As children, it our duty to one day keep the legacy of our parents alive. Whether it be through a business, charity, or other tribute, we want to make them proud. Dr. Norms was created by the children of Dr. Norm in a tribute to the late doctor and his wife.
Dr. Norms advocates for the cannabis community with information about delectable bit-sized chocolate chip therapy. The children of Dr. Norm founded the company in honor of their late father, Dr. Norm, who was a trusted M.D. with a sweet and gentle bedside manner who also often has a wicked sense of humor, cracking jokes that left his patients in tears---of joy!
The Norm clan is no stranger to hard work. They started "working" in their father's office in middle school where they learned not only about compassionate care, but how laughter is the best medicine. Their mother was also a medical professional, employed at the hospital as a pharmacist. They were two peas in a pod, helping people get better. They both passed on over 10 years ago, but each day the kids are still learning how valuable the lessons they taught them were.
I recently interviewed the children of Dr. Norm. Check it out below.
Can you tell myself and the readers about yourself?
Sure. I was born in New York, but grew up here in Los Angeles. As far back as I can remember, I had a love and obsession for music, eventually choosing that as a career path where I enjoyed a long career in writing and producing music for TV and film.
I have two beautiful daughters who are 20 and 17. I love to golf when I get some free time. In 2015, cannabis unexpectedly crept into my life. Roberta Wilson, my sister and partner, had a 20+ year career at MTV and Viacom. As a tribute to our mom, she started a traditional cookie company, Audrey’s Cookies. Her experience in the cookie space paved the way for Dr. Norm’s. She’s also the mother of two amazing daughters. She deserves a ton of credit for the success of our brand!
Growing up and still to this day, who are some of your inspirations? How did they impact your life?
Well, it was all about the music when I was growing up. The Beatles were my main inspiration, but i also love many of the bands and artists of the 70”s (I’m dating myself). Steely Dan were a huge influence on my music. Over time I have drawn much inspiration from entrepreneurs who were not only successful, but changed the world with their brilliance and passion, such as: Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey and Albert Einstein to name a few. They are all innovators.
How did you know you had a passion for cannabis and it's therapeutic properties? What age were you when you decided to make it into your career?
Well, this is a crazy story, but 100 percent true. I hadn’t really used cannabis with any regularity since college days. Fast forward to 2015 and I was not at all plugged into the cannabis industry. I was assisting Roberta with her growing cookie company (eventually sold in Whole Foods, Sprouts, Costco and more). The cookies she produced were amazing. It was 2015 and she turned to me and joked, “We should do weed cookies!”. This was, of course not to be taken seriously! But I knew cannabis would probably be legalized in 2016 and thought this was an incredible opportunity. So, knowing absolutely nothing about cannabis or the business, I set out on an improbable journey. After some product development, Roberta decided to join me and Dr. Norm’s was born!
You asked what age? Well, let’s just say that we’re not spring chickens. We’ve both had long careers, but became very energized in our 50s when we entered this exciting industry.
How long has your business/brand been in the sky rocketing cannabis business?
We developed the concept in 2015, R&D and product development in 2016, and started selling to dispensaries in early 2017. Seems like 10 years ago!
How many products do you currently make and distribute?
Up until now, we have focused on making the best cannabis and CBD cookies out there! We wanted to establish ourselves with one product and grow organically. We’re seeing more and more corporatization in our industry. Cash rich companies launch brands with a suite of products. I sometimes have difficulty wrapping my head around what they’re all about.
So, we have stayed narrow. At present we have a variety of cookie SKUs in both 100mg bags and 5 and 10mg singles. And now that we’ve established our brand and have a loyal customer base, we’re expanding our product offerings. Currently in development are a line of medicinal vapes, effects-based soft gels and sublinguals, High dose tinctures, hard candies and more. We’re in a very exciting growth phase this year.
What sets your unique brand apart from every other cannabis baking business?
There are 3 main areas of distinction. Family Owned, Amazing Taste and Precise Dosage. I won’t go into all of the detail here, but I’ll be glad to come over to your house and talk at length! :-)
Dr. Norm’s is a family affair. Our dad was the real Dr. Norm! Our mom was a pharmacist and baked these amazing cookies, literally every day. She baked for those she loved and felt that her cookies were the best prescription for all that ails! Roberta and I founded and run the company and our brother Dave is an investor. We’re carrying on the tradition of our parents healing ways - in a manner they couldn’t have imagined!
When we started out, we couldn’t believe how bad edibles tasted! A. They tasted like weed and B. The recipes were less than stellar and inconsistent. We thought there had to be a better way. We started using a proprietary blend of distilled cannabis oil which entirely removed the weedy taste. We like to say, Taste the Cookie, Not the Cannabis! The cookies are based on our mom’s original recipes - let’s just say they are addicting!
Precisely Dosed. the other thing we noticed when taking inventory of the existing marketplace was that edibles were insanely strong! They came in huge doses and there was no way to accurately know how much you were taking! You broke off a piece and had no idea…10mg, 25mg, 125mg? We all know someone who's had too much and wound up face down on the couch for two days! So, we came up with the idea of 1 cookie, 1 dose. Pop a cookie and you know exactly what your getting - we wanted to give patients an enjoyable and reliable experience every time! Our mantra is KNOW YOUR DOSE™.
What made you decide to get into researching and baking cannabis infused cookies?
We saw what was on the market and said to ourselves, “There has to be a better way!”. So there was the “make a delicious cookie” part - something we had experience with before, Roberta’s traditional cookie company which sold products to Whole Foods, Sprouts, Stater Brothers, Costco and more. Then there was the cannabis side…and we went to work to perfect our methods.
How many different kinds/flavors of cookies do you offer?
Currently we offer:
Chocolate Chip Therapy in 5mg & 10mg (we are strong believers in offering low dose options!)
Chocolate Chip Therapy 1:1 Focus + Wellness (10mg THC + 10mg CBD)
Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Therapy - 10mg THC
Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Therapy - 1:1 Focus + Wellness (10mg THC + 10mg CBD)
Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Therapy - 15mg Pure CBD, cannabis derived
Both flavors (CC & PB) - 15mg pure CBD (hemp derived). Sold online and select retailers
Coming very soon…
Pecan Shortbread 10mg THC
Pecan Shortbread 15mg CBD (hemp derived)
We also currently offer 2 tincture products:
1000mg "Wellness" - 1000mg CBD + Antoxidants
500mg “Sleep” - 500mg CBD + Melatonin
More tinctures, medicinal vapes, cough drops and effects based sub-lingual tablets!
Are cannabis products becoming more common for medical and physical therapy due to it's natural "unicornish" effects?
Not sure what you mean by Unicornish! But I think you mean it’s good for just about everything! A colleague of ours and CEO of Cannakids (and all around brilliant woman, Tracy Ryan) feels that cannabis can help EVERY disease state, but the research isn’t in yet. That the human endocannabinoid system is so powerful, and so little is understood about it and the effects of cannabis. So to answer the question - yes, absolutely!
For us, we’ve received so much anecdotal evidence - purely as feedback from our customers. From back pain, to parkinson’s, from insomnia, to chemo appetite stimulation and nausea reduction, to arthritis, to post workout recovery - even a young girl with autism! This is what people have told us over and over. Again, this is anecdotal, there is no empirical evidence that this happened…but there are way too many examples to be coincidence! We are big time believers! That said, we in the industry need to use caution. It’s still too early in its evolution to be making empirical product claims. We can make recommendations and let consumers decide for themselves.
What are your personal 3 favorite products? Why and how do you use them in your everyday experience?
For edibles I like petra mints, smokiez gummies and must admit I love our 1:1 cookies. The high is very relaxed and you also get the benefit of the CBD. I do enjoy a hit or 2 off the vape before bed :-) I’ve tried many. Currently I’m loving my Kingpen Vape and oils. I recently tried a 1:1 vape from Sunday Goods that I fell in love with. I’m moving towards products with CBD in combination with THC. I’m also getting more into higher doses of CBD. I’ve been experimenting with different formulations of our CBD tinctures and doing R&D on myself!
When and where are the next times we can see and purchase some of your great products?
We’re carried at close to 200 shops and delivery services statewide. The majority are in our back yard in Southern Cal. But we are making serious inroads up North as well! We’re carried at all of the Men Men Shops, Easy delivery statewide and a shop near you. Feel free to check out our store finder.
What feelings are going through your mind as well as the company being put on the ballot for breakout company in the California Cannabis Awards?
It was a total surprise to us! We had no idea but received several emails from friends saying “I voted for you!”. So, besides surprise, it’s a feeling of having arrived. That we are an official part of the community and have a bright future. That said - our work is just beginning. There’s so much to do!
What great words of wisdom and advice can you offer fellow smokers and future cultivators?
Not sure about smokers and cultivators, but to those developing a brand, here's a bit of advice. I think it goes for pretty much any company with consumer products.
Figure out what distinguishes your brand and products from the competition.
Be focused. It’s hard to be all things to all people and it might diffuse the impact of your brand.
Know who your primary customer is, and develop products that appeal to that demographic. i.e. I don’t know too many 50+ cannabis consumers who are into dabbing. :-) But there are lots of products they might love.
Design your products and marketing to be consistent with your brand values. Be authentic.
Sometimes grassroots is better than corporate! Remember, if consumers like your product, you can succeed despite the growth of our industry! Go for it!!!
Follow the Dr. Norms
Evan Wheeler hails from Camden, NJ. Most know him as Huey X, which is his selected born again name. It was selected by his love of Huey P Newton and Malcolm X who he follows for their beliefs and looks up to as his mentors. Huey is a well educated brother by the standards of college, as well as being a self taught activist and revolutionary through his experiences in life. He also thinks of himself as an entrepreneur being involved in so many different fields that include: poetry, writing, youth advocacy, business development, investing, and production. He is, “Always looking to advance the culture & legacy ".