Charles Villanueva Promoted to Vice President of Commercialization at Pioneering Cannabis Company Azuca NEW MEXICO…
Love’s Oven’s Peggy Moore on Operating a Family-Owned Cannabis Edibles Business | Pre-Clinical PK Study Update | More from Azuca
Peggy Moore, the owner and CEO of Love’s Oven, is an OG in the industry. Since joining the team in 2011, during the early stages of Amendment 64 in Colorado, Moore has used her decade-plus cannabis industry experience to guide her family-led business to where it is today – with distribution to 400+ locations throughout the state. A leader in policy reform, Moore participates in various state and local industry workgroups to advocate to make the plant more accessible and spread awareness about all the good it can bring to people’s lives.
This month, we’re pleased to speak with Moore to learn more about what it’s like to own and operate an industry leading cannabis company with family. We also share a glimpse into a new pre-clinical PK study from Azuca, upcoming events and legalization updates.
5 Questions with Peggy Moore, Owner and CEO of Love’s Oven Bakery
You joined the Love’s Oven board part-time around the same time that Colorado’s Amendment 64 was passed, legalizing recreational marijuana in the state, and shortly after acquired the business. What was the greatest lesson you learned during that period, and how has it influenced your business today?
The greatest lesson I learned is it’s really important to be a forward looking individual if you manage or own a marijuana company. It’s easy to get lost in some of the details, turmoil, and the rule-making, but really what we have to keep doing is look beyond all that to see what the rewards might be and continue to keep in mind that we’re really all about helping people.
We look beyond next year, and the year after, and plan for federal legalization, as well as look forward to the trends and things in our particular part of the cannabis sector to try to predict what we’re going to see again, not just a year from now, but two years and three years from now.
As an OG in the industry, how has the baked goods and edibles sector evolved over the last decade? What is the main ingredient to remaining competitive in the edibles space – is it hiring pastry chefs, training, new equipment / tech, or something else?
It’s a combination of all those things. Hiring pastry chefs is really important to make beautiful, well-crafted products that people are actually attracted to and want to consume. Training is certainly key, for example, if we hired a pastry chef they’re going to understand about measuring and things like that but what they might not understand is how to dose products correctly, so there’s a lot of math involved and ultimately some training on top of the training someone may have received in culinary school. New equipment is always something nice to have and sometimes you don’t really know what you need to have until you get in the nitty-gritty of making a product at scale, so we’ve started out with some very basic equipment and then over time have upgraded to the equipment that is going to help us be the most efficient with the products that we sell the most of.
And then beyond the aforementioned points, remaining competitive requires a fair amount of grit in this industry; so constant evolution amidst lots and lots of competition. Part of remaining competitive is being competitive yourself, so again, looking to the future, making sure that we’re on trend with the products we put out, and I’m not really talking about cannabis product trends but rather mainstream trends as well with flavors, knowing that people are looking for familiar products and baked goods that they believe they can trust when they’re consuming cannabis edibles.
The leadership team of Love’s Oven consists of 66% women and minorities, and continues to break the glass ceiling by hiring more staff that have traditionally been overlooked. What are the benefits of having such a diverse team and what must be done to ensure that future leadership of the industry is as represented as its diverse consumer base?
The benefits of having such a diverse team are that we look to all of our employees to be our brand ambassadors. Having a diverse team allows our people to speak to a very diverse group of consumers as well. They’re able to represent the company as a proud member of the Love’s Oven team, and then when they’re speaking with their friends and acquaintances, some who may be part of the same ethnic group, they’re able to talk about the products in terms of how they might be connected to those groups.
As a primary owner of a company, I must make certain that when hiring we cast a net as far and wide as we can to capture that diversity. We’re very open about what makes us as individuals unique as well so when we’re doing things like talking about new products, we have that big pool internally to get feedback from a lot of different angles.
Love’s Oven has been proudly family-owned and operated since 2009. What is the best aspect of working with family? When you sit down at the dinner table, do you typically discuss business or unrelated topics?
The best aspect of working with family is that we’re typically aligned – it doesn’t take too long to get us all aligned when making big decisions. There’s a ton of added mutual respect that comes with working with family and we care about each other and love each other and are not going to ever do anything that’s going to disrupt that, especially in the workplace.
Now what happens when we sit down at the dinner table? Do we typically discuss business? Well it depends. If it’s just us, typically not, although we may joke around about some things that happened in the business that we wouldn’t want to openly discuss in the business place. However, we are often with other family members who are just curious about what it is we’re doing and what’s going on so those conversations tend to just happen. Typically it’s just a little joke here and there, but generally we talk about other unrelated topics about what we’ve been up to.
And I do have family spaghetti dinners at my house on a regular basis – the kids’ favorite meal!
Love’s Oven is widely known for creating handcrafted, delicious treats. If you could pick one chef or brand in the entire world to spend an afternoon with to create your next edible, who would it be and why?
It would be Sebastien Rouxel. He is Thomas Keller’s pastry chef, Sebastian creates the pastries and dessert products that are served in the Bouchon cafes at Thomas Keller’s restaurants around the world. I’m not a trained pastry chef – I’m not even that great of a baker although I enjoy it, but my corporate chef is a trained pastry chef and right out of school she had the opportunity to work at Bouchon and work with this gentleman who was amazing, so he’s the guy we’d want to work with.
Love’s Oven was founded in 2009 and Peggy Moore joined the team as an investor/advisor in 2011. In May of 2014, Peggy retired after 33 years from an illustrious career in the highly regulated health insurance industry with United Health Group where she held two primary positions—one as Director of Operations where she led post-merger/acquisition operational integration projects for the past 15 years and also managed claim and customer service operations for the first 17 years of her career.
One accomplishment in the cannabis industry that Peggy is most proud of is being one of the first manufacturers in the industry to build the Love’s Oven infused products manufacturing facility in Colorado to full FDA compliance ahead of federal regulation. Love’s Oven is currently using Azuca TiME INFUSION in the new and improved version of their Crème Brûlée bars, now available in 100mg, bite-size, with the quick on-set (and off-set) packs.
Preclinical PK Study Preview
The first of several studies in statistical review, a new independent preclinical pharmacokinetic study supports the long-reported sensorial data that TiME INFUSION™ edibles offer consumers uplifting Delta-9-THC effects that are typically only associated with smoking and vaping cannabis while minimizing the heavy 11-hydroxy-THC effects most commonly known as “couch-lock”. Click here to learn more.
“Though preliminary, this data is not only encouraging, but it is potentially a critical step forward in unlocking our understanding of how THC/Delta 9 interacts with our bodies–an area of research that has been sorely lacking,” said Mike Hennesy, VP of Innovation for Wana Brands. “Additionally, this data demonstrates evidentiary support for our own extensive sensory data reviews, which is encouraging as we continue to drive innovation through both discovery and evidence based formulations. This is a great leap forward, and we are excited about the additional studies in progress for the future.”
Azuca at MJ Unpacked Las Vegas
Join Kim Sanchez Rael, Azuca President and Co-Founder, as she moderates the MJ Unpacked breakout session “Beyond The Hype: An Intelligent Approach to Products Backed by Science and Efficacy for Brands and Retailers” in Las Vegas on September 29th at 11:40am. Azuca will also have a booth (#410), stop on by if you’re at the event! For more information, visit www.mjunpacked.com.
Azuca in New Jersey, October 10-12
Ron Silver, Azuca Founder and Chief Creative Officer and Kim Sanchez Rael, Azuca President and Co-Founder will both be discussing edibles innovations and licensing at the CannaOne New Jersey Cannabis Expo, next month at the New Jersey Convention Center, October 10-12. To learn more, visit www.cannaone.com.
National – Republican voters are on board with a number of marijuana reform proposals—from medical cannabis legalization to expungements for prior marijuana convictions to letting states set their own policies without federal interference—according to a new poll. And the findings are especially timely, as congressional lawmakers work to develop passable cannabis legislation with what’s left of the current congressional calendar.
Missouri – A lawsuit filed last month sought to keep the Legal Missouri 2022 reform proposal off the ballot after it was certified by the secretary of state. But after two lower courts dismissed the challenge, the state Supreme Court on Tuesday delivered the final word that the legal battle is over and will appear on November’s ballot.
New Jersey – New Jersey marijuana regulators have approved new guidance for employers that makes clear they cannot penalize workers based solely on positive drug tests for cannabis metabolites.
National – A majority of American voters support allowing banks to work with state-legal marijuana businesses, according to a new poll. And most people believe it will both improve public safety and promote social equity.