As one of the first brands to earn the USDA Organic Certification back in 2019, R&R CBD has been setting standards for high-quality, locally sourced hemp companies for several years now. This brand’s ability to produce top-shelf products that come from local farmers is something that many companies strive to achieve — yet they fall by the wayside and turn to cheap, bulk hemp distributors, instead.
With all of this in mind, we had to turn to Dave Baugh, the co-founder and COO, to better understand how this brand can be so accessible while still maintaining the small, home-grown company feel that they exude.
R&R’s Start: From Plant to Product
Dave Baugh, his twin brother Lars, and their business partner Eric make up the genius behind R&R CBD. The brand stands for “Rest and Relaxation,” a phrase that’s prevalently utilized in the military to refer to periods of vacation or liberty. As a former US Marine, Baugh related to this phrase firsthand, and also understood just how applicable it could be to the hemp industry, too.
“Our products offer just those things — rest and relaxation — to bring powerful relief to our customers that need it most,” the veteran told us.
On R&R’s website, you’ll see that the brand proudly states, “Our mothers use our products, so quality is paramount.” And, according to Baugh, this statement is absolutely true.
The COO reminisced about establishing the company around their free, Craiglist-bought living room table back in 2017. After discovering CBD through a different company they were running, Baugh, his brother, and his business partner decided to dive head first into the industry: “We built everything from scratch and handled most of the operations internally – from blending to product packing – all in our FDA registered facility in Aurora, Colorado,” Baugh explained.
He went on to say that this came with testing their own products, including giving them to their immediate families. This is where the mothers-mantra comes from, as their own moms now enjoy R&R daily.
“Since , we’ve grown outside of our internal operations to a much larger scale, but still carry that mantra with us to remind us how important every single person is, and that establishing honesty, confidence, and trust in our products is paramount for both our success and each customer’s,” Baugh says proudly.
In a time where hemp companies are working to produce on the largest scales possible, brands like R&R that prioritize the individual feel like a blessing to come across. R&R seems to understand this, even as the hemp industry has completely exploded, they “do things the hard way,” ensuring that they have control over the entire process — from plant to product, as the COO describes.
How R&R Sets Hemp Standards
From seed to processing all the way to sales and customer service, R&R does things differently — more personally. And they’ve been dedicated to operating this way from the start.
Back in 2019, there weren’t many brands attempting to certify their products with the USDA, remarks Baugh, as the process required significant care, attention, and commitment. But these were all qualities that R&R was dedicated to achieving in order to obtain the USDA Organic Certification.
As one of the first brands to do so, having this certification shows customers and partners just how high-quality R&R’s products truly are. Baugh stresses, “It’s up to each customer as to what they want to put in their body, but if it were up to me (or my mom), [CBD products] should be readily identifiable as high quality and safe.” He explains that the USDA Organic certification typically justifies two important metrics: these products are higher quality and safer than less regulated goods. It’s as simple as that.
Of course, R&R set the standard in the hemp industry in more areas than just their USDA certification. The brand’s ability to connect with its customers — and have real, beneficial relationships — is not only impressive, but it says a lot about how much they care about its community.
Baugh says that R&R aims to stand out from big-box hemp brands by actually taking care of their customers in customized, dignified ways. “No chat bots, no spammy emails, no endless loop of FAQs – with R&R, you’ll get a real person on the other end of the phone or email, every time, who knows your order, history, and will handle your questions or concerns with care,” the COO elaborates.
“We’re an employee-owned company, so each person here cares about what they do — it matters to all of us how each person handles their business, and you can see the positive effect of that in our products, design, customer care, and more.”
The co-founder stresses that the brand will never settle for buying extracts in bulk or white labeling their products. While these small-batch techniques are undoubtedly more expensive for R&R to undergo, working in this way guarantees that customers always get the top-shelf quality that they’ve come to know and love.
R&R’s Secret Ingredient to Cannabis Accessibility
The low prices of R&R’s products make them more accessible than most CBD brands on the market today. Despite offering high-potency options, R&R’s products tend to be priced on the lower end — yet, they don’t rely on large-batch distributors. So, how do they do this? What’s R&R’s secret ingredient?
“By carefully selecting our distribution partners, independent retailers, packaging partners, and more, we are able to reduce expenses and keep our prices low enough for most Americans to access our product and pass along the savings to them,” says Baugh. He also notes that the brand offers additional discounts to veterans, those who have referrals, and subscriptions.
“Our accessibility is unlimited in that we work with independent retail partners across the US, about 3000 of them, to ensure local businesses are empowered to educate and connect with their customers on a face-to-face basis,” he tells us. “We don’t work with big box retailers because that level of customer care and education simply does not exist in a big aisle, but rather at stores where owners know your name. Our entire brand is built around word-of-mouth and customer connection, so we take our relationships with retailers and customers very seriously.”
The COO also wanted to stress that R&R utilizes an incredible team of farmers, extractors, chemists, and formulators to ensure that every batch of hemp is as efficacious as possible. The brand wants customers to know that R&R is with them every step of the way, helping with cannabinoid education, resources, and more: “Education and customer care are certainly part of the equation to our customer’s success,” says Baugh.
It’s clear that R&R’s efforts may not be the easiest way to operate, but it’s the way that customers deserve the most. If more brands followed in R&R’s footsteps, the hemp industry as a whole would look quite different, with importance being placed back on the customer’s wellness, and no longer on profit and bulk production.
Looking Ahead With R&R
Baugh and the rest of the R&R team look ahead to the hemp industry with optimism and hope. The co-founder is eager to see what a new Farm Bill update may bring, or what new federal legalization bills may unfold in the next few months and years.
But, when we mentioned R&R expanding beyond cannabinoids like CBD and into delta-8 or delta-9, it’s clear that that’s not necessarily a priority for the company, specifically: “Psychoactive hemp-derived cannabinoids have slightly different regulations and regulations are still rapidly developing around Delta 8/9 and HHC types of products, so we’ve chosen to offer these as a separate brand as they often serve a different purpose or customer.”
That separate brand, Summit, is R&R’s sister company, and it’s where you can find psychoactive cannabinoid product options if you so choose. However, as Baugh puts it, “They are different products and offer different types of experiences and solutions.” Thus, they aren’t going to advertise them alongside products like CBD on R&R’s site.
While you aren’t going to find delta-8 gummies from this brand, Baugh and the rest of the R&R team is still more than excited about the future, and they’re staying dedicated to listening to customers, evolving product lines, and learning more about what CBD has to offer.
“As we continue to grow,” says Baugh, “we hope to continue scaling our efforts to take care of our customers. We’ll hire more in-house support in all areas and commit to never compromising on things like buying cheaper hemp in-bulk from distributors or automated customer service.”
He says that over the past six years, R&R has found that their family of employees is their strongest asset and biggest advantage, as well as listening to customer feedback and making relevant, beneficial changes whenever necessary.
“We’ve come a long way from the living room table we got for free on Craiglist, but we still have a long way to go,” remarks the COO, implying that even though they’ve made a lot of firsts in the industry, R&R has no plans of slowing down any time soon.
Trying Affordable, Locally Sourced Products — That Actually Work
These days, finding CBD brands that use locally sourced, small-batch products from independent farmers — that you can actually afford — seems impossible. But, R&R is here to break the mold by curating home-grown products that are not only affordable but actually work.
Whether you’re a veteran, someone with chronic pain, or a CBD fan wanting to support a small business, R&R guarantees that you’ll find everything you’re looking for and more when shopping for high-quality products.
As Baugh states, “Whether it’s their first time using CBD, we’re their 5th brand they’ve tried because the others didn’t work, or they’re finally trying R&R as an alternative to something more traditional — we’ll take care of you.” Truly, what more can you ask for?