To health fanatics, completing the Grouse Grind is a local rite of passage. To others, the hike is a gruelling vertical crawl to the promise of a cold beer waiting at the top. But for one entrepreneur, the 2.9-kilometre trail up the side of Grouse Mountain was the motivation behind his latest venture: a cannabis-infused energy bar, aptly named the Grind Bar.
“I’ve tried my hand at the whole entrepreneurial thing before but often fell short because of anxiety…CBD was what really helped me overcome that,” says Weale during a phone interview with the Georgia Straight.
“I wanted to help other entrepreneurs overcome that, and create something to help fuel them to stay on their own entrepreneurial grind.”
The bar—a superfood-rich mélange of hemp hearts, cacao butter, and finely ground coffee beans—is now one of six featured in the CBD product line. Weale says every Grounded CBD edible aims to complement an active lifestyle, sticking to highly nutritional ingredients and natural sources of protein.
For the non-coffee folk, the company also offers The Greatest bar, a peanut butter and beetroot energy booster, and The Green Rush bar, which Grounded CBD markets as a match made for mornings, boasting natural antioxidants like matcha and moringa.
Each bar has 10 milligrams of full-spectrum CBD, a relatively common dose for edible cannabis products currently on the market.
“A big part of our mission is to change the way people think about nutrition and CBD. We focus on general performance and helping people create a healthy lifestyle…keto is a big part of that,” Weale says when asked about the choice to expand his product line to include high-fat, low-carbohydrate ketogenic versions of the original three bars.
After some experimentation, Weale replaced sugary ingredients in the original recipes—like dates and maple syrup—with natural plant-based sweeteners like yacon root and lucuma powder.
Weale recently put his bars to the test, appearing on an episode of Dragon's Den—a Canadian reality television show in which fledgling companies, startups, and hopeful entrepreneurs present business pitches and products to a team of investors. Without giving away any episode spoilers, he says the show was an experience he'd recommend to any new or growing company.
"It forced us to get really clear about things like our values and goals," he says. The episode is set to air on October 18 on CBC.
Due to restrictions outlined in Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act, Grounded CBD plans to temporarily halt production on the bars until Health Canada updates the regulations to include edible products next year. Until then, Weale is teaming up with Zenabis, a federally licensed producer, to invest in product development and launch a line of CBD oils, which are legal under the new legislation.
“Adaptability is the most important skill in the cannabis industry,” he says. “If you want to succeed you need to be able to pivot and be flexible.”