Thursday, October 17, 2019

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS: TOMMY BRANCH

March 19, 2019 by  
Filed under Feature

‘Once I got the main ingredient, I was off to the races’

How a Las Vegas businessman is cashing in with a twist on legalized cannabis.

Nevada has joined states across the country with the legalization of recreational marijuana. These new laws have given rise to a bevy of cannabis companies that offer products for one’s pleasure or medical needs. Now, longtime Las Vegas resident Tommy Branch is offering a new twist to the greatest drink in the house, called “Hemp Lifestyle Water.” He is believed to be the only African-American in the country who has created, manufactured, and distribute his own brand of drinking water infused with CBD. We sat down with Branch for a wide-ranging conversation about his new company and how it is revolutionizing the beverage industry.

How long has your Hemp Lifestyle Water business been operating?

I have been working on this project for a year-and-a-half. I actually finished manufacturing the Hemp Lifestyle Water in January 2019.

What is your experience in the beverage industry?

I have 15 years in the industry. I’ve owned my own distribution company for eight years out of the fifteen. This is the first product I actually manufactured myself.

Is the manufacturing company here in Las Vegas?

The manufacturing facility is in Portland, Oregon. All the facility does is to put the CBD into the water bottles. I supply the bottles, the caps, the labels, and the CBD. The facility just packages the product.

Can you describe what Hemp Lifestyle Water is?

My product is water with CBD. It starts off as a plant then to an oil form that is chemically transformed into a water soluble CBD — because oil and water don’t mix. It is broken down and the CBD is dissolved into oxygenated water. The result is clear water that is good.

What made you think of producing a water on the heels of the legalization of marijuana?

Well, when the conversation was brought up about Nevada legalizing marijuana, and the whole process was done — that is when I started my process. I thought to myself, “How can I get into the dispensary or into the cannabis industry?” I knew I couldn’t get a marijuana dispensary, so I had to find another avenue to capitalize on the cannabis economy. So with my background in the beverage industry, I always knew about CBD from years ago and I was just trying to find a company that I could get a quality CBD product from. So, once I got the main CBD ingredient, I was off to the races.

Where does the water come from?

The water comes from Portland as well. The water is a patented process from a publicly traded company. They came up with this process of the water that is alkaline, but oxygenated — and the oxygen is infused into the water so when you take the cap off, the water doesn’t evaporate into the air. This means the oxygen then gets into your system. When you drink one bottle or two bottles of Hemp Lifestyle Water you won’t feel bloated.

What are the health benefits of Hemp Lifestyle Water?

My son was diagnosed with epilepsy and that was another reason why this particular product initially drew my interest. Some of the health benefits that I can’t totally make a claim to, but people have given testimony that the hemp water reduced blood sugar, increased mobility, suppresses muscle spasms, release anxiety, reduces pain, and reduces seizures caused by epilepsy.

Do you think you will stay in the beverage industry or take the CBD and create other products?

First, the Hemp Lifestyle Water is an avenue to get myself into the convenience stores around the country — and then I will bring in other products to piggyback on the water. Once I get that shelf space in stores, the consumers will have trust in my product and stores will also. The stores that carry my products will be my partners and will afford me the opportunity to be innovative and bring new products.

Will you be hiring people for your Hemp Lifestyle Water company?

Yes, along the way I am going to need a territory manager here in Las Vegas. And I am working on several deals in the Southeast. I will be hiring people also in that area and also around the country.

Are you distributing your product yourself?

No, I am just the CEO.

Are there any other companies in the country like yours that are black-owned and -operated?

Other than the dispensaries, I think I am the only one in the country.

For additional information call (702) 581-6600.

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