Marijuana Business Magazine November-December 2019

Partnership PIONEERS W hat do a CBD company and a mattress maker have in common? Sleep, of course. That’s why San Mateo, California-based Plus Products has teamed with Casper Sleep in New York to offer a melatonin- and CBD-infused sleep product. Introduced in September, the sleep goods are the first 100% hemp-derived CBD brand for Plus, which also produces THC-infused edibles. “There are indications that CBD can help with sleep,” said Plus Products co-founder and CEO Jake Heimark. “Casper is in a strong position to communicate that.” Casper has reached a $1 billion valuation through mattress sales and now is delving more into sleep health, offering products such as bedding, a nap pillow and the Glow Light, which helps cue the body that it’s bedtime. Before partnering with Plus, Casper was receiving numerous requests a day from CBD companies interested in forming partnerships, Heimark said. HOW IT CAME TO BE About a year ago, Heimark started talking with Neil Parikh and Luke Sherwin, Casper’s co-founders and Heimark’s college pals, about creating a sleep product together. “Many branded- product companies want to work with other great brands,” Heimark said. “We knew right away what we wanted to do, but we had to create a product.” Developing the products took about six months. Plus conducted product and flavor testing and provided Casper with a few samples to select from for the final product. Then Plus Products and Casper had to hammer out the details of the agree- ment, which took another six months. “Everything we do is harder because of the industry,” Heimark said of the cannabis space and all the legal and regulatory issues surrounding the sector. “When you’re a company that isn’t in the industry, they have to get familiar with all that stuff.” The new CBD line has three distinct products developed by Plus’ team of scientists and chefs: • Balance, in blueberry flavor. • Uplift, in grapefruit flavor. • Sleep, in blackberry tea flavor. Consumers who visited the Casper website and wanted to purchase the products could click on a link that took them to the Plus site, where they were able to buy a tin of 14 gummies with 24 milligrams of CBD for $35. In return, Casper received a percentage of Plus Products’ sales. “Everything has to be complicated in cannabis,” Heimark said. “We’re not allowed to sell on their website, but we can have photos.” Plus also enlisted singer/songwriter/actor John Legend to promote the company’s hemp-derived CBD products. When the partnership was announced, Legend said, “I was drawn to the Plus team because they’re Plus Products and Casper Sleep CASE STUDY Sweet Plus Products teams with mattress company Casper Sleep to create CBD gummies to help consumers hit the hay By Margaret Jackson DREAMS Marijuana Business Magazine | November-December 2019 68