Hempacco’s Journey From Tijuana
Heady Dom recently caught up with Co-Founder of Hempacco, Jorge Olson. Olson recounted the humble beginnings of his journey, from his early roots to the CEO of Hempacco, a hemp cigarette company, that began many years back in Tijuana, Mexico. Growing up with no electricity or running water and hurdling buckets of water across the block several times a day to now being the co-founder of two publicly traded companies, Hempacco and Green Globe International.
His goals as a youth were to help his mother and grandmother stop working so much. Jorge’s mother held two jobs. She worked twelve hours per day, often more. His grandmother sold business cards and other printed goods door-to-door. His mother finished college when he was fourteen years old, studying all night.
With his mother’s inspiration of hard work and accomplishment and his own ambitious goals on his mind, he worked his way to become Vice President of a software company at age 27. Then, a year later, he became CEO. He credits one of his major breakthroughs when an executive mentored him and helped bring him on the path to where he is today.
Olson stresses the importance of mentorship when growing a business. This is probably worth noting since Jorge Olson is now a successful entrepreneur with two public companies under his wing.
Hempacco Brand Hemp Cigarettes
Hempacco makes smokable CBD products for its house brand, The Real Stuff. It also manufactures products through white labeling for its celebrity partnerships Rapper Rick Ross and legendary Comedians Cheech & Chong. All three hemp-based products are manufactured at the company’s San Diego facility, using different flavors and color schemes.
Additionally, a new partnership with legendary entrepreneur Snoop Dogg was signed in early 2023, where Hempacco will develop his brand of hemp-derived products.
“Each one has their own personality, each one has their own product profile,” says Hempacco co-founder and CEO Sandro Piancone.
“So it looks like the same product, but it’s completely different.” Marijuana Venture spoke to Piancone about the differences between developing and launching a celebrity product and a house brand.
Hempacco’s high-speed manufacturing plant is in San Diego, California, where they produce private label hemp cigarettes for prominent celebrity brands in CBD, Hemp, and Cannabis, including Snoop Dogg, Cheech & Chong, and Rick Ross brands.
Jorge says Covid was one of the biggest challenges they faced. During that time, they could not visit distributors or retailers. But in the end, that didn’t slow Jorge down at all.
‘Disrupting Tobacco’s $1 trillion industry is becoming easier now that more Americans smoke cannabis than tobacco.” Jorge says. “The government is also helping us. They’re banning flavored tobacco cigarettes. Meanwhile, we can sell our hemp cigarettes.”
Olson’s companies manufacture “functional cannabis cannabinoid-rich hemp products in different categories.”
They have hemp “blunt wraps, hemp cigarettes, hemp tubes, and vapes in the smokable section. Hempacco’s parent company manufactures gummies, nutraceuticals, and beauty care products with anti-inflammatory properties, all hemp-derived products.” Hempacco white labels products for others, including notable and major hip hop industry celebrities and artists.
The Future Of Hemp Cigarettes
Jorge says the future of hemp cigarettes is “functional hemp” cigarettes. Each Cannabinoid brings a new function, such as sleep, energy, focus, and more.
Olson explained, “You might have what you smoke at a party and something different you smoke when you’re relaxing at home.”
Different effects for different situations are brought on by different strains and cannabinoids.
Another benefit is they are taking the traditional weed smell out of their hemp products.
“This is how we’ll start taking market share from tobacco cigarette smokers. We’re also taking the smell out of hemp and cannabis, so nobody will give you a dirty look when you smoke your hemp! This is a big deal for the industry, as you’ll be able to smoke hemp without your company calling HR to report you because you smell like marijuana.”
On Celebrity Partnerships
Cheech & Chong, Rick Ross, and the Hip Hop legend Snoop Dogg are just some of the celebrities that are involved with the brand. All of the partners or those using Hempacco’s white-labeled products must be big believers in the benefits of hemp-derived cannabinoids. This is an essential requirement for who Hempacco decides to partner with.
2023 Rap Snacks Disrupt Summit
For those not familiar with the ‘Rap Snacks Summit,’ it’s a gathering of distributors, employees, and stakeholders in Rap Snacks to celebrate and showcase the brand’s influence in the retail world and also the representation of the African American culture and experience.
Support From The Hip Hop Community
Hip Hop superstars such as Rick Ross, Master P, Romeo, E-40, to founder and CEO James Linsey all spoke at the show about their business, rap music, and culture and also their views on life and business.
Jorge’s partner, Sandro Piancone, gave a great speech on wholesale distribution of Hempacco’s new Rick Ross partnership called Hemp Hop, a line of Delta 8, hemp cigarettes, hemp blunt smoking papers, now distributed by Rap Snaps distributors, the newest addition to the Rap Snacks portfolio.
Jorge said tons of knowledge and great information came from attending the Rap Summit but credits James Linsey, CEO and Founder of Rap Snacks and Hemp Hop, as one of the most inspiring people he saw speak at the event. “His life journey is very inspirational, and his business career’ and his success in the African American community in music, culture, and arts.”
In addition to introducing Hemp Hop, the venture with rap star Rick Ross and Rap Snacks to the national distribution network selling Rap Snacks, they also interacted with distributors on the floor for three full days, answering questions and educating distributors about their Hemp Hop line of products. It was a lot of fun for all who attended.
By Heady Dom (www.instagram.com/headydom)