Developing Global Consumer-Focused Cannabis Brands
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Geyser Brands Inc. (TSXV:GYSR) is a leading consumer healthcare company aiming to build some of the world’s most loved cannabis products and brands. The company intends to develop brands that resonate with consumers across North America, Asia and Europe. Geyser Brands has partnered with GetFresh Ventures and Brandeavour to help them build consumer-focused brands and meet the demands of the global cannabis and hemp markets.
Geyser Brands is in the process of acquiring Solace Management Group Inc., a cannabis and hemp company with proprietary intellectual property (IP), brands and formulations. Solace has developed four brands – Apawthecary Pets, Apothecary Naturals, Apothecary Ink and WildTail Pets – that serve the recreational and medical cannabis markets as well as the pet health and wellness market.
The well-established Apawthecary Pets brand is currently distributed through 300 stores in Canada including Bosley’s, Petland, Pharmasave, Shoppers Drug Mart and Pet Valu, among others. Geyser Brands will be launching the WildTail Pets brand in Japan, the US, the UK and Canada in the near term.
Geyser Brands owns a 7,000-square-foot cultivation facility in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia that received its cultivation license in October 2018. The company is also awaiting approval for its processing, R&D and sales licenses which will allow the company to manufacture CBD extracts, develop new product formulations and enter international markets.
In preparation for the closing of the Solace acquisition, Geyser Brands is also constructing a GMP-compliant manufacturing facility. The facility will provide the company with in-house formulated products for future brands and white label solutions. Geyser Brands is currently generating revenue through its licensed producer subsidiary.
Geyser Brands has also developed an advanced delivery system that quickly and efficiently transports therapeutic agents directly into the bloodstream. The company’s NanoFusion technology uses nano-emulsions to counteract water insolubility and increase bioavailability to provide consistent and effective dosing.
- Global cannabis market to reach US$146.4 billion by 2025.
- Cannabis sales in North America expected to surpass $47.3 billion within a decade.
- The European CBD market to reach $1.7 billion by 2023.
- Asia to contribute $57 billion to the world’s cannabis market by 2027.
- Pending Solace acquisition to facilitate international expansion and provide additional revenue streams.
- Apawthecary Pets products sold in 300 pet stores and 40 veterinarian clinics across Canada.
- Wildtail Pets is the first company to infuse hemp into freeze-dried pet food.
- Distribution network includes retailers such as Bosley’s, Petland, Pharmasave, Shoppers Drug Mart and Pet Valu, among others.
- 7,000-square-foot cultivation facility granted cultivation license in October 2018.
- Commenced revenue generation at the cultivation facility in March 2019.
- NanoFusion technology provides superior bioavailability, enhanced permeation, improved site-specific targeting and longer shelf life and stability of molecules regardless of product type.
- Partnerships in place with GetFresh Ventures and Brandeavour to develop consumer-centric, innovative brands for the global cannabis market.
Geyser Brands is aiming to become a global cannabis brand leader. The global cannabis market is expected to reach US$146.4 billion by 2025. The company intends to establish its presence in North America, Europe and Asia with its brands and products.
In North America alone, legal cannabis sales reached $9.2 billion in 2017. Within a decade, that total is expected to surpass $47.3 billion. The US cannabis market is expected to reach up to US$21.7 billion by 2022, according to Haywood Securities. The market is growing due to high demand from consumers and the increasing legalization of recreational and medical cannabis in various states.
Growth in the market is also due to the changing federal stance towards cannabis. In December 2018, the US Senate passed the Farm Bill and established a hemp-derived CBD market. Another critical bill pending approval is the STATES Act, which will allow cannabis-based businesses to run their operations legally, providing access to capital at federally-regulated banks and enabling businesses to list on US stock exchanges without penalty.
Canada’s cannabis market, meanwhile, is expected to generate up to $7.17 billion in sales in 2019. Sales are likely to increase in Canada when Health Canada legalizes value-added cannabis products, such as edibles and beverages.
The cannabis industry has not entered Asia yet, providing Geyser Brands the opportunity to enter the market as a first mover in the sector. Asia is expected to contribute up to $57 billion to the world’s cannabis market by 2027, According to ArcView Market Research and BDS Analytics.
Cannabis is currently illegal in Hong Kong and mainland China; however, CBD has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for decades. Japan legalized cannabidiol in 2016 and in late 2018, Thailand became the first country to legalize medical cannabis in Asia.
The European CBD market is expected to reach $1.7 billion by 2023, according to a Brightfield Group report. The market in general, including all cannabis product types, is set to experience rapid growth. The market is expected to boom as new regulations are passed for recreational use as well as the types of products that are allowed to be sold.
In February 2019, Geyser Brands signed an LOI to acquire Solace, which owns four brands that serve the recreational and medical cannabis markets as well as the pet health and wellness market. The brands are Apawthecary Pets, Apothecary Naturals, Apothecary Ink and WildTail Pets.
The company has distribution channels in the UK, the Caribbean Islands, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Canada and the US. Solace is currently distributing its products in Canada through 3,000 stores including Bosley’s, Petland, Pharmasave, Bukerfields, Master-Feeds, Global Pet Foods, Shoppers Drug Mart, Woofies, Pet Valu, Pet Planet and Bone and Biscuit.
Apawthecary Pets is Canada’s leading hemp-based pet treat brand with formulations for all-natural pet treats, salves and oral drops that treat pain and anxiety as well as foster rejuvenation. Apawthecary Pets products are currently sold in 300 pet stores and 40 veterinarian clinics across Canada.
Apothecary Naturals is a line of 100 percent natural hemp-based products including topicals, pain creams, organic soaps, lip balms and men’s topical grooming products. The products are specially formulated for customers that want natural alternatives for nourishing their bodies and minds.
Apothecary Ink is a line of hemp-based, all-natural tattoo after-care products.
Wildtail Pets is the first company to infuse hemp into freeze-dried pet food. The company has released a line of single-ingredient, freeze-dried pet products such as hemp-infused treats and kibble for dogs and cats. Geyser Brands intends to release freeze-dried treats and kibble in Japan, the US, the UK and Canada in the near term.
The company also holds an R&D arm known as Apothecary Labs which is responsible for the company’s technology and formulation development for beverages, topicals and infused nutraceutical products. Solace’s products, trademarks and trade secrets help protect its competitive position and generate sustainable revenue generation for the company.
Port Coquitlam Cultivation Facility
Geyser Brands is a Health Canada approved licensed producer in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia. The company received its cultivation license for its 7,000-square-foot cultivation facility in October 2018. The facility is also awaiting approval for its processing, R&D and sales licenses which will allow the company to manufacture CBD extracts, develop new product formulations and enter international markets.
Geyser Brands planted its first test crop in January 2019 and successfully harvested it in March. The harvesting of the first crop marks the beginning of revenue generation out of the company’s cultivation license. The following month, Geyser Brands tripled its growing capacity to produce 51,000 grams of CBD-dominant flower.
The company has also applied to Health Canada to upgrade its facilities to include mothering and cloning rooms. Geyser Brands is in discussions with seed banks and other licensed producers to secure high-CBD seed strains to ensure consistent cannabinoid profiles for its brands and products, providing greater control over its value chain while solidifying its cost efficiencies.
In preparation for the closing of the Solace acquisition, Geyser Brands is also constructing a GMP-compliant manufacturing facility. The facility will provide the company with in-house formulated products for future brands and as white label solutions.
Geyser Brands Head of R&D Kuldip Gill has developed an advanced delivery system that quickly and efficiently transports therapeutic agents directly into the bloodstream, significantly impacting the efficacy of hemp and cannabis products. Hemp and cannabis are insoluble which otherwise prevents the product from quickly entering the body.
With this technology, Geyser Brands can produce the only all-natural nano-emulsion on the market that features no solvents, toxic fillers or inflammatory ingredients, bitterness or taste. Nano-emulsions surround oil molecules to counteract water insolubility and increase bioavailability to provide consistent, effective dosing. With an average droplet size of 10 to 200 nanometers, the oil molecules could reach one-tenth of the size of an average molecule. Geyser Brands’ NanoFusion technology provides consumers with superior bioavailability, enhanced permeation, improved site-specific targeting and longer shelf life and stability of molecules regardless of product type.
Geyser Brands has partnered with GetFresh Ventures, a company that provides strategic, data-driven growth advisory services such as corporate strategy, financial modeling, forecasting, digital marketing and building technology roadmaps to support business operations. GetFresh Ventures will be helping the company capitalize on the innovative design and manufacturing of new hemp and CBD products to meet the demands of the global market by supporting and guiding product development through customer feedback loops.
Geyser has retained Brandeavour for strategic branding and creative counseling services. Brandeavour will be guiding Geyser Brands’ brand direction and development and will work alongside GetFresh Ventures.
“The Geyser Brands team is thrilled to have Anthony on board and working to support our business and brand growth,” said Geyser Brands CEO Andreas Thatcher. “Anthony is an old friend and confidant, and his global experience with consumers across all industries – from luxury products and retail to sports and entertainment – gives him a perspective into consumer needs and preferences that are rivaled by few in the industry. Combined with the data-driven digital strategy frameworks supported by GetFresh Ventures, we are perfectly positioned to develop a compelling, highly differentiated, and consumer-focused approach to brand growth and development.”
Geyser Brands is looking into opportunities to establish retail and direct-to-consumer distribution for its health, pet, cosmetics and beverages brands in legal jurisdictions in North America, Europe and Asia. The company is in negotiations with numerous US brands seeking distribution in Canada and with entities in China and Japan for the commercialization of its hemp products.
Andreas Thatcher — CEO
Since 2014, Andreas Thatcher has been a principal at Rhizome Group, an entertainment company focused on building media IP through creative and market development. Previously, he was a founding partner at Rhizome Capital LLC, a US-based media investment company, specializing in marketing and distribution financing. Before that, he worked in the investment banking industry in London and Toronto. He holds a masters degree in economics.
Brad Kersch — Founder and Director
With over 20 years of experience in working with successful startups and Fortune 500 companies, Brad Kersch brings a strong business background. He spent his early years in advertising and marketing. He went on to form Hyperware, a clothing company that sold branded clothing to retailers across Canada before selling his company to Clothing giant Ocean Pacific (OP). He became the President of Shoreline Studios, Canada’s largest and oldest studio for film and TV. In 2014, he started Solace Management Group, a hemp product company focused on the pet and nutraceutical markets.
Gordon Clissold – CFO
Gordon is a Chartered Professional Accountant with over 20 years of experience as an operational and financial manager for both public and private companies. His career experience spans multiple industries that include technology, manufacturing, wholesale distribution, and professional services. His management competencies encompass organizational leadership, strategic planning, corporate finance, financial modelling, ERP and financial systems implementation, internal control development, and due diligence for mergers and acquisitions.
Gordon obtained his accounting designation in 1995, was awarded the Fellowship designation in 2006, and has been awarded life membership as Chartered Professional Accountant. He is a Past President of the Certified General Accountants of BC, in addition to having served nine years as a director on their board of governors and a three-year term on the national board of CGA-Canada.
Kuldip Gill — Head of R&D
With over 35 years of experience, Kuldip Gill has built the largest manufacturing facility in Surrey, British Columbia complete with R&D, analytical and quality control labs approved by the FDA and Health Canada. He has, to date, created over 3,500 formulas. With over 35 years of extensive formulation experience, he has created products that have been sold all over the world, most notably, the Lakota pain relief gel. He has experience and a proven track record in creating personal care, NHP and pharmaceutical OTC products with marketable formulations for both DIN and natural health sectors.
Diraj Goel — Growth Advisor
Diriaj Goel is the CEO of GetFresh Ventures and has a proven track record helping founders of high potential startups, including his work as VP of Business Operations at Hootsuite and VP of Business Technology at Vision Critical. With over 20 years of scaling startups to $150 million exits, Goel has a natural ability to assess opportunities and build scalable operational frameworks, talent capital and systems to support growth, drive customer acquisition and, ultimately, create long-term value in customer retention and expansion.
Mike Price — President and Licensed Producer
Mike Price has over 40 years of experience in sales management, sales, marketing, distribution management, promotions, territorial management, client and customer relations and development of client base. He is a sales professional with a proven track record of accomplishments in management, staff training, development, motivation, supervision, promotion of teamwork and implementation of policies and procedures to increase productivity and efficiency.
Bin Huang — Director
Dr. Huang is a seasoned life-sciences executive with experience in strategy and new business development, financing and public markets, corporate governance, as well as operations management in North America and Asia. Her work experience includes 18 years as CEO of life-sciences companies, most recently CEO of Emerald Health Therapeutics Inc., senior management roles in both startups and Fortune 500 corporations, analyst and partner at a premier investment banking firm, board member of public and private companies as well as NGOs, strategic adviser to organizations and entrepreneurs. She has a proven track record in dealing with multiple stakeholders, leading cross-functional and multinational teams, communicating with boards of directors and shareholders, managing strategic partnerships including CROs and CMOs. Dr. Huang holds a PhD in cell biology (University of East Anglia, UK), Postdoctoral in plant molecular biology (Purdue University, USA), MBA in finance (University of Toronto, Canada).
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