Luis Merchan, President & CEO at Flora Growth Corp.
Luis Merchan, President and CEO of Flora Growth Corp., is a New York and Miami-based executive with over a decade of proven experience in enterprise sales management, corporate strategy, merchandising and expense management, and customer experience. During Luis’ term as Flora CEO, the company has added over 10,000 new investors, went public on the Nasdaq in May 2021, and now organized to support a portfolio of organic cannabis-based products rapidly growing through acquisitions and partnerships.
President and CEO of Flora Growth Corp.
Flora Growth Corp.
Years at current company:
1 year, 1 month
Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, B.E., Industrial Engineering
McNeese State University, MBA, Business
Harvard Extension School, Marketing Management Graduate Certificate, Marketing.
Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis:
Before joining the Flora Growth team, I previously served as Macy’s Inc.’s Vice President of Workforce Strategy and Operations where I managed the enterprise’s multibillion-dollar P&L expense line for the 540-store portfolio. Throughout my tenure at Macy’s, I led various sales and marketing initiatives including the B2B corporate sales team that was responsible for $160 million in annual revenue. I held a few executive-level roles at Macy’s Inc., including VP of Customer Experience and Selling Support Services and Group VP of National Merchandising and Sales – Beauty, as well as managerial roles at Target Corporation.
From the ground up, Flora is building a foundation designed to exceed customer expectations through purpose-built EU-GMP compliant or equivalent facilities for cultivation, extraction, and manufacturing. With rampant uncertainty in product quality across the cannabis industry, Flora’s mission is to offer a reliable and affordable cannabis solution. By controlling product quality across our value chain, we believe that we can confidently meet the stringent standards in our target countries.
Company’s most successful achievement:
Flora Growth Corp. (NASDAQ: FLGC) was the first-ever all-outdoor organic plant touching company to list on the NASDAQ. The company brought on 10,600 shareholders, making Flora a holder of one of the broadest shareholder bases in cannabis to ever list on NASDAQ.
The Colombian cultivator launched their U.S.-based IPO with the largest cultivation licensed for production in the country on May 11, 2021, without using a SPAC, reverse merger or dual listing.
Has the company raised any capital (yes or no): if so, how much?
To date, Flora has raised the full US$15M in capital through our Reg A+ offering. The Reg A+ is closed to any additional investments and we look forward to seeing how trading continues to succeed.
Flora is very proud to have generated revenue from our beauty and brands business ahead of raising money from our investors before our NASDAQ IPO. We’re ramping up and building an infrastructure that will support a very successful company for the future. This year, our revenue will be 10-20 times higher than it was last year and we’re already showing Q1 coming in 30-40% over budget, and we expect to have strong year-over-year growth over the next 5 years. We are pleased with our current revenue and are performing well ahead of our expectations.
We maximize return on capital invested by utilizing the entire cannabis plant to reduce waste and sensibly maintain operational flexibility to scale production and capitalize on growing wholesale and retail demand for our premium product portfolio.
Any plans on raising capital in the future?
Profitability and EBITDA has been a priority for Flora Growth since day 1. Our margins are exceptionally high, we have one of the lowest growing costs, and started generating revenue early on in operations. We are optimistic that revenue will be cash flow positive in the coming years and hope to announce some exciting things next year that will help us achieve positive EBITDA. Flora expects operations to improve over the short term. We are, however, constantly evolving and expanding our infrastructure to acquire targets that will complement our current business model.
Most important company 5-year goal:
In 5 years, we see Flora Growth as a major global player in the cannabis industry. We’re looking to expand our global footprint in the European and Asia Pacific markets through extensive product innovation efforts and plan to grow with international partners to identify multiple distribution points across all 5 continents.
We’re taking advantage of one of the best areas of growth geographically in Colombia to keep our costs down and further diversify our robust portfolio of brands utilizing all-outdoor and organic growth practices. We also have a GLOBAL G.A.P certification that allows us to export dry flower into countries around the world, are pending both a USDA Organic Seal Certification from the National Organic Program and a European Union Good Manufacturing Practices Certification (EU GMP) within the next year.