Caleb Wilborn, CEO of Sticky Vend Inc., is not your typical Chief Executive Officer. He is not your typical Chief Executive Officer. He is laid back, humble, and could not care less about the “bottom line” that drives most businesses. When he isn’t crafting amazing custom surf boards, or volunteering with the nonprofit SurfersHealing.org, he is hard at work running multiple businesses and innovating the world of edibles as the Head Chef of the newly released Gummy420 edible line. This sweet guy is about to be the Willy Wonka of the Cannabis industry and is determined to build a community where “people with cancer who cannot afford treatment can still get treatment”.
Caleb’s story begins where all great stories do, in the water. “Any free time I had, I was surfing” laughs Wilborn, but growing up in the San Diego area that is no surprise. He started making his own boards by the time he was 15 and even learned about shaping from a disciple of the great Skip Fry. As Caleb got older his love of creating custom boards grew into a business, Surfboards by Caleb that still stands today in Oceanside. Caleb shapes boards from the ground up and he has even glassed real cannabis leaves into a board designs. In 2004 Surfer Magazine named him as one of the 9 Most Intriguing Surfers that year, giving him the nick name “The Roots” for his home grown shaping style and honoring his work with SurfersHealing.org. This nonprofit organization gives children with Autism the opportunity to experience surfing by riding tandem with a professional, giving many children who suffer from the over sensitized aspect of Autism a few moments of joy and relief.
In 2013 he started Secrets Candy, a cannabis infused lollipop company that offers 11 flavors of lollipops containing 42 mg of THC in each. In a month they had completely learned how to hand make the candy themselves, from creating the molds to the pioneering the flavor recipes. Within a few months the secret of Secrets Candy was out and patients were hooked. Sales to dispensaries numbered in the 3-4 thousands every month, and although the lollipops were selling like hot cakes, times were not as sweet as you would think for the Head Chef and cannabis pioneer. While working to bring all these companies and products to consumers Caleb had moments where he struggled to get by. He lived in an econoline van for 6 months and at one point made rent by throwing parties in the warehouse he lived in and held his band rehearsals. He slept in rehearsal studios when there were no beds to borrow dreaming of how to make the world a little sweeter. The workload itself was overwhelming, “I wanted everything to be handmade artisan style” says Caleb. “We made 50,000-60,000 lollipops by hand, and I still remember having calluses on my fingers from personally packaging 30,000 lollipops with a crew of only 4 or 5 people.”
Besides the cooking and packaging of the product, Caleb found that he had to spend hours delivering and learned all aspects of the business. In 2015 Sticky Vend Inc. was born to coordinate growers, dispensaries, and delivery services. This online site for vendors in the cannabis industry even offered options to sell ounces on consignment and worked to break the mold of how distribution within industry was run. Caleb then started Bullshark Marketing working with Sunstroke Entertainment to continue to help small marijuana based businesses find opportunities to expand their advertising. “I think of myself as a product person.” says Wilborn, “I make surfboards, I make candy, I make brands.”
Sticky Vend also gave him even more exposure into the world of edibles. After getting the opportunity to try the best in the industry he knew that he wanted to switch gears make a great tasting, potent gummy candy that was safe and organic. “I loved that my lollipops were made from scratch. I spent so much time [while building Sticky Vend] getting to try the best that the industry had to offer knowing I could be a player in this rapidly growing industry. I can find a way to make a superior product the way I want to.” And he did. Gummy420 candy has just become available for purchase (see which local dispensaries are carrying the product by going to http://gummy420.org/store-locator/) and is already making a big name in the industry as a delicious alternative for patients.
Gummy420 is not the only project Caleb can take pride in. His newest project Manacana is devoted to creating suppositories and providing consultations for people with terminal diseases. “Right now we are helping people who are mainly fighting cancer,” says Caleb “but we do still find time to work with everyone”. He is still working to establish the company Manacana with co-founder Tammie Thomas. The patient results are nothing short of staggering. That has not stopped patients, which include a survivor of stage 4 prostate cancer, and even a man diagnosed with brain cancer and 10 days to live, from seeking them out. As of now Manacana offers a “five to one ratio of CBD to THC tincture, and an option for custom made suppositories”. The suppository and the way that it is administered will not get you high. According to Caleb and Tammy, it may just save your life.
Caleb’s latest project working with cancer patients, offering them alternative suppositories of THC & CBD in custom dosages has actually yielded many positive results and the testimonials page, which is currently being built will be filled with the stories of survivors who want to tell others about how their work with Caleb and Tammy has given them a 2nd chance. Although the FDA does not currently recognize the medicinal benefits of marijuana, as of January 2016 cancer.gov states “cannabis has been shown to kill cancer cells in the laboratory”.
“If anyone has cancer and wants to try cannabis or is interested in alternative medicine besides or in conjunction with chemotherapy or conventional methods, we would love for them to reach out and we will advocate for them and do whatever it takes to get them on the path that we see working.”
A portion of the profits from Gummy420 go to Manacana. Caleb is so determined to help people fight their illness on their own terms that he has just announced a new program to give Manacana even more exposure. If you go to the Gummy420 website and refer someone who you think could benefit from starting the Manacana’s cancer program, Gummy420 will gift you a bag of their amazing edibles.
For more information on Manacana contact founder Caleb Wilborn at email@example.com or co-founder Tammie Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (760) 715-6063