Grown Rogue CEO Obie Strickler believes that the company’s consumer experience survey, in addition to using a vertically integrated model, ensures a high quality product and consumer experience.
In the interview below, Strickler outlined the company’s future plans to expand into California and beyond and how having a vertically integrated model will help the company find success across state lines. He also discussed the benefits the company receives by asking their consumers to fill out their after-experience survey.
Below is a transcript of our interview with Grown Rogue CEO Obie Strickler. It has been edited for clarity and brevity.
Investing News Network: Please give our investor audience an overview of Grown Rogue and how it came to be.
Grown Rogue CEO Obie Strickler: Grown Rogue is the first seed to experience cannabis company to crowdsource consumer experiences through scientifically grounded methodologies. Our management team has over 75 years of combined cannabis expertise.
We purchased our facilities from a former medical marijuana operator who provided quality cannabis to Oregon patients for over 10 years. Our cultivation facilities collectively cover approximately 100,000 square feet and consist of two distinct outdoor farms and a state-of-the-art indoor facility.
Grown Rogue has also established a statewide distribution network in Oregon that features multiple brands. Our flagship brand classifies products by experience to better engage consumers and dispensary partners. On top of our Oregon operations, we also have plans to expand into California and more in 2019.
INN: What are the implications of operating across multiple states in the US?
OS: We’ve had to create a replicable business model that allows us to move all our processes, procedures and intellectual property through our wholly-owned subsidiaries for a fraction of the capital cost due to the restrictions placed on shipping cannabis products out of state. Our headquarters will remain in Oregon where the cost of living is cheaper, but still allows us to be in proximity to California and other states.
INN: What does it mean to be a vertically integrated cannabis producer? How does Grown Rogue apply this model?
OS: Being vertically integrated allows us to navigate a volatile industry with a sustainable business model that creates value for our team and our shareholders. Our company is focused on the consumer experience and this is critical to our brand’s success. To ensure quality, we make sure we’re involved in all aspects of the supply chain.
Quality products begin with best-in-class cultivation and manufacturing and our distribution department ensures the proper storage and preservation of our products to maintain that quality. This allows us to provide our retail partners with cost savings and a variety of brands to choose from. Finally, vertical integration requires flagship retail locations, where we can highlight our brand and educate our consumers about our classifications, giving them great product and a stellar experience.
INN: As a seed to experience company, how has Grown Rogue incorporated feedback from its consumers?
OS: The cannabis industry is changing from a product focused industry to a consumer product good industry (CPG), which is why we spent a considerable amount of time developing our brand. Grown Rogue coined the term seed to experience because we believe that our job starts when the consumer purchases one of our products, we do not wash our hands at that point. This mandate and our desire for consumer feedback led us to develop the Rogue Study.
The Rogue Study is critical to continuing to craft our products to ensure that the consumers are getting the best experience possible. The study is a typical consumer experience survey that they can sign up for on our website. It allows them to purchase our products and then invites them to provide feedback of their experience after consuming that particular cannabis product. Ultimately, we’d like for this data to become a personalized user dashboard that will help individuals select and experience our cannabis products, which we have classified based on the word Rogue: Relax, Optimize, Groove, Uplift and Energize.
INN: What is next for Grown Rogue and how does it fit to the company’s long term plans?
OS: Grown Rogue’s long term goal is to establish our company as a vertically integrated cannabis brand with a multi-state presence. We’re going to be taking our business model into California and other states within the next year. We’re also awaiting approval to be listed on the Canadian Stock Exchange, which will give us access to capital markets that will help enable continual growth and expansion. We’re also securing another capital raise with the listing, which will allow us to gain more traction in the Oregon market where we continue to grow at a rate of 25 percent month over month.
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