It seems like there is a CBD shop on nearly every corner in Dallas, and for the few corners that don’t have one, there is probably a convenience store with CBD offerings. Although there is no shortage of products, Dallas-based Corganics is looking to take advantage of the wide range in quality by positioning itself as the CBD your physician would recommend.
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive product derived from cannabis, found in marijuana and hemp. The product, which has been made into oils, drinks, and edibles, is often used to treat everything from anxiety and insomnia to chronic pain like arthritis. Studies show its efficacy, but because the FDA does not regulate the product, there is little oversight. Some companies make wild claims about the impact of their product.
The product’s use has grown rapidly nationwide, increasing more than 1000 percent since 2014. Statista’s data show that CBD’s US sales were $108 million in 2014 but exceeded $1.6 billion in 2021 and will be more than $25 billion by 2025.
Founded by Chad Collins and Reggie Gatewood, Corganics was previously known as clinical cannabinoid company MD Farma and rebranded after a round of Series A funding earlier this year. The two bring experience developing multi-billion dollar brands in the pharmaceutical and medical device space. They are now leveraging those relationships with providers and manufacturers to grow the CBD company positioning itself as the brand users can depend on to be safe and effective.
“We looked at this space as an opportunity to leverage our expertise and leadership to bridge a gap in the wild west retail of what you see in CBD and the true clinical quality science that we can bring to healthcare providers,” Collins says. “This includes education and marketing resources to help them have the conversations that their patients want to have.”
It isn’t a prescription product but will only be available for purchase at parter provider offices or online if the provider gives their patient a code to use online. So why limit who can buy your product when it is widely available in a retail setting? It’s all about trust and quality, Gatewood says. “A lot of people going out to treat themselves with alternative therapy, including CBD, for a lot of different reasons. There’s a gap in knowledge with healthcare providers, a gap in knowledge with patients, and a gap in quality and what’s in the retail sector.”
With one in five Americans treating themselves with alternative therapies, more than a thousand CDB retail brands, and no real transparency about production and quality, it can be difficult for the average consumer to know which clean and safe products.
Though the FDA does not regulate Corganics’ products, it manufactures its product using pharmaceutical standards and communicates with providers to earn their trust. Their customers are providers, so it is the company’s job to convince the providers that their product is safe and effective.
Big pharma is likely to enter the CBD space soon. With the significant investment the industry can provide, quality will go up, more academic studies will be commissioned, and CBD’s use will move further into the mainstream. Corganics is investing in pharmaceutical-grade CBD to take advantage of this shift, which they think will be a permanent change to the medical landscape. “Pharma does not invest hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars on something they think is a fad,” Collins says.
Corganics has also conducted an institutional review board independent study, which included more than 200 patients who experienced improvements of 50 percent or more in pain, sleep, anxiety, and other measures compared to the control group. It is research like this that Corganics hopes will earn the trust of physicians. “The more data that they see, the more comfortable they are and having those conversations are a catalyst for education,” Collins adds.
Corganics products, which currently exist in drop, cream, and soft gel forms, have been used in oncology, family practice, dermatology, and plastic surgery clinics. Despite being convenient, patients are often skeptical of medical practices selling health-related products in the office. The American Medical Association says, “Physician sale of health-related products raises ethical concerns about a financial conflict of interest, risks placing undue pressure on the patient, threatens to erode patient trust, undermine the primary obligation of physicians to serve the interests of their patients before their own, and demean the profession of medicine.”
Physicians who want to sell products in their office must offer products that are proven to be effective and must disclose their financial interest in the development, only sell enough products to satisfy an immediate need and provide information about the risks, benefits, and limits of knowledge regarding the product. The AMA also says physicians should avoid arrangements that make the products available only through offices and make the products widely accessible to patients.
But at Corganics, Collins says they haven’t hit too many speed bumps when it comes to the ethics of only selling through physician offices. The patients are already asking the physicians for the products, so the idea that a physician would push the product on a patient to make more money is not an issue. “We’re not going to provide them a product that doesn’t have the quality that we stand behind,” Collins says. “We have had zero pushback around that topic.”
For those who want to use CBD products but want to be sure they won’t test positive for THC because they are drug tested at work, Corganics can be the answer. For national airlines like Southwest and American, or the number of “very well known” athletes who use the product, the company provides relief. “It’s important that we give them something they can trust,” Collins says.