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Wade Woods: Word of Mouth is Huge for Small Business

Honeybee Cannabis Company is an upstart business that pairs beekeeping with small-batch edibles, pre-rolls and beverages.

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Wade Woods had an unexpected journey to cannabis. Woods was working for a large beer distributor when he became disenfranchised with the corporate world but didn't know his next move. He went to spend some time at his family's apple orchard in La Crosse, Wisconsin when he found out that his cousin was growing hemp. 

He helped his cousin harvest his crop and started working with other Wisconsin farmers to develop Honeybee Cannabis Company, which offers a line of (mostly) made-in-Wisconsin CBD-infused products, including honey, sparkling water, edibles and pre-rolls. He also produces his own line of raw honey from his small beekeeping operation – he sources materials from other local beekeepers as needed. 

Woods stands upon strong principles when it comes to how he conducts his business. Much of the proceeds from his products go to local charities that support the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, Wisconsin, and the Clean Lakes Alliance. Friends and family sometimes question whether or not he's giving too much away, but he believes he's helping good causes while building a brand and consumer trust. He stresses that word of mouth is crucial for a fledgling business to succeed. 

Woods sources all of his raw materials from organic farmers in Wisconsin and tries to remain hyper-local when doing business with other vendors. Admittedly, he is learning how to run a business as he goes along, sometimes doing things backward – like launching products before having a website or e-commerce platform.

Woods is building his hive within the community with plans to scale the business statewide before expanding into other regions. He manufactures products he believes are made the right way without the sticker shock that typically comes with CBD products. And he's having fun, as you may note from some of his collaborations with Hop Haus Brewing Company, which include "Bee Better Have My Money" and "Bee's Nuts" beer. Woods plans on doing a new collaboration about every quarter, with a portion of the proceeds going to charity. 

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