Getting a Delicious Introduction to CBD
By GERRY BARKER
North Palm Beach Life
Published November, 2020.
Back in the day, when my job was rock music writer for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the use of marijuana was illegal. Of course, they didn't deter 70s rock concert goers from using it. In reality, attendees didn't need to smoke it -- just inhale. (Check out my ROCK AND ROLL REWIND blog.)
Fast forward to now, and "Mary Jane" is now legal in some places, along with its derivative cousin, CBD, which is legal just about everywhere. In fact, the latter has become quite a cottage industry, touted for its ability to soothe nerves, improve sleep and alleviate pain.
In our quest to learn more about CBD, we ran across Dr. Norm's Wellness, which we wrote about HERE. Dr. Norm's is a family CBD business in the truest sense of the word. Owners Jeff Koz and Roberta Koz Wilson (brother and sister to famed jazz musician Dave Koz), founded it to honor their late parents -- Dr. Norm, their father, a medical doctor, and mother Audrey, a pharmacist also known for her delicious cookies.
Just to be clear, although CBD, also known as cannabidiol, and marijuana (THC) are both derived from the cannabis plant, CBD does not produce a "high" or have any intoxicating effects.
The company got its start in 2016 as "Audrey's Cookies." Using their mother's recipes, customers embraced "Chocolate Chip Therapy" and asked for more. In time, they added more varieties and CBD-infused versions, and cookies -- both the regular and CBD -- became their cornerstone product.
One of their main objectives was proving you can produce a CBD-edible that actually tastes good -- thus their slogan, "Taste the Cookie, Not the Cannabis." Going hand-in-hand with that is the other company mantra, "Know Your Dose." Their recommendation for newbies: Start low and work your way to your ideal dosage.
Since Pam and I are "newbies," we heeded their advice and started by breaking one of the 15 mg-Red Velvet cookies in half, which should be equivalent to 7.5 mg. of CBD in each piece. As advertised, the cookie itself was delicious. After a little bit, we did feel more relaxed. Was it the cookie or mind games? If you've got a great-tasting cookie and a good feeling, too, it's clearly a win-win either way.
Over the past week we've also tried their 15 mg.-Snickerdoodle cookie (marvelous), as well as the 10 mg.-Jelly Beans and the 20 mg.-Sour Neon Bear gummies. One thing they all have in common is great taste. You won't even know they contain CBD. We'll have to continue our research to find our best dosage -- talk about a labor of love -- but even so, we can already say we're CBD converts.
Dr. Norm and Audrey
We recently reached out to Jeff to learn more about Dr. Norm's Wellness and what they're up to:
Q. Where is your company located and do you run your own store where people can buy your products?
JEFF KOZ: "Our manufacturing plant is located in Chatsworth, CA. It’s part of LA county. We do not own a retail store. We sell directly to licensed cannabis retailers in California."
Q. In your roles with the company, how "hands on" are you day-to-day? Do you actually get involved with baking the cookies?
JEFF: "We are very hands on. Especially Roberta. She works with the crew every day. I also work with them, and my job is to calculate and measure the cannabis oil for proper dosing. If we mess up the dosing, we fail the lab tests and can’t sell that batch of cookies. It’s very penal out here! Roberta is the baker, recipe designer and runs production!"
Q. How many cookies will you produce in an average year, and what's the most popular?
JEFF: "Most popular is our original Chocolate Chip Therapy. This is a bit of a guess, but I’d say 2.5 million cookies in the past 12 months, give or take. We expect to sell many more next year. We’re also selling brownies now and have more non-cookie products coming."
Q: If your parents were still with you, what would they think about the company and the success you've enjoyed?
JEFF: "They would be shocked and horrified! :-) No, we joke about this all the time. But we think they’re smiling up there. We’ve taken our mom’s cookies and created a lasting legacy. Our dad is more famous in the afterlife than in his mortal life. His face is everywhere! And we’re doing a lot of good helping customers with all kinds of health issues. So, we think they’re happy about it!"
Q: What's ahead on the Dr. Norm roadmap -- where do you want to take the company next?
JEFF: "We plan on growing our business in California. More products and product lines to come, including a line of protein bars, more brownies and a beverage enhancer (syrup) line amongst other things. We’re also talking to a group who would like to take us to five states that they currently operate in. So, we plan on making this happen gradually throughout 2021! Stay tuned!
Here's a video that accompanies an interview in Civilized.
Dave Koz commemorated his parents with a new song, "Dr. Norm," on his "Colors of a New Day" album, While he won't be appearing in person on his annual Christmas concert tour, the show will go on virtually. GO HERE for how to get tickets.
Dr. Norm’s, Cannabis Now and Elephant Cooperation have partnered to raise desperately needed funds for the Amson Education Centre in Mathare, Kenya. More from Dr. Norm's website:
"Cooperation’s partner school, Amson Education Centre, in Mathare, Kenya, has become a beacon in their community where 281 students are currently enrolled. Built within the school grounds is Vinmark Bakery, a small business that helps fund the school with the profits made, and feeds the children with the goods it produces.
"The goal of PROJECT BAKE will be to encourage entrepreneurship and sustainable business models by upgrading the facilities and baking equipment to help Vinmark become more efficient and more profitable.
"Amson Education Centre educates and empowers children in the Mathare slum where the students are given three meals a day. By providing nutrition for the students, Elephant Cooperation has seen their energy levels and focus increase dramatically.
"The nutrition program not only helps to alleviate the villagers’ stress of providing food for their children, it also becomes an incentive for families to encourage their children to attend school and for teachers to provide the best education possible.
"A portion of all proceeds from every bag of Pecan Shortbread cookies we sell will go towards supporting the Project Bake effort.
In addition to raising funds, we will share what we know about manufacturing and selling baked goods to help Amson and Vinson Bakery create increased sustainable revenue. "
"Dr. Norm’s take on the American classic – Red Velvet cake! These 15mg hemp CBD cookies are moist and delicious with just the right amount of rich cocoa. They’re loaded with white chocolate chips that add that special accent to these velvety and decadent cookies!"
"This buttery sugar cookie is soft and chewy and explodes with a flavor burst of cinnamon. One bite and your hooked! "
" Our jelly beans are packed with flavor with no “medicine” taste! Created in partnership with the inventor of the original Jelly Bellys! Each jelly bean is infused with our highest quality, pure organic hemp oil extract. 10mg of CBD per jelly bean."
" Our Sour Neon Bears are dosed higher than most with 20mg of pure CBD per piece. Packed with flavor, and with hardly any “medicine” taste, our gummies are a great way to relax and take the edge off!"