New Bill Would Protect Federal Employees Who Legally Smoke Marijuana

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This article originally appeared in the August 2018 print issue of Cannabis Business Times. To subscribe, click here.

Entrepreneur. Cybersecurity expert. Product developer. Operations expert. Musician. Guitar tech. Cannabis and hemp pioneer. David Bonvillain’s resume is the paragon of hard work.

He brings that work ethic to everything he does, including his ownership of Elite Botanicals, a CBD-hemp cultivation, extraction/processing and product development business with operations in Loveland, Colo., and partner farms in Byers, Greeley and Yoder. He is also the owner of The Bonvillain Group, a consultancy currently advising clients in Missouri, California, Colorado and Connecticut; is a co-owner of Elite California, a licensed THC-focused division with operations in the San Luis Obispo County area of California; and he produces a line of CBD products for pets that he distributes through Mary’s Nutritionals under the Whole Pet brand.

Bonvillain might not yet be a household name in cannabis, but most CBD consumers in Colorado and many across the United States have used at least one of Bonvillain’s products, even if they didn’t know it. That’s because Bonvillain partnered with super-brands like Mary’s Medicinals, Cheeba Chews and IncrEdibles to provide them with all the CBD oil they need in their edible and topical product lines, as well as develop new products targeted to each brand’s consumers.

Between Elite Botanicals, Elite California, the Bonvillain Group and managing relationships with partner organizations, Bonvillain works 12-hour days with no time for breaks—until this year, when he took his first “vacation” in more than 15 years and toured with his all-time favorite band: Slayer.

What was supposed to be a two-week hiatus turned into a two-month escapade as Bonvillain unexpectedly became one of the band member’s official guitar techs. Out of all the jobs he’s held, touring with Slayer is by far the toughest, he says. “The crew starts working at 7:30 in the morning and keeps going until 2 a.m. and then does it again the next day. The day that I would get off, I slept all day because I’m f—ing 45 and shouldn’t be on the road with a rock band.”

Despite his prolonged absence, Elite Botanicals was able to continue business as usual. That’s because instead of building a company that depended on him, Bonvillain built a business that was made to survive without him.

To read the full article in Cannabis Business Times’ August 2018 issue, click here.

Top photo by Brian Kraft

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