In our continuing efforts to provide our followers with an in-depth understanding of the cannabis industry and the companies that are leading the way, we are proud to present our interview with OrganiGram Holdings Inc.’s Chief Commercial Officer, Ray Gracewood. Organigram is one of the larger Canadian cannabis cultivators that has predominantly focused on the medical marijuana industry. New changes to the adult-use cannabis laws with the passage of C-45 in Canada has OrganiGram looking more towards the recreational market now. They are also developing their overseas expansion into both the EU and Australia.
Mr. Gracewood, thank you for taking the time with us and providing our followers with a better understanding of OrganiGram Holdings Inc..
First, can you tell our followers a little about Organigram and what it does?
Sure, thank you for having me. We are a licensed producer of medical cannabis since 2014, and one of the original cannabis companies in Canada. We have been governed under the AMCPR but are transitioning to new regulations under C-45. We are the biggest cannabis company in New Brunswick licensed at 36,000 kilograms of product per year, expected to increase through expansion to 113,000 kilograms by the end of 2020. We are seeing the opportunity in adult-use and are moving towards a commercial status. We are well prepared for the adult-use market but packaging and advertising won’t be easy.
Can you talk to the challenges your company faces marketing your products?
Marketing cannabis in Canada is more strict than in any U.S. state. I have been of the mind since day one that the industry would be run by brands and that is more of a positive than a hindrance. Last year we were part of a conference, along with 18 other producers, and put forth to the government what we thought made sense as far as regulations in terms of advertising cannabis products. We believe self regulation will make sure the Canadian youth will remain well educated on the pros and cons of cannabis and separate the myths created by the illicit market. As of now we will have many challenges in our packaging efforts, which cannot really compete with the illicit market. Consumers will be unsure of the difference between illegal packaging versus legal packaging.
You spoke at the O’Cannbiz conference last week, what topics did you cover for those that could not attend and can you provide a brief summary?
I spoke on a panel for the Herb is the Word which was very interesting. I also spoke about national branding and marketing and our adult recreational strategy. We have been expanding our brand portfolio with The Edison Cannabis Company and Edison Reserve Line which will represent the highest quality market place. We also have released the ANKR Organics brand which is our organic production. Then there is Trailer Park Buds where we are not taking ourselves as seriously and designing a product for a consumer that appreciates good value. I am also discussing out partnership in Colorado as well. With their help we were able to conduct a real life research project with medical patients and how the market reacts to top products. The reaction was very positive and gave validation to our belief that consumers appreciate brands focused on quality and creativity.
I am glad you mentioned the partnership you formed in Colorado. Can you talk about that partnership and plans to expand into the United States?
Sure, we setup a strategic IT relationship with Green Solutions in Colorado, but we have no plans for expanding into the U.S.. We want to get into edibles and other products for consumers and want to understand what the trends within the market look like. While edibles are not going to be allowed in Canada, we still want to understand the trends especially for our expansions overseas. We think the Colorado cannabis market represents what the Canadian market will look like, product wise, in the future, and are looking to create a turnkey model for our products. Green Solutions is helping us understand those trends.
Can you tell us a little about your overseas expansion?
We are excited about our international opportunities. We have put together an international team lead by Guillermo Delmonte. We have plans in Germany and Australia, and have received a dealers license. We see massive opportunities in the EU, specifically with medical cannabis.
Thank you for taking the time to tell us about what is happening with OrganiGram Holdings Inc. and your plans for expansion. We all look forward to seeing what products your company produces and your overseas efforts. If you would like to find out more about OrganiGram Holdings Inc., please check out their website, Organigram.ca. You can look forward to more interviews with the largest cannabis companies in the world coming soon.