Photography by Jenn State
In the last five years, the Colorado cannabis community has become very familiar with top-selling company MedPharm. Using phytopharmaceutical science and research, MedPharm has taken an atypical approach, boasting certifications and credentials including good manufacturing practices, good agricultural practices, and a DEA Schedule 1 research license. This unorthodox path has successfully led its expansion beyond Colorado into two new markets—Iowa and Michigan. Amid rapid growth, the family-owned company has decided to shift to a fresh new name: Bud & Mary’s.
We spoke with the president of their Colorado operation, Albert Gutierrez, and Group President Lucas Nelson about how they’ve managed to succeed without selling out, their future growth plans, and why they’ve decided to rebrand.
Leading a Legacy
The Bud & Mary’s business model seems simple. Listen to the people. Trust the science. Don’t sell out. “Producing high-quality, innovative and successful cannabis products has become less of a challenge and more of a natural result of how we operate,” Gutierrez says. “Science is our cornerstone. People know that our products are great, and that’s because of how we built our foundation. They trust our brands to deliver that quality, and consistency every time.” Bud & Mary’s is dedicated to discovering the medicinal values and advancing the scientific body of knowledge of the plant.
One of the most interesting aspects of the company is their ability to look into the “what, why, and how” behind cannabinoids, and how they interact with the human genome. “Our team of scientists focuses on neuropharmacology, and we were granted funding for our study on cannabis and neuroinflammation from the Institute of Cannabis Research,” says Gutierrez. “This is truly groundbreaking research.” The company plans to launch this study in 2023, with the hopes of discovering how cannabis can help address neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Bud & Mary’s continues to produce their family of lifestyle and wellness brands such as Batch, Aliviar, Become, and The Myx. So if their production model and people-first values remain the same, what’s actually changing? As it turns out, not much at all. Bud & Mary’s is the same family-owned company with the same science-driven team, the same research license, the same brands, and the same storefronts. The new name is a nod to the cannabis company’s family-oriented roots and operation.
Lucas Nelson leads Bud & Mary’s cannabis operations as a third-generation member of the family business. “It was time to put a fresh face on the brand,” he says. “The name change not only reflects who we are as a team a little better, it also honors the legacy of my family. My grandparents, Bud and Mary, got a kick out of it when I asked if we could name the company after them. They’re in their 90s and recently visited our newest Michigan dispensary on opening day.”
“The name change not only reflects who we are as a team a little better, it also honors the legacy of my family. My grandparents, Bud and Mary, got a kick out of it when I asked if we could name the company after them.”
—Lucas Nelson, group president,
Bud & Mary’s
The name change comes at a pivotal point for the company. Operationally, they had been successful in every market. Their team growth, product sales, and customer following is a clear indicator of that success. Their biggest obstacle is competing with large corporations, as the industry begins to mature and nation-wide legalization looms on the horizon. As a family business, Bud & Mary’s is in a unique position compared to the big corporate brands. Without short-term shareholder profits to answer to, they are free to invest in long-term projects and products.
“Our company’s financial freedom allows us to do what’s right, not just what makes a quick profit,” Nelson says. “We can invest in our team. Invest in research. We can invest in better talent, better processes, better techniques. We can fight for progress at state and national levels. We’re not going anywhere and we’re not selling out. That’s why we can truly say, everything we do is for the people.”
The Next Generation
Bud & Mary’s is thoughtfully aware of the country’s complicated history with cannabis and believes we should celebrate cannabis and its remarkable impact on culture, without forgetting the marginalization experienced in communities throughout the nation. “For the People,” guides the company’s vision and goal to create the perfect cannabis product for every consumer. Drawing on customer feedback and science-based evidence, Bud & Mary’s leads the way in product development while maintaining the highest quality standards each step of the way. “All this began as a vision to put people and science first. I’m proud of what our team has accomplished over the past few years and of the trust that the consumer has for our company,” says Albert. “I’m confident in Bud & Mary’s future influence on the cannabis industry.”
Their research has led to cutting-edge cannabis production trends, making the BATCH brand a top seller in Colorado and introducing minor cannabinoids, microdosing, and eco-friendly product packaging. Among their most recent products is The Myx, a water-soluble powder that fully dissolves into anything with even a hint of moisture, in seconds. The Myx allows users to infuse their favorite beverages, baked goods, or even less conventional items like spaghetti sauce or hummus.
All this began as a vision to put people and science first. I’m proud of what our team has accomplished over the past few years and of the trust that the consumer has for our company.”
—Albert Gutierrez, Colorado president,
Bud & Mary’s
The company operates out of a state-of-the-art research lab, and they have recently received a grant from the Institute of Cannabis Research to fund their proposed research project: Isolation & Pharmacological Evaluation of Phytocannabinoids for Alzheimer’s Disease. Bud & Mary’s immediately focused their attention and resources on exploring the potential benefits cannabis might have on individuals afflicted with this unfortunate disease.
Managing a rebrand in the middle of the expansion of their existing production facilities in Colorado and Iowa, a new cultivation and production facility in Michigan, and DEA-approved research may be daunting for most companies. However, Albert and Lucas are truly excited for the upward movement. They have expressed full confidence in Bud & Mary’s dedicated team of professionals.