There’s been a sea of change in North America in recent years providing more Americans and Canadians legal access to medical marijuana. The growing industry has sent countless small companies to the drawing board to devise a plan, raise money and capitalize on the burgeoning space. However, a plan is only as good as those executing it. Fact is that most of the upstarts in the legal cannabis business will fall to the wayside due to lack of leadership or a shotgun game plan that simply will not work.
Then there are others, though, like Beleave Inc. (CNSX: BE), that pride themselves on their leadership and execution of a succinct strategy focused on building a brand, becoming an academic industry leader and, ultimately, leaving a legacy behind. In order to meet its goals, Beleave brought in pundits in all areas of its business to serve as executives, directors and advisors.
To add some color to the team’s background, neuroimmunology expert Dr. Roger Ferriera is seated as Beleave CEO. Land developer Bill Panagiotakopolous is COO. CFO Bojan Krasic is steeped with knowledge in investment banking, financing and capital markets. Chris Murphy, Distribution and Operations, Director, is a criminal lawyer in addition to sitting on the board of one of Canada’s largest fresh produce distributors.
Dana Gidlow , a retired Lieutenant Colonel and current President of the Toronto Police Military Veteran’s Association, is Head of Veteran Affairs and Community Outreach. Dr. David Naranjit and Justin Kosalka, MSc, the men tasked with developing proprietary extract formulations, have spent their careers in analytical chemistry. Andrew Steane, with over two decades in the software industry, is spearheading Beleave’s electronic personal health record technology that will provide a channel for patient/physician communications.
The diversity of experiences for the Beleave leadership speaks to the multiple growth verticals targeted going forward. Leaderships belief in the company is shown through about 55 percent insider ownership.
Since initiatives in Colorado and Washington passed in 2012, which led to the sale of legal recreational marijuana in the states in 2014, the legislation is changing quickly across the country. More than half the U.S. states now allow marijuana for medicinal or recreational use, with expectations that other states will continue to follow the trend.
In Canada, medical marijuana regulations have been somewhat dynamic since it was deemed legal in 1999. The latest change happened last August when the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) were replaced with the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR). Amongst other things, the new laws broaden the ways in which individuals can legally obtain medical marijuana.
Further, it has been widely publicized that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau intends to legalize recreational marihuana across Canada, which will add to market size in the future.
Beleave’s business model is to become a fully integrated producer of high quality marijuana. This means that the company intends to grow, market and distribute marijuana, in addition toconducting research independently and in collaboration with institutions.
Through its wholly owned subsidiary, First Access Medical, Beleave is initially targeting production of several strains of marijuana with varying THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) levels. THC is the cannabinoid in cannabis responsible for the “high” commonly associated with the plant. CBD is another of the over 110 cannabinoids in cannabis and often heralded for its therapeutic benefit to treat a wide swath of maladies, such as multiple sclerosis, seizures and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Beleave sees its subsidiary manufacturing strains that range from very low concentrations of THC or CBD, to high THC and low CBD (and vice-versa) to moderate amounts of each cannabis constituent.
The company is currently awaiting approval of its application for a grow license under the ACMPR from Health Canada to begin production at its 14,500-square-foot facility in Flamborough, Ontario, just outside of Hamilton. With its present production space, the company says it can produce 550,000 grams of marijuana annually once licensed. Beleave’s future agenda includes adding another 70,000 square feet of production space at the property.
Beleave hit a milestone earlier this month as it completed the build-out and upgrades at the facility meticulously crafted to meet or exceed Health Canada specifications for licensing.
There are droves of upstarts trumpeting their intentions to capitalize on a multi-billion-dollar cannabis industry opportunity. Oh, if only it were that simple. It takes time, planning and execution underscored by a proven leadership team.
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