Heylo is on a mission to create a community of cannabis enthusiasts. CEO Lo Friesen and her cannabis career started by researching the chemistry of cannabis for medical benefits, which turned her passion from pure science into providing premium quality concentrates and building a community of cannabis enthusiasts. For Lo, cannabis as medicine was what really opened her eyes as a way to improve people’s quality of life and radiate positivity in our world. Heylo does this by being an active part of cannabis education and the local Seattle community.
Lo’s first interaction with cannabis was purely academic. Being a Chemistry major, her first motivation for becoming a pioneer of quality cannabis extraction sprouted when she was researching and conducting studies to help find cures on esophageal disorders such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, dysphagia, achalasia, and functional chest pain.
“I was inspired by my supervisor to look into the medical benefits of cannabis and found ample research to prove to me that cannabis is medicine.” She then turned her focus from medical research to become head of Research and Development at Eden Labs, a Cannabis extraction equipment manufacturer based in Seattle.
Lo’s time at Eden Labs exposed her to the science behind botanical extractions and distillation. She was in the forefront of many research and development projects creating and implementing equipment and processes specifically for the cannabis industry, many of these projects inspired by the founder of Eden Labs, Fritz Chess. While working on these projects, Lo “knew CO2 extraction was the future of cannabis concentrates, so I left Eden to work for a licensed 502 marijuana processor.”
She took the leap into the i502 cannabis space in Washington State, in turn sparking Heylo. “After countless hours working for another processing company, I decided to take a unique opportunity to start my own cannabis processing company, Heylo.” As a licensed 502 marijuana processor in Seattle, Washington Heylo is devoted toward providing consumers with excellent quality in both their goods and services:
“At Heylo, we find premium outdoor flower and extract the desired materials from the flower to create premium cannabis concentrate. It is our mission to provide consumers with delicious product, transparency in our process, and a cannabis community to learn about and experience cannabis in a new way.“
At Heylo, they use an Eden Labs Hi-Flo Supercritical CO2 extraction system to create an extract rich in terpenes of various cannabinoid ratios. The Supercritical CO2 system is nothing to be reckoned with, being a very high investment with top of the line technology and equipment. Heylo takes pride in being able to keep the delicious flavor of their concentrates while keeping the extract as close to the plant as possible. This process keeps the extract in one piece from the extraction to cartridge, creating a tasty and effective cannabis concentrate without sacrificing flavor.
Being a young Entrepreneur and a new set of eyes on the industry, Lo found a unique approach as a processing company in Washington State. Because the extraction process is no easy feat, plus not to mention a serious financial investment on equipment, Heylo is partnering with existing cannabis brands who are looking to get into the extraction game, but don’t have the budget for a proper extraction equipment. Partnering with these companies has been a huge success, and keeps growing. Working together as a cannabis community has been much more beneficial to Heylo than being piranhas towards each other for the same small marketspace. Not to mention all of the partnerships that have opened up opportunities to become more involved, bringing more brand awareness and more connections with other passionate people in the cannabis community.
Similar to partnering with fellow cannabis companies, and being from a scientific background, Lo is very transparent with clients about all of Heylo’s products. “We believe in transparency, so all of our analytical results are available on our website for consumers and industry members to view at any time.” Heylo displays more than just THC and CBD on their labels too, including prominent cannabinoids, terpenes, and even fun activities to pair with the terpene profile.
But what makes Heylo truly stand out amongst competing extraction companies is their community involvement and engagement. “We host many terpene and cannabinoid educational series, cannabis chemistry presentations, music events, and we always have room for public tours.” To date, Lo’s greatest professional accomplishment was Heylo’s participation at Terpestival 2017 where they won 4 awards: Most Therapeutic, Best THC/CBD Ratio, Highest Myrcene, and Highest Pinene. But by far the greatest accomplishment for Lo has been the opportunity to connect with customers who’ve been deeply impacted by Heylo’s products. Hearing their stories, and creating new products to bring to market helps her keep up with the daily grind. “I am passionate about creating premium cannabis oils, topicals, and other products. I continue to stay in the industry to build a cannabis community around education, quality, and an active lifestyle enhanced by cannabis use.”
Heylo’s mission is to keep in focus of what it means to have a good product. “You can have the basics–good product, packaging and price point, but you also have to share the excitement and culture of your company.” Which is a reason why Lo suggests to rising Cannapreneurs how crucial it is to choose business partners wisely, while at the same time holding the doors open to new possibilities. In a new industry, there’s no time to dig your heels in or create bad blood. Be willing to accept change, but even more importantly have good intentions behind your actions.
“Because of the challenges I’ve faced throughout my life, I’ve learned the following: enter relationships, business or personal, with good people that you would be proud to know. Be adaptable and accept change. Do good and be intentional with your actions.”
Lo also strongly recommends finding a mentor; someone to helps you through the good and bad, and to see failure as a sign of growth and improvement. “I’ve been lucky to have business and life mentors my whole life. As cheesy as it is, they’re my parents… Failure is a part of the process, but as long as you’re making progress it doesn’t matter.”
Heylo, and CEO Lo, is much more than a cannabis processing company. Heylo strives to be part of a growing hub of cannabis education, local art, music, and tourism. Community and cannabis can and will coincide with each other, and we see Heylo avidly shaping the public’s perspective towards cannabis and the community. “Bigger companies will start popping up across multiple states, but there will still be room for craft cannabis. Support good people and good companies!”