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Why wildlife conservationist Jane Goodall is partnering with an essential oils company

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Jane Goodall, The Jane Goodall Institute Founder & Michael Cammarata, Neptune Wellness Solutions CEO join Yahoo Finance’s On The Move panel to weigh on their partnership and launch of the essential oil kit ‘Wonders of Africa’.

Video Transcript

ADAM SHAPIRO: Want to talk about an effort to legalize cannabis, marijuana, nationwide. And we actually heard from one of the vice presidential candidates, Kamala Harris, who said that that should happen if she does become vice president and Joe Biden is elected. That was during the last debate with the vice presidents.

But let's talk more about this with Jane Goodall and Michael Cammarata, Neptune Wellness Solutions CEO. It's good to have both of you here. And a lot of people will recognize Jane Goodall with the enormous work you have done when you were in Africa regarding gorillas and several other environmental issues.

So let me start, though, on this issue with you, Michael. Do you see federal legalization of marijuana actually happening, whether it's Biden or Trump who becomes president next year?

MICHAEL CAMMARATA: Oh, yeah, I think it's a bipartisan support on both sides. I think there's a couple issues. One is that Republicans, if they were to win, they have states that they will have to make a deal with to replace the income that they are doing on a federal level. And if the Democrats win, they would obviously do it across the board.

But I think that what they're realizing now is there's actually three uses for cannabinoids, whether it be hemp-derived or cannabis-derived, and instead of just adult consumption or medical, but there's actually a consumer packaged good use to make your houses much safer in the products like disinfectant wipes that we can remove toxicity from. So now that they're seeing that it's a broader use, it's definitely going to get a lot of additional attraction.

DAN HOWLEY: Jane, this is Dan Howley. I just want to ask you about CBD use in animals. We've seen a lot of people kind of discuss this with perhaps their pets at home, dogs, cats, what have you. But I want to know what it could mean for animals in general. Could it improve the lives of animals who have suffered abuse, were in captivity, or even those out in the wild, maybe?

JANE GOODALL: Well, quite honestly, you are asking me about something I have-- I have no knowledge about. I do know that in the wild quite a few animals do take various substances that seem to give them a high. I know that for sure. But the effect of cannabis on our dogs and cats is something I've never looked into, so I can't answer that. And by the way, I studied chimpanzees, not gorillas.

ADAM SHAPIRO: I apologize.

JANE GOODALL: Chimpanzees--

ADAM SHAPIRO: I apologize. Well, primates. You're known as a primatologist.

JANE GOODALL: Chimpanzees use many, many of the medicinal plants that the local people use for various ailments, stomachs, and wounds, and things like that. I'm quite sure they would enjoy smoking pot.

ADAM SHAPIRO: I know quite a few animals who are of the-- well, are human beings who enjoy that here in New York City, of all places. But I have to ask you, why did you decide, Jane, to get involved in this? You're on the board. What was it that drew you to this?

JANE GOODALL: You mean with the-- with the essential oils?


JANE GOODALL: Well, I got-- I got involved really because of Michael and the company. Because you know, the Jane Goodall Institute, we're doing many programs around the world to try and make it a better place for people, animals, and the environment. We're working, especially in Africa, to protect environments and improve the livelihoods of people. And we're always searching for partners with whom we can share values to improve our-- to improve our fundraising capabilities. So finding a company like this, and finding Michael who shares the same values as I do, and producing lovely fragrances, then it's a win-win-win situation, I think.

DAN HOWLEY: Michael, I want to ask you about the growth of marijuana, right. If you have a large area-- I mean, people in California have dealt with this, but they say that it can lead to smells, I guess. If you see kind of a larger global industry, how do you kind of work to prevent the overall idea of, I guess, polluting the local environments as a result of this wide-scale harvesting that's bound to happen with legalized marijuana?

MICHAEL CAMMARATA: Well, I think there's-- there's many differences. We partnered with IFF, International Fragrances and Flavors, and they help with us on our operational level. And the one-- and they recently merged with DuPont, making them one of the largest ingredient providers in the world.

I think everything that we do has to have a positive impact on people and planet, and that's something that's very unique. Like even on our essential oil lines with Jane, like we work with the local communities in Africa, and we scale up efficiently our supply chain to not only are we providing jobs and supporting local communities with the support of IFF, but we're also able to bring products to scale. And I think there's a lot of unique technologies and stuff along those lines that we've been developing with IFF to be able to increase the production.

Because a lot of people, when they talk about cannabis or they talk about hemp, they're missing that third segment, which is actually going to be the biggest, which is probably going to make it go from a multibillion-dollar opportunity to a much larger opportunity. Because when you really look at it, the consumer packaged good companies, to get organic growth, they're going to need cannabinoids. And the cannabinoids with antifungal and antibacterial properties from these plants and the anti-inflammation can make a natural deodorant last for 48 hours and compete with a clinical strength, or it can make a toothpaste to fight gingivitis. There's so many applications beyond just household cleaning products that are going to be using these cannabinoids.

So you're right on a point where developing scale is really crucial because we really want to focus on organic soil and organic product. We don't want to use pesticides. We don't want to have a negative impact on the planet. And that's something that we partnered with IFF, which has global reach, and also with our scientists and our knowledge and our ability to produce products at high quality with complete transparency. It's something that we're all working together on, because the actual use is much greater than just adult consumption and medical.

ADAM SHAPIRO: I've got to tell you, Michael, that extended-use deodorant will be very popular in New York City once we all start riding the subway again. Thank you very much for joining us, Jane Goodall and Michael Cammarata, Neptune Wellness Solutions CEO.