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By Ava Loomar

July 22, 2021

How the Smith Family pioneered USDA Certified Organic CBD

Joy Smith was anything but joyful. She had just returned from a mission trip on the African continent, and after carrying heavy bags of books, her shoulder was in agony. To make things worse, hormonal changes were causing her hot flashes that kept her eyes open throughout the night.

Then their son Gerrid came back to Florida.  His father-in-law was an executive at a CBD company that was exponentially growing. Gerrid shared how their customers’ results sounded almost too good to be true. Joy had never even heard of CBD, and Todd was a skeptical –– “most all of the supposed breakthrough miracle-type products I heard about over the past 20 years had been nothing but a joke.” But nothing else had worked. So at Gerrid’s insistence, they decided to experiment with some CBD hard candy and topical creams.

Joy reclaimed her restful sleep after just one night of taking the CBD candy. “Honey, you won’t believe this,” she told Gerrid. “But I slept through the night and I haven’t had a full night’s sleep in two years!”

Upon applying the topical cream, her shoulder pain finally dissipated. After being repeatedly failed by the usual medications, this experience transformed the Smiths into passionate CBD believers.

Todd, who spent 30 years in the nutrition industry, was eager to share his discovery and reached out to colleagues and scientists from his career. He found only positive reviews about  this lesser-known, non-hallucinogenic cannabinoid. Traditional Western medication had failed Joy, and the Smiths wondered just how many others had had the same frustrating experience without discovering the power of this cannabis-derived substance.

Gerrid and Todd started tinkering with the idea of opening a company of their own. With Todd’s experience in the nutrition industry and Gerrid’s business background, it seemed to them like the perfect combination for the CBD industry. With more research and a product manufacturer secured, they realized: this is it. While Joy, Gerrid and Todd sat around a table contemplating company names, Todd found the perfect fit.

“How about we name it after your mom?” he asked Gerrid.

Thus, Joy Organics was born with a mission inspired by Joy’s humanitarianism: giving comfort and compassion to as many people as the company could reach. Today, the Joy Organics focuses on providing the highest quality CBD products, without sacrificing sustainability. With strong philanthropic values and USDA certified organic products, the company is paving the way for what transparency in the CBD industry should look like.

A deep family connection helped the Smiths prosper their business. Todd oversees Joy Organics’ supply chains and sources products. Gerrid, as the head of an INC 5000 fastest growing digital marketing firm, uses his experience to optimize website design, development and search engine optimization. Hannah, Joy and Todd’s daughter, works as the communications director. Todd’s brother, Barry, is the CEO. And Joy is the spirit that keeps the company’s mission on track.

“Most partnerships fail,” Todd said. “With being a family, we know how each other thinks.”

In the first months of the company, they had the simple mission to help others but found that the CBD industry lacked definitive federal guidance. For example, the FDA has no clear set of labeling guidelines for CBD products. Many brands didn’t uphold quality standards in their products because of the deregulated marketplace, so Joy Organics defined its own quality standards based on the Smith’s family values.

“[At the time], 80% of companies didn’t even do lab testing, and those who did only did potency,” Todd said. “We came out and we’re just fully transparent with QR codes on all of our packaging [and] testing as extensive as you could do.”

The Smiths defy the unfortunate opacity that’s common in the CBD industry because they are proud of their CBD sourcing. The family is committed to including only the highest quality ingredients. Quality over quantity, from the food they eat to the products they sell. Todd said they have more organic CBD products than any company on the planet. Of the top 20 CBD companies in the country, Todd indicates, not one even sells an organic product at this time.

However, Joy Organics breaks this mold by being one of the first companies to offer USDA certified CBD products. This hard won certification means that none of its hemp plants have ever been treated with synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. It also ensures that Joy Organics uses farming practices that preserve or even improve soil quality. Even before the USDA created official guidelines for organic products, Todd said the Joy Organics farms were meeting these standards because they truly cared about helping people, regardless of cost . All the ingredients and testing results for each of the products are clearly available in black and white on their labels.

A CBD Family Business Empire: The Joy Organics Story

Joy Organics believes giving consumers access to this sort of information dispels the deep mistrust in the CBD industry. A low product potency is one of the biggest reasons people fail to find their CBD product effective, Todd explained. Many top companies fill tincture bottles with 98% carrier oil and 2% CBD, as is standard in a 500 mg bottle. But when neither the carrier oil nor the CBD are high quality and there’s only a low concentration of CBD in each product, the compound will have little to none of the desired effects. Joy Organics mitigates these problems for its customers through its meticulous sourcing and production processes. They’re one of the only companies that uses not just organic CBD, but organic carrier oil.

Joy Organics sells CBD in all forms, including gummies, tinctures, soft gels, topicals, energy drinks and pet products, but it’s ever expanding in its goal to provide CBD relief. The Smiths are currently working on nanotechnology that would increase the bioavailability of their CBD gel capsules. This technological advancement would make their products easier to break down within one’s body, increasing the potency and effectiveness. It could offer a new solution for people who have struggled to see results using other CBD products in the past. 

The family’s holistic approach to wellness makes sustainability a top priority to the company. They use carbon neutral packaging and try to only use recycled plastics. Joy Organics even refuses to add brochures to its boxes that could increase their reach because it would add needless waste to the planet.

“Our goal is organic and products that work,” Todd said. “We want our customers to have a positive experience in using our products.”

That good will extends farther than Joy Organic’s immediate customers. In 2020, the company launched Joy in Action, an initiative to donate a portion of all revenue to a different nonprofit each month. Recently, it’s worked with Matthew’s House; a Fort Collins, Florida, organization dedicated to providing a stable learning and housing environment for foster kids. The company’s philanthropic efforts are at their peak on “Joy Day” Joy’s birthday and one of the company’s three big sale days. For the last two Joy Days, they’ve partnered with the Greater Hope Project to provide meals to child refugees at the Hope Primary School in Uganda. Their first time holding the event, the Smiths were able to provide over 200,000 meals to children in need. 

At the end of the day, the goal of the company is simple: spread joy. It treats its customers, employees and partners with respect, Todd said. When people call and complain, the Smiths are thrilled to listen, solve their problems and improve next time. If customers aren’t happy with a product, they can easily return it within 90 days with no questions asked. Cutting corners hasn’t moved the CBD industry forward, but Joy Organics believes transparency can.

“We just do the right thing all the time, and we want everybody to have a good experience in working with us,” Todd said. “And that’s just the way we operate.”

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