In June 2022, CULTA announced a partnership with Robhots Edibles, a popular manufacturer and top-seller of gummy edibles for recreational and medicinal cannabis markets. CULTA will produce Robhots gummies at its campus facility in Cambridge, MD, and distribute the brand throughout its partner dispensaries. Our Marketing Director Renier Fee spoke with Robhots Founder and CEO Zach Romey to introduce the brand to our readership.
Read more to learn about how Robhots got started, its family-first approach, and CULTA’s role in its expansion.
Take me back to the early days. What got you interested in cannabis?
What really got me interested in cannabis was when I really started to look into it more, and started to see all the potential benefits cannabis could bring to people. It was wild to me that cannabis, a natural plant, could be so beneficial in so many different ways.
What specifically attracted you to gummies as your intake method of choice?
I’ve always enjoyed gummies, and I really focused on making a gummy that mimicked what I liked so we made an effective, yet tasty edible.
Where did you gather your edible learnings? Did you find a mentor or acquire skills at a dispensary or extractor, or did you seek out online resources?
I always had an interest in cooking and eating good food for as long as I could remember. Once I was of age, I began to seek out ways to infuse cannabis while maintaining a good flavor profile. From there, it was just lots of research and development to find a recipe that not only I enjoyed, but others would enjoy as well.
At what point did you decide your gummies were a viable business?
Soon after finding a recipe, the gummies caught on pretty quickly. I got started in the Colorado market in October of 2015. Within a few months of starting, I decided to focus on making a solid business plan and find a quality partner to make my gummies on a large scale for the patients of Colorado. Now we’re headquartered in Pueblo West, Colorado.
Tell our readers about the name Robhots. How did you come up with it?
After coming up with a recipe, I had to come up with a name and gummy shape. After a lot of research, I found a robot shape mold that I thought would make a great gummy. As I was putting BHO (butane hash oil) into my gummies that were in the shape of a robot, I decided to put “BHO” right into the word robot, thus you have Robhots. We kept the “h” silent and just pronounce it as “robots.”
How often do people think your name is "Rob"?
Haha! Every now and then people do think they’re called “Rob Hots” and think my name is Rob. It caught me off guard at first, but now if it happens I’m ready for it.
What is your vision for the brand and what is the unique selling proposition?
My vision from day one has been to make quality, consistent, great tasting edibles and get as many people as possible off of prescription medications, especially opiates. We think that with our quality recipe and consistency is our best selling point – you know what you’re going to get every time with Robhots.
Was there ever any pressure from family or friends to take a more traditional business path? How did you overcome that stigma?
Not necessarily pressure, but my grandparents definitely were not the happiest at the beginning. My mom went as far to tell my grand mom that I got a job at Home Depot upon moving to Colorado. At this point now though, my family and friends are proud of me and the company we’ve built.
Robhots is a family business of sorts. What role does your wife play at Robhots? Did you ever worry about that old proverb of mixing business and family?
We’re definitely a business of family & friends. My business partners have known each other for decades, and I’ve been a part of the group for nearly a decade at this point. Upon starting and gaining traction with Robhots, I had two of my friends from high school in Missouri come out to Colorado and help run the company with me. My wife does all our marketing, but was selling Robhots before we were a couple. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our brand.
I really don’t worry about mixing business and family, as we all have the same like-minded vision as a company and work great together. We have a great atmosphere at work – everyone will rotate their choice of music or Netflix for the kitchen, and at break we have a basketball goal and have some competitive games of knockout!
When did you know that Robhots was primed to sell out-of-state? In what states is Robhots currently available?
After we were the top selling medical cannabis gummy in the nation in 2019 we really thought it was time to focus on expansion. If we were selling the most gummies out of one state, what could more states bring?
We are currently available in Colorado for recreational and medical patients. We’re also available in Missouri in the medical market. In Missouri, we were the first legal medical edible made and sold.
Congrats on your success thus far! CULTA is now making your Robhots gummy formula and distributing your brand in Maryland. Did you know about CULTA before the relationship began? What gave you the confidence to entrust CULTA with your brand on the east coast?
I had heard of CULTA, but wasn’t too familiar with them. Our media guy in Colorado is born and raised in Baltimore, and he had spoken of CULTA before we were in talks with them about a Robhots expansion.
We had the confidence in CULTA after meeting the team and touring the facility. At this point I’ve toured facilities all over the nation in all phases of cannabis production, and CULTA’s facility is second to none. We couldn’t be happier to have our products come out of the CULTA facility.
How do you determine your flavors? What flavors will be available at the launch of the brand in Maryland?
The initial flavors I came up with, and tried to come up with combinations of flavors that worked well with one another. To debut in Maryland, we’ll have Berries (cherry, grape, strawberry), Exotics (guava, mango-melon, pomegranate), Reds (strawberry kiwi, tropical punch, watermelon), and Robhots Plus Night Time (blackberry, blueberry, plum).
What are some of the business challenges of working on a brand in a recreational state like Colorado for sale in a medical state like Maryland?
We have our recipe pretty fine-tuned at this point, making tens of millions of gummies to date. For us to change dosage isn’t an issue at all. The biggest issue is just making sure all packaging and marketing materials are compliant under the Maryland medical regulations.
For all the Maryland medical patients reading this blog interview, what would you like to say to them?
I would just like to say if you’re looking for a quality and consistent edible, or just something new, give us a try! We’re not like a lot of companies with a big investor or endless money to make this happen. Our team is super small with the same goal and dream to bring quality cannabis edibles to patients everywhere.
Cheers to that! What new products are you working on?
We’ve been knee-deep in research and development on what we believe will be the first cannabis infused liquid-filled gummies on the cannabis market: Squishers. We plan to have them out in Colorado this summer, and our other markets in 2023.