Thursday, September 12, 2019

What’s happening in Vancouver this week for #Cannabis? Investor Education and VIP Parties for Cannabis Enthusiasts, @IntlCBC

What’s happening in Vancouver this week for #Cannabis? Investor Education and VIP Parties for Cannabis Enthusiasts, @IntlCBC

Q&A Interview with Nic Easley, CEO of 3C Consulting, LLC

Stocks Discussed: (CSE: $BHNG) (TSXV: $NDVA) (CSE: $OILS)

Kelowna, Delta, BC – September 12, 2019 ( Newswire), a global news source covering leading sectors including marijuana and hemp stocks release an update on the cannabis event coming to Vancouver; The International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC), being held September 15-16th at the Westin Bayshore Hotel.

There will be something for everyone to enjoy at the conference: educational panels from edibles to M&A, top tier guest speakers including John Salley-NBA champion, athlete, actor, entrepreneur, talk show host and philanthropist.

Investors in the space can find public companies at the exhibiting booths and featured on panels Monday, September 16th including Bhang Corporation (CSE: BHNG), Indiva Limited (TSXV:NDVA), Nextleaf Solutions Ltd. (CSE: OILS) and more. Investor Ideas Potcasts, Cannabis News and Stocks on the Move host Taylor Van Zant will be on-site interviewing experts and thought leaders and Investor Ideas will be featuring the interviews following the event. 

Want to be part of the whole experience of the event? There’s more for VIP ticket holders… A VIP Reception will be held on September 15th at 7pm at the Westin Bayshore Hotel. On Monday the 16, following a day education at the conference, join an exclusive private after-party boat cruise, including entertainment by DJ Muggs of Cypress Hill.

Tickets found at recently spoke with Nic Easley, CEO of 3C Consulting, LLC, one of the speakers at the upcoming show on how the cannabis industry has changed in Canada since legalization last year, what you should know about the ICBC conference and why you should attend.

Read the Q&A interview below:

For our readers and investors that might not be familiar with your company's story, can you tell us a bit about 3C Consulting?

A: Nic Easley, CEO of 3C Consulting, LLC:
3C Consulting, LLC (3C) provides comprehensive consulting services to businesses across the global cannabis supply chain. Throughout the last decade, as a founder I have worked directly with nearly 500 cannabis businesses at each phase of their start-up and growth process. 3C has honed its expertise in navigating complex cannabis regulations, business licensing, and operational challenges for medicinal, recreational, and ancillary clients in 16 countries and 34 US states, and two territories. Due to the lack of federal oversight, many cannabis businesses do not maintain the same level of employee and consumer protections that are commonplace in any other industry.

As a result, in Colorado, we saw rampant pesticide contamination, employee safety violations, and a significant lack of business experience. Seeing how the industry's lack of regulations was negatively affecting patients, employees, and businesses motivated us to provide comprehensive, strategic, and professional services to improve the sector. Our team leverages best practices and insights gleaned from established industries such as agriculture and farming, architecture and engineering, project management, facilities management, business strategy, marketing, and legal & regulatory compliance. We provide our clients with solutions cultivated from first-hand experiences that benefit patients/customers, local communities, the environment, and shareholders.

We offers a broad range of services to meet the needs of businesses at any phase of development. During the initial planning phase, we provide entrepreneurs with strategic guidance to help them refine their product offerings and business model specifically for their market. We subsequently assist in the articulation of these business plans, which includes an executive summary, pitch deck, and in-depth financial models—all of which are required to accurately describe real expectations and project goals. During the next phase of engagement, 3C works with clients to develop and submit their cannabis business license application. License applications are a thorough process that requires numerous skill sets as well as detailed planning and articulation, all in an often tight deadline. We work as project managers, content writers, and strategic partners on these engagements.

We also provide industry consulting services internationally. Recently, we have been working with licensed companies in Europe to navigate Good Practice certifications. Depending on the type of business, their location, and which markets they intend to sell their products in, any number of certifications may be required. Typical requirements include Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), Good Agricultural and Collection Practices (GACP), current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP), GLOBALG.A.P. Risk Assessment on Social Practice (GRASP) and more. We help clients develop Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and prepare for all applicable inspections. Once businesses have met all legal compliance requirements, we provide services to help them open their doors and scale their operations.

Standard services at this phase include strategic planning, import/export guidance, management support, training, project management, and recruiting. We work with medicinal, recreational, and ancillary companies from across all cannabis industry verticals. 3C acts as stewards for the cannabis industry, prioritizing compliance, patient access, and product safety and efficacy. With 14 years of hands-on experience guiding cannabis businesses in diverse legal markets, 3C has grown alongside this industry. Along the way, we have gained unparalleled regulatory knowledge, operational solutions, and a vast industry network. 

In 2017, I  co-founded Multiverse Capital (Multiverse) a cannabis-focused venture capital firm with partner Skip Sanzeri. Multiverse works to bridge the gap between qualified investors looking to enter the industry and well-vetted companies positioned to build compliant businesses in their respective markets. The idea is to create mutually beneficial partnerships that break common barriers and pitfalls that either investors or operators will undoubtedly face when initiating a cannabis business.

As the cannabis and hemp industries evolve and grow, so do the number of operators both good and bad—many of whom over-promise unrealistic production expectations and simply do not have the foresight to develop compliant, reliable, and successful cannabis businesses. Given the company’s incredible experience with operators, Multiverse has the tools and means of recognizing promising business opportunities from the substandard—the key differentiating factor that could either mean years of operational setbacks, or the start of an incredibly promising industry machine capable of developing memorable brands and quality-driven products.

Equally, operators who may have incredible operational expertise and a deep-seated passion for successful, compliant operations, but lack the funds for implementation, can also benefit from Multiverse. Multiverse’s vast network of investors, vendors, and potential business partners tear down the barriers talented operators can face when initiating their operations. We help provide the tools, means, and proper channels to ensure the quality of business practices align with the quality of the product operators intend on developing. Ultimately, 3C and Multiverse work in tandem to ensure their clients have all the resources required to successfully and compliantly build their cannabis businesses from the ground up—regardless of their current presence, experience, or standing in the ever-evolving cannabis industry.

The ICBC event is coming up this September here in Vancouver which you will be a part of – what are you looking most forward to at the event and any speakers/ panels that you are most excited about?

A: Nic Easley, CEO of 3C Consulting, LLC:
The "Upcoming Regulatory Model: Edibles, Topicals, and Extracts" panel is very timely and will have valuable insights for businesses navigating these regulatory shifts. Those that can establish high quality and unique product lines will be able to secure new market share in Canada. Over the last year, Canadian companies have focused heavily on international export but have struggled for market share. These businesses dove in without fully understanding the regulatory and compliance requirements necessary to establish multinational operations successfully. The "International Export and Commerce" panel will touch on these topics and more. The open dialog with ICBC attendees provides much deeper insight into the state of the global market than any other forum. My presentation entitled "Staying Relevant: Vetting domestic investments to ensure international feasibility" will build on the panel discussions mentioned above and provide a broader high-level overview. I will paint a picture of the entire global market, the regulations that are shaping it, the pitfalls that businesses and investors are running into in the space, and what opportunities lie ahead.  

You have been a part of the ICBC conferences in the past years – for new attendees this year, what advice would you give them for attending and or what to expect from the show?

A: Nic Easley, CEO of 3C Consulting, LLC:
ICBC brings together new vendors and new producers from across the global cannabis industry as well as some of the most innovative ideas from new markets. The insights gained, and relationships formed will keep you at the forefront of the global industry. So whether you are a first-timer or an ICBC veteran, be sure to bring an open mind as the details on each market have evolved and are always changing and you never know what long-lasting and quality relationships you will make. I have spoken on panels, given presentations, and participated in many different cannabis conferences over the years and I am grateful that the relationships that I’ve made during those conferences, no matter where they were in the world, are mutually beneficial and thriving to this day. Thanks to ICBC, 3C has expanded its network, increased exposure, and gained quality partners that have continually added value to our business and our clients.

We are almost at the one year anniversary of legalization in Canada. What are some of the key trends or changes you have seen in the sector? What should investors keep an eye out for over the next year?

A: Nic Easley, CEO of 3C Consulting, LLC:
Over the past year, most of Canada's provinces, especially Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec, as well as many municipalities, have enacted inadequate regulations; as a result, not enough retail stores were allowed. Zoning laws and the lottery licensing systems have limited the growth of the domestic industry. A recent example was the Ontario Cannabis Store being unable to supply the demand of cannabis in its province, leading to ineffective sales and loss of millions of projected tax revenue that would have helped the community as a whole.

Additionally, by only allowing cannabis flower, certain topicals and limited oils, the adult-use market has been unable to overcome the illicit market. As edibles and cartridges enter the market in the fall, this will change. With licensed producers focused predominantly on international development over the last year, domestic revenues have struggled.

Equally, the medical cannabis market is growing and expanding at unprecedented rates. The global medical cannabis market size was estimated to reach a value of $13.4 billion USD in 2018 (source: Business Wire). The market is further expected to reach a value of $44.4 billion USD by 2024, demonstrating a compound annual growth rate of 22.9% during 2019-2024. Canada must recognize the viability of the international medical cannabis market and draft clear regulations that separate medical from adult-use. Canada was recently criticized by the Director of the International Narcotics Control Board for this very reason.

We’ve seen a number of Canadian operators diving into the international medical cannabis market without thorough regulatory oversight. The medical cannabis market and adult-use cannabis market must be clearly separated and defined into two distinctive industries if Canadian operators hope to maintain long-term success. Investors should keep an eye on the new product categories that will enter the market later this year. There will be opportunities for Canadian companies to secure more significant market share as a result.

Last but not least, what's your favorite thing about being involved in the cannabis sector so far?

A: Nic Easley, CEO of 3C Consulting, LLC:
My favorite thing about being involved in the cannabis sector is the direct impact we are having on human lives, both current and future generations; revitalizing hemp, bringing medicine to people and realizing that businesses provide the ability to do that. Many current textile and other environmentally-destructive industries, such as those that deal in plastics and cosmetics continue to prioritize profits over safety. Just how safe are these products that we are bringing into the homes of families and children? Are manufacturers purchasing Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood to help prevent deforestation and irreparable damage to native tribes and the ecology? Are cosmetic manufacturers off-setting their carbon emissions and looking to operate under green practices? The answer to many of these questions is, unfortunately, “no.”

The most common misconception about cannabis is that it can only be used for recreational purposes. The fact is that hemp can be used to effectively replace textiles and plastics in the most environmentally-conscious way possible—as manufacturing hemp-based paper, containers, food, and even clothing can be done under green standards without compromising production efficiency.

Equally, cannabis and hemp-based cosmetic products are also on the rise. Harmful ingredients such as parabens in lotions and shampoos, phthalates in personal care products, formaldehyde to preserve the brittle formulations in mainstream cosmetics, and sodium lauryl sulfate in skincare products are all too common. In contrast, cannabis and hemp-based cosmetic products serve as both cost-effective and safe means of dealing with common skin disorders such as inflammation, eczema, and psoriasis without having to expose patients or consumers to ingredients that are already banned in various European countries.

Many quality businesses attend ICBC, while others have been born out of it; these operators are fundamentally changing the world. They are the ones who we look forward to supporting and working with in the years to come. Working in this industry is never with a dull moment and we consider it an honor and a privilege to be a part of it.

About International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC)

About 3C Consulting, LLC

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