Q & A with Reagan Power
Reagan Power: Boss Lady of CBD
by Sydney James
Back in December, Fort Worth Magazine published the article, “Moving at the Speed of Plants,” an article focusing on Power Biopharms CEO and founder Colt Power’s rise to cannabis fame. From reaching-for-the-stars athlete to reaching-for-the-plants entrepreneur, Power has cemented his place as an innovator in the CBD industry.
However, no hero is a hero on their own.
Enter, Reagan Power. Co-founder of Power Biopharms, team-playing wife of Colt Power. A major catalyst for Power Biopharms’s inception, Mrs. Power multitasks as a full-time nurse, businesswoman and mother of four children.
The Power Biopharms team was able to get hemp writer Sydney James in contact with Mrs. Power and she was more than happy to share her experiences with CBD, the medical field as well as how she and her husband planted the idea (yes, pun highly intended) that would soon become the authentic, organic CBD farm that it is today.
(*This interview has been edited for length and clarity.)
Sydney James: What was your life like before Power Biopharms?
Reagan Power: Oh, it was busy. You know, I was working full-time as a nurse in an ICU in Dallas so that was three days a week, 12-hour days. We also had a one-and-a-half-year-old and another new baby. Colt was working full-time, and I was working in the hospital. And then Covid hit, so instead of just working three days a week, I was suddenly working six or seven days a week and all different hours. So, that was kind of crazy. We were also picking up the slack at home, too, so we decided in a crazy time like, “Why not take on more?”
SJ: Your profile on Power Biopharms’ “About Us” page says that you have over eight years of experience in the medical field. That’s impressive! So, what was it about the medical field that made you say, “I wanna do that when I grow up”?
RP: That's a good question! Now I'm coming up on almost 10 years, so I guess we need an update to our profile pages! Basically my whole life, I wanted to do medical stuff. My parents are both accountants and my brother is an engineer, so I don't know where I came from; but, when I was little, I wanted to get into the medical field. That turned into [the idea of] going to medical school, and then I found my way into nursing when I realized that the nurses were the people spending their time with the patients and doing the education and healing at patients’ bedsides. And I think it was really just helping people. There's also nothing that grosses me out, and there's no such thing as “too much information” in my world. So, the medical field fits me well!
SJ: It says on your husband’s “About Us” profile that you originally suggested cannabis to help him with his injuries in sports. So, what role did CBD play in your life?
RP: I was an athlete but I didn’t play sports in college. I was a soccer player my whole life, so I had some back pain and knee pain and stuff. Then I’d heard of cannabis as an alternative treatment. So, I’d kind of known about it through that. And then being in the medical field, I had a lot of firsthand experience with pharmaceutical agents. I’ve seen many people using sleep aids, muscle relaxers, pain medications, and I’ve witnessed this opioid epidemic that we're going through. And I have also gotten to see some new research coming out about alternative therapies. And so I suggested CBD to Colt, like, “Hey, why don't you just try this? You can get it over the counter. It's not addictive, you know, give it a shot.” So thankfully, he was all for trying it!
SJ: What inspired you to team up with Mr. Power in building Power Biopharms?
RP: Yeah, so it was this crazy idea we had in the middle of the pandemic. He was doing commercial real estate, and that had kind of slowed down. And this sounds kind of cliché, but we love spending time together. He's my best friend. And so, we wanted to do something together. You know, if we got to work together and build something together, we thought that would just be the most fun! And with his commercial real estate experience, he knew what buildings were becoming vacant, and we were just brainstorming on what we could do. And I had my medical experience and knowledge, and he had this hands-on approach, loving the project, growing and farming and stuff like that. So, it all kind of just came together.
SJ: How do you feel now that we’re starting to see more education surrounding CBD?
RP: As a nurse, I love it! So, so much of nursing is education, and I think there's such a great gap in health literacy, what people understand about the way that their body works, how medicines affect their body, how pharmaceutical agents affect their body. And so I think this new CBD education is gonna make a huge difference in the way people view it, as a good alternative to some of these pharmaceutical agents. I personally love it. I think the human body is fascinating and amazing and resilient. And yeah, I'm excited for people to understand how it really works.
SJ: Despite CBD’s many potentials and benefits, there’s still a heavy stigma around it, so it looks like you and the Power Biopharms team have a lot of activism to do. In your opinion, what are the most prevalent stigmas about cannabis that you want to eliminate?
RP: I think one of the most obvious ones is that anyone who uses cannabis is lazy, can't hold a job, or sits on their couch all day and things like that. And I think that's the most obvious one. The other one that I feel is interesting is the stigma of cannabis in parenthood. I find that so interesting because it's okay for a parent, an aunt or uncle or whoever to have a glass of wine with dinner or take their kids out to dinner. Or go to the brewery and let their kids run around and play. And I think there's a stigma that goes somewhat like this: “Did someone take an edible in front of their kids? Are they okay to take care of them?” And so I think of the idea of alcohol being legal and cannabis starting to become legal, depending on different states. I think it's really interesting. I think people need to know their own body, right? So, not all people can have a glass of wine or three and feel like they can still make good choices or not be sleepy. And I think that's true for cannabis, too: You just have to know what works for you and your body and be smart about it.
SJ: And that’s understandable because every person’s body is different.
RP: Yes, everybody's different. It’s like Tylenol. You know, Tylenol sometimes makes people sleepy. Sometimes it doesn't affect them at all. And Benadryl, sometimes it makes people hyper, sometimes it makes them sleepy. So, with CBD, not everyone can feel comfortable taking an edible and going to work and going about their day. But for some people, it may help their ADD, or it may help their anxiety around different social situations or it may help all of these different things. And so I think education about CBD will help that, too, as we cross that border.
SJ: You’re a mother and co-founder of a startup company. Neither job is a walk in the park, so it’s awesome you’re doing both! What’s it like doing both simultaneously?
RP: Oh, thanks! It's a lot, and I still work full-time as a nurse, so there's a lot of trying to balance as best you can. And this is a common analogy, but it’s like glass balls and plastic balls: Which are the ones that you have to keep juggling in the air, and which ones can you let fall? Colt and I do a lot of prioritization together and kind of try to tag-team, and we're in the divide-and-conquer stage a lot. You know, we have four young children, and we're doing this startup, and he just finished his MBA and I'm still working as a nurse. So, we've had a lot going on.
One of the things we say to each other is, “Hard is not bad.” So, just because this is a hard season or we're spread thin, that doesn't mean it's a bad thing. And so, it helps us reframe whatever's going on and say, “That's okay, it's not bad. It's just hard, and we'll work through it and figure it out.” He's also super supportive of making sure that I get time to recharge or rest my brain or get some “me” time. And I think that's really important. You know, it’s a true team effort. We each work on getting the other person what they need to refill their tank.
SJ: I’ve come across articles that say there aren’t enough women in the cannabis industry. What are your thoughts on that?
RP: Gosh, when I think about other kinds of similar industries – like for instance, craft breweries or maybe even winemaking or farming in general – a lot of those industries are male-dominated. And I don't know why that is, if that's just kind of tradition and we haven't broken through it in those arenas. The good news is I think we're seeing more brands pop up that are marketing towards women, whether it's the benefits for addressing menstrual cramps, motherhood, anxiety, postpartum depression, which is a lot and so, I like that those brands are really focusing on calling out to women and saying, “Hey, this could benefit you, too.” So, hopefully that'll get more women to try CBD and get to know it and see this education, that way they might be interested in getting involved, too.
SJ: As a mother and businesswoman, you’re a huge inspiration to career-oriented women, especially women who want to get into the cannabis industry – Mr. Power is a pretty lucky guy, in other words! So, what advice do you have for women who want to pursue their dream careers?
RP: Gosh, I'm really fortunate because I've always seen nursing as my dream career. And so, I get to do that. And now I've gotten this second opportunity to have a dream career, you know, and part of it is working with my husband and getting to have that time and build something together. But when I think about pursuing job opportunities or anything, I'm a firm believer in doors opening and closing for a reason. You know, I thought I wanted a certain job or career change, and even here we thought we were going in one direction. Then those doors closed, and we just said, “You know what, that was not meant to be,” and I don’t think that should discourage you, but just look for those other opportunities that maybe weren't what you initially wanted. That's what I would say.
SJ: Is there anything you’d like to add?
RP: This company has given us an opportunity to help others. You know, as a nurse, that's what my main career has been. Colt has helped others in other ways throughout his career as a real estate agent and now, doing this CBD company, it's fun to get to do that together. And we're excited for where this industry is going, and the education is going to open up people's eyes to alternative therapies for things that a lot of people are dealing with, like anxiety, depression, sleep problems, aching, joint pains, things like that. I think we're just really fortunate to be here, watching our company grow. So, we're excited for people to see what Power Biopharms has to offer.
(To learn more about the Power Biopharms team, click on the About Us page here.)