Ep 329 – Surging Interest in Cannabis Vaginal Health Products

cyo nystrom quim

An area of the cannabis marketplace gaining steam in a big way is women’s health. Here to tell us more about it is Cyo Nystrom of Quim, CBD-infused products for vaginal health and sexual wellness.

Learn more at https://itsquim.com/shop/ 

Key Takeaways:

[00:43] An inside look at Quim, a line of CBD-infused lubricants and everyday proactive vaginal health products

[00:58] Cyo’s background and how she came to start Quim

[10:44] The benefits of cannabis for female vaginal health and sexual wellness

[13:05] How Quim’s cannabis-infused lube increases vasodilation for heightened sensation and pleasure

[15:31] What customers are saying about Quim’s serums and oils

[18:47] How Cyo and her co-founder Rachel Washtien successfully bootstrapped Quim and landed a feature on Viceland

[25:17] Cyo’s plans to expand Quim both across the US and internationally

[30:40] Where Cyo sees the cannabis women’s health space heading over the next 3-5 years

Click Here to Read Full Transcript

Matthew: Hi, I'm Matthew Kind. Every Monday, look for a fresh new episode where I'll take you behind the scenes and interview the insiders that are shaping the rapidly-evolving cannabis industry. Learn more at cannainsider.com, that's C-A-N-N-A insider dot com. Now here's your program. One area of the cannabis marketplace gaining steam is women's health. Here to tell us more about it is Cyo Nystrom of Quim. Cyo, welcome to CannaInsider.

Cyo: Thanks so much, Matt. It's great to be here.

Matthew: Give us a sense of geography. Where are you in the world today?

Cyo: Right now I am in an Airbnb in the Berkeley Hills.

Matthew: Okay. What is Quim on a high level?

Cyo: Quim is a self-care line for humans with vaginas and humans without vaginas who love vaginas. We make cannabis-infused vaginal health and wellness products.

Matthew: Cyo, can you share a bit about your background and journey and how you got into the cannabis space and started Quim?

Cyo: Sure thing. There's a few different angles, so I'll try and give the short version. I was raised by a single mom in the Bay Area. I learned from a very young age that my father was incarcerated for non-violent cannabis crimes. Growing up in a pretty affluent area of the Bay Area, that's something I carried with a lot of shame. I went to a private school in Marin County. Definitely was one of the only kids without two parents, and at least to my assumption, definitely felt like the only kid who had a parent in prison.

I carried that with a lot of shame and I started using cannabis recreationally in college and was really excited about cannabis as a recreat-- My first introduction to cannabis was really as a recreational drug. I found that it was creative. It really made music sound better. It made food tastes better. It made conversations more interesting and it didn't have all of the really negative side effects of alcohol.

It really became something that I looked to as a way to unwind or get creative. Then when I graduated from college, I started working in tech sales in San Francisco, selling marketing software to companies like Ulta or Sephora or REI. Meanwhile, California was passing some pretty historic legislation around the cannabis industry, what is now known as the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act. That essentially took what had been about a 20-year grey market economy, and really was bringing it above board.

It introduced all these different licenses. I saw an opportunity to get involved in the industry, really at its nascent stages, as the regulations were just being made. It was really exciting to me because it still felt like the wild west and I saw an opportunity to get involved. Potentially, not that I single-handedly could correct all the negative impacts of the war on drugs, but potentially, could do something that would, in the future, make it easier for those-- if your parents work in cannabis, that you'll still be able to apply for financial aid when you're going to college or you don't run the risk of losing your parents. I was really excited about that.

Meanwhile, in the background of all of my career path, I had been suffering very intense vaginal health issues since I was about 18 years old. I'd been in about an eight-year UTI yeast infection cycle, and I'm sure we'll get more into that. While I was in college, I started doing research on what are the ingredients I'm using in and around my vagina, and also if I know that I'm predisposed to some of these health issues, how can I proactively care for this part of my body in the same way that we wear sunscreen and we try and stay hydrated and we exercise?

We are now starting to understand as a society, it's a lot more sustainable and a lot more economically feasible to keep your body healthy. What I found is that there wasn't really a lot out there. Then fast forward a few, I started making my own little products that didn't have cannabis in them, and then I started working in the cannabis industry and learning more about how cannabis works as a topical, how the benefits it has for sexual health and feminine wellness. Yes, that's really how Quim began.

Matthew: Okay. Cyo, do you remember the first aha moment when you and your co-founder were like, "Hey, this is it, we've got something here. Let's move forward."?

Cyo: Yes, definitely. I had been making these cannabis-infused oils for probably a couple of years before that aha moment. I had just been making them for myself, putting them in little Mason jars, and really giving them to anyone who would try them. Anytime we had a party or friends over for dinner, they would leave with these little jars of weed loop looking at me like I was a little bit crazy.

Matthew: That's a great party favor, I can adopt that myself.

Cyo: This was many years ago and people were like, "This is what? I put this where?" I had this moment where I was actually visiting one of my best friends in Los Angeles. At this point, I always traveled with it. I left a bottle at her house and I called her. I was like, "Oh, I'm sorry, I'll come pick that up later." She was like, "Actually, it's mine now. You're never getting it back. In fact, I'm going to need some more."

She was like, "You've had these vaginal health problems for so long, but what if this is actually-- you've come up with something that works and you really know a lot about vaginal health and wellness and really products that-- or ingredients that we should stick away from or things that are really helpful." She was like, "What if this is the thing you should be doing?"

I'd always known that I wanted to start my own company. My mom is an entrepreneur and I just had this deep feeling that I wouldn't be fully satisfied until I was at the helm of my own ship. I also understood that I needed a co-founder. I have a lot of really great skills, but there's also a lot of aspects of running a business that I knew that I wouldn't be the strongest at. I'm a deeply collaborative person. I have my best ideas really in conversation.

I'm one of those people who sometimes I don't exactly think before I say something, it's while I'm talking, I'm like, "Oh, I just realized this thing that I couldn't quite formulate on my own, but now that I'm talking to someone, it comes together as a real idea."

I would say that was the first moment. Then not too long after that, an old childhood friend, Rachel Washtien had just gotten back from spending about a year in South America, traveling. She was talking about what she wanted in her next role or her next job or gig. We were at a friend's birthday party up in Sonoma, and she was describing that she really wanted to be-- she wanted ownership over a project from soup to nuts. She wanted to make something with her own two hands, something that she believed in and have ownership over the whole process.

This light bulb just went off and I was like, "Oh, my God, here you are. You're the woman I've been looking for." We talked about it a little bit and then I would say I proposed to her a few weeks later and was like, "I know this is crazy, but we should do this, and I would love to do it with you. Here's what I have so far and here's what I'm good at, but here's what I know that you're good at and I think we could really make this happen." I would say those are the two big moments.

Matthew: It really is like a marriage proposal in many ways. You're dedicating your lives to each other for a huge chunk of time. That's appropriate. Now let's back up a little bit. The name of your company, as we mentioned is Quim, but I understand that word has some Victorian era roots. Can you talk about that?

Cyo: Yes, absolutely. Quim, is a Victorian era word for vagina, vulva. It was used pretty pejoratively. It was if you're ever reading old English, maybe Sherlock Holmes era, mystery novels, they'll be like, "Oh, he's such a quim." I don't want to say it's the same as cunt, because even saying that word, that word has such negative intonations, but I do think in the UK, quim might be a little bit close to that.

Occasionally, we get emails from outraged folks overseas, who are like, "Oh, I implore you to change the name of your company." I actually love getting those emails because to me, it's a conversation starter. I'm like, it seems like an amazing opportunity to ask the question, "What is so bad about being called a vagina?" This is an organ that has the power to literally give life, to expand, to contract, to reinvent itself by shedding its uterine lining once a month for about 40 years, and yet it's an incredibly strong and powerful organ in our bodies.

Yet, when we're telling someone to be brave or just stand up to the task and do it, we say, "Sack up," or "Grow a pair of balls," which is hilarious because I've never met a pair of balls that could withstand the intensity of being a vagina. To me, testicles are far more sensitive, far more delicate than the quim. For us, we really wanted to take back a word that has been used pejoratively against people with vaginas or people without vaginas. Really beg the question, what's actually so bad about being called this? In fact, I would say it's a huge compliment.

Matthew: This area of cannabis vaginal health is a broad umbrella with specific benefits under it. Can you talk a little bit about the pain points and benefits you hinted at earlier for women and cannabis vaginal health, the specifics of what they'll get relief from when they purchase Quim or why they purchase Quim?

Cyo: Yes, absolutely. I think that this is a great question because I think, particularly, at the early days of our business when we were fundraising, I would go out and pitch or talk to potential investors. They'd be like, "Isn't this a niche within a niche within a niche?" I think that there's this broad understanding that these health issues, be it chronic UTIs, yeast infections, difficulty climaxing, pain with menstruation, endometriosis, PCOS, low libido.

When you look at the percentage for each one of those pain points, over 75 of women will experience at least one yeast infection, over 60% will experience one UTI, 10% of women have endometriosis or PCOS, four out of five women experience pain with penetration. I would say at least 40% of women experience difficulty climaxing. Then you add in the fact that over half of the world's population has a vagina and suddenly this is not a niche category at all. This is a huge, I would say it's a huge market and it's a hugely underserved market.

I think due to our, we can call it Victorian shame around talking about women's health or intimate wellness or sexual health, these pain points really get pushed into hushed tones or embarrassed whispers or silly innuendos, instead of actually addressing them outright. I do think that's changing. Every time I put together our competition side, there are more and more people, more and more companies to put more logos to put on the slide.

I actually think that's incredibly exciting because I think it shows that there is not only advancements in science, but there is a generational shift around talking about these things. I think it's high time we did.

Matthew: Besides the pain points, there is an opportunity to heighten sensation. Can you talk a little bit about what vasodilation is and how Quim helps with there?

Cyo: Yes, absolutely. When cannabis is absorbed vaginally, it's going to act as a vasodilator as you just said. What that means is it's going to increase blood flow to the area of your body that you applied it to. If you apply it to the vulva, vagina, clitoris, perineum, what you're going to experience is a increase of blood flow which will heighten sensation and also increase your body's natural lubrication.

This is super important for anyone who-- I think there is a misconception, actually, I would say a major misconception that lubrication is a direct indication of arousal. That is not the case. It is one potential indication of arousal, but I think it's also can be that really dangerous misconception. Just because someone is lubricated doesn't-- Lubrication doesn't equal consent, first of all. Second of all, being a little bit dry doesn't necessarily mean that you're not arouse and not interested in engaging in sex.

Particularly, once you cross the age of about 45, you're looking at huge rates of women who experience pretty chronic vaginal dryness. That can be really helpful. CBD is also a known anti-inflammatory. If you have trouble relaxing your pelvic floor or potentially are recovering from vaginal tearing in a vaginal birth or potentially even have PTSD from sexual trauma, your vaginal canal and your pelvic floor muscles, they might be clenching up unconsciously to use.

Having something that will not only increase blood flow, but also help those muscles relax and help decrease pain with penetration. We often talk about vaginal health as being a precursor to the pursuit of pleasure. If some of these pain points are holding you back from being able to achieve pleasurable, intimate, or central time, we want to make sure that our products not only help to improve pleasure, but maybe help eliminate some of the roadblocks that might be keeping you from getting there.

Matthew: You mentioned your friends that you gave the party favors to. How about women that you don't know at all that become customers of Quim? What's the feedback you get from them their first time using it?

Cyo: If I can convince them, I would say that it's two-part. We are talking about a new product category in a new industry that is addressing pain points that have not been addressed by a product company maybe ever and so already out the gate. I think a lot of women are very dubious. They're like, "Is this a snake oil? This sounds expensive." Or like, "What? Am I going to get really stoned?" Or, "How could this possibly work?" I do think people can be a little bit dubious at first. I recently read or reread-- I always go back to this article.

It was a New York Times interview with the woman who created Moon Juice. It's like adaptogenic supplements, reishi mushroom powders. She's built this huge, huge business. The interviewer was like, "What do you say to people who think that this is all malarkey?" She was like, "What keeps me focused and what keeps me on track is knowing that I'm not trying to sell these products to everyone. I'm trying to sell these products to people who are interested maybe in feeling better or have tried a lot of other things and that didn't work. They're open and they want to feel better and they're willing to try something new."

If we get someone to try it, the likelihood is we're able to make believers out of a lot of people. I get emails all the time from women who are going through menopause, who haven't been able to have penetrative sex for a long time or their libidos are just in the tank, or maybe they're on certain SSRIs that make it harder to achieve an orgasm. They're like, "Oh, my God, I had the first orgasm that I've had in years and it was amazing." Or when we launched our most recent CBD product, Smooth Operator, which is an aloe-based CBD lube. We launched it in conjunction with a Cancer Survivor Network.

These were women who have breast cancer or ovarian cancer and they got it really young. They might be 25, 26, they just got married. Now, because they're going through chemo, their bodies are essentially in menopause. They are talking to us about being able to have penetrative sex without pain for the first time since they've been going through cancer treatment. I don't necessarily know if our products are for everyone, but I think there is a large enough group of people for whom our products can provide real relief and a much clearer path to pleasure, that it's okay if it's not for everyone.

There are enough people who do need these products and are curious and have tried so many other things. There's enough for it to be a very healthy market.

Matthew: How do you start out? Is it a scrappy startup? Do you get funds together? Do you decide, "Okay, this is my first product."? How do you get the initial retail relationships? What were those very first days like getting to the first sale?

Cyo: Particularly being in the Bay Area where there's so many new tech companies, and people are able to raise $3 million on an idea. I do think that our beginning is very different than a lot of other companies in cannabis, but also maybe more specifically, a lot of other new product companies in San Francisco. Rachel and I both had full-time jobs for the first year and a half of making these products.

We would meet after work, on the weekends. This was really a little side hustle. It took a long time. We incorporated the business at the end of 2016, launched our first beta products in April 2017, but really didn't start doing it full-time until about 2018, quitting our other jobs. We started the business with about $12,000 of our own savings. That got us until mid-2018. Obviously, we weren't paying ourselves. It was just our savings that we put into every bottle. We made every bottle in a shared kitchen in Oakland. This is pre-2018 so not all the licenses were in place. I was working as the head of sales at Meadow. Meadow is a tech company that builds software for California dispensary.

I'd been working in the industry for a few years. Because of that, I had built relationships with a few dispensaries. I'd sold them their software. I'd seen them at events. We had, let's say, two or three dispensaries that were willing to try this product. It looked, gosh, I wish you could see, I'll send you a picture of it afterward, the first iteration of our product packaging, it looks so, so, so different than what you see today.

We started selling in those few shops, and everyone put in really small orders. We made 10, 20 units, but what we saw is that every order, each subsequent order was growing in size. We were hearing from people either through our Instagram or our email, people were telling us that they were really helpful and that they were different and potentially better than some of the other infused lubes out there.

It really wasn't until oh, gosh, someone from Viceland reached out to us in about late 2017. Viceland is the TV channel of Vice and they have a show called Slutever. They were doing an episode called Stoned Pussies. Essentially about women and cannabis and using cannabis for sexual applications. They asked if we would be, I would say a pretty big part of that episode. They came to San Francisco. They had this whole film crew. It felt way bigger than we were ready for.

They filmed this whole segment and we're like, "Okay, cool. Now what?" They're like, "It will air to between 5 and 10 million people in February 2018." They were like, "So whatever you need to do to make-- They're like, "You're going to see a lot. You're going to get a ton of awareness from this so you need to make sure you have enough supply to-- You guys need to go make sure you have enough inventory because your phone's going to be ringing off the hook for these products. You need to go get your ducks in order." That really gave us the validation that we needed to quit our other jobs and to really kick it into gear and start fundraising.

Matthew: Wow, so the Viceland opportunity was really a huge opening.

Cyo: Totally. It was a major paradigm shift in our business. We went from having an email list of a couple of 100 to having an email list of a couple of 1,000. We went from being in three dispensaries in California to being in 25 in a couple of weeks. Maybe the craziest thing that happened because of that Viceland episode. That episode aired in February of 2018, but because the cable channel, they replay the episode pretty frequently.

We got an email to our customer support line around the 4th of July of 2018 with no body text, just subject line, and it said, "I'm so proud of you, and I couldn't be more happy for you." Due to the fact that I've been working in tech sales, which I think any salesperson would know this. If you give me your email, I will find you. I will find you on the internet. I see this guy's email and I have this moment. I saw the email, I was like, "Holy shit, that's my dad."

Matthew: Wow.

Cyo: I did a little research. I cried. I freaked out. Then probably an hour and a half later, I responded, "Dad? Is that you? Would you like to get to know each other?" To which he responded, "Yes, yes. A 100 times, yes." Fast forward, two weeks, I drove out to Las Vegas to meet my dad, which was the most amazing experience.

Matthew: Whoa.

Cyo: Thank you Viceland.

Matthew: That's an interesting twist.

Cyo: Yes, it really was and really beautiful. Definitely, running a business is hard. There's so many ups and downs. Particularly in those first few years where you're not sure if you're going to make it. You haven't raised that much money yet and it feels so high-risk and you're just like, "Am I doing the right thing?" Then I think, meeting my dad through this business, was such an amazing confirmation that this is exactly what I'm supposed to be doing.

Matthew: Wow. You're in California now, what other geographies are you exploring?

Cyo: We're in California, we are actually right now, something that we're really interested in is getting-- Our THC products are in California, our CBD products are through everywhere in the US. We're in an early stage and some conversations around licensing out the THC brand to other areas and also setting up international distribution for these CBD products.

Matthew: Okay. Gosh, what countries are you looking at, Europe or Canada?

Cyo: Definitely Canada. Definitely, definitely Canada, but Europe, by way of the UK.

Matthew: Okay, great. What's the price point just for people to get a sense here of Quim?

Cyo: Our CBD products retail for $48. The THC products, as I'm sure you know, the tax rate in every county is a little bit different. A lot of dispensaries pass on the tax to the consumer. You should be able to find Night Moves and Oh YES!, our two THC products, from between, I would say $48-- Once again, depending on the tax rate, they should be $48 to $56, but depending on where you are, it might be let's say $50 to, I hope not, but $75.

That being said, earlier this year because we don't have as much pricing control on the THC side, dispensaries really can mark them up however much they want. We actually launched mini versions of our two THC products that will always retail for under $25. That's a 10-milliliter bottle. It will probably give you about maybe 10 uses, 5 to 10 uses. It allows consumers to try the product, get a feel for it. If they like it, they can make the bigger investment.

It also allows us to give those to budtenders who are really, I think of them as the true brand ambassadors of the cannabis industry. They're really your first line of defense or first awareness of the brand. It's really important that they're able to try the products and evangelize them.

Matthew: Great point because how you get mindshare with budtenders are inundated with all these different products. I was curious how you do that so I'm glad that you mentioned it. You give them a sample product. How do you go about educating them? You just talk to them or what's your strategy?

Cyo: Yes. That actually, I would say pre-COVID was one of my favorite parts of my job, definitely not the most scalable side of the business, which we have now made a bunch of updates to make sure it is more scalable, but I would go in. First, I do an hour and a half long training with the sales team of our distributor. A key part of that training is I will just make them say vagina.

Everyone has to say vagina over and over again, until everyone, even the 22-year-old frat boy can say it without laughing, because that to me is the first step. You need to be able to talk about vaginal health, intimate wellness without laughing about it, because when your patients come in, if they're interested in these products, it's probably not funny to them. Being able to address these products without getting squeamish is so important.

Then I want to talk to them about how common these issues are. I'm like, "Guys, I know, we are taught to believe or, in our society, we don't really talk about these things, but I want you to just understand how prevalent they are because that'll make you feel less embarrassed." Just knowing that if someone with a vagina walks in, there's a 75% chance they know what you're talking about already, probably even higher.

The first step is definitely making sure our distribution sales team is educated, but then I would actually go into the majority of the shops who we work with and do a training with all of their staff. Since COVID hit we have invested a lot of time and resources into building online training guides. Now, both THC and CBD, every time we start working with a new shop or every two months with one of our existing retailers, we schedule a Zoom meeting with them wherein I walk them through the training, and then I send it.

We send over PDFs that are really easy to understand. It's not like we send over a massive Google Doc that's all text. We try and make it really easy and we want to make ourselves available because we understand-- These products, they do take some education. I think that that's our responsibility to make sure if we're selling products to a retailer. I think we all know it costs a fair amount of money to open a new door, open a new account. Once you open a new account, there's an amazing opportunity there to bring in a lot of revenue. It's like account management 101. Do you want to put all your resources towards opening a new door? That's a waste of resources, it's a waste of capital if you can't keep those shops reordering.

Matthew: Looking ahead the next three to five years, how do you see the cannabis women's health field evolving?

Cyo: We'll probably have more competitors. There will probably be newer applications, newer products. Maybe some of the larger cannabis brands or larger CBD brands that are making pain relief bombs or tinctures, they might expand to include intimate oils or latex safe lubes or suppositories. I also think there is the opportunity for companies like ourselves who have been very focused just on really focus on vaginal health and intimate wellness.

I think there'll be more an opportunity for brands like us to get acquired by larger MSOs, or just larger brands in the industry because we've done a pretty good job of defining what is our mission, what are our goals. We've stayed really laser-focused on that.

Matthew: I'd like to turn the interview to a few personal development questions. With that, is there a book that's had a big impact on your life or your way of thinking, that you'd like to share?

Cyo: There are so many. I'm a pretty avid reader. That's actually been one of the highlights of this year for me. I think I've probably finished almost 20 books. I don't know. It's too hard to pick a favorite or most influential of my whole life. Of the past year, definitely, the book that I return to again and again, I've written in the margins, I highlight, I share excerpts with my friends. It's a book called Hidden Power: Presidential Marriages That Shaped Our History. It's by a historian named Kati Marton.

It's nonfiction. I was an American history major. I love presidential history. Also, this year in the election, I was thinking so much about what makes a power couple. Also, I just got married. We were supposed to have a big wedding in August but just eloped last week and just thinking a lot about-

Matthew: Congratulations.

Cyo: Thank you so much. Thinking a lot about what it means to be a power team whether that's in my marriage with Woody or in my business with Rachel. What does it take when there is at least for these, it looks at 11 presidential marriages, sadly or at least, for the time being, all of the presidents are men and all the first ladies are women. What you really see is the strength of the team and how that impacted history and how their different personalities or psychology, what that really looks like in how policies were made or how we remember their presidency.

This year, I've been thinking so much about teamwork and particularly dynamic duos and how-- At least looking at all of these presidential marriages, both parties, both the president and the first lady, they were so focused on holding this office and were both deeply aware that they each had their part to play. Every president and their first lady had a different way of doing it and some of them were so much happier and some of them were so much more effective than others.

Particularly, this year, particularly, in the height of COVID, looking at the lack of leadership in the White House. At least on the outside, they don't look like a team. Donald Trump and Melania, they don't seem to have each other's backs. Thinking about Michelle and Barack and how they just seem so-- In some ways, I think the president and the first lady feel like mom and dad for the country and how-- Just thinking a lot about what that means.

Matthew: Cyo, what's the most interesting thing going on in your field besides what you're doing with Quim?

Cyo: I think the most interesting and probably most important thing that's going on in the industry is definitely around access to the cannabis industry. Cannabis prohibition has such deeply, deeply racist roots in this country and probably all over the world, but particularly in this country. I think the most important thing happening in the industry right now is how do we make sure the people whose backs this industry was built upon, primarily Black and brown people who have been targeted and persecuted for cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, selling, how do we make sure they're not locked out of the industry?

How do we make sure, in fact, that a lot of those people have priority licensing, that they are actually given more access to the first licenses? I would even say investment of capital, business mentorship support to make sure that the opportunity of this industry is more democratized and maybe preferentially so towards those who have risked and lost the most in the past.

Matthew: What is one thought you have that most people would disagree with you on?

Cyo: Oh, man.

Matthew: No easy questions here, Cyo.

Cyo: No, no, I know. I don't know if most people would disagree with this but it is something I've experienced when talking to other founders or-- I think there is an assumption that if you're an entrepreneur, there's this cult of busyness like, "Oh, my God, I'm so busy. I wake up at 5:00 AM, and I'm on my computer until midnight. That's the way I get shit done. I respond to emails the second they hit my inbox. I'm always on and I'm always available. I sleep with my phone under my pillow."

I really don't subscribe to that. In fact, in the maybe brief moments where I've tried that, I found that the quality of my work really suffers as does the quality of my life. I would say maybe more so than other entrepreneurs or founders, I really believe in balance and very strict boundaries. I had a professor in college who taught me this. The very first day of class, he was like, "Here are my office hours. Here are the hours that I would respond to emails. I respond to emails from--" I think it was [9:00] AM to [5:30] PM, Monday through Friday. "After that, you can come and see me in office hours which are listed here."

He was like, "If you think that you can email me at 11:30, the night before a paper is due and I'm going to respond, you're off your rocker." I think that we're so connected to technology, it's so easy to get a hold of people. I think it creates this sense that everything is an emergency and I really believe-- I so firmly believe that I need to save that energy for when the real emergencies hit because they will and they do.

When they do, I feel I have this amazing storage of energy because I don't treat most things like an emergency because they're not. When a real one comes around, I'm prepared and I have the emotional and mental bandwidth to really tackle it.

Matthew: I heard someone say that your email inbox is a prioritized list of other people's agenda for you and not your own agenda.

Cyo: Yes.

Matthew: That's interesting. I totally know what you mean. Where are you in the capital-raising process, Cyo?

Cyo: We have been running a crowd investment. A crowd investment campaign with Republic. I'm not sure if you're familiar with Republic.

Matthew: Yes.

Cyo: Super cool platform started by some of the early employees at AngelList. Republic is different than a kickstarter in that it's not a donation. It's not like, "Oh, donate $50 and we'll send you a sticker." Republic actually gives the ability to participate in a crowd SAFE. Right now, for a minimum of $100, you can invest $100 or up to $25,000 into Quim's business and actually participate in our crowd SAFE, meaning you actually become a shareholder in the company.

We've raised about $200,000 with that and we have probably about, I would say 30 days left.

Matthew: Great. By the time this hits the podcast feed here in a week, they'll be about three weeks left from one of theirs.

Cyo: Yes.

Matthew: Great. Now, Cyo, in closing, how can listeners reach out to you or find your product and also find where on Republic to reach you? Can you give the Republic URL?

Cyo: Absolutely. It is www.republic, R-E-P-U-B-L-I-C, .co/quim, Q-U-I-M. You can find more about our products. You can purchase our CBD products online and find out where to buy them in dispensaries on our website itsquim, I-T-S-Q-U-I-M, .com and you can also check us out on Instagram @itsquim, I-T-S.Q-U-I-M.

Matthew: Cyo, thanks so much for coming on the show. We really appreciate it. Thanks for educating us and what a wonderful story of reuniting with your dad. Good luck on all your future chapters.

Cyo: Thank you so much for having me. This was great.

[music]

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