Podcast

How to Run a Successful Hemp Dispensary with Patrick Donnell

Patrick Donnell is a co-owner at ErthScentialsCBD, a family-owned and operated business since 2017.

Personally, Patrick has been involved with hemp and cannabis but his passion for creating a CBD business was born when his father in law who had irregular heartbeats started getting better and eased himself off his medication with the help of CBD.

Tune in to this episode to learn what makes ErthScentialsCBD unique, how they overcome the challenges of starting a new CBD business, the things that they are worried about, and how they’re giving back to the community.


Don’t give up. If I can do it you can do it and if somebody doesn’t like your product that’s okay. Not everybody has to. -Patrick Donnell


Download The Episode Companion For This Episode

Some Topics We Discussed Include:

[1:59] – How they started with the hemp-cannabis space and what’s the nature of their business
[3:20] – What are the advantages of producing their own product
[3:42] – Exposure to hemp-cannabis prior to their entry into the space
[4:25] – What are some of the challenges that they had to overcome in starting the business
[5:51] – The business’ current focus
[6:57] – What are some of the things that they are worried about
[8:07] – What makes their products unique
[9:39] – How they’re giving back to the community
[11:15] – Some pieces of advice to keep entrepreneurs inspired and motivated
[12:34] – Where to find them

People Mentioned / Resources

Connect with Patrick Donnell

Connect with Sonia Gomez

Transcription

Sonia Gomez: What’s up guys this is Sonia was coming to you from Denver, Colorado. This is another badass episode of The Hemp Revolution where we are pioneering the movement around cannabis and hemp availability. We are on a mission to empower you with the truth about cannabis and hemp so that you can make empowered educated decisions about how you want to join the green rush or even use the products to transform the way that you feel and function every single day. Make sure that you check us out at theemeraldcircle.com or on medicalsecrets.com if you are a patient looking for the right products to change your life. 

Today’s guest is coming all the way from Milwaukee on from a family-owned and operated business since 2017. Striving to focus on education and quality of products. Our guest, Patrick Donnell is here to share his journey. Patrick, what’s up? How are you? 

Patrick Donnell: I’m doing great. How are you?

Sonia Gomez: I’m doing awesome. Thank you. I’m excited to have you on and hear a little bit more about your guys’ journey. Milwaukee crazy spots right now, how did you guys jump in? And what’s the nature of your business?

Transition to the Hemp and Cannabis Business

Patrick Donnell: We actually got started as you know, back in 2017. And it was kind of by coincidence, but not as much. We’ve always been into the essential oil, being holistic, things like that. And back in 2017 is when my father in law actually had an irregular heartbeat, so he had to get cardio shocks, that stops his heart and jump it again. And that just really scared him. 

He found CBD now he's over about a year and a half now medication free, thanks to CBD. -Patrick Donnell Click To Tweet

So his blood pressure medication wasn’t doing what it needed to so he wanted to look for something more holistic. He found CBD now he’s over about a year and a half now medication free, thanks to CBD, but that’s kind of how he got into it. He found out about it. He started learning he shared that knowledge with us and then we started learning then we already had an essential oil business at the time. So we just kind of work the CBD into that. And yet here we are.

Now we have a retail front, but we do wholesale as well. But we do a lot of education. That’s probably the biggest thing that we’ve really done or focused on since we’ve begun. We do farmer’s markets and you know, do pamphlets and just educate the community and answer questions really. 

Sonia Gomez: Love it! Are you producing your own products or are you distribution for other brands that you want to support?

The Value of Producing Their Own Product

Patrick Donnell: Yeah, so like our retail front we have, I’d say 90% of the products that we offer our own brand and our own name. We work very closely with the farms for the different oils that we offer. We have a wide range of topical and different edibles that are also under our brand. Yeah, it’s great. 

Sonia Gomez: Awesome. So you’re with your father in law’s entry into the industry. Had you guys had much exposure before that to the hemp and cannabis movement or were you primarily focused on holistic health practices and products like essential oils?

Patrick Donnell: On a business level, we were just mainly with you Essential Oils but more on like personal levels. I’ve always been real familiar with it and tuned in with normal and always trying to make a difference. We all should have access like you do in beautiful Colorado, we’d all hope for it one day, but yeah, I mean, personally, I’ve been involved, but I’m from the business standpoint, once he got involved, and we see his heart rate was getting lower, he just kind of eased himself off his medication. And yeah, that was kind of our shoe. And from thereon.

Sonia Gomez: What have been some of the challenges and entering in I mean, Milwaukee is not the most compliant state in the world, right. So with the CBD movement, opening up, obviously a topic of conversation, but not widely accepted in many of the communities around there. Talk to me a little bit about the temperature, and what some of the challenges you guys had to overcome and starting your business.

Some of the Challenges That They Had to Overcome 

Patrick Donnell: Yeah, for sure. Well, we first opened up the storefront back in December of last year, it was actually surprising the kind of response that we got at first it was about 50/50 from the community that we’re in. We had some people pitching the casual, that’s just snake oil, it’s nothing useful. But then we had, I’d say an equal number of supporters that would defend us on the Facebook posts or whatever it may be. 

But actually when it comes down to like law enforcement and things like that they actually came in not too long after we first opened and they were like, Hey, we just want to make sure you guys are safe. You know, we know you guys are doing some good business just yeah, they’ve never like causes any problems or they’ve never given us trouble but they have like had our back in the past. So it’s really great from that standpoint. 

But we’ve actually tried to open up a location in a neighboring city just 30 minutes north of here and got denied due to the city because they thought it was just too much a marijuana culture for their city and various other close-minded reasons why we shouldn’t be able to open out there too. But yeah, those are just kind of the general things that we’ve had to overcome since then. 

Sonia Gomez: Wow. For your guys’ mission in your business right now. What are the things that you guys are hyper-focused on right now, and how How are you making them come to fruition?

Their Current Focus and How They’re Making Them Come to Fruition

Patrick Donnell: The biggest thing I think we are focused on our own is just maintaining that excellent quality. Quality has been such a big questionable thing nowadays, especially with so many different brands coming up and so many different retail locations coming just with CBD becoming such a big topic, not even just here in Milwaukee but nationwide there’s a lot of brands and a lot of different products where people don’t always know what they’re getting or always know what to look for, even with the FDA having such loose regulation there’s not much like buyer security. So we just want to try and what we’ve been doing is just holding our standards making sure we’re staying on top of what we need to, keeping up with any type of new regulations that come out.

It's just really by doing diligence and really having a passion for what you're doing. -Patrick Donnell Click To Tweet

But it’s just really by doing diligence and really having a passion for what you’re doing. It’s definitely not easy it’s not just a walk in the park some days but with the passion, it’s just work at that point. 

Sonia Gomez: Love that! Is there something that you guys are afraid of with the new pulses on the potential regulations and restrictions with banking or any one of these everyday challenges that are unique to our industry? Is there something that keeps you guys up at night? What are some of the things that you’re worried about in this space right now?

Some of the Things That They Are Worried About

Patrick Donnell: I think the biggest kind of challenge that we’ve always kind of had at the back of our mind was always like banking, like payment processing. That’s a really big thing for a lot of people just not being able to accept cards just in general we’ve gotten lucky and we got on board with Square they let in a certain exclusive number of cannabis businesses, they’re trying it out and Square a huge name to be on. So, we got lucky and got linked in with them. But I do know that we are on one of the only local places that will even take card so there’s always a thought of like, we were with US Bank in the beginning and then they just shut down their cannabis branch, just because they decided to, so who knows if Square decides to do the same thing one day and then we’re off in the mud. Looking for another payment processor. But that would probably be my biggest The biggest thing if any.

Sonia Gomez: what’s different about your guys’ products, I mean, there’s tons and tons of brands out there in the marketplace right now was and you said that you’re working directly with a lot of the farms around there. Talk to me a little bit about the difference in your products. What is the thing that sets you guys apart?

What Makes Their Products Unique

Without a middleman, that's one less transaction before it gets to the customer keeps the prices just that much lower. - Patrick Donnell Click To Tweet

Patrick Donnell: I think the biggest thing that would set us apart from just any other shop is the fact that we have our own brand. And we do produce most of these products that there’s a sense of quality control that comes along with that. And the fact that we know what, since we have control the product, if we do need to make alterations or say we get suggestions on Oh, hey, you know, I think we should make this but a little more potent or that I think we should do this but maybe try it this way. We have the ability to do that. And so you know, constantly add more products and just to keep that quality in all of our products rather than hoping we buy from another brand and they have that same standard that we do and that kind of thing. And it keeps prices low too, because without a middleman, that’s one less transaction before it gets to the customer keeps the prices just that much lower, honestly.

Sonia Gomez: I love it. I absolutely love it. How many members of your family are involved in your business?

Patrick Donnell: Now we have, we have five full-time family members. And then we have five part-time family members as well. So 10 members of our family total working with the business now.

Sonia Gomez: Great. I think that’s a huge thing that’s missing in this space, but it’s also something that I’m really seeing as a part of the movement is like families getting involved together and each one playing a unique role. What are some of the ways that you guys are giving back to your community right now through your business? How are you guys getting back to your communities? 

Giving Back to the Community

Patrick Donnell: One thing that we’ve been really big on since the beginning of before we even had the storefront has been like sponsorships or local events or like raffles, giveaways, fundraisers. So, we do like anytime there’s any type of silent auction or we did, there was this thing called, um, what is it called? I forgot what it’s called. But it was like music in the park every day. And we would sponsor that event and get back to that we do a lot of the most recent thing we just did a donation to one of the local schools for one of their silent auctions that they had going on. So those are just, you know, some of the things we like to do we do get involved in the community. And we do like to just, I know that there’s with certain age groups and with certain people, especially in a state where we don’t have full legalization there definitely is a stigma to just marijuana in general, not just hemp or not just marijuana itself, but when they see our logo on our leaf, there’s a certain mindset that comes along with it.

That’s why I like to get involved in the community to not only just to give back, but then it kind of shows that just because we’re in this industry doesn’t really make us any bad people or you know what I mean, we’re giving back where we’re helping out. It puts a positive, positive action behind the name kind of thing.

Sonia Gomez: What are some of the things that you could share with the more conservative communities in the world or in our world? The United States there are budding entrepreneurs who are in the space and perhaps are coming up against some pushback from their communities or from their families, what are some pieces of information or advice that you could share with them to keep them inspired and motivated to be a part of this movement?

Pieces of Advice to Keep Entrepreneurs Inspired and Motivated

Patrick Donnell: I think that my biggest piece of advice to them would be to stay patient, don’t give up. And the biggest thing that will help persuade or sway anybody’s opinion, is just knowledge. Knowledge and insight is usually what that barrier is between supporting and not supporting, usually a lot of like, the more conservative people that I interact with and figure out, like, Hey, I don’t support it, and it usually does come down to just miseducation or just misinformation. Just having the misconception that this is the same thing as weed or things like that. 

And I think that is probably the biggest thing most of the time that people see CBD and they just think weed and that’s what they don’t like they don’t like the high. There isn’t always that understanding that okay they’re very very similar but they are different at the same time I think that would be my biggest thing I would tell them just don’t give up if I can do it you can do it and if somebody doesn’t like your product that’s okay. Not everybody has to.

Sonia Gomez:  I love that. Well, those are I mean, your company is rocking. I love that it’s all in Milwaukee. If people want to get in touch with your products or find out more about your business, where can they find you?

Connect with ErthScentialsCBD

Patrick Donnell: All of our probably have a full product line available on our erthscentialscbd.com. Otherwise, they could always stop into our storefront at 1200, East Oklahoma and Bayview, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, we have everything available online. And even if you were interested in wholesale our website, we have everything available on there to check that out too. So for sure, that would probably be where I would go website be the best place.

Sonia Gomez: Awesome. Well, you guys heard it here first. We will be posting all of the links that will connect you directly with the companies that Patrick is involved with family-owned businesses. If you are up in Milwaukee area and you want to support your local cannabis community or a CBD community, it’s plugged in with Patrick and click on any one of these links that are located inside of the blog post inside of the show notes to get directly connected to as wholesale or any retail products. I’m your host, Sonya Gomez and this is The Hemp Revolution. We’ll see you guys on our next show.

Thanks for listening to another Rockstar episode of the hemp revolution podcast. I’m your host Sonia Gomez. And just for you, we took notes on this episode along with the links and other resources mentioned inside of today’s show. Get them for free right now by going to theemeraldcircle.com. Now, if you want more on this, please subscribe to the show on Apple podcast or wherever you like to listen and you will be on automatically entered in to our monthly giveaway where you can get swag bags, all kinds of cool gifts and discounts from our guests and exclusive offers that are only mentioned right here in the hemp revolution podcast. I can’t wait for you to share this with your friends. With your help, we’ve been able to impact millions of people’s lives around the world with the truth about hemp and cannabis. And we know that you love us so much that you’re going to leave a review and rate us right now on your favorite platform to absorb content just like this. Now, we challenge you to dream big and love the life that you live. Thanks so much and we hope to see you on our next episode of The Hemp Revolution podcast. Ciao for now.

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