Gouverneur, NY – Kinney Drugs has expanded its “Love Local” product range through three new partnerships with local Vermont CBD producers Sunsoil and Vermont Farmers Hemp Company, as well as Head & Heal of Central New York. Each brand produces sustainably farmed, organic CBD oils, salves and capsules which are available on Kinney’s shelves now.
“CBD has become a popular topic with both consumers and pharmacists alike. CBD or cannabidiol is a chemical found in the Cannabis sativa plant, also known as hemp. More than 80 chemicals or cannabinoids including CBD have been identified in hemp plants, many of which have medicinal properties. Now more than ever, questions are coming in about CBD’s uses and efficacy. Patients are using CBD products for relief from stress, anxiety, sleeplessness, and pain,” said Dr. Shannon Miller, PharmD, Kinney’s Director of Patient Outcomes.
It all started when representatives of Sunsoil, Vermont Farmers Hemp Company, and Head & Heal attended the January 2020 Kinney Drugs Leadership Conference at Turning Stone Resort in Verona, NY. There, they showcased their products and provided education to Kinney’s supervising pharmacists, store managers, and leadership teams – including CEO Dave Warner, R.Ph., a pharmacist and native of Derby Line, VT. “We were excited to welcome our neighbors from Sunsoil, Vermont Farmers Hemp Company, and Head & Heal to our annual conference. That turned out to be the beginning of three great partnerships that have enabled Kinney to provide additional local, accessible, high-quality CBD products to our customers.” said Warner.
Before adding any CBD products to its shelves, Kinney Drugs sends them through rigorous third-party testing, so that the company and its customers can be 100% confident that product labeling is 100% accurate. This is an important differentiator for Kinney and something its customers and employee-owners appreciate. “You can buy CBD products in a lot of interesting places these days,” said Dr. Miller. “Kinney has been a trusted hometown pharmacy for 118 years, and we need to be completely confident in the quality of our CBD products and what is – and is not – in them.”
Sunsoil, Vermont Farmers Hemp Company, and Head & Heal all welcomed the scrutiny. Sunsoil, the leading CBD manufacturer in the Northeast, was founded by two childhood friends who set out to make the best CBD products possible. What Sunsoil discovered along the way was how to do it cost effectively. This mission-driven company is challenging the notion that price determines quality and is disrupting the national landscape with its focus on “democratizing” CBD. “We found a better way to make high-quality CBD products that cost less,” said Alejandro Bergad, CEO and co-founder of Sunsoil. Committed to their Vermont roots and uncompromised quality, Sunsoil farms organically, produces in cGMP compliant facilities, and hires more than 200 local Vermont farmers each year to help with their annual harvest (paying a competitive rate of $20 an hour). Additionally, all full-time employees at Sunsoil are employee owners. “Like Kinney Drugs, Sunsoil’s employees have ownership in the company leading to a sense of responsibility that can’t be duplicated,” added Bergad.
Head & Heal is equally devoted to community wellness. “From seed to bottle, our farm is Certified Organic, our laborers are paid living wages, and our products are ethically sourced and ethically priced,” said Karli Miller-Hornick, cofounder of Head & Heal. “We’re committed to growing hemp sustainably, providing transparency into our process, and creating an effective, affordable product to help you live your best life,” she added.
Vermont Farmers Hemp Company is a true family farm. “Our mission was simple: grow our plants with the people who would be using the final product (ourselves, our family, and our friends included) in mind. We grew all our plants with lots of love. We never used any herbicides, pesticides or synthetic nutrients of any kind. We do things the Vermont way,” said John Rodgers, part-owner and operator of Vermont Farmers Hemp Company. “That’s why we’re excited to offer our products at Kinney Drugs. Like us, Kinney has been here in Vermont for 60+ years. Heck, their CEO’s hometown is less than 25 miles from our farm! And when we met the whole Kinney team, we could feel a deep sense of pride which comes from being employee owned. We truly appreciate that.”
These three new partnerships are some of the newest additions to Kinney’s four-year-old “Love Local” program. “Through this program, Kinney has made a concerted effort to work with locally based companies that are committed to: (1) sourcing raw materials locally and sustainably; (2) producing and packaging locally; and (3) meeting the highest standards for quality and purity. Kinney currently offers more than 100 different “Love Local” foods, beverages, and health and beauty items. Customers love to discover products that were “made right here” on Kinney’s shelves. It’s one more way for Kinney to stay connected to our communities,” said Rick Cognetti, Kinney’s VP of Merchandising, Marketing & Retail Operations.
About Kinney Drugs: Founded in Gouverneur, NY in 1903, today the independent, employee-owned company operates 97 stores in New York and Vermont. Kinney Drugs is part of the KPH Healthcare Services family of companies, a national provider of pharmaceutical and healthcare services with complementary businesses in both the retail and commercial segments of the industry. KPH is comprised of four divisions: (1) Kinney Drugs, a chain of full-service drug stores throughout New York and Vermont; (2) Health Direct Institutional Pharmacy Services, which serves long-term care and alternative care needs; (3) ProAct, Inc., a pharmacy benefit management company with sales offices throughout the country and a mail -order pharmacy; and (4) Noble Health Services, a specialty pharmacy that dispenses medications used to treat complex and chronic diseases. KPH Healthcare Services is a 100% employee-owned company with more than 4,000 employees that provides the highest quality pharmacy and healthcare services. Every aspect of KPH’s business is guided by the values of excellence, moral responsibility, and community spirit. Visit our store locator at www.kinneydrugs.com/locations to find a Kinney Drugs near you.
About Vermont Farmers Hemp Company: Vermont Farmers Hemp Company is a small family farm located in West Glover, a quiet town in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. The business is owned and operated by the Rodgers family on farmland that has been in the family for five generations. VFHC’s goal is simple: grow our hemp with respect for the plant and the land and create only the highest quality products possible.”
About Head & Heal: Head & Heal grows the highest quality hemp on their 60-acre organically certified farm. The process of turning their crop into CBD tinctures and salves takes place in Cortland, New York. Head & Heal is committed to bringing the best, broad and full spectrum CBD products to customers while creating jobs and supporting the local economy. Visit www.headandheal.com for more
About Sunsoil: Sunsoil’s mission is to create affordable access to the best CBD. Alejandro Bergad and Jacob Goldstein founded Sunsoil in 2015 out of a desire to affect positive change through its products and its actions. The Vermont-based, mission-driven CBD oil company disproves the notion that price determines quality by pioneering a new approach and producing high -quality, accessibly priced, natural whole plant extracts made with USDA certified organic hemp. Sunsoil is a member of 1% for the Planet, an alliance of businesses financially committed to creating a healthy planet. Sunsoil currently sells to more than 1,500 retail outlets acro ss the United States including Vitamin Shoppe, Southeast Grocers, and numerous regional health food chains. For more information, visit www.sunsoil.com.