Green River Botanicals’ products are hand-crafted from a small organic family farm located in the beautiful Western North Carolina mountains. In 2018, Brad Martin co-founded Green River Botanicals with his wife Sarah after years of owning and operating Candler, NC’s Southeastern Native Plant Nursery. It was there that his passion for agriculture blossomed into a full-on business endeavor, eventually leading him to the CBD industry’s fast-growing sector. Read more about Brad and the passion that goes into every Green River Botanicals product below!
What sparked your interest in CBD?
I graduated from college with a degree in horticulture and have been growing plants most of my adult life. I have owned/operated a wholesale native plant nursery for over 15 years, so the opportunity to grow a new plant was exciting to me. I had read a lot about the medicinal properties of the cannabis plant and was intrigued by the research that was being done with it. I saw that those properties could have the same effect as many pharmaceuticals without any side effects. Seeing that this plant had the potential to help people was a no-brainer.
Tell us a bit about the story behind Green River Botanicals. What inspired you to start your own CBD company, and what steps did you have to take to get there?
Being one of the first in North Carolina to sign onto the pilot program, we were unsure about the direction that this industry would go, so our first plan was to grow and sell our biomass. After our first harvest, we realized that this industry’s infrastructure was not quite there, so we pivoted to developing our own products from the plants we grow. From there, we started selling smokable flower and formulating our different flavors of tinctures and salves, eventually becoming a certified organic farm and partnering with a certified organic extractor to produce the first organic tinctures in North Carolina. We are continually working to develop new products in our line.
Green River Botanicals is North Carolina’s first-ever certified organic CBD company. That’s a significant milestone! Why was it important to you that your products have the certified organic seal? What goes into that process?
Knowing that our products will be ingested and inhaled, we want to make sure that every product we produce is the cleanest, highest quality products on the market. Using all-organic ingredients was built into our business model from the beginning. In addition to our products, striving to establish sustainable and regenerative farm practices is also very important. For certification, you must develop standard operating procedures using all organic fertilizers and pesticides (i.e., compost teas, beneficial insects, etc.). The land must have three years of records showing that it has been organic (using no synthetics elements). The certifier must verify all products before being used, and there is a yearly inspection of your facilities.
The CBD industry is booming right now; it seems a new company is popping up every week. How do you think Green River Botanicals stands out among its competitors?
I believe that the fact that we are farmer-owned is a big advantage for us. We have complete control of our operation from seed to sale, no middle man. Transparency is another important value to us. All of our products are third-party tested and post on our website for anyone to look at. All tests correspond to a QR code on our products, so you know exactly what you are getting. Again, organic certification is another way that our company stands out. Knowing our products are produced with customer safety and sustainable practices is a huge advantage.
What is your favorite GRB product right now?
I am currently a big advocate of our salve. Working with my hands all these years has done a number on my thumbs, and it really seems to help me with the pain. I also often get calls from customers telling me how much it has helped them with everything from arthritis to being used for pain after shoulder surgery.
Any new products we can look forward to in the coming year?
We have just finished harvesting our first crop of CBG, and later this year will be releasing new lines of CBG tinctures and tinctures with a combination of CBD:CBG.
What are some ways that CBD has personally helped you?
Again, our salve has personally helped with muscular and joint pain. I have also replaced pharmaceuticals with tincture every night before bed.
What has been your biggest accomplishment since starting Green River Botanicals? Have you had any “full circle” moments that solidified your decision to get into the CBD industry?
For me, the best thing that has come from GRB is the comments we get from customers telling us how our products have helped them in various ways. There is nothing better than knowing that something that we have grown and produced has helped change people’s lives.