After nearly seven years of being in the cannabis industry, Belushi's Farm has entered the CBD (cannabidiol) pet product market.
In 2015, American actor and comedian Jim Belushi founded Belushi's Farm to operate within Oregon's medical cannabis market.
The farm has grown from 48 plants in 2015 to a now 93-acre cannabis farm.
Belushi tells Hemp Grower he's been "flirting with and examining" CBD for a few years to learn about what's in the oils, distillate, isolate, what works, what doesn't work and more. Still, it wasn't until recently that he decided to segue into the market.
But it's no surprise that entering the CBD market right now is a risk as the industry struggles with oversupply issues. CBD prices have fallen considerably since 2019 after the number of acres grown skyrocketed that year, Hemp Grower previously reported.
Several farmers decreased operations and the number of licensed acres decreased from 511,442 in 2019 to 336,655 in 2020. And last year, only 70,530 acres of hemp were planted—all in an effort to fix the oversupply issue, which remains, Hemp Grower reported. PanXchange, a commodities trading platform that provides baseline prices for hemp, estimates hemp acreage will decline even further in 2021.
So, why did Belushi's Farm enter the CBD market right now?
For Belushi, the answer is simple. While he expressed that he "didn't want to jump in and all of the sudden have the market drop," he strongly believes in the medicinal benefits of the cannabinoid and how it can help consumers.
According to its website, Belushi's Farm was "created as a gateway to healing," and to Belushi, the cannabis market is "all about the medicine," he says.
"I think [cannabis] medicine across the board is not only for Alzheimer's, headaches, PTSD, seizures, backaches and pain, but it also enhances the taste of food, the touch of your lover's skin, the sound of music," Belushi says. "It opens your chest up to the presence of music and rhythm, which is healing to PTSD, but it also makes you feel good. It makes you feel euphoric at times; it lightens you and brings you cultural isolation. That encompasses the wellness of cannabis, and I think hemp can do that even on a more subtle range."
"I believe that hemp CBD is our avenue to the curious new consumer," he adds.
Belushi says he’s seen the medical value of CBD and hemp. For example, he's come across different protocols where CBD products with various CBD and THC ratios can help in easing cancer symptoms, which is why he has decided to start small in the industry.
Belushi explains that his dog, Taro, runs approximately 10 miles a day on the farm and is often sore. So, Belushi says he got oil with both CBG (cannabigerol) and CBN (cannabinol) in it, which he gave to Taro to test if it would help alleviate his pain.
"The great thing about animals is you can't give a placebo; it either works or it doesn't," he says. "And just to see Taro's demeanor and physicality change drastically, I said, 'OK, I'm going to use this oil.'"
Belushi started small and produced 5,000 bottles of k-9ine, a full-spectrum 500 milligram CBD tincture for pets. "I'm just putting my foot in it, testing it out and seeing how it works," he says. "I launched it two weeks ago, and I'm doing very well with it."
While the product is currently only available for sale online, Belushi says the goal is to have it available in dispensaries eventually.
Belushi says he sourced the CBD for the 5,000 test products from a farm in West Salem, Oregon; however, he currently has 2 acres of hemp growing on Iverson Family Farms right outside of Portland.
Belushi says he was looking to partner with the farm because it's family-run.
"They're very diligent; they're old-school; they're hardworking; they grow tulips, and it's a beautiful stretch of property," he said. "And so, I asked to engage with them and grow 2 acres of hemp for this product."
The hemp is in mid-growth, and he says he plans to source the oil for his k-9ine product from there.
Belushi's Farm is currently looking into creating more CBD products for pets; however, he says he plans to go "easy and slow” because of the market’s current “legal gray area.”
“My whole purpose is to create confidence in cannabis and medicine that can help on a pathway to healing families and communities,” Belushi says.