Building a Craft Grower for Canada’s Medical Marijuana Market
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PUF Ventures Inc. (CSE:PUF, Frankfurt:PU3, OTCPK:PUFXF) is a diversified, growth-oriented company focused on the international cannabis industry. Since acquiring a minority ownership position in AAA Heidelberg in March 2014, PUF has grown significantly and now has ownership interests and partnerships with several medical cannabis related companies. With a goal of becoming a licensed producer in Canada, PUF is also actively pursuing international opportunities to increase shareholder value and create a diversified international cannabis operation.
- Majority ownership of AAA Heidelberg, a late stage ACMPR applicant with an 8,800-square-foot grow facility located in London, Ontario (with ability to grow to 35,000 square feet)
- PUF to gain immediate access to Canadian medical cannabis market upon AAA receipt of cultivation license.
- 35 percent stake in Solaris Nutraceuticals (formerly PUF Ventures Australia), a private company developing a 1.2 million-square-foot medical cannabis cultivation facility near the city of Casino, New South Wales, Australia. The facility will have the capacity to produce over 100,000 kilograms per year of high quality medical cannabis. MYM Nutraceuticals (CSE: MYM) also owns 35 percent of Solaris Nutraceuticals.
- Minority ownership of Weed Points Loyalty, which has created the first loyalty program that targets the emerging cannabis market by leveraging expertise and technology to create a platform that will allow producers, patients, and consumers to interact and define the future face of cannabis commerce.
- Partnership with industry leader Canopy Growth Corporation, to sell medical cannabis product through Canopy’s Tweed Mainstreet.
- Acquired 100 percent interest in Natures Hemp Corp, a private company developing proprietary hemp-based food and medicinal products in partnership with a major Canadian university.
- Strong leadership with experience in company building and public markets.
AAA Heidelberg – positioned for the growing Canadian cannabis market
In March 2014, the predecessor of PUF Ventures acquired a minority interest in AAA Heidelberg, with an option to acquire 100 percent of the private company. AAA is an Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) license applicant with an 8,800-square-foot grow facility located in London, Ontario. Since March 2014 PUF has increased its ownership and is now owns 54.49 percent of AAA.
In a move to expand its production presence in Ontario, PUF acquired the property immediately next to its AAA Heidelberg facility in London, Ontario. The adjacent property has a footprint of half an acre and it is estimated that this extra space will allow for the facility to expand to 35,000 square feet. AAA Heidelberg, is finalizing the security installation at the London, Ontario facility and is closing in on their proof of readiness submission to Health Canada.
The market for legal Canadian-grown cannabis is growing exponentially due to expanding legislation. Analysts estimate that by 2024, the medical cannabis market in Canada will reach $3 billion in annual sales.
Following pending legalization in July of 2018, the Canadian retail cannabis market is projected to be between $4.9 billion and $8.7 billion annually, according to Deloitte’s recent report, titled “Recreational Marijuana: Insights and Opportunities.” Deloitte also projects that satisfying the recreational cannabis market will require 600,000 kilograms of marijuana production annually, which is far more than the current capacity of existing ACMPR Licensed Producers.
“We would like to thank our investors for their unwavering patience throughout this process,” said PUF Ventures President and CEO Derek Ivany. “With the assistance of David Hyde we have updated all of our security protocols to ensure the utmost in compliance with Health Canada ACMPR standards. We are confident that after this thorough review and security revision we will have the most up to date and state of the art equipment at our AAA Heidelberg site.”
Solaris Nutraceuticals – largest grow facility in the southern hemisphere
Solaris Nutraceuticals (formerly PUF Ventures Australia) is a partnership between PUF Venture and MYM Nutraceutical with each partner owning 35 percent of the company. Solaris owns and manages the Northern Rivers Project, a proposed 1.2 million square-foot greenhouse operation to be built on a 27-hectare parcel of land near the town of Casino in northern New South Wales, Australia. When complete the operation will include large-scale greenhouses, manufacturing, processing and office facilities for the cultivation, production and manufacture of medical cannabis and associated products. The first phase of the project will cover approximately 300,000 square feet, which will be the largest medical cannabis greenhouse in Australia. The annual production capacity of the facility when completely built out is estimated to be approximately 100,000 kilograms.
Solaris has chosen renowned Dutch greenhouse builder KUBO, to engineer and tender the first Ultra-Clima Greenhouse in Australia specifically for cannabis. With the Ultra-Clima, KUBO Group has made advancements towards the greenhouse of the future. The Ultra-Clima greenhouse meets all the requirements of modern growers; higher yields, maximum food safety, minimum energy and water consumption, minimum CO2 emissions and improved returns.
In November 2017, Solaris applied to the Australian Office of Drug Control for a medical cannabis license and a cannabis research license in collaboration with the National Institute of Complimentary Medicine (NICM). The company plans to conduct medical research at their Australian cultivation facility.
“We are continuing our strategy of global expansion by building a state-of-the-art, 1 million-square-foot facility which, when complete, will be the largest cannabis cultivation operation in the southern hemisphere and one of the largest in the world,” said Ivany.
Additional Strategic Alliances
Weed Points Loyalty – targeting the emerging cannabis market
Weed Points Loyalty Inc. was created through spinning off Vapetronix and various assets and forming Weed Point Loyalty. Weed Points is developing the first loyalty program that targets the emerging cannabis market by leveraging expertise and technology to create a platform that will allow producers, patients and consumers to interact and define the future face of cannabis commerce. It is also developing WeedBeacon, a marijuana tracking technology.
Natures Hemp Corp. – high quality food and medical products
In October 2017, PUF acquired Natures Hemp Corp, a company developing proprietary hemp-based food and medicinal products in partnership with a major Canadian university. Natures Hemp Corp is a private company based in Vancouver, B.C. and is currently in the process of applying for a license to cultivate hemp in Canada and one other international jurisdiction. The company is working with a major Canadian university, with the goal to develop proprietary cannabidiol (CBD) extraction methods from seeds and other parts of the plant, to create high quality oils and flours. In turn, Natures Hemp will use these products to create high quality and healthy hemp based food and medicinal products.
Nutraceutical Cannabidiol – alternative treatment for patients looking for relief
PUF is developing a nutraceutical CBD product line, which will be manufactured in the United States under stringent quality control adherence and derived from high quality industrial hemp. The initial focus for distribution of CBD products targets Canada and Europe with a specific emphasis on Germany and Croatia. The Company will introduce the new CBD line to physicians and naturopathic practitioners in Europe. Initial product-testing phase in the German marketplace is expected to commence in the near future at which time PUF will unveil its CBD brand.
CBD is a natural compound found throughout the seeds, stalk and flowers of cannabis plants including marijuana and hemp. It is a cannabinoid that occurs naturally in significant quantities in cannabis, and has shown to be non-psychoactive or less psychoactive than THC-dominant strains make it an appealing option for medical patients. Scientific and clinical research is ongoing but early indications show that CBD is a potential treatment for patients looking for relief from inflammation, pain, anxiety, psychosis, seizures, spasms, and other conditions.
PUF Ventures has partnered with Canopy Growth Corporation (TSX: WEED), the industry’s largest player, and is only the fourth company to be selected for Canopy’s exclusive CraftGrow Program—high quality cannabis grown by select producers and made available to registered customers of Canopy’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Tweed. “We believe our unique strains of cannabis will be popular in the CraftGrow product line, and look forward to working closely with the Tweed team to get our products to market,” said Ivany.
The partnership gives PUF access to Canopy’s
- best growing practices;
- strains and lineage;
- technology and operational infrastructure;
- client lists; and
- marketing and distribution channels.
“Our partnership with Canopy Growth accelerates the timeline for PUF to be an actual cannabis producer selling its product to the medical marketplace under the ACMPR,” said Ivany. “Gaining access to Canopy’s marketing and distribution network will allow PUF to generate revenue much sooner and at a significantly lower infrastructure cost than PUF moving forward on an independent basis.”
PUF will have the added benefit of by-passing the need for a separate extracts and oil processing license by selling stems and other by-products directly to Canopy. “We can essentially provide Canopy all of our products and they will brand them with the PUF logo and sell for us within their distribution network,” said Ivany.
Management and Directors
Derek Ivany—President & CEO
As a public company consultant, Derek Ivany has worked with various publicly traded companies over the last 10 years. Mr. Ivany started his career on the investor relations & marketing side to corporate development in the oil & gas space. He transitioned into the mining space where he worked in the Uranium sector in Saskatoon and soon after founded his own mining company called Ivany Mining. With Ivany Mining, Mr. Ivany moved his focus to Alberta (Diamonds), Quebec (Gold & Diamonds) and South America (Copper-Gold, Silver and Potash). Mr. Ivany has worked with many International groups and successful held an Investment tour to promote the country of Cambodia with Deputy Prime Minister, Sok An. With strong International contacts in South East Asia, Derek transitioned into Vietnam and Laos and established a publicly traded bamboo company. Mr. Ivany has also worked on commodities projects in the coffee sector. Today, Mr. Ivany primarily focuses his attention on technology products and is credited for founding VapeTronix, Inc. and several of its properietary technology platforms around medical marijuana tracking. Mr. Ivany is also privately involved in the commercial real-estate space and is the owner of several financial data and fantasy sports analysis platforms.
Chris Cherry has over 14 years of corporate accounting and audit experience. Mr. Cherry has extensive corporate experience and has held senior-level positions for several public mining companies, including director, chief financial officer and secretary. Mr. Cherry has been a chartered accountant since February 2009, and a certified general accountant since 2004. He held positions with KPMG and Davidson and Co. LLP in Vancouver, B.C., where he gained experience as an auditor for junior public companies and as an initial public offering specialist.
Jerry Habuda brings over 35 years of expertise in law enforcement and specialized units. From 1977 to 2012, he served as a police officer with the Toronto Police Department. During his tenure, he was assigned to the Major Crimes Unit, investigating robberies and home invasions. He was assigned to patrol the Toronto Community Housing projects at Jane/Finch to control drug trafficking and gun violence. Mr. Habuda was with the Warrant Unit where he tracked down and arrested wanted criminals. From 1993-1997, he was assigned to the Northwest Drug Squad on undercover and surveillance work, executing narcotic search warrants. Between 2002 and 2004, Mr. Habuda headed the Street Violence Task Force, a special unit designed to curb gun and drug violence that was terrorizing the city at the time. Between 2009 and 2012, he was assigned to the Bail Compliance Unit, which was formed to track dangerous criminals with gun and drug charges while they were out on bail.
Chris Hornung has been vice-president of Kenex Manufacturing Co. in Brampton, Ont., since 1999. During his time with the company, he has co-founded and built several new divisions; Kenex Coatings in Mississauga, Ont., is the premier service provider in finishing technology — still part of the group and successfully serving Southern Ontario; and Fluid Concepts and Design Inc. in Oakville, Ont., is a leading designer, distributor and manufacturer of contract office furniture with distribution throughout North America. In addition, Mr. Hornung is a partner in and is responsible for several different real estate holding companies in Vaughan and Brampton, Ont.
Joe Perino’s thirty-year career with the Toronto Police Service began in 1976 commencing as a uniform constable performing patrol duties and culminating in 2006 as a Detective Sergeant overseeing a busy investigative officer in the downtown Toronto core. Joe has been awarded the Exemplary Service Medal, and is the recipient of several awards from within the Service and from several community organizations. Joe holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Guelph, and this passion for continued education lead Joe to accepting a position as a Professor in 2006 with the School of Community and Health Studies at Centennial College. Joe retired from teaching in 2015 to pursue his personal interests including, house building and service to seniors, and also offer his services as a consultant to business ventures.
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