Laurel (Lo) Friesen, @hey.im.lo is the founder, CEO and Chief Extractor of Heylo, @heylocannabis. Upon obtaining a degree in Environmental Chemistry from Northwestern University, Lo followed a passion for medicine to work in a renown gastroenterology lab in Chicago, IL. The experience inspired her to explore cannabis as medicine and to enter the emerging industry.
Lo joined Eden Labs, a leading CO2 extraction equipment manufacturer, to build a Research and Development department. Leading a team of 5 people she managed the development of Eden Labs’ newest system, the FX2 Supercritical CO2 Extractor.
After working with two other cannabis processors, Lo launched Heylo in 2017 with a mission to provide clean and great tasting oil with production transparency.
Lo and the Heylo team are committed to education and facilitate community engagement by hosting educational events, a concert series, public tours, American Chemical Society meetings, CANN-STEM events, and Heylo Sessions events. Her personal mission is to provide cannabis users with as much information as possible and to enable active and engaged lifestyles with cannabis.
We had the chance to interview Lo and get tons of awesome information on vaping cannabis and what Heylo has been up to. Read the full interview below:
Ganjly: What was your background before getting into the cannabis industry, and what drove your decision to pursue a career in cannabis?
Lo Friesen: I was a chemist turned Gastroenterology Technician doing diagnostic testing on patients with esophageal disorders and clinical research at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Following lengthy discussions on cannabis as medicine with my family, three of whom are medical doctors, we agreed the plant could change the course of 21st century medicine. The opioid crisis and the potential for addiction treatment with cannabis accelerated my plans to enter the industry.
What do you think are the most important considerations when buying cannabis vape cartridges?
Lo Friesen: First and foremost, high-quality oil. What makes an oil high-quality? High-quality bud, a clean and safe process, a full-spectrum profile, terpene information and balanced cannabinoids. Secondly, a quality technology. The cartridge should, at minimum, contain a ceramic wick and ideally have a glass, not plastic, tube. Finally, the vape cartridge should be produced in an environmentally responsible way with minimal (if any) use of pesticides.
What are the indications that the cannabis vape cartridge you are buying is of poor quality?
Lo Friesen: If there is no terpene profile is available of if the extract flavor is bad these are tell-tale signs. Other signs include terpenes introduced from non-cannabis sources or a profile that has been stripped down to just cannabinoids.
What is one commonly overlooked thing that cannabis companies can address to improve their marketing presence?
Lo Friesen: Education! Education is the best way to connect with your audience, build loyalty and advance the industry.
What makes the Heylo product line different from the other cannabis vapes in the market?
Lo Friesen: We craft experience based products. We are conscious of cannabinoid and terpene profiles with respect to the end-user experience. We only process sustainably-sourced high-quality flower. All of our CBD products are pesticide free and we have quality control measures in place to ensure the product tastes good, feels good, and the hardware works. Finally, we promote transparency by posting our analytical results online and opening our doors for meetups, tours and more. We have Spotify™ playlists for every strain and engage our local community through events at our lab and around the state of Washington.
Can you share to us new products that you have recently launched or about to launch this year?
Lo Friesen: We launched a new topical in early 2018 called Heylo Comotion Balm. It has both a cooling and warming sensation that is really effective on muscles and joint pain.
Our major launch this year has been through PAX. We launched PAX ERA Pods in May and they have flown off the shelves. The technology speaks for itself.
What do you think is the most important consideration for someone who is thinking about launching a business in the cannabis industry?
Lo Friesen: I would encourage a potential new business owner to consider entering the industry via an ancillary company, such as insurance, food safety, marketing, legal, etc. You can avoid a lot of the regulations and get operating much more quickly that working as a regulated business.
Thank you Lo for taking out the time for the interview. We love the transparency of Heylo and your Spotify playlists. To check out their certificate of analysis, learn more about their products and download thier Spotify playlist, go to Heylocannabis.com.