TAMPA, Fla. — When the pandemic hit, Drew Reinhart had to make some tough decisions, stay on his current path or risk everything on his dream.
Meeting Reinhart for the first time, you immediately feel his passion for honey and CBD, along with something else, his sense of humor and positive spirit.
Reinhart says as a disabled veteran; he's been through a lot. When the pandemic started, his wife was pregnant with their second child and couldn't work. Then he realized with his classes shifting online; he had to make a change.
"The pandemic happened, and I wasn't able to continue classes online, and my wife came off short-term disability and lost her job," Reinhart said. "So, something that was simply supposed to be something we could work up over a few years quickly became our only source of income."
In 2018, former President Donald Trump signed the Farm Bill into law legalizing hemp. It paved the path for Reinhart to get into the CBD business. But it wasn't easy and still isn't. But, Reinhart was able to launch his company D'z B'z Inc. late last year.
"It's weird everything just kind of fell into place, and it gave me an opportunity to get the business going. It wasn't easy. I drained my retirement, I emptied out my savings account, and I took a loan out against my car. We weren't able to get financing or any financial backing," Reinhart said. "When you have to do something, and you need to succeed, you will. It was either the business succeeding or my family being homeless, and my family is not going homeless."
This month, Reinhart and his wife welcomed a new baby boy into the family. He is now splitting his time as a new father with the daily grind of building his business D'z B'z Inc., and he is swamped. Reinhart goes from farmer's market to market across the Tampa Bay area, promoting his product and making sales. Right now, the business he wanted to build over several years is the sole income for his family.
The science behind the health benefits of CBD is still in its infancy. But, Reinhart believes it is a cure-all.
"As a disabled combat veteran, I can tell you that it personally helps me out with pain, inflammation, my anxiety, and my insomnia as well," Reinhart said. "When I come home at night, I can be a dad to my 3-year-old daughter. I can be a good husband to my pregnant wife cause I am not constantly living in pain anymore."
His honey comes from Lakeland and the CBD comes from a hemp farm outside Jacksonville. Each batch comes with a certificate of analysis.
"Because I want people to know everything that's in my honey but more importantly what's not in it like salmonella E. coli, listeria, arsenic cause that stuff will kill you," Reinhart said. "I believe that everything kind of happens for a reason we are all given opportunities when we are supposed to take advantage of them. Me making this business wasn't an opportunity that I had ten years ago."