Meet the person behind Irwin Naturals Inc. IWIN IWINF, an herbal supplement formulator and leader in the nutrition industry at the forefront of the "psychedelics renaissance."
Klee Irwin serves as CEO and chairman of Irwin Naturals and director of Quantum Gravity Research, a non-profit research institute he founded in 2009.
The southern California native at the helm of the highly profitable $134 million brand known by 80% of US and Canadian households is also an author, physicist and businessman "on a personal mission to raise consciousness on the planet through scientific breakthroughs that lead to solutions for advancing humanity."
This year, at the upcoming Benzinga Psychedelics Capital Conference, to be held on April 19 at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach Hotel in Florida, Irwin will deliver the keynote speech and share his vision and valuable insights with the burgeoning sector.
Irwin founded the Irwin Naturals in 1994. Since then, the company has grown to a global natural supplement enterprise providing alternative health and healing products sold that are sold at number of retailers, including Costco COST, Walmart WMT, CVS CVS and Whole Foods.
Having a portfolio of herbal products available in 100,000 doors across North America, the world's first household brand to move into cannabis and psychedelics mental health treatment is on a mission to heal the world with plant medicine.
CBD As A New Frontier
The nearly three decades old legacy company and long-time supporter of Vitamin Angels began investing in the development of products infused with cannabidiol in 2017.
Over 100 CBD products, across four brand categories, were birthed from the company's R&D effort, including Irwin Naturals brand for CBD infused oil drops, supplements and balms. These include HydroCanna for CBD skincare launched in 2020, FloChi for CBD based foods and beverages and Love My Pet for animals.
The company first leveraged its established brand to enter into the cannabinoid space in 2018 by launching CBD products into the mass market.
The company began trading on the Canadian Stock Exchange In August of 2021, on the heels of closing a reverse takeover of Datinvest International Ltd. to create a combined entity that carried on the business of Irwin.
"Trading on the CSE enables us to have greater visibility as we plan to extend our highly recognized brand into the rapidly evolving national cannabis market. Our intention is to apply what we've learned over the past few decades to become a leader in the space," Irwin said back then.
Irwin Naturals kicked off 2022 by closing a new line of credit, which Irwin plans to utilize to fulfill its "aggressive" growth plans. "It is true we expect 2021 to be our most profitable year in 28 years," he said.
Jenny Craig Of Psychedelics Space
In February, the renowned household nutraceuticals brand launched its ketamine clinic roll-up strategy to position itself to become the largest chain of psychedelic mental health clinics.
On Thursday the company closed the acquisition of its first ketamine clinic - the Iowa-based Midwest Ketafusion - through its wholly-owned subsidiary Irwin Naturals Emergence.
"I would compare the strategy to Jenny Craig," Irwin told Proactive Investors, further explaining that a similar principle of scaling clinics will drive down patient costs and still be easily profitable.
Irwin plans to make it happen by leveraging its existing infrastructure and financial strength.
"Like Jenny Craig, which managed to drive down patient acquisition costs while building over 600 clinics across America and Canada, Irwin Naturals plans to utilize roll-ups and acquisitions to achieve similar results for the psychedelic industry," he said.
"We are looking to roll-up profitable existing businesses that are already treating people with ketamine psychedelic mental health therapy," Irwin continued. "We invite them to become part of our family and offer to buy them for stock."
Being a category demonized by much of the establishment over the past decades, psychedelics are now experiencing a renaissance as a potential treatment to address the nation's mental health crisis.
While mainstreaming of psychedelic medicine gains momentum, new research additionally furthers in-depth scientific inquiry around substances like ketamine, MDMA, DMT and mescaline.
Still, psychedelics continue to be associated with stigma and fear among many people, even though ketamine is proved to be an effective treatment for numerous mental health disorders.
"Some Americans are not clear on its legality, safety, and effectiveness," Irwin said.
Nevertheless, ketamine is rapidly becoming mainstream with companies such as Irwin Naturals contributing to the process.
"With nearly 80% of US households familiar with the trusted Irwin brand, it will be the welcome face of a familiar friend in a crowd of strangers – making this lifesaving solution a bit less intimidating to those in need," Irwin commented.
Moreover, Irwin told Benzinga's Andrew Ward last year that the company is looking to become the first national herbal extract brand to sell THC products since "federal legalization of marijuana is around the corner."
"We will have the first-mover advantage when it comes to other nationally recognized brands, and for whoever gets there first, it will be a historic event," he said. "We're trying to move in quickly this quarter and grab it."
Author & Physicist
In 2018, Irwin authored the book dubbed Pain Nation in which he made a compelling case that CBD could be the answer to countless medical conditions.
The provocative reading sheds light on current America's health crisis while providing a way to achieve collective well-being.
As a scientist, Irwin is deeply involved in theoretical physics.
His non-profit Los Angeles-based organization, Gravity Research Group, aims to build a new, first-principles unified theory of everything they call Emergence Theory, "to unify, through mathematical and scientific rigor, the theory of relativity, quantum mechanics… and consciousness."
Over the past decade, the scientific team has issued numerous papers and journal articles coming up with some of the mathematical building blocks and axiomatic ideas for this unification model.
Business Outside Physics & Nutraceuticals
As a supporter of students, scientists, educators and founders trying to make a positive impact by tackling the challenges of our time, Irwin has backed and invested in a wide range of people, causes and companies such as Change.org, Upworthy, Donors Choose, Moon Express, the X PRIZE Foundation, and Singularity University, where he is an associate founder.
Irwin is also a member of Rolling Stone Culture Council, an invitation-only network of industry professionals who share their insights.
The 1st Psychedelics Investing Conference Comes to Miami
Benzinga Psychedelics Capital Conference will feature keynotes, panel discussions, fireside chats, networking, company presentations and investor appearances.
"We've seen cannabis businesses raise tens of millions of dollars at our events, and this year's meeting will be even larger, with a record level of investment capital and top-notch operators," said Jason Raznick, Benzinga's founder and CEO.
April's Psychedelics Capital Conference (April 19) is bringing together the biggest publicly-traded psychedelics companies in North America with investors eager about the space. Check out the full impressive list of speakers.
In October, Beringer Capital, a private equity firm focused on the media, marketing services, and technology sectors, acquired a majority stake in Benzinga in a deal valued at $300 million.
Photo: Courtesy of Benzinga
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