Interview with Dr. Stuart Titus, Former CEO of Medical Marijuana, Inc. (Ticker MJNA) and Chairman of Hempacco, Inc.
Please introduce yourself.
My name is Dr. Stuart Titus and I am the former President and CEO of a publicly-traded company, Medical Marijuana, Inc., ticker symbol MJNA on the US OTC markets.
Tell me a little bit about your company.
Our company is the first publicly traded company in the US in the Industrial Hemp Medical Cannabis space dating back to March of 2009. Since 2011, we’ve been a hemp and CBD company. We brought the first nutraceutical hemp-based CBD products to the US and world markets back in the spring of 2012. Last year, our sales were $75 Million dollars. This year, with Covid, there has been a little bit more in the way of challenges for 2020 sales, but probably by the end of the year, we’ll tally $50 to $55 Million dollars.
Are the sales mostly in CBD?
Our sales are strictly 100 percent in CBD. We are betting on CBD for the long run, yes absolutely. There’s definitely a growing sector of the overall cannabis industry.
Tell me a little bit about your involvement with Hempacco.
I have been with Hempacco for a couple of years now as an investor. I thought the hemp CBD cigarettes smokable arena was going to be the next big thing in the hemp and CBD world certainly, and I believe this is panning out. I’m very excited about the fact that the company is about to get into the public space and arena and be able to bring in a larger group of international-based investors.
And what is your experience with publicly traded companies?
I’ve had some good experiences. Currently, I’m CEO of the publicly-traded company, Medical Marijuana Inc. I started the public company back in November of 2012. At the time it was called Cannabis Corporation. Today, it’s known as CV Sciences. But this was the first multibillion-dollar cannabis company way back before all the Canadian licensed producers and all the rest, interestingly enough. We’ve also started a couple of other public companies, mostly in the pharmaceutical space AXIM Biotech, as well as a company that used to be known as CanaLife Inc. Now it’s known as Neuropathics.
Benefits of Hemp CBD Cigarettes
Tell me a little bit about the benefits of CBD.
CBD is wonderful for overall health and wellness benefits. CBD really supplements a very large self-regulatory system within us, the internal or the endogenous cannabinoid system. The system is fairly newly discovered back in 1988, but still far under-recognized for its medical significance. We’re very excited about some of the studies and research showing that our bodies do make our own internal cannabinoids, but unfortunately, they’re very quickly degraded by normal processes and enzymes that degrade these internally produced cannabinoids. Thus, many of us become cannabinoid deficient.
However, if we supplement with plant cannabinoids, all of a sudden now this large self-regulatory system has the means to gather strength and energy, to communicate better with other systems within the body. And many individuals find that they move too much higher levels of overall health and wellness by taking or ingesting these plant cannabinoids.
Can you take CBD every day?
One can take CBD every day. In fact, there are many adults who are certainly aging, my age, potentially in their mid-50s, mid-60s arena who have gone from experimental use just once or twice a day now to three and four times a day ingesting as well as applying topically. So certainly it’s been wonderful to see how many people are getting some great benefits by taking CBD.
Where is the medical world lagging in CBD?
There have been a lot of challenges in medicine in terms of CBD, certainly in that it’s been for a while a controlled substance, which means that it’s been extremely difficult to do human studies and trials. So most of the studies and the research either have been done in petri dishes or with rats and laboratory tests. I think there’s been very little in the way of human study and research. Now that hemp and CBD have become legalized, those barriers are falling.
And so we’re looking forward to much more in the way of human study and research with CBD over time. Certainly we, our company, has been involved with a nice industry group to provide information to our US FDA regarding the safety of CBD. And certainly, we’re going to be publishing in just another couple of weeks the final results of this study. But basically it shows that Botanicals CBD, unlike the pharmaceutically developed version of CBD, is not toxic to the body. It’s not toxic to the liver.
We don’t see any elevated toxic liver enzymes like we do with the pharmaceutically developed version of CBD. So I think that’s very important information, particularly for the FDA, who can now carve out this nice regulatory pathway for CBD to be considered as a dietary supplement.
You are an investor and also a board member in Hempacco. Talk a little bit about that, please.
I am an investor and a board member of Hempacco. It’s been very exciting to see the emergence of this hemp CBD cigarettes smokable arena. I think certainly Hempacco has got a great benefit because of the tremendous cost and efficiencies that they’ve been able to develop with full cigarette processing now being retooled and recalibrated to produce quality hemp CBD cigarettes smokables. I really think this has got tremendous legs, certainly smoking or the combustion of the hemp has got tremendous bioavailability. We see about a thirty-one percent bioavailability with this smokable application.
Just because this goes directly into the cardiopulmonary system can be more directly absorbed into the bloodstream. With your typical ingestible CBD, like many of the products that our company has been selling, we only see about a six percent level of bioavailability because it goes through the digestive tract, it gets metabolized by the liver, and thus you don’t really get a tremendous bioavailability, but you get a lot greater bioavailability, a much more immediate effect when you smoke your hemp CBD cigarettes for the CBD content. And certainly, we believe this is not going to be lost on those who are regular smokers.
And if we were able to get a much higher percentage of concentration of CBD in the cigarettes, let’s say a consistent 20 percent with our new IP, would that be the same? So we have more concentration so that the absorption is greater?
Yes, I’d like to believe if we got a good 20 percent concentration of CBD in the hemp CBD cigarettes smokable that that bioavailability will be even greater. So, yes, I’m very much looking forward to more in the way of what we call pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics studies with live humans just to show and prove to the community that, yes, this smoking method is really a great way to absorb and utilize your cannabinoids, your CBD.
Tell us a little bit about the responsibilities of a board member.
Well, certainly as a board member, you’re looking at the overall operation and you want to make sure that the finished product is of good quality and consistent quality, as well as certainly not being toxic to the general public. So there are things we need to do in terms of study and research to compare, say, with other smokables like cigarettes and just to see how much less toxin there is. And then again, looking at some of the benefits, because there really aren’t a lot of health benefits to smoking typical cigarettes.
But yes, with hemp, there may be some wonderful health benefits that we’d like the general public to know and learn about. Of course, we also want to be sure that we’re doing things properly and that the product we’re putting out to the general public is not containing any residues from the agricultural process, for example, and certainly making sure that none of these residues are going to be harmful when that the residue might be heated and combusted, et cetera.
So certainly those are things we really look at the overall picture just to make sure the company is doing everything correctly and doing all that we can to ensure we’re providing a safe and usable product to the general public.
Thank you very much for your time and insight, Dr. Titus.
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