Spotlight Archives - Green Market Report

StaffOctober 18, 2022
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7min13960

As cannabis legalization slowly spreads around the globe, the need for a platform that provides a community and fosters a safe harbor for topical discourse and transactional business also has grown. Enter Leafwire, the world’s largest cannabis business network.

The Denver-based cannabis-focused social media platform was developed to fill that globally expanding need, because legalization does not automatically bring destigmatization. A quick look at the history of legal cannabis highlights this truth.

In November 2012, Colorado and Washington State voters ushered in radically new recreational cannabis laws allowing for cultivation, production, distribution, and sale of products to adults over 21. Since then, several states’ voters and legislatures followed suit, bringing with them more and more jobs, employees, professionals, transactions, connections, and ultimately, conversations, and content.

But the topic of cannabis, and its myriad pejoratives like “pot,” “weed,” and even “marijuana,” doesn’t always sit well in a traditional business setting. The same is true online. Cannabis business professionals aren’t always comfortable sharing and conversing about the plant in an open business forum like LinkedIn.

“When we first launched Leafwire to a primarily domestic, U.S. audience in 2018, marijuana still had a stigma around it despite emerging statewide legalization to one degree or another,” said Peter Vogel, founder and CEO of Leafwire. “Four years later, significant progress has been made in state cannabis legalization, but that stigma still very much remains.”

International expansion

Two years after Colorado and Washington’s major cannabis legalization measures, a 2016 study by the Adam Smith Institute in the U.K. argued the growing international tide of mainstream acceptance, understanding and support for legalization of cannabis will ultimately force drug reform across the globe.

The theory held true for countries like Germany, where full recreational cannabis legalization has become the topic du jour, with federal regulators committing to make laws an eventual reality. And in a startling development, Thailand made it legal to grow and trade marijuana, even distributing 1 million cannabis plants so people are able to cultivate plants at home.

Much in the same way the cannabis plant spread across the world throughout the centuries, so to, has the need for a modern day digital platform to conduct safe, secure, effective business discourse about the world’s most exciting crop.

“As emerging markets in Europe continue to liberalize cannabis policy, a stigma-free platform like Leafwire provides a big appeal to industry participants,” said Anuj Desai, host of the podcast “The Cannabis Conversation” and practicing attorney. “Sharing insights and learnings, as well as job and business opportunities, is critical for the development of the sector.”

Rise of specialized social networks

Beyond business discourse, Leafwire seeks to create a community for like-minded cannabis operators and entrepreneurs, a space for free discussion and shared experiences. It does this in many ways, including:

Increased privacy

Mainstream social media platforms like Facebook have faced public and legislative criticism for how they mine and sell user data, leaving users overwhelmingly concerned about the privacy and security of their accounts. Leafwire protects user data from third-party interests and does not monetize the data.

This breeds an element of trust and security that Leafwire users have with the platform and liberates them to more openly share their data.

Judgment-free experience

Planet Fitness (NYSE: PLNT), one of the largest and fastest-growing franchisors and operators of fitness centers in the U.S. was named to Fortune magazine’s 2019 100 Fastest-Growing Companies list, ranking 58 among the world’s top three-year performers in revenues, profits, and stock returns. The reason for this is, in part, because the gym prides itself on its philosophy of fostering a “no judgment” environment.

Leafwire’s cannabis social network offers this same type of unique “belonging” in what is a very niche, exclusive industry. In so doing, the platform encourages members to freely share their insights and opinions on policies, news, and affairs that they might otherwise be reluctant to divulge in a more public social media forum.

A welcoming, yet exclusive and focused, community

Exclusive social media platforms like Leafwire tap into the scarcity effect, or the cognitive bias that makes people place a higher value on things that are scarce or limited. While access to social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are ubiquitous, the industry-exclusive, topic-driven nature of Leafwire galvanizes its “cool factor.”

Leafwire has 50,000 registered cannabis professionals across more than 100 countries, giving it broader reach than many mainstream social networks. Leafwire’s global event calendar boasts more than 100 events from Switzerland to Colombia to Texas.

The platform’s job board features more than 10,000 jobs, from a vice president of operations and extraction in Arizona, to a sanitation supervisor in Virginia.

“We invite like-minded cannabis professionals to join the specialized, exclusive Leafwire business network, as it continues to grow both domestically here in the U.S., and well as abroad,” Vogel said.


Adam JacksonSeptember 28, 2022
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16min44560

This interview was conducted with Brandon Johnson and Daniel Firtel, co-founders of TRP, the operating arm of Berner’s Cookies, in September. It has been edited for length and clarity.

TRP is a vertically integrated cannabis holding and operating company behind Berner’s Cookies, B Real’s Dr. Greenthumb’s and Insane brands, and one of the largest privately held cannabis companies in the U.S.

Since securing one of Florida’s 22 coveted vertical licenses, the quiet purveyor of the Cookies brand opened its first Miami flagship store last month after injecting $100 million into a sprawling 400,000 square-foot facility in Deland, a small city located along the northern outskirts of Orlando in Central Florida.

Brandon Johnson’s journey in cannabis began when he started “investing” in the crop $10 at a time at age 14, he said. With a background in real estate entitlement and development, the Southern California habitant formally entered the space nearly five years ago.

Daniel Flirtel broke into the industry in 2018, bringing with him a background in business development and scaling retailers.

“That’s actually kind of how we launched TRP,” Johnson said, “was the ability to navigate the complexities from a licensing perspective, build out construction execution and build operating companies.”

The two have helped build a burgeoning empire alongside rapper and mogul Gilbert Anthony Milam Jr. – more popularly known as Berner, the first cannabis CEO to grace the front cover of Forbes magazine. TRP has been a driving force behind Cookies becoming the Sunshine State’s first minority-owned medical cannabis dispensary.

The Green Market Report sat down with the two execs to discuss their plans for Cookies and other legacy brands under their umbrella.

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So how did Cookies and TRP come together to form this partnership? What made Berner – and in addition B Real – want to partner with y’all more than anyone else?

Brandon Johnson: It’s the understanding that we have, which is we’re (TRP) not trying to build brands. We’re trying to help scale legacy authentic brands and do what we do best, which is go out and gain licenses and permits, capitalize the business, build the business, do the execution, curate and cultivate A+ cannabis – not just passable cannabis. And do that in the California way, not the way where it’s like, “OK, it’s good enough.” No, we’re trying to create really high quality premium cannabis.

For them to align with somebody that has a national footprint and the ability to scale nationwide while also honoring what they’ve done and what they mean to the industry – that’s something that Daniel and I and our entire team talk about every day.

We are trying to be an anti-MSO, not the MSO (monolithic and beholden to shareholders). We’re trying to take these brands that in some cases risked their freedom or risked their lives to create that genetic or to evolve the industry 20 years ago when it was a much different place – and to take that and offer them the opportunity to still have a brand integrity and independence while scaling nationwide.

Brandon Johnson, co-founder of TRP

How does TRP plan on scaling legacy brands like Cookies, DGT or Insane?

Johnson: I think that we would be remiss if we said “Hey, here’s how we’re going to do it.” It’s more of: Here’s what we see as possible options, and what can we do to help you with that? What do you see as your vision for your brand?  Are there particular markets that you want to be in? Particular categories? Particular segmentation?

Then we can either plug it into existing infrastructure, or we might be able to go out and source new opportunities in markets where it’s important.

The key, and one of the hard parts in cannabis, is (that) it’s really hard to build large-scale brand equity when you only have a local footprint. Big markets, like California, you can build some brand equity in, but it’s really hard to build brand equity in smaller states or less mature states. And in order to gain that national footprint, it requires a lot of time, a lot of effort.

Each state has its own licensing framework. Each location has their own supply chain. You know, it’s not millions of dollars, it’s tens – if not hundreds – of millions of dollars in order to build a national footprint. And it’s hard to do that to scale a singular brand.

With us, we can help scale multiple brands off of our infrastructure without trying to replace them as the brand. We’re not trying to build our own brand footprint.

Daniel Firtel, co-founder of TRP

Daniel Flirtel: Every brand has different goals, like Brandon was saying. Certain brands, they don’t want to be retailers; other brands want to be retailers and products. It’s working collaboratively to figure out the best strategy for each brand that wants to grow.

It can differ on a case-by-case basis. With Cookies, they want to be a global brand. They want to have a retail footprint. They want to be in every single possible market.

With Dr. Greenthumb’s, something that’s really important to them is working with legacy cultivators, which is easier in certain states. A state like California or Oregon, Washington, Michigan, those are a bit easier to find those guys that are licensed and cultivating.

It really depends on the brand and what their goals are, and then we kind of make a strategy for that brand.

I’d read that Miami Herald story about Cookies, and you mentioned that Florida should be following Massachusetts’ lead on licensing and social equity. Why is that?

Johnson: There’s a lot more nuance than what made it into the paper, but I think that what you’ll find when it comes to social equity is you have a lot of well-intended goals that manifest in really poor policy and how it’s implemented.

I’ll use Illinois as an example, where you’ve launched recreational and you, in theory, created social equity licenses. Well, we’re now two years into recreational and not one of those social equity licenses is open. They were just issued after litigation, maybe a month ago? And you’re probably looking at another 12 months in order to get through local land use approval, build out operations, construction.

A lot of states say, “Hey, this is social equity. You may not have the money, you may not have the experience – now run the hardest industry in the world to run. Go.”

What we try to do is say, “Look, we have a lot of tools and resources. We can help on the accounting side, we can help on the payroll side, we can help on the infrastructure, the HR, the legal…” We want to coach people up. That’s something that the industry is lacking.

At a federal level, you’ve got a lot of people that that are really fighting for civil justice and rights as part of a federal legalization conversation. But in many ways, they’re actually harming the people they’re trying to help. Because every day that goes by, the big get bigger and the small gets smaller because they don’t have access to capital. They don’t have access to banking. By holding up safe banking and those other things, it’s really harming the small guy and minority entrepreneurs that can’t go to the SBA (Small Business Association) and get a loan and do those sorts of things.

So, it’s a really complicated issue that every state is going to have to solve in their own way, and in some cases, it’s city by city.

I guess I’m just clarifying. I am not saying that Massachusetts is perfect. I don’t think any place is perfect. But I do think that creating opportunities…we need to figure out the best way to do that.

Flirtel: Yeah, I agree with Brandon. I’m not sure that anyone’s really nailed it. I mean, there are a few lucky breadwinners that benefit, but I don’t think they’re tackling like the systemic problem.

So, in my mind, it should be a lot more higher level of like, “OK, well, let’s throw a tax in a fund, and whatever it is, it all should just go towards high-level stuff of like freeing prisoners or donating money to an area that was like disproportionately affected.”

But instead, they kind of reward one-off people, which works, but in a lot of cases, those people might be relatives of people that were affected. It’s not very cut and dry (on) who gets that benefit. And it’s just kind of helping a few people versus really making systemic change.

Johnson: It’s masking the symptom, not creating a solution.

What would you say has been the most difficult or complicated part about navigating the Florida market so far?

Johnson: Florida is unique in terms of the mandatory vertical structure, which other states don’t have. I know that there’s a lot of things that people might not like about it. For us, it gives us the best opportunity to deliver exceptionally high-quality products, because there is no outside distribution, outside packaging, different wholesale.

I’m not saying that it doesn’t have the difficult parts. It took us two years to identify a property, get permits, build cultivation, build manufacturing, build distro packaging, open stores. It’s a long process that is very capital intensive, very time intensive and laborious. If you were in a different market, you could open a store in three months versus having to build it all out.

The one thing I always tell people is we think that the cannabis we’re putting on the shelves in Florida is the best that we have anywhere in the world right now. I know every single thing that went into that. I know every person that touched it. I know the exact timing of what plant it came off of. I actually know that when it was chopped, what dry room it went into. And I know that by the time I get it to my customers, it’s the freshest cannabis I can deliver anywhere in the world, because everywhere else, it has to go through other checkpoints that we don’t have in Florida.

Cookies is a really recognizable brand. Do you think that the Cookies stores can kind of sustain the hype long term?

Flirtel: It’s an excellent question. Cookies is a platform, but it’s really about what you do with it. I think that it definitely hits certain demographics, and certain other demographics might feel alienated from from the customer experience or the products or the look and feel or the music that is played when you come in.

It really is a good challenge for us to try and broaden our consumer base, whether that be bringing in other outside brands that we sell on those shelves or produce, genetics or branding wise.

There’s really nowhere else in the world or any Cookies store where you only find Cookies products. It’s really going to be up to us to get the right mix to really broaden the consumer base in Florida.

And that is something that we’re really excited about. We’ve seen good examples of that already with dropping (Black-owned) GasHouse. We’ve got other brands like Compound Genetics and a few others that we’re gonna be bringing down to the state. So, we feel really good about the different groups that we’re talking to. Not all of them are focused on the same demographics.

Johnson: To add to what Dan said, Cookies, what it represents, is something that is honoring the legacy traditions of the industry in the market. And that focuses on creating innovative genetics and exceptional quality products, and trying to make those attainable. We want to continue to make them more broadly available in more markets.

There is this element that Cookies is this lifestyle brand that has become so broadly known. But it’s not just about Cookies as a brand. It’s “What does Cookies as a brand represent?” And I think what it represents is something that a lot of other brands also agree with.

But your question about, how does Cookies as a brand or somebody like Dr. Greenthumb’s as a brand continue to exist? It’s about the message, not the messenger.


StaffJune 23, 2022
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7min6790

Juva Life (OTC: JUVAF) is a life sciences research company with an immense background in cannabis, allowing the company to cultivate and to derive small molecule compounds that target inflammation in the human body. Currently Juva Life is working with Juva-019 and Juva-041, which are non-cannabinoid molecules found to be naturally occurring in the cannabis plant. Juva Life’s assets include one micro business, one cannabis cultivation facility and two cannabis delivery companies in California. The company was founded by Doug Chloupek in 2018, with the ultimate goal of bringing together a hand-picked team of cannabis industry veterans and leading, highly-respected medical researchers to create rigorously-tested, consistent, quality products built on research and a retail system that fosters informed customers through education and science. 

Doug has an immense background in both medical and adult-use cannabis, and was the visionary, co-founder, and COO of BAS Research. BAS Research (BAS) was California’s first licensed medical cannabis manufacturing and research group, dedicated to developing breakthrough pharmaceutical-grade cannabis products. He is a strong believer that standardized dosing and research is the first step to confirming the effectiveness of medical cannabis. The pharmaceutical industry follows an existing set of processes, and takes many different pathways to achieve an ultimate goal. Juva Life is taking a chemical approach to research versus a biological one, and is using modern tools to identify potential answers. In short, cannabis is known to anecdotally reduce pain and inflammation – Juva Life’s goal is to identify how and why this works, and isolate the specific molecules responsible for positive pain management effects in humans. 

Full name: Doug Chloupek 

 

Title: Founder, CEO, and Chairman of the Board

 

Company: Juva Life

 

Years at current company: 4

 

Education profile: I took an atypical route – I graduated high school 2 years early, and college wasn’t for me. I worked hard as a young person, homeschooled myself and have been working a 40/hr week job since age 15. 

 

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: 

Over the past 12 years, I have led and created seven successful cannabis businesses, including the operation of cannabis retail businesses for 9 of those years, cultivation businesses for 8 of those years, and manufacturing businesses for 6 of those years. Prior to joining the cannabis industry, I acquired an additional 12 years of experience in marketing, brand creation, and advertising. I had been in media sales for about a decade, launched an online advertising/marketing firm for attorneys back in 2005, and had an entertainment company booking entertainers for local venues. Unlocking the health benefits hidden in cannabis was the motivating and all-consuming factor to create Juva and has brought us to where we are today. 

Company Mission: 

The Company’s mission is to leverage its unique knowledge of the chemistry and anti-inflammatory properties contained within cannabis to develop safe and effective therapeutics. We believe there are unappreciated small molecules identified by Juva and found in the cannabis plant that hold the keys to regulating inflammation in the human body. Our team of scientists are doing the much-needed research to validate our findings using established pharmaceutical assays to prove their efficacy.

Company’s most successful achievement:  

The discoveries of proprietary non-cannabinoid molecules, JUVA-019 and JUVA-041.

Juva-019 is a molecule found and derived from cannabis. It is a non-cannabinoid molecule, which is a naturally occurring molecule that is different from THC and CBD, with no psychoactive effects. Juva Life’s research team discovered Juva-019 by screening the whole library of compounds in cannabis using standard pharmaceutical assays, looking for compounds that stood out for their anti-inflammatory properties. 

Juva-041 is unique in that it actually inhibits multiple cytokines, which are responsible for inflammation in the human body. Juva Life’s researchers expect Juva-041 to have a potentially broader application than Juva-019, and have identified a process for straightforward, inexpensive synthesis of this molecule, without having to cultivate cannabis.

Has the company raised any capital (yes or no)? If so, how much?:

Yes, $36 million to date

Any plans on raising capital in the future?

Yes

Most important company 5 year goal: 

Juva Life’s goal is to unlock the secret of cannabis’ relationship with inflammation and pain management. Our team’s deep research background brings together top experts across multiple disciplines to apply a level of science and rigor not historically seen in the cannabis industry. At the core of its research, Juva Life is embarking to discover why and how cannabis works, and who it works for. With the recent discoveries of JUVA-019 and JUVA-041, we believe we are well on track to accomplish this goal. 

 


StaffDecember 17, 2021
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8min38430
After a two-decade career in healthcare in a busy California ER, Chris Weld moved back to New England and settled with his family on an old apple farm in Sheffield, a right-to-farm village in the southwest corner of Massachusetts known for endless rows of corn and Revolutionary-era uprisings. A historic and pristine granite-based spring on his farm inspired Weld to create Berkshire Mountain Distillers in 2007, with the distillery earning national accolades.
After 10 years producing craft spirits, the legalization of recreational cannabis prompted Weld to participate in an industry that is aligned with the creative, mindful, and agricultural ethos of the Berkshires. Long a believer in the use of cannabis for wellness, Weld has seen the positive economic impacts on local communities driven by Community Impact Fee contributions, town and state taxes, good-paying jobs, and increased revenue for local businesses. The Pass, a vertically-integrated cannabis company, opened its first retail outlet in 2020 and distributes its branded products to 30+ dispensaries across Massachusetts.
Getting into cannabis was a natural step for someone who has been a lifelong gardener and avid cook.  Weld’s distillery experience also lends itself to a fuller understanding of flavor profiles, distillation techniques, and agricultural practices. The scientist in him was fascinated by the uses and breeding of a plant used the world over for thousands of years.
Weld’s background in biochemistry and twenty years on the frontline of an ER inform his empirical view of why adults should have access to legal cannabis. Cannabis exhibits proven benefits for those suffering from PTSD, anxiety, epilepsy, pain, and sleep disorders; and draconian and ineffectual drug laws have historically and disproportionately impacted BIPOC. Weld eagerly looks forward to the research that federal legalization of cannabis will allow, with much-needed exploration of the health and wellness benefits of the plant and its chemical components, and greater potential for social and economic impact.
  • After a two-decade career in healthcare in a busy California ER, Chris Weld headed back to his New England roots, becoming an entrepreneur and one of the first craft distillers in the U.S., winning nationwide accolades for his spirits.
  • Chris Weld created the award-winning craft distillery Berkshire Mountain Distillers in 2007, with his spirits earning accolades by the NY Times, Washington Post, James Beard Foundation, Boston Globe, Playboy Magazine, GQ, Cool Hunting, and Details.
  • Weld established his distillery in Sheffield, Mass., a small, rural, right-to-farm town in southwestern Massachusetts.
  • Cannabis use was not an issue in the ER; cannabis exhibits proven benefits for those suffering from PTSD, epilepsy, pain, and sleep disorders;
  • Weld eagerly looks forward to the research that federal legalization of cannabis will trigger, with much-needed exploration of the health and wellness benefits of the plant and its chemical components, and great potential for social and economic impacts.
  • When The Pass’ new facility is fully operational, Berkshire Welco will have created about 100 jobs, a sizable amount for a small rural town and an area suffering from population loss and brain-drain.

The Pass:

    • The Pass/Welco has created jobs in an area that continues to experience population decline and loss of good-paying jobs; co-founder Chris Weld first made news and created jobs in Sheffield when he founded his award-winning craft distillery, Berkshire Mountain Distillers (NY Times rates Greylock Gin #1), in Sheffield in 2007.
    • The Pass/Welco is adding a third, 40,000 square-foot facility that will initially create 30 new full-time jobs to support manufacturing, processing, and packaging. This will bring the total Welco job count to approximately 100 positions, a sizable amount for a small rural town like Sheffield, and there are plans for further expansion in the future.
    • The Pass is a startup that is poised to scale, with a talented group of folks who possess a startup mentality (creativity, nimbleness, ability to pivot, dogged and passionate) and the skills (agriculture/production experience, retail expertise, wholesale and distribution expertise, marketing prowess, business strategy) to make it happen.
    • The new site will first increase production to meet statewide demand, with additional space and increased extraction capabilities, and plans for newer technologies to come online at the former extrusion factory.
    • The Pass is currently using ethanol extraction for distillate and concentrates. At its new production site, the company will add hydro-carbon extraction and nanotechnology for edibles, creating quicker onset of the products’ health and wellness benefits, especially for conditions like anxiety and pain.
    • Staff is a talented group of individuals with diverse backgrounds, including many former food industry and agriculture experts, longtime West Coast cannabis industry pros, a former art-dealer-turned-weed-dealer, a geologist, and one director who spent 6 years in R+D at Dupont.

StaffDecember 10, 2021
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8min38090

Klee Irwin is an author, physicist and businessman who serves as CEO and Chairman of Irwin Naturals Inc and Director of Quantum Gravity Research (QGR), a non-profit research institute he founded in 2009.

Founded by Klee in 1994, Irwin Naturals is an award-winning global nutraceutical company providing with products selling in nearly 100,000 outlets, ranging from Whole Foods to Walmart, and having a North American brand recognition in excess of 100 million people. The company expects to be the world’s first household name level player to move into the cannabis and psychedelic mental health spaces. Irwin Naturals is a long-time supporter of Vitamin Angels, which aims to provide lifesaving vitamins to mothers and children at risk of malnutrition thereby reducing preventable illness, blindness, and death and creating healthier communities.

As the Director of QGR, Klee manages a dedicated team of mathematicians and physicists developing emergence theory. The mission of the organization is to discover the geometric first-principles unification of space, time, matter, energy, information and consciousness. Since 2009, the team has published over 60 papers and journal articles laying out some of the mathematical building blocks and axiomatic ideas for this unification model.

Outside of his work in physics and nutraceuticals.  Klee is active in supporting students, scientists, educators and founders in their aim to discover solutions leading to high-impact positive change in the world. He has supported and invested in a wide range of people, causes, and companies including Change.orgUpworthyDonors ChooseMoon Express, the X PRIZE Foundation, and Singularity University, where he is an Associate Founder.

Full birth name: Klee Martin Irwin

 

Title: Chairman & CEO

 

Company: Irwin Naturals Inc.

 

Years at current company: 27

 

Education profile: Some College

 

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: Founded and then led Irwin Naturals to 27 consecutive years of profit culminating with 2021 as the single most profitable year.

Company Mission: To heal the world with plant medicine.

Company’s most successful achievement: We created a brand not just known by over 100 million North Americans but a rare “cult-brand” or brand that sells at the top of its class with virtually no advertising. As part of this, we were able to become one of the largest sellers of CBD in the mass market while also having one of the lowest prices per dose.

Has the company raised any capital (yes or no): No

Any plans on raising capital in the future? Yes

 Most important company 5-year goal:  In Q1 of 2022, we expect to be the world’s first household name brand to move into cannabis. In order to remain profitable, we will do this as a licensing model in most or all legal states in the US and other countries around the world. In addition, we will become the first nationally recognized brand to extend into the psychedelic mental health space, again remaining profitable because of the legality of the psychedelic ketamine. We intend to become the Jenny Craig of psychedelic mental health clinics. That is, the first large scale national chain offering price accessible healing.


StaffDecember 1, 2021
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5min2640

Jesus Burrola is Chief Executive Officer of POSIBL, the cannabis farm of the future and engine for several of California’s leading brands. With over 1,000,0000 units of the packaged product to date, POSIBL is redefining what it means to produce the highest quality cannabis. Jesus is a proven leader who believes in his teams as the primary driver of growth. He leads the organization’s growth strategy in sales and operations and the best team at POSIBL to position the company as a global market leader. Prior to POSIBL, Jesus worked for 15 years at Beacon Building Products, the largest publicly traded building materials distributor in North America. Jesus was at the company during growth from $1 Billion to $8 Billion — through a combination of 30+ acquisitions and launches into new markets. Jesus worked his way up from a trainee to a National Vice President, managing a $700M  business segment. During Jesus’ time there, he held roles in both Sales Management and Operations and was tasked with integrating several large acquisitions. Jesus holds a Bachelor of Science in Supply Chain Management from Arizona State University. He enjoys quality time with his family, playing golf, and exploring great cuisine.

POSIBL

POSIBL is redefining what it means to produce the highest quality cannabis. Leveraging a state-of-art system that uses less to do more, POSIBL brings the best greenhouse technology and expertise from traditional agriculture into cannabis, and pairs it with the best possible genetics to produce the perfect flower — grown in an ethical, sustainable, free of pesticide and cost-efficient way, year-round. POSIBL’s Smart Greenhouses use best in class climate control, requiring less water per pound of flower, and are three times more energy efficient than indoor growers. Combining pesticide-free agro-technology and committed human talent, POSIBL comprises a dedicated and gifted team who understand these state of the art systems to perfection — believing in them to help improve production and value with every harvest. With Good Will and Great Work, Anything is POSIBL. For more information, please visit:

Full name: Jesus Burrola

Title: CEO

Company: POSIBL

Years at current company: 1 year

Education profile: BS in Supply Chain Management from Arizona State University

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: Playing a role in growing Beacon from a $1B to $8B during my 15 years there, through a combination of greenfields and acquisitions into new markets and verticals.

Company Mission: To grow the perfect flower in an ethical, sustainable, pesticide-free and cost efficient way year round.

Company’s most successful achievement: Being the engine behind 12 of the leading cannabis brands in California, and supporting over 50 different SKUs for our partners.

Has the company raised any capital (yes or no): Yes

If so, how much?: +$38M including all rounds

 

Any plans on raising capital in the future? As growth opportunities arise, we would consider future rounds.

Most important company 5 year goal: Completion of our High-Tech Greenhouse and new processing facility buildout, which will allow us to produce the highest quality greenhouse flower at a very affordable price.


StaffSeptember 30, 2021
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4min3090

Ken VandeVrede is the Founder, Chief Executive Officer, and active Board Member of HillviewMed Inc. Ken serves on the ATACH Cannabis Beverage Council, and formerly served on the boards of both ONE Cannabis and Terra Tech Corp. 

 

As a third-generation expert in agriculture, Ken began his cannabis career at Terra Tech Corp, the first publicly traded company in the US to touch the cannabis plant. Under Ken’s leadership, Terra Tech acquired over $150M in assets in multiple markets, and increased revenues from startup to over $40M annually. 

 

Continuing to build upon his cannabis leadership expertise, Ken founded HillviewMed, a next-generation hemp, and cannabis company. One of the first companies to receive a hemp cultivation license in the state of New Jersey, Hillview is also the parent company for several notable brands in the cannabis space including Kalo, the first-ever truly water-soluble full spectrum cannabis beverage. In its first 18 months, Kalo grew to 10 states and 15+ distribution partners. Hillview continues to innovate towards the future, delivering consistent, reliable cannabis products to meet consumer and pharmaceutical needs through our state-of-the-art patented water-soluble process. 

 

 

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis:

I founded  Edible Garden, the leader of sustainable produce grown in zero-waste inspired™ greenhouses by local farmers who are dedicated to a farm-to-future approach. Edible Garden was one of the first companies to grow local greens and produce to ensure everyone has access to fresh tasting nutritionally dense produce. My family and I successfully exited Edible Garden when it was acquired by a public traded urban agriculture company in 2012. Moving into hemp and cannabis was a natural transition.

 

Company Mission:

At HillviewMed, we are committed to providing wellness to all through the power of natural ingredients, utilizing proven science and our deep rooted knowledge in agriculture.

 

Company’s most successful achievement: 

Last year we launched our first product brand, a line of hemp-infused seltzers called Kaló, with a strategic focus on building a consumer brand and strong retail presence along the Eastern seaboard. Today, our hemp seltzer is available in eight flavors and distributed in 10 states by a collective of beer, alcohol and beverage distributors. Now we’re building on that success with the launch of a 5mg THC-infused Kaló seltzer, which we’ll introduce next month in 31 dispensaries across the state of Maine.

 

Has the company raised any capital (yes or no):

if so, how much?:

We have raised over $3 million from friends and family.

 

Any plans on raising capital in the future?

We are in the process of raising more capital to fund Kaló’s explosive growth and expand both our product line and distribution footprint.

 

Most important company 5-year goal:

We aim to build a successful, profitable company with consumer and pharmaceutical cannabis products, with a five-year exit in mind.

 


StaffSeptember 28, 2021
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5min4030

Robert (Bob) Fireman has served as CEO and President of MariMed, Inc. since July 2017, and has served as a director of the company since its formation. Bob has been a driving force of the legal cannabis industry since 2010, when he and current MariMed CFO Jon Levine entered the industry through an investment in a California cannabis license. Over most of the next decade, the company served as advisors to license holders in multiple states, successfully helping them secure their licenses, hiring and training their staff, providing management services to them, designing and developing their facilities, and developing and licensing to them a number of high-quality, proprietary products.

Bob subsequently led the company’s successful transformation to a plant-touching, highly profitable multi-state operator that cultivates, produces and distributes award-winning cannabis products that are top-sellers in the markets in which they are available. They include the premium flower brand Nature’s Heritage, Betty’s Eddies fruit chews, K-Fusion precision-dosed, chewable mint tablets, and more.

Prior to MariMed, Bob developed a number of successful businesses across diverse industries. He created Consumer Card Marketing, Inc (CCMI), which pioneered the implementation of card-based loyalty marketing programs for 50,000 retail, grocery and drug stores and was later sold to a division of News Corporation. Later, he created and now sits on the Board of Directors of Sky Vegetables, a hydroponic farming company that delivers fresh produce to lower-income citizens in the Bronx, New York. 

Mr. Fireman holds a BA degree from the University of Wisconsin and a JD from Suffolk University Law School.

 

Robert (Bob) Fireman

Title: 

CEO and President

Company: 

MariMed, Inc. (OTCQX: MRMD)

Years at current company: 

8 years.

Education profile:

BA degree from the University of Wisconsin 

JD from Suffolk University Law School

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis:

I’m perhaps most proud to have devoted most of my professional and personal life to helping improve the lives of those less fortunate than me. That’s core to MariMed’s mission, but it’s been a consistent thread for decades. For example, I was a political activist and also served as a public defender in my early years as an attorney. Later, I founded an urban hydro-farming business that delivers fresh produce to lower-income citizens in the Bronx, NY.  

Company Mission:

MariMed is dedicated to improving lives every day through our products, actions, and values. 

Company’s most successful achievement:

We have built a successful and profitable business while maintaining a culture of collaboration, innovation, compassion, and integrity. I believe that’s what has driven the trust in our products that we’ve established with our customers, and ultimately why they are top sellers in the markets where they’re available.

Has the company raised any capital (yes or no): 

Yes.

If so, how much?:

$105 million.

Any plans on raising capital in the future?

Not at this time. Our strong balance sheet and cash position have positioned us to implement our strategic growth plan without the need to raise additional funds.

Most important company 5-year goal:

MariMed’s most important 5-year goal is to own the most beloved, trusted, and best-selling cannabis products in the country while being recognized as an exceptional corporate citizen. 


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