Mike Donnelly is a former Navy SEAL who pivoted into business, including the cannabis sector. He then founded The CBD Path, which donates a portion of their profits to a veteran-focused, non-profit organization. Mike, who also serves as CEO, is also on the board of the National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum and the Trident House and volunteers throughout the year in fundraising events across the country to raise money for the families of fallen SEALs.
- 5:30 - Joined the military at 17, was a Navy SEAL for 10 years, started working in construction, opened first construction company in 2005. Began investing in other sectors, including cannabis start-ups that were using cannabis for medical purposes. Has been very involved in raising money for veteran organizations and consistently ran into veterans having a tough time reassimilating after combat tours that were using CBD to help. When it was legalized, started CBD Path, which helps veterans in particular with healing through CBD.
- 11:00 - Feedback from veterans has been amazing - so many great stories about CBD helping them through a host of issues. It's not a wonder drug, but it helps a lot of people in a lot of different ways. Biggest focus is on education because CBD has only been legal since 2018 - so many unknowns for consumers. Still confused with THC cannabis.
- 15:00 - CBD is a saturated market, but CBD Path stands out with giving back to veterans. There are 20 million US veterans, and one out of three suffer from some kind of issue that requires attention. QR codes on each bottle, so it's clear where hemp came from and where it's been the whole route to the consumer. Website has an educational blog that helps identify when and how and what to take.
- 19:00 - Exponential growth in sales since Covid. Wants to start a 501(c)(3) for CBD Path so everyone can afford the products. On average 22 veteran suicides a day. Being able to give away products to veteran would go a long way towards helping veterans with those issues. Improvements in organizations and companies helping veterans, important to keep getting that message out. New York is one of their biggest markets now since Covid.
- 24:00 - CBD comes from Oregon, sourced from one farm. Don't want to be a gimmick and don't condone inhaling CBD so nothing that involves smoking it. No food or beverage CBD items due to bioavailability - not enough proven about their efficacy. Best way to take it is under your tongue, also have gummies and topicals.
- 26:30 - Dogs receive cannabinoids better than the average person. When they take CBD their attitude is changed - work a lot with service dogs. Have a lot of partnerships with dog trainers, how helpful CBD is for dogs in particular and animals in general.
- 31:00 - Active soldiers can't take CBD as many were testing positive for marijuana and soldiers blamed it on CBD so all cannabinoids were banned. Difference between alcohol and cannabis - officers might not be able to tell if soldiers are taking cannabis.
- 40:00 - Important for consumers to educate themselves about the market. Government bodies need to do better at educating consumers and informing businesses of clear guidelines.