Funny Business with Jane Wells

Women find sexual help...with cannabis?


The legal marijuana industry is an entrepreneur's dream, as long as the fact that it's illegal at the federal level doesn't bother you.

Startups are popping up with more energy than you'd expect from a business based on a product that chills you out.

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Cannabis, however, has many other properties besides getting you high. There may be other uses for it.

Like making sex better for women.


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A company called Foria has started selling a cannabis-infused topical oil for women that the company claims will "unlock profound pleasures." The product has been on the market since May, and it is currently only available for sale in California for medical marijuana patients (I don't know how you get a doctor to sign off on needing pot this for this "medical condition" but, hey, it's California).

"We try not to make any claims that it's going to do this, that or the other," said Foria founder Mathew Gerson. However, testimonials on the website do make it quite clear what the product aims to accomplish. "A lot of seeping, warm, tingling sensations," said one woman describing what happens after she applied Foria. Another woman gets quite a bit more graphic.

Marijuana technology evolving

Whether marijuana enhances pleasure, especially in women, has been the subject of some scientific research. Last April, New York Magazine had an article titled, "Marijuana, the Natural Viagra?"

Gerson said he started Foria with like-minded entrepreneurs in a medical marijuana collective in California when he realized how few FDA-approved products there are to help women sexually. Actually, there are zero, compared with 26 for men. Gerson came from a family of physicians, and he had already launched a company called Sir Richard's all natural condoms (you can't make this stuff up). The condoms are now selling in CVS and Whole Foods.

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By the way, Gerson originally wanted to be a Tibetan Buddhist monk before turning into a condom entrepreneur. His mother tells him he moved "from robes to rubbers."

And now he has moved into the marijuana business. "I've looked at human sexuality in the broader realm of wellness," he said, adding that he believes cannabis can be part of that. Throughout its history, "one of (its) primary uses was as an aphrodisiac."

So Gerson and his partners formed the Aphrodite Group to create Foria. "I just started making a couple of batches at home and started sharing it with family members." Including his mother.

Yes, he gave his mom a cannabis-infused oil meant to enhance sexual pleasure.

"My mother has smoked marijuana maybe once, and she did not inhale." However, she gave Foria a whirl. Now, "She's a believer."

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Foria's target audience is perimenopausal and menopausal women who have less sex drive. Since launching the product online, Gerson's traffic has been "insane. We get calls and emails every day."

So…hurray for the gals. What about the guys? What does Foria do for them, other than make their partners potentially happier? "It's fully edible," Gerson said, pointing out that Foria contains coconut oil. Ingesting Foria should also be pleasurable. But what about men who participate in, well, the traditional way? The effect in that case "is very minimal."

Gerson hopes to have Foria profitable in a few months, and he'd like to expand the business to Colorado and Washington, where recreational marijuana is legal. However, to do that, he will need to relocate and set up branch manufacturing operations in each state. "You can't cross state lines with our product."

—By CNBC's Jane Wells.