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Populum is on a mission to destigmatize hemp by creating some truly innovative products. We caught up with founder Gunhee Park to learn more about his budding journey into cannabis.
How did you get involved in cannabis?
Being from South Korea, I grew up taking a lot of herbal medicine. I was really sick as a toddler, so my family and I were essentially making weekly visits to the doctor for various issues. During that time, my mom also turned to traditional Eastern herbal medicine, investing a lot of time and effort in getting me all these plant-based supplements.
After moving to the United States, I saw there was a void in the plant-based remedies space. I was introduced to CBD in 2015 and after using CBD myself I quickly realized the amazing benefits.
After spending some time looking for reputable and trustworthy CBD products, I realized how difficult it was to find brands that were transparent and honest about what they were selling. Not only that, I found that there was a lot of stigma surrounding hemp and CBD, and a lot of people were unwilling to try it because of these misconceptions. So I founded Populum to help reframe the way people view CBD, and to provide high-quality, trustworthy hemp products to conscious consumers like myself.
What is your mission with Populum?
Our mission is to destigmatize hemp, which has been unfairly denounced for decades, and make the astonishing benefits of pure, high-quality hemp accessible, affordable, and truthful to everyone. From partnering with domestic farms in Colorado to providing third-party test results in every box, we are pioneering efforts to bring hemp to the mainstream and build hemp’s reputation as an essential wellness supplement.
Where do you see yourself in the industry in 5 years?
We’ve seen the hemp CBD industry growing rapidly in the past year. As more people benefit from this cannabinoid, we see this trend continuing in the upcoming years. As a premium brand, we’ll continue focusing on bringing more transparency to customers, while also putting more effort into research & development, to be able to offer customers more innovative ways to take CBD.
What's the biggest challenge of working in the cannabis space and the biggest reward?
The industry is still very young and with it comes a lack of regulation, which means it’s up to the companies to hold themselves accountable. There are so many brands that make exaggerated claims about what CBD can do, which can make it very confusing for consumers to find reputable brands. For instance, many people who are unfamiliar with hemp have the misconception that you can get high from using hemp-derived supplements or foods. Many hemp brands, including Populum, are focusing on customer education in their marketing to clear up such confusion.
The most gratifying part about being in the CBD industry is hearing heartfelt stories from our customers about how CBD has benefited their lives.
Do you have any advice for any fellow cannapreneurs?
To this day, there’s a lot of roadblocks of starting a venture in the hemp/CBD/cannabis space. Even something as seemingly trivial as setting up a bank account, taking payments, and putting out online ads can be challenging. Yet, there’s also a lot of gratification when you’re able to overcome these obstacles and offer products that benefit your customers. So keep at it!