Different Types of Resin Cannabis concentrates have come a long way. Fast forward to today and cannabis concentrates are made with various techniques and sold in many different textures and consistencies.
Energy Use for LPs Cannabis grow facilities are one of the highest energy-intensive segments across regulated and competitive markets in North America.
Quality Assurance Instilling customer confidence in the cannabis industry is paramount for cannabis companies across North America. Vaping companies in particular are under a watchful eye, both in Canada and the U.S.
Cannabis Prospect Magazine Your Seed-to-Sale Publication for the Canadian Cannabis Marketplace
Top Entrepreneurs In this issue we look at some of the best up-andcoming entrepreneurs and industry professionals in the Canadian cannabis marketplace.
Volume 3 Issue 1 February 2021
Table of Contents/
Happy and returning customers are usually a sign that you have equally happy and passionate employees. Keeping close communication and being receptive to employee needs and how things are going with their job are critical, not only for team morale, but helping companies boost productivity and sales.
In our first issue of the year, Cannabis Prospect Magazine takes an in-depth look at nine individuals in the Canadian cannabis industry; entrepreneurs and industry tastemakers who are making a name for themselves in domestically and abroad.
The global CBD extraction market is gearing up for exponential growth over the next few years. This growth is due to an increased demand for hemp-derived consumer health products and growing buyer awareness.
It’s not often a cannabis retailer comes along like Burb Cannabis. While the company has three cannabis retailer stores in BC in operation (two in Port Coquitlam, one in Port Moody and four more currently in development at the time of this writing), Burb plans to set itself across Canada as a global brand.
ON THE COVER REGULARS
Cannabis concentrates have come a long way. Fast forward to today and cannabis concentrates are made with various techniques and sold in many different textures and consistencies.
Cannabis grow facilities are one of the highest energy-intensive segments across regulated and competitive markets in North America. With energy for lighting, HVAC and other systems costing up to 50% of total operational spend, it is a significant containable cost.
4 From the Editor 6 Events 8 News 12 Product Showcase 30 Appointments 36 Provincial Updates 39 List of Advertisers
Instilling customer confidence in the cannabis industry is paramount for cannabis companies across North America. In light of 2019’s health crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, vaping companies in particular are under a watchful eye, both in Canada and the U.S.
February 2021 | Cannabis Prospect Magazine
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Running That Hill By David Halpert
y the time most people read this, it will mostly likely be somewhere in mid-to-late February, so talking about 2021 as a fresh start may seem moot at this point. As publisher of a national cannabis magazine, it truly is surreal to have two years behind me in this industry where most of the latter was through one of the worst pandemics in a century (and is still as I remind myself time and time again is far from over). It also didn’t occur to me that until our December issue was published last year, I neglected to recount the many successes of our publication over the last 12 months since. First and foremost, I’m happy to report that since January 2020, we’ve increased our circulation from 1000 subscribers to more than 1700, including more than 700 cannabis retailers and 200 licensed producers. I’m also very grateful to report that revenues were higher than last year thanks to the generous support of our advertisers (again, despite the pandemic that began in March). We’ve also expanded our team here at Cannabis Prospect Magazine. As of December 2020, we’ve brought on board two account reps working on behalf of the publication, building awareness of our brand in Canada and beyond, as well as open up newfound opportunities for revenues. Longtime readers of the publication will also notice a top-down rebranding of the magazine, both in terms of design and editorial content. The visual changes are far more apparent so why don’t we start with that. You’ll first notice the design is more consistent and colourful. When it comes to business-to-business (B2B) publishing, every industry in Canada has its own magazine, or two or three. When it comes to editorial competencec and integrity most of them are above reproach, their designs however have a reputation for behind stiff, dry and uninspired. On a personal note I’ve always felt this way when it comes to
our publication’s design over the last two years. To that end, the redesign is more in line with many of the cannabis business-to-consumer (B2C) publications you’d normally be able to buy on retail store shelves (e.g. High Times, Cannabis Now, etc.). That said, we also wanted to increase reader engagement with the editorial content in our publication. It’s a simple fact that the more attractive an article is presented the more likely that potential readers will take the time to read its pages. Editorially, our issues will be less themebased as in the past and overall will feature more profiles and engaging content. In this issue be sure to check out our top entrepreneurs and industry professionals making moves in cannabis as well as our retailer profile highlighting Burb Cannabis. As we continue into lockdown in January (and possibly February), many licnsed producers and cannabis retail stores remain operational, even if only for curbside pickup, it’s easy to become despondent. Yet I remain very hopeful heading into the New Year. While I understand for many it’s difficult to muster up hope as we near the one-year anniversary of the first lockdown back in March, there’s an old joke that comes to mind to put things in perspective, ‘‘How far can you walk into the woods?” The answer, for those have never heard this one is half-way, because then you’re walking out of the woods. And that’s how I feel heading into this New Year, walking out of the woods. With each day that passes, more and more people are going to be vaccinated and, with any luck, more and more vaccines are going to be approved by Health Canada in time. Believe it or not there will come a a day when this pandemic will feel more like a memory or a bad dream. Until then we must remain vigilant in our daily activities and do our best to limit exposure.
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Cannabis Prospect Magazine | February 2021
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CONFERENCES & EVENTS
May 27-30, 2021 Lift & Co. Cannabis Expo Toronto Metro Convention Centre Toronto, ON http://liftexpo.ca/expotoronto
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2021 O’ CannaBiz Conference & Expo The International Centre Toronto, ON http://ocannabiz.com/toronto
September 1-3, 2021 Grow-Up Conference & Expo Location TBD Victoria, BC http://growupconference.com
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Cannabis Prospect Magazine | February 2021
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Flowr and Hawthorne Canada Jointly Announce the Completion of the World’s First Cannabis Research and Development Facility of its Kind
North America’s first research and development facility dedicated to advancing cannabis cultivation techniques and systems has been completed by The Flowr Corporation and Hawthorne Canada Limited. Hawthorne is a subsidiary of the Hawthorne Gardening Company division of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company. Scotts Miracle-Gro is the world’s leading marketer of branded consumer lawn and garden products and indoor growing solutions. Flowr cultivates and sells premium cannabis to medical and adult-use markets in Canada, Europe and Australia. Located on Flowr’s cultivation campus in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, the R&D Center includes state-of-the-art laboratories, indoor grow suites, and training areas in a single building. Flowr will test cultivation systems and techniques using Hawthorne’s advanced lighting, fertilization and irrigation systems, growing mediums, and research protocols. In addition, Flowr intends to focus its own research on cannabis genetics and integrated growing systems in line with its goal of delivering premium quality cannabis products through highly efficient cultivation.
Unifor and Aleafia Health Partner on Groundbreaking Medical Cannabis Coverage Unifor, Canada’s largest private sector union and Aleafia Health Inc. have entered a long term partnership that through collective bargaining will seek to provide access for their members to medical cannabis coverage as part of their benefit and insurance coverage. Unifor will work with its local unions to recommend and propose insurance coverage in collective bargaining agreements for the reimbursement of medical cannabis. In turn, Aleafia Health and its affiliates will provide Unifor members with access to its health and wellness ecosystem, including education and training, physician-led consultations, scripting, treatment and, where appropriate, medical cannabis products. Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future. Delta 9 Partners with Emterra Environmental to Create Sustainable Recycling and Landfill Diversion Program for Canadian Cannabis Industry Delta 9 Cannabis Inc. has partnered with one of Canada’s leading recycling companies, Emterra Environmental, and a number of leading Canadian cannabis producers, to create a sustainable recycling program for cannabis packaging and disposable vape pens and a landfill diversion program for vape cartridges that will help the Canadian cannabis industry transition to a circular economy. The new program will have two components. The first provides customers with a convenient option for the recycling of cannabis packaging similar to the well-known Blue Box Program.
The second focuses on landfill diversion and uses the best technology available for the recycling of disposable vape cartridges and vape pens. The program will accept cannabis packaging, disposable vape pens and vape cartridges from every Licensed Producer, regardless of brand. Canopy Growth Announces Changes to Canadian Operations Canopy Growth Corporation announced a series of Canadian operational changes designed to streamline its operations and further improve margins. Canopy Growth will cease operations at the following sites: St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador; Fredericton, New Brunswick; Edmonton, Alberta; Bowmanville, Ontario; as well as its outdoor cannabis grow operations in Saskatchewan. Approximately 220 employees have been affected as a result of these closures. These decisions are the partial outcome of an ongoing end-to-end review designed to improve the Company’s margins. The endto-end review was announced during the Company’s Q2 earnings call and looks at people, process, technology, and infrastructure. The Company expects to record estimated total pre-tax charges of approximately $350$400MM in the third and fourth quarters of Fiscal 2021. The production sites affeected represent approximately 17% of the Company’s enclosed Canadian footprint and 100% of its Canadian outdoor production footprint. All figures reported above with respect to the third and fourth quarters of fiscal 2021 are preliminary and are unaudited and subject to change and adjustment as the Company prepares its quarterly and annual financial statements. Cannasupplies Introduces the CRATIV Accelerator Product Line Beginning January 2021, Cannasupplies will
Cannabis Prospect Magazine | February 2021
be stocking the CRATIV Slim and CRATIV Original sizes manufactured using a new food-grade FDA approved biodegradability enhancing additive. The CRATIV accelerator additive helps naturally present enzymes in landfill environments to infiltrate the molecular structure of the material in order to break it down quickly. An important difference compared with other solutions in industry is that CRATIV’s additive does not depend on sunlight or oxygen to degrade and thus is more dependable. CRATIV is pursuing industry recognized ASTM D5511 landfill environment testing. In about a year after participating in the ASTM D5511 testing, CRATIV will be able to report the biodegradation performance. YSS Corp. Announces Closing of Acquisition of Sweet Tree Swift Current YSS Corp., a premier Canadian cannabis retailer with operations under the YSSTM and Sweet TreeTM brands and a trusted destination to explore and discover cannabis in Canada announced the closing of the acquisition of 102014474 Saskatchewan Ltd., which operates a cannabis retail location under the Sweet Tree brand in Swift Current, Saskatchewan. Since execution of a definitive agreement on October 16, 2019, in respect of the Acquisition, Sweet Tree Swift Current has been operated collaboratively by YSS and the current shareholders of Sweet Tree Swift Current, pending conclusion of closing considerations and conditions, including approval by Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (“SLGA”). Closing of the Acquisition was satisfied through the issuance of 5.0 million common shares of the Company (“Acquisition Shares”). The Acquisition Shares are subject to a four-month hold period. Inner Spirit Holdings Surpasses $100 Million System-Wide Retail Sales Milestone in 2020 through its Spiritleaf
CLC Producing Winterized Cannabis Oil in Commercial Quantities, Characterized by a Unique Terpene Profile with Potential Medicinal Applications
Christina Lake Cannabis Corp. has commenced commercial production of winterized cannabis oil as well as full-spectrum winterized cannabis oil, using crude oil extracted in-house from biomass grown by the Company during its inaugural grow season in 2020 in which 32,500 kg / 71,650 lb of cannabis was cultivated outdoors. The Company’s winterized cannabis oils contain a unique terpene profile which has potential applications in medicinal products. CLC continues its dealings with potential purchasers of its initial supply of cannabis oils as announced in its press release dated December 23, 2020. Samples of the Company’s cannabis oils are to be shared with potential purchasers in the coming weeks. The non-invasive nature of cannabis extraction done using CO2 power also tends to allow for greater terpene yields. Based on an initial batch of oils extracted using the Company’s CO2-powered Vitalis R-200-H-GMP-SS, the Company has observed an impressive concentration of terpenes.
Cannabis Retail Store Network Inner Spirit Holdings Ltd., a Canadian company that has established a national network of Spiritleaf cannabis retail stores, announced it has achieved $105 million in system-wide retail sales and served approximately 2.3 million customers in 2020. The Company plans to report its fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 financial results in early April 2021. With the $105 million in systemwide retail sales reflecting the sales from both franchised and corporate-owned stores in 2020, the Company is projecting annual revenue of approximately $26 million (consisting of royalties from Spiritleaf franchisees and the sales from corporate-owned stores along with other items), a gross margin range of 46% to 48%, and approximately $4.7 million in cash on hand as of December 31, 2020. Sigma Analytical Partners With Ecolab To Help Ensure Safe Production Of Cannabis Products Sigma Analytical Services Inc., an innovator in providing testing services in the legal cannabis sector, has signed a collaboration agreement with Ecolab, the global leader in water, hygiene and infection prevention solutions and services. The partnership provides critical cleaning validation that is required for companies that follow Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP). Supported by Ecolab’s sanitation and disinfection solutions and expertise and Sigma’s validated testing, licensed producers can have confidence in the safety and efficacy of their cannabis products. The collaboration between Sigma and Ecolab marks an important step for advancing consistency in the industry. Ensuring that cannabis products are free of impurities, such as raw or production materials, cleaning agents, or any microbial contamination, helps protect consumers from ingesting potentially harmful ingredients.
Sundial Provides Update of Strategic Investment Sundial Growers Inc.’s subsidiary special purpose vehicle that owns $51.9 million of aggregate principal amount of senior secured deb, such amount being inclusive of the payment referred to below, of Zenabis Investments Ltd., a subsidiary of Zenabis Global Inc. received a principal repayment of $7.0 million on December 31, 2020 in accordance with the terms of the Senior Loan. Despite the Payment, a notice of default was delivered to Zenabis with respect to certain defaults under the terms of the Senior Loan. Zenabis is disputing said defaults. Eden Empire Sets Date to Commence Trading on the CSE Eden Empire Inc. announced that its common shares will commence trading effective at the open of the Canadian Securities Exchange on Monday, January 4, 2021, under the ticker symbol “EDEN”. Eden Empire, using its awardwinning and established nationwide brand will operate retail cannabis stores in Canada and the United States. The Company has the intention to expand its business to cannabis cultivation, extraction and processing and become a fully integrated cannabis product company in various states throughout the US. Gerry Trapasso, Director & CEO, commented, “We have strategically positioned Eden to access a niche market in the cannabis sector. We look forward to beginning the rollout of our retail stores in key locations across Canada and the US. In a highly competitive industry, Eden will use its experienced management team, unique street-style branding and top-tier procurement, to stand out against our competitors.” Eden Empire is in the business of investments and operations in the cannabis sector and engaging in retail cannabis sales. Eden Empire intends to expand its retail operations in Canada and to expand its business to cannabis cultivation, extraction and processing and
become a fully integrated cannabis product company in the United States. Canopy Rivers to Monetize Certain Portfolio Assets for Total Transaction Value of Approximately $297 Million Canopy Rivers Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement with Canopy Growth Corporation pursuant to which, among other things, Rivers will transfer three portfolio assets to Canopy Growth in exchange for $115 million in cash and 3,750,000 common shares of Canopy Growth and the cancellation of all 36,468,318 Multiple Voting Shares (“MVS”) and the 15,223,938 Subordinate Voting Shares (“SVS”) of Rivers held by Canopy Growth (collectively, the “Transaction”). On closing, the Transaction will result in Rivers becoming a widely-held company and will unlock substantial value, providing Rivers with significant additional cash resources and allowing it to pursue opportunities in the global cannabis market, including the U.S. The Company believes that its significant cash position and single class share structure will make it an attractive transaction partner for cannabis operators, including those in the U.S., looking for access to capital and a path to liquidity. The Transaction will proceed by way of a court-approved plan of arrangement under the Business Corporations Act (Ontario). “This is a transformative transaction for our Company that we believe provides substantial value to our shareholders through an enhanced cash position and strategic flexibility, and the collapse of our dual class share structure,” said Narbe Alexandrian, President and CEO, Rivers.
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February 2021 | Cannabis Prospect Magazine
FIVE WAYS CANNABIS RETAILERS CAN KEEP THEIR EMPLOYEES HAPPY By Nathan Noble, National Manager, Retail, Spiritleaf
appy and returning customers are usually a sign that you have equally happy and passionate employees. Keeping close communication and being receptive to employee needs and how things are going with their job are critical, not only for team morale, but helping companies boost productivity and sales. Employee retention and happiness is a combination of pay, company culture and atmosphere. With the cannabis industry rapidly growing and evolving, the competition for reliable and experienced talent for your store will not only continue but even increase. With such a large network of stores and staff, communication is essential. That’s why Spiritleaf launched an internal hub to keep lines of communication open. Spirithub is an app-based solution that puts the Support Centre in the pocket of everyone in the organization. A resource like this has given the Spiritleaf team some strong insight into best-in-class ways to support and empower employees. As Spiritleaf continues its rapid growth in Canada, here are some of our tips for fostering a happy and productive workplace, and ensuring employees feel recognized and supported, every day. Training Due to the complexity of the cannabis industry and its wide range of products, an in-depth understanding of the industry is important. Getting your employees to understand your respective product offerings and how your business runs and operates are important for their long-term success. Where we have seen success is in providing on-the-job training to help educate workers and increase their interest in both the company and industry. Not only does this empower your employees to feel like experts in the space, it also gives them invaluable insight and knowledge that they can share with customers in-
store. Educating and training your employees is an investment in both person and company. Employee Engagement and Company Culture It goes without saying that having a positive, fun and inclusive atmosphere for people to work in means employees will enjoy coming to work on a daily basis, and in turn deliver better service. Part of arriving at the point is hearing employees out and valuing their feedback. At Spiritleaf, feedback from our employees is a guiding light in our business. Look for every opportunity possible to harvest feedback and insights from teams on everything from product listings to SOPs. In the case of Spiritleaf, it gives teams a channel to share information and feedback to the Support Centre and has been a great platform to keep our teams engaged. As the majority of our staff are a deskless workforce, the platform has enabled better communication and constant learning. We also host regular live updates and encourage communication on our social feed. Benefits/Perks Competitive benefits packages add value to the job, help with employee retention and happiness, and go a long way in showing that your company is willing to accommodate a worklife balance for employees. Benefits such as health and wellness coverage, vacation, sick leave, and maternity leave are important for employees and play big roles in their decision when seeking new jobs. Offering benefits, employee discounts, and invitations to industry and team-building events make your workplace more desirable than your competitors and entice people to join your team. Growth Opportunities Employees want to know how they can further expand their skills and knowledge, and how they can advance their own career. It’s import-
Cannabis Prospect Magazine | February 2021
ant we create an environment where employees feel like they can talk about how they envision their role evolving, or what they see for their career. It’s also increasingly important to ensure new opportunities and challenges are available to them so they know we care about their growth, just as much as they do. For example, Spirithub also delivers numerous courses that keep our staff engaged. These “micro-learning” lessons give our existing staff the opportunity to learn something new, or brush up on some old skills in a matter of minutes. Recognition Programs We’re huge believers in promoting from within and recognizing employee achievements. Companies that have a culture where people feel acknowledged and celebrated, as well as somewhere they can grow and advance themselves, means a lot to employees. Honour and highlight all the hard work and efforts of employees. It enables healthy competition and incentivizes hard work if they know it will be noticed and appreciated. With that comes always being on the lookout for ways to recognize and reward hard-working employees - this is integral to employee retention. Aside from frequent celebrations of our successes internally, we also use opportunities like our AGM, The Circle, which features an annual Awards program, to call out our brightest Spiritleaf stars. By taking the time to discover what your team needs, cannabis retailers can keep a pulse on their employees and what makes for enjoyable work experiences, alongside making sure they want to stick around for the long haul. Some of these can be acted on at store level, but when it comes to wider benefits and recognition, it takes a full buy-in from the top down to keep employees happy and motivated to come to work.
Vivintel’s Cannabis Consumer Studies Delivering insights on cannabis consumer habits and opinions pre-legalisation, post-legalisation and during the pandemic
Our studies provide you an in-depth understanding of: Recreational and medicinal use Product and brand preferences Motivations to consume Purchasing behaviour Potential consumption Awareness of health benefits Sources for cannabis education Impact of use on other products Perceptions And much more
Did you know? Over the past two years, positive sentiment toward cannabis legalisation has increased by 22%. 1 in 3 cannabis users increased their use of cannabis products during the COVID-19 pandemic. During the COVID-19 pandemic, 1 in 4 adult Canadians used cannabis products as a sleep aid. In 2019 nearly 40% of cannabis users still purchased cannabis products from the illicit market. In 2020, illicit market purchases dropped to 22%.
Billion Dollar Start-Up
From early roadblocks and devastating personal and financial setbacks to explosive growth and some of the biggest cannabis deals in global history, Billion Dollar StartUp not only recounts the HEXO story but the history of Canada’s momentous road to legalization. In this part fast-paced memoir, part high-octane business book, writer and journalist Julie Beun gives us an intimate look at the life of a start-up and the ferocious entrepreneurial drive it takes to succeed — written in real time, as the story unfolded. BILLION DOLLAR START-UP Adam Miron, Sébastien St-Louis, Julie Beun Pub date: February 2, 2021 ISBN: 978-1-77041-586-7 $29.95 CAD / $24.95 USD Paper, 6 x 9”, 288 pp DISTRIBUTION: Baker & Taylor Publisher Services (US), Jaguar Book Group (Canada)
Two-Stage Fluid Bed Dryer
Kason Corporation and ABM Equipment have introduced a patent-pending 2-stage fluid bed dryer that can dry up to 10,000 pounds of cannabis per hour with minimal cannabinoid loss. Ideal for batch or continuous drying of cannabis biomass, the VIBROBED fluid bed dryer uses heat as an accelerant rather than a primary driver for evaporation, burning off less CBD than alternate technologies. Fluid bed dryers are an improvement over belt and tumbler dryers, since the fluid bed pushes air up through the product while it is being constantly shifted with vibration. This fluidizes and maximizes exposure to air, speeding the drying process while maintaining product integrity. Because the product is suspended over the airstreams, this method increases the surface area of the product being exposed to dry air for greater efficiency and drying consistency. Cannabis processors are also able to use the Kason VIBRO-BED fluid bed dryer to capture and return lost trichomes to each batch.
Cannabis Prospect Magazine | February 2021
3 The Blackbird Rolling Center
4 CRATIV Accelerator Product Line
The first machine of its kind to offer the patent-pending “tru-roll” technology, the Blackbird Rolling Center utilizes radial compaction rather than directional packing to produce the highest-quality prerolls with maximum efficiency.
Beginning January 2021, Cannasupplies will be stocking the CRATIV Slim and CRATIV Original sizes manufactured using a new food-grade FDA approved biodegradability enhancing additive.
The Blackbird Rolling Center is a fully automated and enclosed tabletop production unit capable of producing 750-plus (0.45-0.65 gram) pre-rolls per hour with a fill accuracy range of plus or minus 0.03 grams, ensuring compliance while also regulating temperature and humidity during operation.
The CRATIV accelerator additive helps naturally present enzymes in landfill environments to infiltrate the molecular structure of the material in order to break it down quickly. An important difference compared to other solutions in industry is that CRATIV’s additive does not depend on sunlight or oxygen to degrade and thus is more dependable. CRATIV is pursuing industry recognized ASTM D5511 landfill environment testing. In about a year after participating in the ASTM D5511 testing, CRATIV will be able to report the biodegradation performance.
All plant-touching surfaces are food-grade materials and/or surgical stainless steel and easily cleanable, reducing the risk of product contamination. Loading the Blackbird is easy and efficient. One 2,500-meter paper roll loaded on the bobbin can produce 40,000 joints, thereby saving time by eliminating the need to stop and reload.
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MOVERS & SHAKERS In our first issue of the year, Cannabis Prospect Magazine takes an indepth look at nine individuals in the Canadian cannabis industry; entrepreneurs and industry tastemakers who are making a name for themselves in domestically and abroad.
Elias Theodorou, Fighter & Activist
Top-ranked middleweight fighter Elias Theodorou #TheManeEvent™ amassed an impressive 8-3 record during his time in the UFC, beginning his run with the company as the first ever Canadian winner of its famed reality show/tournament, The Ultimate Fighter. Other firsts in Elias’s career include making history as the first male ring cardholder or RING BOY™, now actively utilized by four different MMA organizations and counting, the most prominent of which is the all-female promotion InvictaFC. No stranger to breaking barriers, Elias is also committed to #FightTheStigma of medical cannabis in athletics. During his time with the UFC, Elias became the first professional athlete to apply for Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) through the USADA (https://www.usada.org) and is a member of the WADA (www.wada-ama.org). Although never approved, Elias kept fighting to win his case, not only for himself, but all athletes and medical patients in the sport. Those efforts prevailed, through an alternative route via the British Columbia Athletic Commission, which approved Elias’s medical cannabis application Jan 31, 2020, the first of its kind in combat or professional sports. More than a fighter, Elias is using his ever-growing platform in athletics to expand his reach beyond MMA. Elias employs his advertising degree and corporate experience to develop, create and produce comprehensive campaigns for the brands he partners with in an entertaining, educational and organic manner. Always looking forward, when Elias is not busy training or competing, he’s currently working on two upcoming films, as well as various TV projects. Additionally, he is not only the lead character or host in these endeavors, but the executive producer as well.
Cannabis Prospect Magazine | February 2021
Ali Mohamad, CEO, Lyte Clinics Since its inception, Lyte has helped more than 7,000 patients by making online prescriptions and telemedicine seamless. Ali’s proprietary platform is positioned to bring healthcare access, along with medical cannabis, to any Canadian with an internet connection. Ali saw a lack of quick, easy and safe ways for patients to gain access to medical cannabis, and to see a doctor on the topic. He created Lyte Clinic in 2017 to address this need and was one of the first clinics accepted into an Ontario pilot program allowing it to bill OHIP for telemedicine services. Lyte has maintained access to cannabis as medicine for patients who might have been forced into recreational markets.
Jessica & Cameryn Brown, Terpwell
Jessica and Cameryn Brown are sisters and the Brand Directors of TerpWell, Canada’s first hops-based full-spectrum terpene brand, offering specially formulated terpene blends to benefit different areas of wellness. Initially working in the cannabis space and watching it grow over six years, they recognized the important role that terpenes played in people’s therapy and felt there was a need for more products that offer these wide-ranging benefits, without the risk of intoxication. Both Jessica and Cameryn share similar experiences with cannabis, as supporters but non-users. They were constantly looking for products that would help them with anxiety, sleep and faster recovery but did not want the risk of feeling intoxicated by THC products. As research on terpenes became more and more prevalent in the cannabis industry, Jessica and Cameryn felt there was a huge opportunity to offer people what they themselves had been looking for - natural, wellness-oriented products without the risk of feeling “high”. TerpWell’s offering covers six distinct areas of wellness, including sleep, anxiety, focus, energy, immunity and sustaining overall health and wellbeing. Jessica and Cameryn are excited to share the benefits of these products with people around the world. Regardless of one’s age, gender, fitness level or cannabis status, they believe there is a TerpWell product that can add wellness to someone’s life.
February 2021 | Cannabis Prospect Magazine
Angelina Blessed, Founder, Blessed Edibles, Co-Founder, Gallery Brands Using Whole Bud Extraction, along with a selection of strains and infusion processes - there are different formulations for every patient’s preferences and needs - Angelina Blessed is bringing her vision of cannabis edibles to the legal market with Blessed Edibles, and spreading her mission worldwide. As co-founder of Gallery Brands, she’s surrounding herself with other cannabis trailblazers who see the glaring gaps in our current cannabis market. After a lifetime of Muay Thai training and passion, multiple injuries and dietary restrictions caused Angelina’s journey to be equal parts recovery and learning, she found that the sugary edibles available on the market were not amenable to fighting inflammation in her body. They were peddled as treats and indulgences, as opposed to the important option they are for so many patients who do not, or cannot, smoke cannabis. She has coached athletes and patients through recovery with baked cannabis goods, without sacrificing rigourous personal dietary and health guidelines. Angelina has expanded her recipes and ideas to the broader public, conscious of modern lifestyles and equally, restrictive dietary regimes for both health and wellness.
Chef Jordan Wagman
Jordan is a James Beard nominated chef, teacher, advocate, husband, dad, musician, hockey coach, and psoriasis conqueror. He wears each title as a badge of honour, taking on these roles with precision and tremendous passion. Jordan’s unique culinary journey began over camp fires in Northern Ontario’s Algonquin Park and progressed to some of the top kitchens in the culinary world. The demands on his physical health combined with his desire to be a very present father and husband, challenged him to take a road less traveled. At age 12, Jordan was diagnosed with psoriasis, an often debilitating autoimmune disease. He was hospitalized, medicated and forced to follow extensive diets during the defining years of his life. No medicine or diet gave Jordan the relief he was desperately seeking. Jordan discovered that if he removed certain ingredients he could still eat the foods he loved to cook, share and serve. He set out to create healthy and delicious recipes akin to restaurant quality dishes. He has expanded his health-conscious and accessible approach to cannabis cuisine, spreading education and passion. He has played a role in the development of edible formulations, and is always pushing the limits of how and where cannabis can be included in cuisine. His infused dinners have become lore among the Toronto cannabis scene - longingly awaited when social gatherings reconvene. Having taken this unique road on his culinary journey, Jordan has a renewed focus on food and wellness. His cooking classes for adults and kids alike are sold out, and the demand is real. He is ready to share his passion, his story and each amazing recipe, in hopes of changing a few lives while people continue to enjoy indulging in all the goodness each ingredient has to offer.
Cannabis Prospect Magazine | February 2021
Christina Michael, Founder & CEO, Marigolds Cannabis
Christina is a seasoned entrepreneur with more than 25 years of experience. As Founder & CEO of Marigolds Cannabis, Christina has passionately built her business from scratch with her knowledge, ambition and “get it done” attitude. Christina is a results-driven leader who has had the opportunity to work with notable brands within the cannabis sector where she utilized her expertise on large-scale corporate projects, start-ups, retailers and non-profits. In addition to her role at Marigolds Cannabis, Christina is the Canadian Activation Director for Athletes For CARE, as well as a Senior Advisor at Council 45. Her drive combined with her experience make her a natural leader, influencer and connector.
David Schwede, CEO & Founder, Premium 5
David Schwede is the Founder and CEO of the largest hydrocarbon concentrate brand in Canada, Premium 5, establishing itself as the leading provider of cannabis concentrates in the country. He is a former Executive of Project Development and Project Management for one of Canada’s largest cannabis companies, Aurora Cannabis. A serial entrepreneur, David successfully operated and scaled multiple tech start-ups such as Canadian Virtual Gurus and Snapfile. His businesses have won several startup awards with his most recent being listed as one of Forbes ‘Startups to Watch’ for 2019.
April Brooks, Brand Manager, Medical Cannabis By Shoppers April Brooks began working with Shoppers Drug Mart in 2018 and demonstrated strong leadership skills, successfully launching the new medical cannabis business, the first licensed producer in the retail pharmacy sector in Canada. April is a passionate strategic marketer with +20 years experience in Brand Marketing. She has been successful in Consumer Packaged Goods, healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. April has been involved in all aspects of Marketing, including patient-advocacy programs, social media campaigns and new product launches. She has led remarkable consumer brands such as AXE®, Dove® and Tylenol®. Also, within the pharmaceutical sector she spearheaded Women’s Health, Gastroenterology and vaccine businesses.
February 2021 | Cannabis Prospect Magazine
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The Rise of Cannabis Concentrates By Mara Connacher, Operations Manager, Relm Cannabis
annabis concentrates have come a long way. Back in the day (and the “day” goes back many centuries) there was hashish. Hash was the original cannabis concentrate. Traditionally, hash was manufactured by hand rubbing or otherwise manipulating ripe cannabis plants to extract their resin. Cannabis resin was collected in various ways, formed into large clumps and usually, but not necessarily, pressed to improve consistency and flavour. The end result was traditional hashish, which became a mainstay of many Canadian cannabis consumers in the 1970s and 1980s. In those days, hash was imported into Canada from major hashish-producing nations, primarily Afghanistan, Lebanon and Morocco. The End of Hash Illegally importing hash was expensive, risky and complicated. The domestic market for cannabis was huge and the supply chain was fragile, not always able to keep up with demand. At about the same time, cannabis aficionados discovered ways to breed and grow potent, seedless cannabis strains indoors and under lights. As a result, domestically grown, high-quality cannabis flowers flooded the market. Almost immediately, the supply of and demand for imported hashish was drastically reduced. Just a Dab In 2005, a Canadian man who went under the pseudonym of “Budderking” developed a proprietary form of hash oil (called “budder”) by using extraction methods including alcohol. These concentrates were potent — some were more than 75 percent THC by weight — and created a quick and intense high. Just one puff was needed for most users and the art of “dabbing” was born. Dabbing involves taking a tiny amount of concentrated cannabis oil and dropping it on a heated surface on a special pipe, called a dab rig. The oil instantly vaporizes and the consumer inhales. Almost instantly, a new cannabis consumption ritual was born. More Options Fast forward to today and cannabis concentrates are made with various techniques and sold in many
different textures and consistencies. Methods of extraction have also evolved. Where once alcohol was the solvent of choice, today butane predominates result in high-quality butane hash oil (BHO). Other extraction methods use water, ice or a combination of heat and pressure. These are referred to as solventless extracts and are preferred by some consumers. A list of some of the various, popular concentrate types is below; however, this list is by no means exhaustive: »»
Butane Hash Oil: BHO is created by using butane, which acts as a solvent to extract cannabinoids and terpenes. The process is not complicated, but it can be dangerous and should not be tried at home by amateurs. BHO is very popular because it’s possible to get concentrates that are very high in THC. BHO is used in the production of various products such as budder, shatter, wax and others.
Propane Hash Oil: PHO, as its name suggests, is created with the use of propane, not butane. Everything else is pretty much the same. Some prefer it because it can be made into budder (a creamy, buttery consistency) with vigorous whipping. Experienced PHO makers note that, depending on strain, it’s possible to get more terpenes and fewer residuals by using propane.
CO2 Extraction: CO2 extraction is solvent-free, mess-free and very expensive. It’s also very popular because the product retains terpene-rich flavours.
Dry Sieve: Dry-sieving is a method of extraction that involves taking cannabis and rubbing it over a fine mesh. The small particles that collect underneath (called trichomes or kief) can either be smoked directly or used to create other forms of concentrates.
Full Melt: Full melt is a hash derivative that is made by employing a water and ice process. Also known as bubble-hash, the end result is a product with the highest levels of
Cannabis Prospect Magazine | February 2021
terpenes and cannabinoids. It’s super clean and is solvent free without any contaminants. »»
Rosin: Rosin is made by simultaneously heating and squeezing cannabis buds until oil is extracted out of them and onto parchment paper. This method produces a very pure product.
Live Rosin: Live rosin is simply BHO (or PHO) which is made using live, fresh cannabis instead of dried material. Using live cannabis provides a more distinct profile of terpenes and other aromatic compounds.
Endless Potential The potential of cannabis concentrates in Canada lies in the commercialization and industrialization of cannabis as a whole. Cannabis that may not be fit for consumption (because it was harvested too early, was overly dried or burned, or contains seeded buds or old or bad-quality flowers and trim) can now be broken down into its basic parts and utilized in reconstructing safe consumer products. The THC extracted from low-quality cannabis, once isolated, is the same as the THC extracted from the best cannabis in the world. This allows cultivators to focus less on growing high-quality whole flower for consumption — a process that can be costly — and more on quantity and THC production instead. Large fields of lower-grade cannabis can now find a market as well. Whether for better or worse, this model is exactly what industrialization and commercialization can do to ensure the best returns on investment. The concentrates market in Canada has proven that it will sustain mass-produced, inexpensive commercial extracts as well as hand-crafted, organically grown and responsibly cultivated small-batch concentrates. This is why it’s enormously important that we understand these aspects of the extraction process and take an active part in deciding what we deem acceptable and safe for the future of cannabis concentrates. Mara Connacher is the Operations Manager for Relm Cannabis, one of the first legal cannabis retailers in Ontario.
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Data Analytics: Key Strategies to Manage Energy Costs in Cannabis Grow Facilities By Leighton Wolffe, President of GrowFit Analytics
Energy Supply & Cannabis Grow Facilities Cannabis grow facilities are one of the highest energy-intensive segments across regulated and competitive markets in North America. With energy for lighting, HVAC and other systems costing up to 50% of total operational spend, it is a significant containable cost. The savvy owner needs to know how to leverage energy information to create advantageous power management and purchasing strategies. Beyond efficient design and equipment, much depends on the ability of the energy consuming systems to operate in context of the Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA). Grow operations are unique and equipment schedules that are based on distinctive grow recipes often conflict with standard-rate structures causing unexpected demand charges. To cover both sides of the supply-and-demand equation, grow practices and equipment operations need to align with the business rules contained in the supply contract. To accomplish this, the modern energy buyer will have an information management platform that monitors energy, while also monitoring the HVAC and grow system activities that drive consumption and demand. In this way, identifying and correcting inefficiencies and demand spikes enable the consumer to position themselves for an improved supply-side contract through demonstrated ability to self-manage usage. The energy supplier will view these capabilities as a positive, knowing it has less risk to cover. So, unless your facility is 100% renewable energy, there is an electricity bill every month, and you are likely getting charged for things you had no idea were happening. Other factors causing energy issues are due to increasing demand on the grid. In many locations, electrical distribution zones are not able to handle these new peak load requirements, and this has caused some areas to impose efficiency standards, increase rate charges, and place additional responsibility on the owner to implement efficiency measures and provide reports to show compliance.
When grow facilities are at peak load, exposure to market conditions are at their highest. Price x Quantity (P x Q) is the first part of the equation energy suppliers look at to determine how they’ll cover the customer load. One piece of that information is captured in a Load Duration Curve. The chart in Figure 1 below shows levels of demand during the total number of hours per year. Energy suppliers use this chart to determine demand and consumption 8760 hours per year. Demand charges account for 40-50% of each monthly bill with the highest peak within the billing period setting the monthly demand charge. Placing demand limit thresholds on the top 100 hours can significantly reduce annual energy spend. In this case, if the facility was able to eliminate the top 100 hours of demand, this would reduce the annual energy bill by up to 9%. The second piece of information is provided by daily Load Profile Charts. These charts show the patterns, deviations and anomalies in daily usage that originate from equipment operation. When demand exceeds a rate threshold, additional costs occur. When load profile information is analyzed in context of the PPA rate structure, deter-
minations can be made on optimizing schedules, sequences of events and energy strategies. In this chart, each line is a day’s usage. Note the outlier on the single day that increased monthly demand by 30%. That resulted in a 12% increase on the total energy spend for the month – and could have been avoided. This chart shows the one day that drove demand charges to its new high. It goes without saying that any professional grow operation will pay attention to energy efficiency – but there is a larger game to be played by fully leveraging your PPA from knowing how to manage your equipment. Efficiency measures do not address supply-side scenarios in the same way as demand strategies that live in 15-minute windows. Careful sequencing of equipment can mean the difference between
paying 10-20% extra every month versus 10-20% in cost avoidance. This operational chart in Figure 3 shows the actual equipment and systems that are driving consumption and demand. Managing Grow Costs In addition to monitoring the equipment and systems that serve the entire site, more granular data can be developed by monitoring individual grow rooms. This calculates energy consumption costs for each phase of the grow process. As shown in Figure 4, this particular room has energy density of 50 watts per square foot, which is higher than the mandates in several U.S. States of 36 watts per square foot. What Can I Do in My Facility? If your facility is in a regulated market, where the pricing models are fixed and
Figure 1: Energy Demand and Consumption with Top 100 Hours of Demand
Cannabis Prospect Magazine | February 2021
subject to Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approval for any rate changes, having a platform as described above will allow consumers to adjust energy usage to best fit their current PPA. Improvements over time to demand and consumption can be used to evaluate and negotiate alternate rate structures that match the new energy profile. If your facility is in a competitive energy market, there are numerous options to customize and negotiate PPAs based on your specific load profile. Energy suppliers will assess historical interval metre data to make assumptions of future consumption and to calculate risk for over/under use. If a facility has the data and can demonstrate its ability to manage itself and not create unexpected demand spikes, it opens the door to negotiate lower risk supply contracts. It is not just about lowering kWh pricing: instances of reducing annual spend by 5-10% are not uncommon when addressing demand charges first. If you have a new facility with no energy history, the energy supplier will determine a rate profile based on load calculation estimates, but even so, once the site is operational, the data will reveal areas of the PPA that can be revised. Summary The real challenge to achieve control over energy costs is to align the requirements of grow processes with often complex energy cost structures. The grow site needs to know its PPA pricing model, know its energy use profiles and the consumption as well as demand levels across its grow cycles. In addition, it must know what systems are responsible for energy use and costs. When this level of energy information is attained, facility operators are better able to manage energy costs, control overhead, better monitor and protect their investments, while enabling cultivators to replicate future crops with known costs.
Figure 2: Daily Load Profile Chart
Figure 3: Operation Chart – Energy Consumption of Equipment/Systems
Leighton Wolffe is President of GrowFit Analytics, a data analytics company providing information & energy management services that guarantees growers achieve consistently higher plant quality and crop productivity. Leighton was formerly the VP of Strategy at Constellation NewEnergy, an energy supplier serving two-thirds of the Fortune 100 with electricity. Leighton has more than two decades of experience in designing building automation systems and implementing data science applications across multiple industries, along with his passion and enthusiasm for the budding cannabis industry. Figure 4: Energy Consumption Costs – March 2020
February 2021 | Cannabis Prospect Magazine
Quality Assurance: What Vape Companies Should Look for When Considering Testing and Compliance
nstilling customer confidence in the cannabis industry is paramount for cannabis companies across North America. In light of 2019’s health crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, vaping companies in particular are under a watchful eye, both in Canada and the U.S. While these additional levels of scrutiny may make operations challenging, they also present opportunities for manufacturers to live up to or exceed consumer expectations and set a new standard for the evolving cannabis industry. Companies that achieve compliance and operate in multiple countries successfully are steering the ship, as they have already charted a course through regulations and laws prioritizing the concerns of different populations. Brands operating in Canada and the U.S. specifically will have firsthand insight on developing testing systems that truly make sense across the board. For safety-focused brands that are operating across multiple provinces, multiple U.S. states or countries, remaining compliant across markets is a complicated web of red tape that’s well worth untangling. O2VAPE in Michigan is one such brand. “We know it’s not going to be quick or easy to fully expand into Canada. Several players in the industry are looking at compliance strategically with a cost/benefit analysis, but that can only take you so far,” said Dana E. Shoched, the Founder, President, and CEO of O2VAPE. “I’m proud to be at the front of a movement to ensure safety and quality, along with other companies that truly care about their customers and vow to put consumer safety above all else.” Lessons learned here can ultimately create a win-win scenario for consumers, governments and the cannabis industry. The Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA) regulates the safety of cannabis vaping devices, such as batteries or other hardware, for products that are “not marketed for therapeutic use.” The CCPSA authorizes Health Canada to compile information relating to the safety of cannabis vaping products. Health Canada can then order anyone who manufactures or imports
a consumer product into Canada for commercial purposes to carry out any tests or studies that it deems necessary to ensure the public’s safety. Still, comprehensive safety standards can be a fine line for manufacturers to walk. When the legal Canadian cannabis market was first coming into its own in late 2019, the lack of vape product testing that took place before cannabis retailers put them on the shelves was demanding headlines. Health Canada didn’t begin testing the health effects of inhaled substances emitted from cannabis vaping products until they were already legally for sale in Canada. This left the vaping industry scrambling to educate consumers. Today, the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA) only recommends that manufacturers “control the presence of harmful elements in vaping devices and vaping parts so that their transmission to aerosol under normal use conditions is minimized.” While testing vaping emissions isn’t required by law in Canada, Canadian manufacturers hoping to expand into the U.S. should brush up on regulations about testing emissions in various states. The U.S. cannabis market is starting to push for vaping manufacturers to take extra precautions. Colorado, for example, one of the pioneering cannabis markets in the U.S., is requiring vaping companies to conduct aerosol tests starting in 2022. Other states may follow suit, but only time will tell if this initiative from Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) will prove impactful and take hold in other markets. Previously, only the oil has required analyzing in cannabis testing laboratories, meaning testing labs will
Cannabis Prospect Magazine | February 2021
likely have to add new equipment to conduct the aerosol tests. While it’s crucial to ensure the cannabis product doesn’t have harmful metals or other degradants in it, the impact of the MED’s added regulations will cost time and money. Testing is expensive, time-consuming and could put compliant manufacturers in a tough spot with consumers who don’t fully understand the value and simply want to purchase their product. “The key here is to be sure that what you are testing for could actually pose a significant health risk,” said Shoched. “Yes, testing is expensive, but we should not put a price tag on consumer confidence. Transparency and good communication at every point of the process will build and protect your reputation and customer trust.” Shoched is a product safety advocate and, as a member of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), takes part in developing standards for testing protocols. ASTM International offers global access to fully transparent standards development, which could become an incredibly valuable asset for any cannabis company in Canada or the U.S. seeking to become a global entity. Another valuable asset for cross-border expansion is to establish trusting partnerships with brands in each country that can help navigate processes or shine a light on any glaring
compliance issues that may be overlooked. “For O2VAPE, it’s always been about keeping compliance high and costs low. As we look at expanding into the Canadian market, we would prioritize partnering with other like-minded brands that align with our values and practices to really make a difference and deliver quality products to vaping customers,” said Shoched. From learning the lessons of neighbouring markets to creating business partnerships with like-minded manufacturers, there is still much work to be done. Regardless of the market you’re in, forward-thinking companies should keep the discussion around testing and manufacturing practices focused on ensuring customer safety. At the end of the day, it’s in the best interest of vaping companies themselves to educate consumers and cooperate with regulators to ensure customer satisfaction and a thriving industry. Dana E. Shoched is the Founder, President and CEO of O2VAPE and contributed to this article.
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Cannabis Prospect Magazine
THE GLOBAL BUSINESS OF CANNABIS EXTRACTION
Redefining the CBD Market and the Science Behind Customer Satisfaction
he global CBD extraction market is gearing up for exVantage Hemp Co. is one recent example of this phiponential growth over the next few years. Grand View losophy investment, with the company recently announcing Research projects expansion at a Compound Annual the completion of their world-class facilities earlier this year Growth Rate (CAGR) of 16.6% over the next six years and the addition of a second building giving them the ability with a market value of USD 28.5 billion by 2027. This growth to operate with complete extraction flexibility depending on is due to an increased demand for hemp-derived consumer the biomass and customer needs with CO2 and hydrocarhealth products and growing buyer awareness. This demand, bon extraction. “These facilities are second to none in terms coupled with new extraction techniques, means the industry of scale, design, and technology,” says Deepank Utkhede, is seeing more innovation than ever before, Chief Operating Officer of Vantage Hemp making committing to science-backed prog- According to New Frontier Co. “The result is state-of-the-art facilities ress and adhering to global certification on the cutting edge of technology to conData’s latest analysis, regulations the best way to leverage an ad- consumers in the European vert dried hemp biomass into consistently vantage as the cannabis industry prepares high-quality CBD extracts at commercial Union are projected to to mature in the global arena. scale.” And with both production lines able spend €13.6 billion (USD to run simultaneously, the company will be The Reinvigoration of Extraction 16.14 billion) by 2025, with able to maximize production capabilities Technology on a global scale. the two biggest markets With the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill and being Germany and the the legalization of cannabis in many parts, The Key to Winning to Global Markets United Kingdom. Globally, The rise in increasingly sophisticated canextraction techniques and technologies have advanced quickly. Since the methods nabis users has also increased the preshemp-derived CBD used to manufacture these products directproducts have become so sure on the industry to offer an array of ly affect safety and quality, better produchigh-concentration products that do not popular, and the industry compromise on quality or sustainability. To tion methods to meet the buyer demand for cannabinoid and cannabidiol products has moved so quickly, that meet supply and demand, solvent-based that are of consistent quality and outcome cannabis extraction methods have bemany governments are have been essential to capturing the market come increasingly popular, especially in a state of flux on how share - at home and abroad. for the production of medical cannabis. to properly regulate the That’s why quality is more than compli“There are two main drivers at Vantage market. ance. In heavily regulated, consumer-oriHemp Co.: safety and quality. And they ented industries, like cannabis, businesses need to be treated as equally important,” have traditionally faced constraints in their internal manage- continues Utkhede. “The extraction industry itself and the ment practices. With recent advancements, producers have equipment and processes we use to extract CBD and various quickly learned that they can’t just be “good” at extraction cannabinoids from hemp require dangerous processes using processes, it needs to be part of a systematic approach, violative solvents, so safety has to be a priority. We have one based on science and driven by data. of the best fire-and-gas detection systems in the industry in 28
Cannabis Prospect Magazine | February 2021
our facilities because we’ve designed our processes with these drivers front and centre. Safety measures have also added to the quality of our products and being fully compliant, not just with the FDA, but EU Good Manufacturing Practices as well.” In addition to specializing in the production of high-quality, full-spectrum oil, distillate and isolate, cannabis producers must now also be experts in GMP compliance. Companies similar to Vantage Hemp Co. who have witnessed global expansion have found success honing the following established methods: »» »» »»
Winterization to produce a fullspectrum CBD oil for patients, followed by: Distillation to remove terpenes and increase potency to 85%; And finally, crystallization to remove any remaining impurities to get a CBD isolate, which at 99%+ is the purest form of CBD available.
Due to the volatile nature of the extraction process, advanced manufacturing and safety-testing measures become that much more important for producers. As the industry continues to blossom, so does the expectation that more regulatory bodies will get involved. So having the right foundation and expertise to be compliant is crucial
for producers looking to expand outside of North America. International Trends and Compliance According to New Frontier Data’s latest analysis, consumers in the European Union are projected to spend €13.6 billion (USD 16.14 billion) by 2025, with the two biggest markets being Germany and the United Kingdom. Globally, hemp-derived CBD products have become so popular, and the industry has moved so quickly, that many governments are in a state of flux on how to properly regulate the market. However, with UK and EU authorities regarding CBD as a “novel food” under the Novel Food Act legislation, it’s consequential for CBD extractors as it requires clear labelling of ingredients lists and the submission of toxicological studies when applying. The process will prove even more difficult for suppliers wishing to sell to the UK market due to the latest Brexit trade deal, with more complications around the Novel Foods Act regulations, tariffs and customs expected to arise as they navigate the new system. Vantage Hemp CO. also made the transition onto the global extraction market by joining their counterparts as members of the European Industrial Hemp Associations’s (EIHA) Novel Food Consortium. Joining the Consortium established by the EIHA allows members to join forces with other companies
with the capacity of strengthening their compliance in the UK and EU markets, followed by emerging CBD markets such as Australia and Latin America. Consumers have become more sophisticated and want more “clean label” products than ever before. As a result, the future of the CBD industry has already taken form. Many people around the world have begun to incorporate CBD-infused products into their lives, which are often seen as superior alternatives to prescription medications for common ailments. It’s also why the need to achieve global compliance for the distribution of extractions has only further amplified for producers. Ultimately cannabis, whether used for medicinal or recreational purposes, is a consumer product. Enhancing the consumer experience so they can reap the full benefits of CBD can only be done through better product extraction methods, scientific exploration, consistency and commitment to quality and safety above all else. With technology rising to meet the industry challenges, it’s important that producers do what they can to ensure they have the processes in place to meet the rigorous systematic processes to grow - on the field and globally. Christian Santi is the New Director of Sales of Vantage Hemp. Co.
February 2021 | Cannabis Prospect Magazine
High Tide Inc. has appointed Omar Khan has as Senior Vice President of Corporate and Public Affairs. In New Jersey, Mr. Khan recently worked with a Canadian licensed producer to develop a community relations program that resulted in increased support for its proposal to operate a medicinal cannabis cultivation facility. Omar has more than 15 years of experience working as a communications strategist in Canadian federal and provincial politics, including serving as Chief of Staff to several Ontario Ministers, including the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, the Minister of Economic Development and Trade and the Minister of Government Services.
Sigma Analytical Services Inc., an innovator in providing testing services in the legal cannabis sector, announced that Ashton Abrahams, who co-founded the company in 2017, has been named President by the Board of Directors. Previously Sigma’s Chairman and Chief Operating Officer, Abrahams holds a master’s degree in Engineering, along with an MBA, and is based out of Toronto.
WeedMD Inc., a federally-licensed producer and distributor of medical-grade cannabis, announced in early January that its board of directors has appointed executive chairman, George Scorsis, as interim Chief Executive Officer. This appointment follows Angelo Tsebelis’s decision to step down from his CEO and director roles, with mutual agreement from the Board, following the successful year-long integration of WeedMD and Starseed Holdings Inc. Mr. Tsebelis has agreed to take an advisory role to help the Company through this period of transition.
The Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) has granted accredited status to Andrea Chrysanthou, Director of Communications, for Global Public Affairs following its successful completion of the Society’s 2019-20 accreditation program. First granted in 1969 as a measurement of competence and personal achievement in the field of public relations, the APR designation is now an internationally recognized symbol of excellence in the industry.
The Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) has granted accredited status to Vanessa Roland, Communications Advisor for Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC) following its successful completion of the Society’s 2019-20 accreditation program. First granted in 1969 as a measurement of competence and personal achievement in the field of public relations, the APR designation is now an internationally recognized symbol of excellence in the industry.
Willow Biosciences Inc. has announced that it is undertaking two initiatives to help its customers evaluate and better understand cannabigerol (CBG), its first commercial cannabinoid slated for production in Q1 2021. To support these product development initiatives and further expand its knowledge of phytocannabinoids, the Company is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Mathias Schuetz to Vice President, Plant Science. Dr. Schuetz was previously Vice President, Research & Development.
Willow Biosciences Inc. has promoted Dr. Trish Choudhary to Vice President, Research & Development to lead its yeast strain engineering efforts. Dr. Choudhary has been with Willow since April 2019 in the role of Senior Director, Strain Engineering and has been overseeing the research and development efforts at its lab in Mountain View, California, since joining. Prior to joining Willow, Dr. Choudhary worked in senior leadership and technical roles at E-SEP Technologies and Codexis.
Cannabis Prospect Magazine | February 2021
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Cannabis Prospect Magazine
THE NEW SUPER INGREDIENT
Dr. Toni Rinow is well known for accelerating revenue streams through acquisitions, corporate development, sales and marketing, and financings in the global healthcare and consumer product markets. Her professional career has included leadership roles in both public and private pharmaceutical and consumer product organizations, where she spearheaded acquisitions across Canada, Latin America and India. Toni has successfully facilitated the negotiation of international corporate alliances valued over $100M and overseen a life-science investment portfolio with $400M under management. She held the position of general manager for Jubilant DraxImage, a global leader in nuclear medicine with over $250M in sales in over 22 countries.
hether it’s cosmetics, beverages, candles or clothing, cannabinoids are seemingly in every corner one might look— and if it’s not where you are, then chances are high it will be soon. But the world is yet to see the full evolution of the cannabinoid movement, just one of over 110 chemical compounds found in a cannabis plant. This ingredient has the power to take over the household products aisle of your local supermarket or grocery store, as companies look to pursue opportunities built to change the world in what is expected to become a USD$123.2 billion industry worldwide by 2027. Indeed, in the last several years, as legalization efforts have dramatically increased around the world, countries such as Israel, The Netherlands and The Czech Republic have joined Canada as leaders in cannabinoid research, providing unprecedented insight into the hidden benefits of what amounts to a super ingredient with limitless potential. A timely example of a common product that can benefit from cannabinoids is hand sanitizer. Including CBD (or cannabidiol, a phytocannabinoid that accounts for up to 40 percent of the cannabis plant’s extract)
Cannabis Prospect Magazine | February 2021
with its antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties into the sanitizer substance, a product now more popular than ever due to a pandemic-induced spike in demand, delivers an added benefit to further killing bacteria: inflammation control. From COVID-19 to the omnipresent environmental emergency facing the natural world, we are in the midst of a crisis that we can no longer ignore—and our reliance on hand sanitizers and wellness products is greater than it ever has been before. Consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies have had to become innovative in terms of their development of an assortment of merchandise to meet the rapid needs of these crises, along with other issues. With this in mind, Neptune leveraged its collective expertise in procurement, manufacturing, product innovation and supply-chain management, as well as used our CBD and cannabinoid knowledge to facilitate a significant and continuous supply of natural hand sanitizer gel. At the height of the pandemic, we successfully accelerated production to deliver over one million units per week across North America. In partnership with International Flavors & Fragrances, we developed a product line that featured natural, plant-based sanitizers made with a specialized blend of essential oils, aloe vera and fruit extract. But uses for cannabinoid go far beyond sanitizers. CBD and Personal Care and Household Products While some have critiqued the CBD market as having hit a major point of saturation, the reality is that we have not yet even reached the pinnacle. Indeed, we are nowhere near the apex. Real change starts with listening to consumers and their concerns and changing your business to meet their demands. Today, consumers more than ever are challenging organizations to innovate and adopt revolutionary environmental and social policies. Consider sustainability—and the societal impact it can have on a product portfolio. When we studied the health market, our behavioral insight research identified two primary wellness consumers in the cannabinoid market: one, Millennials, and two, Baby Boomers. The diverse nature of these two demographics is as broad as it is phenomenal, especially when one considers the gulf between the generations who are yet to recognize and accept the positive impact of cannabinoids. Therefore, we believe cannabinoid and plant-based ingredients are the future of consumer-packaged goods.
What’s more, we believe the power of consumer purchasing habits is a force for good, and will create a better world for all of us. This is why we set our mission to bring the benefits of cannabis to the world to harness a wide range of cannabinoid benefits such as its anti-fungal, antibacterial and moisturizing properties. This isn’t a cheap path to pursue—it requires significant research and development—but if we are to build a more sustainable world, in order to allow us to thrive and survive, we must be committed to becoming a change agent. The consumer marketplace is also seeing brands harnessing the benefits of cannabinoids. Kiehls, Farmacy, and Kate McLeod are just some of our peer-set who are embracing this opportunity. Celebrities including Nicole Kidman, Martha Stewart, Jane Fonda and others have come out with CBD skin care lines and cannabinoid products. They have identified a growing consumer base that have recognized the benefits of cannabinoid products because of their known healing properties, and the serious antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits which can be beneficial in treating skin concerns like inflammation, acne, fine lines, dryness and free radical damage. At a time when day-to-day stress for most are at all-time highs, consumers are looking for natural, effective solutions and cannabinoid infused skincare products fit the bill.
While it is important to look your best, feeling healthier is even better. As a result, we plan to integrate cannabinoids into products including toothpaste, deodorants, hand sanitizers and other everyday household usage products, including cleaning detergents and other domestic home needs. We have embarked on this mission with our business in Canada—and will follow with expansion into the U.S. and other countries. Sustainability Matters Few things rival the power of humans working together to bring about great change. With a raison d’etre to change consumption behavior and build a more sustainable world, Neptune established a set of five values that our business adheres to: innovation, quality, partnership, transparency—and sustainability. Because of our business’ past expertise in the extraction trade, we know how cannabis can be grown sustainably to create high-quality product offerings as an alternative to chemically-derived products. Companies need to look at ways they can include sustainable practices and products into their own company if they wish to compete in today’s marketplace. Our commitment to delivering quality, innovative and sustainable solutions included our recent collaboration with the legendary wildlife conservationist, Dr. Jane Goodall, for our Forest Remedies product line. The ‘Wonders of Africa Col-
Real change starts with listening to consumers and their concerns and changing your business to meet their demands. Today, consumers more than ever are challenging organizations to innovate and adopt revolutionary environmental and social policies. Consider sustainability—and the societal impact it can have on a product portfolio.
lection’ are natural, hemp-derived essential oils sustainably-sourced from countries in Africa—a continent with incredibly rich biodiversity that Dr. Goodall has long cared so much about. With every purchase of a product from one of our brands, customers are helping to make the world a better place. For instance, the Forrest Remedies Wonders Of Africa Collection donates 5% of each purchase of its products to the Jane Goodall Institute. When we look back on 2020—the year that changed us forever— and enter 2021 with a reasonable level of uncertainty still firm in our minds and bodies, it underscores our mission to unlock the full power of cannabinoids. In this way companies looking to get into cannabinoids and hemp-derived products can take full advantage of changing consumption patterns to create environment-friendly and sustainable products so customers, old and new, can live longer and feel better. Dr. Toni Rinow is the Chief Financial Officer & Global Operating Officer, Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc.
February 2021 | Cannabis Prospect Magazine
Burb: A Cannabis Brand Like No Other On April 20, 2019 that Burb opened its first store in the Greater Vancouver suburb of Port Coquitlam. It’s clear from its inception Burb wanted to be a different type of retail experience. BY DAVID HALPERT
t’s not often a cannabis brand comes along like Burb. While the company has three licensed retail stores operational in BC (two in Port Coquitlam and one in Port Moody), Burb is setting itself up across Canada and the United States, not just as a brick-and-mortar chain, but as a brand with cut and sew streetwear, ancillary accessories and soon Burb-branded cannabis products. In April 2019 co-founders Johnny Kaye, Clayton Chessa and Steve Dowsley opened the doors to their flagship location, a 3,700 square-foot store in Port Coquitlam. “We’ve always been trying to maintain the cultural connection to the planet. We love geeking out over genetics,” explained Kaye when discussing his relationship to the plant. “But, we also see the broader market, where people may have a different type of connection with the plant.” Unlike other cannabis companies, whose primary mandate was to build-out the most number of cannabis stores across Canada upon legalization, Burb took a more strategic approach, opting to create its own line of branded products (spanning men and women’s streetwear, luxe accessories and dried cannabis flower), alongside opening a small handful of stores in BC. In terms of its own upcoming cannabis products, Burb is working with a licensed producer to bring the legacy quality BC gas packs to new markets in Canada. But its aim goes beyond the provinces and leads with cultural marketing. “We definitely do more than most retailers on the marketing and branding side, because we feel like we’re building a glob-
Cannabis Prospect Magazine | February 2021
al brand with a retail presence,” said Kaye. “This strategy has opened up licensing and franchising discussions and we’re excited to bring the brand into new markets in 2021.” On the accessories front, Burb has already signed agreements with Tokyo Smoke and other hemp stores in Ontario to shelf their products. Using this strategy, brands avoid the upfront costs and regulatory paperwork associated with opening their stores, while scaling with ease into new territories and new markets. Johnny Kaye added, “How do you build a brand that connects with people and gives them different touch points once they leave our stores? We ultimately want to create products they can be proud of and tell the story of BC Bud in a way that’s authentic to us.” Humble Beginnings Contrary to all it has managed to achieve, the story of Burb isn’t an overnight success story. Prior to Burb, Kaye and Chessa built a licensed cannabis testing lab (which was later acquired by Emerald Health Therapeutics in 2017) and the two have been embedded in BC’s legacy market for nearly a decade with strong relationships across the supply chain. “We built this small little room that was our laboratory in Langley, BC (federally licensed) together with another partner and worked with a lot of PhDs during that project. We saw the entire industry, the full spectrum of products from the legacy market to the legal [medicinal] side, and really learned a lot. I’ve been smoking weed my entire life. A
RETAILER PROFILE lot of people smoke a lot of weed, but don’t really know anything about it. That lab was my first formal business venture into the cannabis space” said Kaye.
Burb Today & Beyond And so it was on April 20, 2019 that Burb opened its first store in the Greater Vancouver suburb of Port Coquitlam. It’s clear from its inception Burb wanted to be a different type of retail experience. Its sparse, elegant lighting, spacious interior and chic (albeit practical) furniture peppered throughout its stores gives customers a real sense of calmness when purchasing cannabis. If there’s one thing I see many cannabis stores fail at time and time again, it’s either feeling too cramped, or coming across as feeling cold and sterile as opposed to warm and inviting. Not so with Burb. “We opened our doors technically as a clothing store in our first location. Just because of the timeline with the city and the technical rezoning process, but from the get-go we’ve wanted to be culture forward with our apparel. I’ve always had an interest in fashion and have worked in fashion before personally,” stated Kaye. With this culture-forward attitude in mind, Johnny Kaye commissioned the production of a podcast, called “Light Culture’’ that’s hosted by American publishing icon David Hershkovits, who co-founded PAPER Magazine, a globally-acclaimed fashion and pop culture media outlet best known for the counterculture stories it conveys to masses. Through the Light Culture podcast, Burb interviews taste makers in music, film,
Unlike other cannabis companies, whose primary mandate was to build-out the most number of cannabis stores across Canada upon legalization, Burb took a more strategic approach, opting to create its own line of branded products (spanning men and women’s streetwear, luxe accessories and dried cannabis flower), alongside opening a small handful of stores in BC.
Caption (left to right): 300 Entertainment Creative Director Kevin Leong sits with PAPER Magazine Co-Founder and Host of the Light Culture podcast, David Hershkovits, and Burb Co-Founder John Kaye in Vancouver.
cannabis, fashion and skateboarding. People who have influenced generations, and who intersect with cannabis, media, food, and culture in general. It’s these cultural roots that Kaye attributes his love for cannabis and what inspired him with the brand. “There’s such a strong tie between the plant and culture, the counterculture, fashion, music and art. It supports a lot of musicians, designers and visual artists effectively in the creation process, and that’s what we’re trying to do at Burb, to support artists. I myself was a musician and spent my early twenties dedicated to music. So that’s my initial background before jumping into business and commerce.” What does the future look like for Burb? The company has immediate plans to open several new stores across British Columbia as well as expand its three product categories: apparel, accessories and cannabis. “In terms of cannabis, we’re bringing true BC bud to market, with all of the notes that you’d expect from the legacy market and priced inline with what legacy consumers are expecting to pay. We met a lot of growers for about eight months trying to find great flower: craft-focused, handtrimmed, hang-dried with a good note. All of the things we look for in cannabis when we’re curating for Burb, we consume ourselves. The idea is to bring OG BC flavours to the Ontario market and beyond.”
Caption (below): Burb Cannabis Broadway Location
February 2021 | Cannabis Prospect Magazine
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has continued working with the Government of Ontario to increase the number of cannabis Retail Store Authorizations (RSAs) that are issued each month. The government has provided further direction to double the pace of store authorizations once again, from 40 to 80 per month. The AGCO has increased the pace of authorizations to reach an objective of issuing 20 RSAs per week. As of late December, the AGCO has received more than 1300 RSA applications. It has issued 305 RSAs and 269 authorized cannabis retail stores are open in the province. There are more than 1100 active RSA applications still to be processed.
In late December, DELTA 9 CANNABIS INC. completed its final services milestone under an agreement with Manitoba based Micro Cultivation partner, Alicanto Gardens Ltd. Alicanto is an arm’s length third party in which the Company has no ownership control or interest. As one of Delta 9’s Micro Cultivation partners, Alicanto entered into a Strategic Cooperation Agreement (SCA) with the company whereby Delta 9 provides services relating to the cannabis production, development of standard operating procedures and sanitation programs, consulting on Health Canada licensing, marketing services to develop the Alicanto brand and other services supporting the acquisition of the Health Canada license.
In early December, Canopy Growth ceased operations at its Edmonton, Alberta site as part of its 2020 plan to streamline operations. Approximately 220 employees have been affected as a result of these closures. Effective December 15, 2020, Aurora Cannabis shuttered operations at the Aurora Sun facility and reduced production at its Aurora Sky facility by 75%.
Cannabis Prospect Magazine | February 2021
VIVO Cannabis Inc., Canna Farms Limited and ABcann Medicinals Inc., announced their products have entered into the Quebec market with Canna Farms™ BC Kief as the province’s first in the kief category. Cannara Biotech Inc. has received approval from Health Canada to amend its licensc to permit the sale of dried cannabis products to provincially authorized distributors and retailers nationwide. In late December Rubicon Organics Inc. received its first purchase order from the Société québécoise du cannabis (“SQDC”) under the letter of understanding that was announced on November 24, 2020.
In early December, Canopy Growth ceased operations at its outdoor grow operations in Saskatchewan as part of its 2020 plan to streamline operations. Approximately 220 employees have been affected as a result of these closures. In mid-January, nearly $10 million in funding will be distributed to 39 crop-related research projects through Saskatchewan’s Agriculture Development Fund (ADF). Crop research looks into disease-resistant and nutritious crops, human health applications of cannabis, biodegradable plastics made of plants, and tracing the carbon footprint of an agricultural operation.
According to a recent CBC article, across a large swath of B.C.’s South Coast, there lies an area cannabis industry insiders have dubbed an access desert. It’s a group of municipalities that — two years after legalization — still doesn’t have legal cannabis retailers within its boundaries. Twelve municipalities — Whistler, West Vancouver, Richmond, Delta, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows, Surrey, the Township of Langley, the City of Langley, Abbotsford and Hope — still don’t offer local access to legal cannabis, according to the provincial government. In B.C., municipalities have the power to refuse to sell cannabis within their borders.
Prince Edward Island
According to the 2020 Annual Report released by PEI Cannabis online revenues made up only 1% of the corporation’s total sales. The corporation’s annual report shows online sales for the 2019/2020 fiscal year amounted to just $179,254. Total net sales across the four brick-andmortar stores (including online sales) were $16,355,262. If total sales are broken by format they are as follows: dried flowers (78%), prerolls (13%), ingested extracts (7%), edibles (1%) and beverages (1%).
Newfoundland & Labrador
In early December, Canopy Growth ceased operations at its St. John’s, Newfoundland site as part of its 2020 plan to streamline operations. Approximately 220 employees have been affected as a result of these closures.
During Q4 2020, MediPharm Labs entered a supply agreement with Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation and shipped initial orders to the province. Nova Scotia recently opened additional cannabis stores as part of its growth plan. The Company now has retail distribution agreements with six provinces: B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia. In late December, RCMP seized cannabis products from five unlicensed storefronts in Cole Harbour. Nine people were arrested and are facing charges of distribution of cannabis, possession for the purpose of distribution, unlawful selling, and unauthorized possession for the purpose of selling.
Patrick Parent, the president and CEO of Alcool NB Liquor (ANBL) and Cannabis NB, has decided to return to a CEO role in the private sector. Parent joined ANBL and CNB in September of 2019 as CEO and President. In early December, Canopy Growth ceased operations at its Fredericton, New Brunswick site as part of its 2020 plan to streamline operations. Approximately 220 employees have been affected as a result of these closures.
Yukon / Northwest Territories / Nunavut Yukon health officials have issued a recall for locally-made beef and bison jerky after several people experienced “a variety of physical and mental effects” after consuming it. Medical testing on the people who went to the hospital showed traces of THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis, in their systems. The voluntary recall, issued the evening of Dec. 30, covers jerky made by Off the Hook Meatworks. / According to a report released by the Northwest Territories Liquor and Cannabis Commission, Q3 results of cannabis sales (Oct. 1 - Dec. 31, ‘20) totalled $1,522,167.55 across its cannabis warehouse, five brick-and-mortar stores and online sales. Dried cannabis sales made up $1,277,181 (83.9%), cannabis extracts sales made up 191,096 (12.5%) and edibles sales made up $38,782 (2.54%). / According to a report in the Nunavut News, Despite the passage of 15 months and a request from the City of Iqaluit to permit a retail cannabis outlet in Nunavut’s capital, the Government of Nunavut (GN) was still sorting out relevant regulations. Of the three Northern territories, Nunavut remains the only to have not opened storefronts of its own, following the legalization of cannabis in Canada Oct. 17, 2019. February 2021 | Cannabis Prospect Magazine
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Cannabis Prospect Magazine | February 2021
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