Executive Spotlight Archives - Page 2 of 7 - Green Market Report

StaffStaffOctober 4, 2019
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6min7360

Ingo Wilhelm Mueller has been involved in the finance and advisory business for the past 20 years, having raised over $200M in the last 10 years. Ingo has been instrumental in the formation and strategic management of numerous companies globally, through executive positions, directorships and advisory roles – many of which involved the structuring and financing of resource opportunities.

He has either founded, partnered in and developed or advised companies in a broad cross section of industry sectors as an entrepreneur and visionary whose primary focus has been to identify market gaps or opportunities in nascent industries or in established sectors and align them with funding, while supplementing existing management teams with well respected international advisors and board members to establish or refine the strategic objectives of the business.

His previous executive experience includes being the CEO of Wigu City Edutainment Centres PLC, London Mining PLC (Colombia), and International Coal Company Ltd.

 

Title: CEO

Company: Canivate Growing Systems Ltd.

Years at current company: 2.5

GMR Executive Spotlight Q&A:

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis:

Raising $200M (Cdn) funding over a 15-year period for companies in a range of sectors including natural resources and gaming

Company Mission: To create a new standard of Clean. Green. Pure. in the cannabis and hemp industries.

Company’s most successful achievement:

Canivate is set to disrupt the cannabis and hemp industries. Our proprietary facility design and automated growing system is aimed at redefining industry standards for cannabis and hemp cultivation. 

The technology provides the potential to substantially increase yield per square foot, reduce operating costs, provide consistent quality, and decrease the environmental impact of traditional greenhouses and indoor facilities. It is also expected to result in significantly lower cost per gram on the market compared to conventional cannabis cultivation facilities. 

Canivate’s automated growing system is focused on providing a solution to the problems of consistent quality, meeting consumer demand, reducing operating costs, increasing profitability, and lowering the environmental impact of cannabis cultivation. 

Along with raising $14.3M (Cdn) to-date in funding for Canivate, executing on our business model for the first Canivate campus in Southern California as quickly as we have is a key achievement. 

Our business model is unique. Canivate does not act as the cultivator – in fact, we never touch the plant. Canivate identifies market demand before locating and building a facility, and then the facility and growing system is leased to an exclusive independent operator (EIO) for each state, pursuant to lease and licensing contracts. The EIO will be licensed in its local jurisdiction to engage in cultivation activities and will manage the facility and growing system using the Canivate IP. 

The EIO will work with commercial cultivators, while retaining control and management of the growing system process, allowing them to optimize yields and provide retailers with consistent, high-quality and environmentally friendly products. In addition, an offtake contract for each facility is put in place through the EIO and their commercial cultivators before it is built. This is done to provide high-profile brands – that have established distribution channels and retail outlets – with a consistent quantity and quality of product, which secures profitability for both the EIO and Canivate.

For Canivate’s first campus, there are currently signed offtake agreements in place with high-profile cannabis companies. The signed offtake agreements will produce estimates of a minimum of 6,500 kg annually for each growing facility. (These are low-end estimates – total expected production among signed agreements is 19,500 kg.) Offtake agreements are secured by a performance bond (purchase guarantee).

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

If so, how much?: $14.3M Cdn

Any plans on raising capital in the future? Yes

Most important company 5 year goal:

Canivate is set to establish a new gold standard for cannabis and hemp consumption in the United States and Canada. We are committed to establishing an industry standard of Clean. Green. Pure. for cannabis cultivation and consumption. 

 


StaffStaffOctober 3, 2019
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5min10590

Milan Patel leads the strategic vision, financial health and global growth of PathogenDx, a Scottsdale, AZ based company which provides disruptive DNA-based pathogen testing technology and solutions for the cannabis, botanical, food and agricultural industries. 

Previously, Mr. Patel spent over 25 years working with large public, small private and entrepreneurial companies in numerous fields from the life sciences, to biotechnology, to government services and the automotive industry. Milan served as COO/CFO of GMSbiotech. He also was CFO of 2020 Company, LLC, a leading premier professional services firm that delivered business and technology solutions to the government, in the areas of health, education and science. 

Mr. Patel also worked at Intel Corporation in Sales & Marketing, Finance and Manufacturing. He has extensive experience in corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, business strategy and planning, infrastructure and organizational development, and controls, compliance and audit and has led several company exits. 

Milan earned his BS in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the University of Detroit Mercy; a MS in Biomedical/Medical Engineering, University of Michigan; and a MBA in Finance and Marketing, University of Detroit Mercy.

 

Title: CEO

Company: PathogenDx

Years at current company: since founding (Almost 5 years)

 

GMR Executive Spotlight Q&A:

 

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: Milan spent over 25 years working with large public, small private and entrepreneurial companies in numerous fields, from the life sciences to biotechnology to government services and even the automotive industry. He previously served as COO/CFO of GMSbiotech and CFO of 2020 Company, LLC, a leading premier professional services firm that delivered business and technology solutions to the government in the areas of health, education and science.  Has exited to two companies in Federal Government and Healthcare IT. 

Company Mission: Headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, PathogenDx’s mission is to become the new standard in DNA-based testing through widespread adoption of its advanced microarray testing platform for the cannabis, hemp, agriculture, food and beverage industries. PathogenDx’s technology can rapidly identify and detect up to 50 pathogens all in a single test, in 6 hours providing triplicate data per analyte for certainty in results with a simple and easy process. The company’s DNA-testing products – DetectX™, QuantX™, and EnviroX™– are disrupting the century-old practice of petri-dish testing to identify, detect and quantify pathogens like E. Coli, Salmonella and Aspergillus and a host of other bacterial and fungal microbial organisms in a fraction of the time, cost and labor to conventional methods that have been used by industries worldwide in microbial/pathogen testing. This technology will help growing businesses deliver safer products and healthier lives, while preventing millions of dollars in losses from contaminated or spoiled crops. 

Company’s most successful achievement: We’ve been successful in commercializing our disruptive, game-changing technology in the form of three separate products into cannabis to become the predominant microbial testing technology in the cannabis sector. 

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

If so, how much?: PathogenDx recently announced that they raised $7.5M in their Series B funding round, led by Cresco Capital Partners and joined by Altitude Investment Management, Arcadian Investment Partners, Panther Opportunity Fund, Salveo Capital, Halley Venture Partners and Flatiron Venture Partners.

Previously, PathogenDx raised $3.4M in a Convertible Note Round.

Any plans on raising capital in the future? Yes – we plan to raise more capital in order to scale and grow into other markets 

Most important company 5 year goal: PathogenDx aims to become the emerging microbial/pathogen technology of choice in Cannabis, Hemp, Food, Environmental, Agriculture and Healthcare – and ultimately become the gold-standard in microbial testing.

 


StaffStaffOctober 2, 2019
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6min8440

Tim Conder’s business emphasis has always been focused around delivery. His entrepreneurial journey began with the co-founding of Bootleg Courier Company, a bike messenger business in Reno. Tim found himself parlaying that expertise into a cannabis delivery business when the prohibition ended. 

Since founding Blackbird in 2015, Mr. Conder has overseen the rapid growth of his business in two of the most robust cannabis markets—California and Nevada. Under Tim’s leadership, Blackbird has efficiently navigated the complex regulatory structures of both states, and currently operates five fully licensed cannabis distribution facilities across the region with plans to expand into several additional markets in 2019.  

Tim’s success is founded is his philosophy that if you build good relationships, success will follow, “[Blackbird is] a great technology company. But the thing we do better than anyone else is build relationships. That’s why we are a customer service company first and foremost; the software and services are secondary.”  

Tim joined TILT Holdings as Senior Vice President of Software and Services following TILT’s acquisition of Blackbird Logistics, a company he founded. He was then promoted to COO of TILT Holdings in July of 2019 as Chief Operations Officer.

 

Title: Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer; also Chief Operating Officer at TILT Holdings

Company: Blackbird Logistics

Years at current company: Five

 

GMR Executive Spotlight Q&A:

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: That would be founding and operating a highly successful courier company for 10 years in Reno, Nevada, at a time when the courier industry was in rapid decline. Bootleg Courier Company was an environmentally-friendly messenger business that promised fast deliveries via bike and fuel-efficient vehicles. Since its founding in 2008, Bootleg pedaled to completion over 50,000 deliveries.

The experience not only helped establish the logistics and delivery expertise that laid the foundation for Blackbird, we were able to continuously grow the business year after year, adding more and more employees along the way.

Company Mission: Be the best. Blackbird strives every day to service our clients and customers as efficiently and humanly as possible. People are everything. Blackbird’s value is derived directly from the happiness of our clients and fulfillment of our staff. We believe there is value in treating our employees with dignity and respect. That is why our mantra is to be good people and help good people.

Company’s most successful achievement: Gaining nearly 100% penetration in two of the largest and most robust cannabis markets in the world – California and Nevada. It has helped make us the largest software and logistics company in the cannabis industry.

Blackbird was the first to receive a license to distribute recreational cannabis to Nevada’s dispensaries, and now handles about 95% of all the state’s distribution.  We’ve since penetrated every retail market within California.

It wasn’t an easy achievement. We had to overcome a significant challenge from “Big Alcohol,” which

lobbied Nevada’s liquor lawmakers to pass a law allowing only liquor wholesalers to distribute products.  Instead of surrendering, we quickly secured our own liquor distribution license and used it to score the state’s first cannabis distribution license. Blackbird’s knowledge of medical cannabis distribution and logistics combined with our nimbleness gave us a first-mover advantage, enabling Blackbird to lock up most of the state’s distribution deals before the alcohol wholesalers could even start the process of filing for a license.

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

If so, how much?: Blackbird was mostly bootstrapped from savings and personal investments from friends and family. As we grew, we ultimately raised around another $1.2 million before being acquired by TILT Holdings for approximately $5 million cash and $45 million in securities.

Any plans on raising capital in the future? Not at this time.

Most important company 5 year goal: Our long-term goal is to be in every possible legal cannabis market in some way, shape or form with our operations and software infrastructure. Having succeeded in Nevada and California, we plan to expand our business footprint into Massachusetts and Arizona next, and then to each and every other state that legalizes recreational and medical cannabis.

 

 


StaffStaffSeptember 30, 2019
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3min6120

Judy Yee is the co-CEO and co-founder of K-Zen Beverages, a new cannabis drinkables company committed to sharing the benefits of cannabis beverages by delivering consistent formulas, crave-able flavors, and rapid, predictable effects. A seasoned executive with 20+ years in healthy food & beverage, Judy’s expertise in new product innovation along with her passion for bringing fresh and healthier products to consumers are the driving forces behind her work to create great tasting cannabis beverages and brands people deeply enjoy and trust. Prior to K-Zen Beverages, Judy served as the Executive Vice President of Marketing and Innovation for Crystal Geyser Water Company, re-igniting company growth through new products, eCommerce and new market expansions. She was an early pioneer in expanding the consumer adoption and accessibility of organic food as Chief Marketing Officer at Earthbound Farm.. Judy has served on Boards of nonprofit organizations focusing on women leadership and development, environmental stewardship and advised various early-stage CPG Companies.

Title: Co-founder and Co-CEO

Company:K-Zen

Years at current company: Less than 1 Year

 

GMR Executive Spotlight Q&A:

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: My most successful professional accomplishment before coming to cannabis was establishing organics food and beverage as an iconic category. 

Company Mission: K-Zen Beverages is committed to becoming a leader in the emerging cannabis beverage category. Its mission is to share the benefits of cannabis beverages by delivering consistent formulas, craveable flavors and rapid, predictable effects. 

Company’s most successful achievement: We launched our first brand, S-Shots, since the company’s founding within the last 6 months. 

Has the company raised any capital (yes or no): Yes. if so, how much?: In 2019, K-Zen announced $5 million in seed funding from global venture capital firm DCM. 

Any plans on raising capital in the future? Yes, likely in 2020 

Most important company 5 year goal: Our foremost goal is to establish K-Zen as the most preferred consumer brands for cannabis beverages over the next five years.


StaffStaffSeptember 27, 2019
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3min7570

Jeffrey Harris is Founder and CEO of springbig, a customer loyalty platform for the cannabis industry. springbig uses SMS, loyalty marketing, and other tools to encourage repeat business for cannabis retailers. Prior to spingbig, Harris founded a loyalty marketing company (Inte Q) which focused on developing and managing data driven programs for large retail and financial services firms.

Title: Co-Founder and CEO

Company: springbig

Years at current company: 7 years

 

GMR Executive Spotlight Q&A:

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: Prior to spingbig, I founded a Loyalty Marketing Company (Inte Q) which focuses on developing and managing data driven loyalty and CRM programs for large retail and financial services firms.

Company Mission: Initially founded in 2012 and launched in the cannabis industry in 2017, springbig is the leading provider in customer-loyalty and digital communications solutions for dispensaries and cannabis retailers.  With customers across the United States, springbig is helping dispensaries & cannabis retailers keep their own customers connected and engaged while allowing the store owners to track their inevitable success and ROI of their loyalty program and marketing campaigns in real-time.

Company’s most successful achievement: In the emerging cannabis industry, springbig has reached a historic milestone. We have signed up over 8,000,000 consumers through our cannabis-focused customer loyalty program. Through partnerships with some of the leading POS providers in the cannabis space — including Flowhub, BioTrackTHC, MJ Freeway, Treez, Korona, LeafLogix, GreenBits, Blaze, and Cova — springbig has worked alongside retailers to send over 50,000 campaigns by way of over 225,000,000 text messages (130 million just in 2019) — and has seen close to over 740,000 rewards redeemed in return. Our dedication and expertise has allowed retailers to see immediate and significant ROIs on their marketing initiatives. 

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

if so, how much?: 9.7 million

Any plans on raising capital in the future? Still undetermined but seriously considering raising a B round.

Most important company 5 year goal: Create a unique marketing ecosystem where retailers and brands can effectively communicate with cannabis consumers to drive brand awareness, omnichannel store traffic and sales growth that benefit both the industries brands and retailers.


StaffStaffSeptember 26, 2019
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4min30000

Andrea Brooks is a serial entrepreneur and lobbyist for social change with a passion for health, wellness and design. Following a disabling injury in which cannabis played a crucial role in her recovery, Ms. Brooks was inspired to enter the cannabis space. Building on previous experience working with NGOs around the world on program development, she applies her expertise in conducting needs assessments, developing strategic partnerships and creating new revenue sources to her latest venture – Sava. Sava is a digital platform providing e-commerce solutions for curated, high-quality cannabis goods that provides access to and education about cannabis medicine to patients throughout California.

She has previously consulted with NGO’s around the world including Israel and the Palestinian Territories, Tanzania, Nigeria and San Francisco. She is a former recipient of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission’s Fair Housing Award for developing new programming in the fields of fair housing and reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities. She has served as Vice-Chair on two separate San Francisco governmental advisory bodies, including the Commission for Animal Control and Welfare.

Title: Founder and CEO

Company: Sava

Years at current company: 2015-2019

 

GMR Executive Spotlight Q&A:

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: In 2003, my passion for education and bettering the world led me to the non-profit sector, working in health and human services. Eventually I landed a position at PAWS (Pets Are Wonderful Support), where I developed an educational and housing advocacy program for housebound people with pets. For this I won San Francisco’s Fair Housing Award from the San Francisco Human Rights Commission.

Company Mission: Once upon a time, weed lived in the shadows. A secretive phone call. A late-night delivery. A cash payment. At best, it was a little sketchy. At worst, you had no idea what you were getting, or getting yourself into. Not exactly cannabis’s finest hour. Things have changed. Cannabis has come into the light.  It’s been recognized as the versatile, beautiful plant that it is. We’re here for that. Sava vets the vast world of cannabis, and bring you hand-picked products that meet your needs in unexpected ways. Like CBD bath bombs that replace your ibuprofen habit. Or the perfect tincture to get you a good night’s sleep. Because we believe that this magical plant has something to offer everyone. Sava. Cannabis at its best.

Company’s most successful achievement: Surviving the transition into a regulatory market — logistics, hire drivers, Sustaining 50% female-owned brands despite the industry, From the beginning part of our mission, even despite the challenges 

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

If so, how much?: We do not wish to disclose. 

Any plans on raising capital in the future? Absolutely. We are raising right now. Priced round closes in October. 

Most important company 5 year goal: 1-2 years Expanding throughout California, 5 years beyond California. 


StaffStaffSeptember 25, 2019
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7min6600

Michael Christopher overcame debilitating childhood lung ailments (double pneumonia) and adult-asthma to become a full scholarship collegiate athlete who went on to launch multiple startup businesses across entertainment, media, mobile software and CPG industries.  He served as former Activations Director and the third hire for BreadcrumbPro Point-of-Sale (acquired by Groupon, Inc. in 2012) where he led product activations from beta launch to serving over 5000 active mobile payments and point-of-sale merchants across the nation, processing thousands of orders and hundreds of millions of dollars of payments for restaurants, cafes, bars and nightclubs. He then went on to serve as Business Development Director at Rodawg (renamed BUREAU) – a child-resistant cannabis packaging manufacturing startup serving licensed medical cannabis company clients in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Canada, and Uruguay. More recently he served as digital advisor and Managing Partner of CH3 Ventures – a Manhattan based cannabis technology startup incubator and investment firm focused on early stage technology, compliance and media companies.

Michael also co-founded NYC based new media production agency Sonic Platforms, with brand clients including BMW, Urban Outfitters, MoMA, Champion Sportswear and The Crated. During that time, Michael launched LOFT Infusions in 2014 – a first-to-market NY-based hemp CBD-infused beverage company along with his co-founding partner and healthy beverage pioneer, Eric Schnell. They both went on to co-create and launch the mood33 cannabis infused sparkling tonics brand, where Michael now serves full-time as Chief Mood Officer based in Santa Monica, California. mood33 cannabis infused beverages are sold throughout the state of California and can be found at leading licensed cannabis retailers like MedMen, Harborside, Harvest, Caliva, ShowGrow, among others.

 

Title: Co-Founder and CEO

Company: mood33

Years at current company: 2018 to present

 

GMR Executive Spotlight Q&A:

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: Before entering the legal cannabis industry, Michael began his career in business development as part of a four-person point-of-sale (iPad) and mobile payments software startup, BreadcrumbPro, which was acquired by Groupon, Inc. in 2012 during its first year of launch in New York City. Michael managed keystone B2B client relationships for the entire Eastern half of the United States with some of the nation’s top hospitality management groups; EMM Group, Dinex group, Thomas Keller Restaurant Group, Atera, Linea/Next, Dovetail (John Fraser), WD50 (Wylie Dufresne), Alder and Top Chef Kitchen New York for Bravo TV. He lead the east coast hardware/software implementation from the first beta clients to over 2000 brick and mortar cafes, restaurants, bars and clubs in two years under the new Groupon business unit, generating $5.9M in hardware and software sales in it’s first year after acquisition, where he spent countless morning and late evening hours in some of nation’s best kitchens, bars and cafe’s; implementing mobile management and payment solutions for leading hospitality groups. It was during this time that he was inspired by molecular gastronomists like Wylie Dufresne, and decided to start brewing cannabinoid infused teas and cocktails using modern techniques for his friends and colleagues. 

Company Mission: mood33 offers people an ability to connect with themselves and each other in more meaningful ways. We invigorate local communities and empower people to increase their levels of happiness and sense of well-being. We infuse the world with compassionate cannabis products, created by compassionate people. We protect nature’s gifts to mankind by activating sustainable sourcing and manufacturing practices across our hubs of operation.

Company’s most successful achievement: This June we announced a distribution agreement with the most trusted name in cannabis, and one of the leading vertically integrated cannabis companies in California, Caliva. The partnership will expand the availability of mood33 across California, making it one of the most widely available cannabis-based drinks in the state. We expect to double its store count by the end of 2019 fueled by this new partnership, in addition to growing a robust online and direct-to-consumer sales channel for the brand.

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

if so, how much?: We do not wish to disclose at this time, stay tuned for an announcement of our Series A closing, targeting for Q4 of 2019. 

Any plans on raising capital in the future? Yes, our first institutional funding round will commence in September of 2019.

Most important company 5 year goal: We aim to grow the mood33 family of products to top 3 category leaders in our core regions of operation, thereby increasing consumer access to trustworthy and consistent, smoke-free cannabis products for consumers seeking the health and wellness benefits of the cannabis plant and alternatives to alcohol, addictive prescription pharmaceuticals, and OTC medications.  We seek to grow an operational footprint and strong revenues to allow the company to support mental health initiatives, environmental sustainability efforts and plant-based lifestyle education for communities in need with innovative profit sharing and social impact programs as we extend the mood33 brand into all major cannabis and hemp marketplaces in North America over the next five years. 


StaffStaffSeptember 24, 2019
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3min7160

Darren Roberts is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Green Mile Holdings, a provider of community-based consumer mobile products and enterprise technology systems for the cannabis industry. GMH is an industry leader in cannabis product data insight, proprietary technologies and machine learning with two verticals: HighQ, a consumer data platform, and High There!, a cannabis social network with over one million users. Roberts previously worked in the financial lending sector as a Managing Partner, and has invested in both the public and private sectors for over 23 years.

Title: CEO and Co-Founder

Company: Green Mile Holdings, http://greenmileholdings.com/

Years at current company: 2015-Present

 

GMR Executive Spotlight Q&A:

 

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis:  Prior to cannabis, I worked in the financial lending sector as a Managing Partner, and have invested in both the public and private sectors for over 23 years.

Company Mission: Green Mile Holdings is an industry leader in cannabis product data insight, proprietary technologies and machine learning with two verticals: HighQ, a consumer data platform, and High There!, a cannabis social network with over one million users. 

Company’s most successful achievement: Green Mile Holdings has developed a market and consumer insights system that gives us a remarkable overview of the North American cannabis industry.

We leverage the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to intelligently layer over 20 million consumer reviews on standardized product data. By utilizing our data management platform (DMP) with first party consumer preferences as well as demographic and conversational data, we are able to create a true market with consumer and product insights.

Our ML systems have also enabled us to develop the first version of our cannabis recommendation system. By tracking online menus for thousands of dispensaries across North America, our technology permits us to make accurate and highly personalized recommendations of products. These recommendations allow consumers to make informed decisions based on location and price comparisons. 

Any plans on raising capital in the future? Absolutely.

Most important company 5 year goal: Green Mile Holdings will continue to build proprietary technology in order to create more consumer experiences through our social platform, High There!, as well as provide more enhanced insights for not only companies within the space, but for the cannabis community as a whole.


StaffStaffSeptember 23, 2019
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6min11730

Everett Knight oversees corporate strategy including mergers & acquisitions, marketing, and investor relations. Mr. Knight is known across the cannabis space for his expertise and thought leadership where he has been involved with working, analyzing, lobbying, investing, advising, and consulting throughout the cannabis value chain. 

Prior to Valens, Mr. Knight was a portfolio manager at Matco Financial Inc where he ran a Small Cap Fund and launched the first long only institutional Cannabis Fund in Canada and led them both to become the top performing funds in their corresponding categories. He has toured over 85 facilities worldwide and analyzed over 1200+ cannabis globally where he accumulated a thorough understanding of the industry, regulations, subsectors, and the companies involved in this fast-growing space. His focus in the cannabis industry has shifted in recent years to developing a specialty in extraction, testing, formulation, & value-added products. 

Mr. Knight graduated from the University of Calgary, Haskayne School of Business with a Bachelor in Commerce majoring in Finance and also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

 

Title: Executive Vice President, Strategy and Investments 

Company: Valens GroWorks Corp.

Years at current company: 9 months  

 

GMR Executive Spotlight:

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: Prior to Valens, Mr. Knight was a portfolio manager at Matco Financial Inc where he ran a Small Cap Fund and launched the first long only institutional Cannabis Fund in Canada and led them both to become the top performing funds in their corresponding categories.

Company Mission: Valens GroWorks believes in creating products for those who need them. We do things the right way without ever cutting corners. Whether it’s medical or recreational, local or international, we’re pursuing meaningful extraction, formulation, product development and testing to bring purposeful cannabis to the people.

Company’s most successful achievement: Valens is the largest publicly traded third-party extraction company in the world, and the first in Canada to receive organic certification for cannabis oil production from Pro-Cert Organic Systems Ltd. for its proprietary CO2 and ethanol extraction processing methods in accordance with the Canadian Organic Standards. Valens Labs is also the first ISO 17025 accredited lab for cannabis in Canada and was named the “Centre of Excellence in Plant-Based Science” by $100B market cap scientific instruments company, Thermo Fisher Scientific. Valens is the only company in Canada to provide five types of extraction methodologies servicing the widest range of product development with a robust formulation portfolio equipped to develop new cannabis products. The Company has already secured multi-year extraction agreements with top licensed producers such as The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd, Tilray Canada Ltd., Organigram Inc, Sundial Growers Inc and Canopy Growth Corporation. The Company has expanded its annual extraction capacity to 425,000KG of dried cannabis and hemp biomass, with plans to expand its extraction capacity to over 1,000,000KG in the first half of 2020. 

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

If so, how much?: In 2018, the Company raised $41M in capital. In April 2019, $43,125,000 gross proceeds were raised through bought deal financing providing strong cash position to be able to execute on the Company’s growth plan.

Any plans on raising capital in the future? The core focus of the Company is to continue on its growth trajectory and advance its expansion geographically as well as build out it’s second Kelowna location to house various types of co-packing and oil derivative product development. As Valens continues to pursue what is in the best interest of its shareholders, the Company will continue to evaluate future opportunities and manage its growth responsibly. 

Most important company 5 year goal: The Company is ramping up its white label product development activities as edibles and concentrates are expected to hit shelves later this year. With over 100 years of combined extraction experience on our team, Valens has worked hard on its formulation portfolio which will be essential to the development of new innovative products coming this year, enabling its partners to differentiate their offerings. While Valens continues to operate as a best-in-class provider of crude oil, winterized oil, distillate, and isolate to the cannabis market, its new capacity will also allow the Company to expand its capabilities in product development and manufacturing to meet changing consumer market demands in the upcoming years. Valens plans to use its modern extraction technology and unrivalled expertise along with a new capacity increase to advance its capabilities and ultimately expand into the CPG category.

 


StaffStaffAugust 30, 2019
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4min8360

Julia Jacobson, CEO of Aster Farms

As CEO of Aster Farms, Julia brings an expertise in entrepreneurship, supply chain management and business development to the Aster team. Her personal interest in cannabis is rooted in her battle with chronic migraines, incorporating the plant with her prescribed routine to mitigate symptoms, balance equilibrium and chart a healthy course. Julia develops Aster’s high-level vision, ensuring the team is two steps ahead as the company scales. Prior to Aster Farms Julia was co-founder and CEO of NMRKT, an affiliate marketing platform for content providers. She led the company through Techstars and it’s acquisition by XO Group in 2016, where she went on to become the Director of National Revenue Products. Julia’s career began as a buyer for Bloomingdale’s, giving her a solid foundation in retail and supply chain economics. Today, Julia continues to be a mentor to Techstars and to young entrepreneurs in many fields.

Title: CEO

Company: Aster Farms

Years at current company: 3

Education profile: B.A from Brown University with honors 

 

GMR Executive Spotlight Q&A:

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: Having my first company NMRKT acquired by XO Group and getting to watch the technology live on far beyond my time there.

Company Mission: To bring the cleanest, meanest and greenest cannabis to a dispensary near you. Aster Farms is dedicated to sustainable practices and organic inputs only. We value good genetics, clean cultivation and the power of nature and aim to show consumers how cleaner cannabis means a cleaner high. 

Company’s most successful achievement: Bouncing back from the Mendocino Complex Fire. Our farm burned down completely and it took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to push through and get back up and operating. A year ago, we were burning to the ground, today we’re in 35 dispensaries and delivery services all across California. 

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

If so, how much?: $850,000

Any plans on raising capital in the future? Yes, a Series A next year.Most important company 5 year goal: To educate consumers about what’s in their cannabis and why clean, sustainable techniques are not only better for you, but produce a cleaner high. We want to help break the stigma and education is the way we plan to do that.



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The Green Market Report focuses on the financial news of the rapidly growing cannabis industry. Our target approach filters out the daily noise and does a deep dive into the financial, business and economic side of the cannabis industry. Our team is cultivating the industry’s critical news into one source and providing open source insights and data analysis


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