Milwaukee Company produces CBD locally and organically
RA! Is an all-natural hemp and wellness company, and lifestyle brand, founded by Richard Bowman.
RA!—a play on the word raw— offers cannabidiol (CBD) edibles, tinctures and topicals crafted through a trademarked Whole Spectrum™ processing method that captures CBD and all ancillary cannabinoids.
Bowman, a musician and real estate agent, works with research & development specialist Alla Tsypin, an herbalist of 25 years and co-founder of Madison-based Nessalla craft kombucha. Tsypin had sold Nessalla in 2020 and wanted to get back to her herbalist roots.
One night, Bowman and Tsypin found Bowman’s senior American bulldog, Polar Bear, unresponsive. A visit to an emergency veterinarian revealed she had cancer and heart issues. As hemp users, Bowman and Tsypin decided to try CBD to help Polar Bear.
“We gave her CBD. It bought her another four months,” Tsypin says. “She became vibrant and could go up and down stairs. It bought Richard and his son time to say goodbye and have these final moments with her in a positive way. She was happy and thriving, and was present in body, soul and spirit.”
Bowman adds that Polar Bear was with his 7-year-old son for his entire life and was a big part of the family. “It was important for him to say goodbye not in a sad, dark way, but in a way to celebrate her moving on to a different space,” Bowman adds. The experience inspired them to bring CBD wellness to others.
Building a Unique Brand
After two years of research, development and working with labs, Bowman and Tsypin officially launched RA! in October 2021 at the USA CBD Expo, in Chicago. With a focus on the wellness aspect of CBD, they plan to build a wellness community while educating people how CBD can help with anxiety, sleeplessness, inflammation and autoimmune disorders, as well as recovery and addiction.
Bowman and Tsypin praised the quality of Wisconsin-grown hemp and strive to keep all aspects of their business as local as possible, from the farmers from which they source hemp to the labs and processors.
Bowman already had a clear vision for the branding. “I knew exactly who I wanted to use for the branding—the look, the feel, the energy and the colors are all so paramount, especially in this industry. Scott Starr and his team at Rev Pop brilliantly brought an aesthetic and vibe to our mission,” he emphasizes. As members of Generation X, they feel that demographic is often overlooked.
“As Gen Xers, we’re parents and even grandparents, we have jobs, careers and lots of other things going on, and we have to do it all with anxiety or achy joints or muscles,” Tsypin says. “We still have to keep up with the children and stay relevant, so CBD is such a great way to stay healthy.”
She adds that during the COVID-19 pandemic, more people sought to take their health seriously and looked for alternative ways to stay healthy and strong.
Whole Spectrum™ Products
RA! has a wide array of edibles including Delta-9 gummies, tinctures and topicals. For processing, Bowman and Tsypin work with American Extractions, based in Janesville, Wis. The company uses a processing method called Whole Spectrum ™, which doesn’t use solvents, chemicals or CO2 extraction.
“It’s based on physics rather than chemistry,” Tsypin says. “You’re literally getting the plant as nature intended, with all the oils and cannabinoids. American Extractions states in its website that the Whole Spectrum ™ process “captures all elements within the cannabinoids, and all the terpenes at a higher intensity and strength.”
Bowman, a Type 1 diabetic, says they’re hard at work on a new formulation that will be a game-changer to help others with diabetes. “We want to pay it forward. It’s all about wellness and what we can bring to people.”
With a goal to educate and collaborate, Bowman and Tsypin hope that RA! will become a leader among Wisconsin-based cannabis businesses. They want to expand their retail presence and offer classes throughout Milwaukee and Madison. “The more people we collaborate with, the word will travel farther,” Bowman concludes. “We’re building roads for the next generation.”