Cannabis Wealth spoke to Cedric Val, founder of Happease, to find out more about his journey from a beach in India to CEO of an international CBD business.
“My cannabis journey started in 2014, when I left my job as graphic designer in France, feeling life was not as exciting as it could be.
“Firstly, I went to Mumbai, India, before travelling by bus to Goa, where, on a beach, I experienced one of the most joyful times of my life – I couldn’t stop smiling.
“You see, in Goa and India as a whole, cannabis is freely grown for spiritual purposes, making it very different from Western culture and society.
“This is where I learned about the full possibilities of CBD and how it can be used, and it became my mission to work in the industry in some way.
“After a short spell picking fruit in Australia, I ended up in California, where I continued my quest to work in the CBD world; that’s why I chose San Francisco, as it’s one of the cities with a more vibrant cannabis scene.
“For a time, I was homeless, going from place to place to ask for work – it was my first experience of being seen as an immigrant
“However, one day got lucky and got the chance to work on a farm run by two Israelis, although in the end, it wasn’t really what I was looking for – too many hippy vibes.
“However, it was there that I was introduced to Tim Littlefield, who’s pretty famous is CBD industry – particularly after his arrest was featured on the TV show Pot Cops.
“I spent six weeks with him and learned so much – one thing he taught me was to stop calling cannabis weed and should call it medicine instead.
“Tim set me on my way to becoming a real cannabis entrepreneur and to believe in myself; he gave me the last drop of knowledge I needed to be complete.
“After that, I moved to the Czech Republic – where Happease was born in 2018.
How it started
“I launched the first pod at Prague’s Cannafest, but it was totally unsuitable.
“To be honest, I’d spent a lot of time on the branding but not enough on the product.
“However, the show did give me the opportunity to show the world I exist and get the name of Happease known. It was also at this festival that I met Gabriel, my current business partner, of Simply Green in Amsterdam. Because partner at early stage.
“We went back to the drawing board and spent six months designing and testing various products, eventually deciding on creating a CBD vape, using CCELL cartridges.
“We relaunched in Berlin in June 2019 and, just one month later, Happease was invited to the World CBD awards in Barcelona, where we won the prize for best the best vape product.
“However, the very next month, the press (in the US particularly) was full of headlines about how vaping CBD can kill, which led to a number of our investors backing out.
“But I firmly believe that ad things happen for good reasons, and so we looked at branching out into different products, before shifting our focus to oils.
How it’s going
“Now, the Happease brand comprises vapes, oils and extracts, with formulas heavily influenced by all the places I’ve visited on my CBD journey.
“I’m so proud every day of what we have created, and every day is a fresh reminder of our success, whether that’s looking at our facilities or closing a new deal – as well as the Happease brand, we also make white label products for other companies.
“I do think there are still a lot of battles ahead for the CBD industry, but we’re making headway. We’ve brought the public onside, and they’re now starting to understand the benefits of CBD for health and wellbeing.
“The plant has potential to heal the planet from many things, and I’d love to see the medical community starting to look at more natural alternatives, as opposed to relying so heavily on prescription medication.
“CBD is only a small part of what I want Happease to be; I’m looking to bring in a lot of ayurvedic plants, to bring back this ancient knowledge that can really be efficient for so many elements of modern life.
Plans for the future
“That’s why we’re keen to establish Happease all over Europe, through the website and through creating social media accounts in each language.
‘The novel food regulations will also open a lot of possibilities; we’re currently working on formulas for drinks to offer a mix of mood-enhancing combinations.
‘This is as well as looking to launch a line of CBD+ products, adding CBD to a range of ingredients and compounds to create different effects.
‘One thing my experience has taught me is that we are here for a limited time and we need to make the most of it.
“We don’t want to make a fortune or climb to the top of the tree; our business is all about enlightening people, to show off the potential of the plant and the product.”