Cannabis Startup OFFFIELD Aims to Make Exercise More Enjoyable
Is there a market for “functional cannabis” and can a brand convince you to get moving?
The entrepreneurs behind OFFFIELD, a Los Angeles-based startup, are betting on it.
Tony Fur and Todd Hunter, seasoned marketers who cut their teeth working with popular brands like Bonobos and Chipotle over more than a decade at Creative Artists Agency, last month unveiled a CBD-enhanced hydration stick aimed at everyday athletes who might need a little extra boost to get out the door for a jog.
Made with a non-psychoactive blend of broad-spectrum CBD and CBG, as well as L-theanine, B12, and electrolytes, OFFFIELD is intended to be mixed with 12 ounces of water and consumed before a workout.
Packaged in colorfully designed stick packets and sold directly to consumers online, the company’s powder blend was formulated to enhance performance, support endurance and offer anti-inflammation and anti-anxiety benefits.
Speaking to THCnet, Fur and Hunter said the idea for OFFFIELD was hatched after they reached “peak burnout” in a profession that had heavy travel requirements and countless evenings spent drinking with clients.
“People would look at us and say, ‘you don’t look so great,” Fur recalls. “That really triggered us, and we started talking about how to take control of our health and our lives.”
So, Hunter and Fur began dedicating time to activities like hiking and tennis on Friday afternoons, and somewhere along the way, cannabis was introduced to the equation.
“The experience got a bit more fun and we were surprised that, not only were we able to function, but we also felt better the next day,” Fur said.
Shortly after, they enlisted the help of entrepreneur Bert Culha, who helped create Cycle House LA and had co-founded two cannabis companies — F/ELD extracts and Olio concentrates.
“That’s when we really started engaging in what the future of cannabis and fitness could look like,” Fur said.
Working on a thesis that two-thirds of Americans are not getting enough exercise, the three co-founders of OFFFIELD began sketching out a plan for a lifestyle brand that could demystify the endocannabinoid system and convince consumers that cannabis could actually enhance their desire to get fit.
“200 million Americans just aren't getting up and working out,” Fur said. “We want to provide those people with something that will incentivize them to find something they enjoy.”
After several months of business planning, Fur and Hunter quit their jobs at CAA and dove full-time into building OFFFIELD.
Although their first product is CBD-based, they view the OFFFIELD brand as a platform for other cannabis products that appeal to consumers interested in leading more active lifestyles.
“We are not just a CBD company,” Fur stressed. “We see ourselves as a functional cannabis company, and we see that growing through innovation, research, legislation and social change. There’s a lot of things that have to happen in the world for our vision to really come to fruition.”
That vision includes launching THC products through the dispensary channel at some point in 2021, though Fur wouldn’t specify exactly what those offerings would be or when they would become available.
“We have a number of things in the pipeline, and there is going to be one product that will look a lot different from anything out there,” he said, noting that they are keeping an eye on the snack space.
OFFFIELD’s forthcoming THC products could be consumables or transdermal items, Fur said, adding that the company looks to create offerings that “can benefit the physical experience.”
“The opportunity to help people with their training is huge,” Hunter said. “We think the cannabis market is underserved with products that are healthful and solve for things like onset and offset times. At the end of the day, we are trying to identify the form factors that meet an athlete’s needs and are consistent and reliable.”
OFFFIELD’s enhanced hydration sticks are sold in packs of 12 for $60. Monthly subscriptions are also available for $48.
According to Fur, OFFFIELD is backed by a handful of private investors, including friends, family and angels who also serve as advisors. At least one of those investors/advisors is Josh Zad, the founder of popular coffee chain Alfred, who also happened to create and trademark one of the most instagrammed phrases of the last decade — “But first, coffee.”
Additional information is available in the company’s news release, below.
OFFFIELD Launch Combines Cannabis and Exercise for Optimal Mental and Physical Wellbeing
The functional cannabis company helps unlock “Runner’s High” for everyday athletes with an innovative formula and social good at its core
LOS ANGELES — In response to the overwhelming need for preventative mental and physical wellness, Tony Fur and Todd Hunter (previously Chief Creative Officers at Observatory, a CAA company) launch OFFFIELD (www.offfield.com), a functional cannabis company created to make working out more enjoyable. Tony and Todd partnered with cannabis entrepreneur Bert Culcha (previously of F/IELD Extracts and Oleo) and a team of doctors, nutritionists, cannabis pioneers to develop an innovative & transparently sourced formula designed for pre-workout consumption.
OFFFIELD’s first product, Enhanced Hydration, combines Broad Spectrum CBD + CBG, L-Theanine, B12, Magnesium, and Electrolytes for a powder blend meant to be dissolved in water and consumed 15 minutes before physical activity for reduced anxiety, inflammation, and increased hydration and motivation. These factors together alleviate the more burdensome side effects of exercise and help enable anandamide (also known as the "bliss molecule”), helping users biochemically conquer the “runner’s high” they strive for but so often cannot achieve. OFFFIELD’s launch reacts to statistics that concern the American public now more than ever such as 2 in 3 Americans4 lacking sufficient physical activity and the well known fact that regular exercise benefits immunity, “even in isolation.” This, coupled with the fact that 50% of cannabis users claim cannabis motivated them to exercise6, prove the launch an important step in the right direction.
“Contrary to popular belief, ‘Runner’s High’ isn’t just about endorphins. Research shows we can use our endocannabinoid system to help us feel better during physical activity and that’s exactly where we show up,” says co-founder Tony Fur. “OFFFIELD’s mission is to help you get out of your head and into your body, making daily exercise more enjoyable. W e call it Movement Made Happy and everyone is invited.”
OFFFIELD believes that the enjoyment and understanding of self-care should not be reserved for privileged communities, but for all. In order to accomplish their belief, they did what any everyday athlete would do: make some goals. Their goals are built to serve people, places, and the planet, with commitments to those helping others. At launch, the company has partnered with The Last Prisoner Project, pledging to donate 1% of sales for the remainder of the year. The money will go to helping free people incarcerated for cannabis laws that no longer exist. Alongside TLPP, OFFFIELD will work to help exonerees find their path to self-care as they enter back into society. Furthermore, they have created a built-in “second chance hiring” program for people wrongly imprisoned for cannabis - ensuring that as they grow, so does their impact on the communities they come from. Aligning activity and impact, consumers can also engage in charitable cannabis-friendly virtual activities, that range from yoga to long-distance running with athlete Rio Lakeshore. Donations will be matched as $1 for every class or per every mile, depending on the activity (available to track on Strava).
“The stigmas of weed culture are just that - stigmas,” says co-founder Todd Hunter. “We want to help break preconceived notions about cannabis and also push on the idea that research & innovation starts and ends in rest and recovery. Our formula uses cannabis to help people find balance and get moving, which is quite the opposite of what too many people think it’s capable of.”
OFFFIELD’s visual identity and branding further their mission of positive cannabis use, accessibility, and breaking the negative stigma. Led and executed by co-founders Tony Fur and Todd Hunter, who leaned on their CAA experience leading cross-discipline projects for brands like Coca-Cola, Chipotle, General Motors and, Bonobos, OFFFIELD’s branding was inspired by the “golden age” of fitness and sport where enjoyment and fun were front and center—when people were excited about a new activity (from jogging to rollerblading) and sports were less about performance and more about the experience. The company’s style sits at the intersection of timeless recreational style (albeit nostalgic & optimistic) and modern, minimal design to capture the lighthearted spirit of self-care that can re-inspire people to move happy.
Having started his career as a graphic designer and illustrator at the age of 16, Tony designed every graphic element and illustrated OFFFIELD’s collection of characters by hand, a skill he also put forward in developing animated brand work for Coca-Cola, Umpqua Bank and Chipotle. The characters explore both serious and lighthearted topics in culture and our daily lives—their illustrated and animated adult archetypes are at the cross-section of fitness and cannabis, with the intention of making complex issues like health-care, legislation and lifestyle more approachable. The characters can be found throughout their website and packaging cycling, doing yoga, running, playing tennis, skateboarding, and more. Some characters carry political references, from the law-makers responsible for propagating the war on drugs to hard working United States postal workers that need to be recognized for their service (and also happen to deliver OFFFIELD).
OFFFIELD’s formula was developed in partnership with partner, Everest and OFFFIELD’s Chief Science Officer Mark Farber, Dr. (MD, PhD, MS), who has a background in internal medicine, biomedical and chemical engineering, and basic science research. The product went through 15 iterations to perfect the dissolving quality of high quality CBD in water—landing on water-dispersed hemp oil that delivers cannabinoids to your system. The product was tested for safety and quality by Everest Formulations . Co-founders Todd, Tony and Bert all have first hand testimonial with OFFFIELD since they set out to perfect the product 1.5 years ago—with a 50 pound weight loss journey, completion of a first triathlon after years of back pain, and breakthrough progress in work/life balance (amidst a 1 to 2 child transition + working from home during the pandemic) respectively. Third party clinical trials are underway and will be released as soon as available.
OFFFIELD Enhanced Hydration comes in packs of 12 10g, single serving packets for $60.00 with free shipping and is available for a monthly subscription for $48. The product is sold direct to consumer at www.offfield.com, with retail partners to follow.
Tony Fur (CEO, Co-Founder) & Todd Hunter (Co-Founder, Chief Brand Officer): Tony is recognized by Campaign Magazine as one of the most creative marketers in the world with 4 Grand Prix Lions, 4 Emmy Awards, and 8 Webbys wins. Todd is one of the world’s most awarded strategic and creative marketers, named to PR Week 40 Under 40 and Forbes 30 Under 30. Together they founded and grew Observatory (a CAA company), which was recognized by Fast Company as one of the "Most Innovative Companies of 2020" in the world. More than a decade of experience and leadership at CAA, while gratifying, led to burnout and the birth of something new in OFFFIELD, rooted in the two ways they (and many) balance the pressures of work & life: Cannabis & Exercise.
Bert Culha - Chief Cannabis Officer, Co-Founder: As the founder of Cycle House (with locations in LA, New York, and DC), Bert is a fitness and cannabis industry veteran. In the last 6 years, he has built and grown successful cannabis companies, Olio in Denver and F/eld Extracts in Los Angeles.
Dr. Mark Farber - Chief Scientific Officer: Dr. Farber MD, PhD, MS has a background in internal medicine, biomedical and chemical engineering, and basic science research. As a scientist, engineer, and physician Dr Farber has gained extensive experience with previous breakthroughs in chemical engineering, biomedical device design and sports science.