Peter Barsoom, Co-Founder and CEO of 1906, believes that cannabis is a crucial part self-care, and that it has been kept from the mainstream public for far too long. He’s on a mission to create products that are approachable by everyone and has brought innovations like fast onset time and the inclusion of other plant medicines to deliver experiences that support self-care routines. From the story behind the brand to his quest to find an alternative to prescription drugs, I asked Peter five questions about the company and its newest line of products. 1906 has an ambitious expansion plan, with new states coming online this year. The company closed $18 million in a capital raise last year that will fund the expansion as well as continued innovation and R&D.
WB: Please tell me about you and your company?
PB: 1906 gets its name from the last time cannabis was nationally accepted as a widely-used, beneficial medicine. I believe cannabis is the greatest medicine on earth and want to reestablish it as a trusted, normal part of daily wellness. Since it was illegal for more than 100 years, there has been little innovation in how it’s produced, consumed or marketed. Most Americans hold these really outdated preconceptions of who uses it (stoners), how they use it (bongs, joints, pot brownies) and what it is used for (to get high as a kite). 1906 is mounting a revolution to smash these old ideas and bring forward a product that the average adult can see themselves using, because we believe it can help millions of people feel better every day. That’s why I left finance and started the company five years ago.
WB: What was your path to the plant?
PB: When I was 21, I was diagnosed with ADD and prescribed Ritalin and then Adderall to help quiet the chaos inside so I could concentrate and work. Having ADD often makes you feel unfocused, agitated and impulsive, which makes it difficult to accomplish tasks…which leads to more stress and anxiety. Prescription drugs helped to an extent but there were a lot of drawbacks and overall, I was really unsatisfied. This was part of my motivation to create a more balanced alternative, something directly derived from plants.