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Christopher Gavigan, sitting in a crisp white shirt inside a small TechCrunch conference room, radiates energy, even in a late-day interview just hours before he’s scheduled to fly home from San Francisco to L.A.
We’re meeting to talk about Prima, a new startup that Gavigan began developing seven months ago with two cofounders. One of them is a former beauty and marketing executive, Jessica Assaf, who was until recently running a company called Cannabis Feminist to sell marijuana wellness products at her L.A. home. The other is Laurel Myers, who’d spent six years working alongside Gavigan at his last startup, The Honest Company, the now eight-year-old brand that sells nontoxic personal care and household products at Target, Whole Foods, Nordstrom and many other places.
Gavigan - Honest - Officer - Evangelist - Gathers
Gavigan is still Honest’s “chief purpose officer” and its most effective evangelist, one quickly gathers. But he’s gotten excited in recent months about a new opportunity that many others are beginning to chase, too: the market for products made with cannabinoids of CBD, a compound that can be derived from both cannabis and hemp plants and which has taken off since industrial hemp cultivation was made legal in the United States last year.
Prima, based in Southern California, is creating a spate of products around hemp cannabinoids that Gavigan manages to make sound magical. He talks of taking the “best organically grown hemp out of Oregon” and using a “very gentle, slow extraction process” to get it into an oil and distillate form that it will then use to create consumer products, starting with “emerging beauty and pain management” for the skin and a “luxurious facial oil,” noting that a “lot of these cannabinoids do a great job with moisture retention and irritation and redness reduction.”
Prima - Products - Gel - Mix-in
Prima also plans to introduce ingestible products, including a soft gel and mix-in powdered...
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