […]

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Interview with Bryce Foreman – Co-Founder of BLAZ Hemp

 

VEGAS CANNABIS MAGAZINE: Tell us about your background.

BRYCE FORMAN: My background… I come from an analytical background working 9-5 in large oil and gas companies which gave me a great working knowledge of the vital nature of large supply chains and all the systems that go into actually producing real products – which most of us don’t really appreciate to be honest. To get a product, any product from the creator’s idea into a customer’s hands is a myriad of small steps and reliance on working with many other humans along the way! 

VCM: What led you to the hemp industry?

BF: I like to say hemp found me vs the other way around lol.. Getting a bit burned out in oil and gas I took a step back and travelled for a year before landing a really sweet job at a large modern farming operation.  I was able to be in on the ground floor and bring my experience in systems to help as the farm owners were transitioning from traditional crops to hemp trials… it was a lot of fun actually and really stoked my passion to try my own hand at creating a product with humans from a plant that is truly magical yet still relatively unknown to most…

VCM: Tell us about your team.

BF: Our team is unbelievable, growing from just myself and my co-founder/investor in late 2019 (pre covid), to now occupying a major manufacturing facility, sales and distribution arm, farming resources, and marketing team in well under one year! 

I like to think in terms of potential, human potential, really when you stop and think nothing on earth works without the dedication and the spark of human ingenuity, hard work and potential energy of humans! Our team is a human one and this gives me so much hope for the future!

VCM: Do you outsource your hemp or do you have your own farm?

BF: I spend a lot of my time visiting farms all over the country and selecting the best hemp for our products. Last year we made the decision to grow our own and partnered with one of the best farmers in California to produce specific strains whose flower meets the federal hemp guidelines and more importantly is great to smoke! Good terpenes, green in color and easy to roll with our machinery – no easy task let me tell you! But nothing worth pursuing comes easy and our Premium Hemp Smoke is a testament to that.

VCM: What types of products do you focus on?

BF: The products we focus on are hemp/cbd rich, mass market smokeable formats.  Currently this focus has revealed itself in the form of our fantastic Premium Hemp Cigarettes in 10 and 20 pack formats – we call BLAZ and BLAZ Menthol. In addition we have created a Hemp 100 size cigarette to appeal to the CBD enthusiasts called RESERVE and I’m super proud of this one in particular as it uses a sensational French hemp paper and a biodegradable filter which we wrap around the most flavorful hemp on the market and package in an ultra hip softpack emblazoned in our retro looking colors and signature BLAZ logo! It’s really super sexy you should try it!

In the pipeline we have an all hemp blunt – wrapped in the most amazing paper and filled with our signature hemp flower blend this product will knock your socks off and have you quickly re-thinking your swisher addiction!

Ultimately what guides us is to have customers stop smoking nicotine and tobacco and pick up hemp which is full of cbd instead.  Hemp flower CBD is better than nicotine plain and simple. 

So here at BLAZ we figured that if folks want a choice we have to offer it in the same format, at an amazing level of quality and at a similar price. All our products are packed with real hemp flower and because we mass manufacture them they can be sold at affordable prices consumers are used to paying for their tobacco products.

Really focusing on quality is very important as in a new market a consumer needs to feel the real experience Hemp/CBD can bring the first time they try it, so they will indeed pick it up again and make it a part of their ongoing habit. 

VCM: What are the benefits to smoking hemp?  

BF: By smoking hemp you can feel free to indulge your smoking habit without the fact you are filling your lungs with nicotine and by products of tobacco combustion.  Hemp flower is also full of CBD, and from the data out there CBD consumption is on the rise to combat our anxiety, stress-filled world we live in today!  Did you know that inhaling CBD is the fastest way to get these effects into your system? Much quicker and effective than oils or gummies or tinctures in fact, and that is important to the experience of CBD.

VCM: Any thoughts on the ease or difficulty of transitioning from tobacco to hemp?

BF: Yes! Through our awesome social media community of humans (yes that word again) we have constant feedback on our products and its been nothing short of inspiring!  The most striking so far was from a young woman whose Dad was dying of cancer and she was able to switch him from smoking his tobacco cigarettes to BLAZ and still maintain his lifetime habit but at the same time feeling relief.  Truly heartwarming – the human condition is a marvelous one indeed.

Overwhelmingly for those who have tried our product they have been pleasantly surprised how easy and indeed how uplifting the transition has been, because it is a twofold revelation – firstly it is extremely accessible, affordable and in the same format as their tobacco habit, the calming sensation of lighting up, inhaling and exhaling repetitively is exactly the same and secondly it feels great knowing you have lifted the weight of an addiction to tobacco off of your shoulders. Truly freeing.

VCM: Big question for consumers – do these products get you high? 

BF: BLAZ products are made from federally compliant hemp which is less than .3 percent THC and full of CBD – this ratio is designed to not get you high. 

VCM: How do terpenes and other cannabinoids come into play with hemp smokes?

BF: Terpenes are a big part of the BLAZ experience as we select flower that we ourselves would like to smoke. It’s no secret that the hemp flower is replete with many cannabinoids which work together in humans to produce experiences and benefits scientists are still unlocking day by day.  CBG for example is a cannabinoid that when inhaled, is super smooth and feels really calming along with CBD. It’s safe to say we are excited about the future of this plant and what it holds!

VCM: What obstacles have you faced as you bring your product to mainstream stores (as opposed to cannabis dispensaries.)

BF: I would say education is by far the largest obstacle – educating the store owners, the distribution buyers and the customers themselves. Most have not heard about hemp smokes but are very eager to learn and to try.  In this new product category there is no cookie cutter strategy that applies to marketing hemp smokes. What we have found works the best is human to human. BLAZ sales reps on the ground visiting cities state by state store by store, human by human have yielded the best results so far and we plan to expand this approach across the country.  Currently in 22 states and counting!  The other way we are having success is through Instagram – engaging the country through gifting and influencer marketing has been really fun actually and a strong way to build brand awareness, loyalty and product adoption. 

VCM: Who/what inspires you?

BF: I’m inspired by our customers, by my partners and teammates and by the new market opportunity in this evolving industry. My mom is pretty exceptional too!

VCM: How can readers follow you and also order/find your products?

BF: Readers can find us and order directly online on our website and follow us on  Instagram @letsblaz. In many states they can find our products at their local smoke shop, liquor store, CBD store or even gas stations – we keep growing and growing!

 

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