To kick off the Lift & Co. Cannabis Expo in Toronto, the three-day affair began with a preliminary Cannabis Business Conference, held on Thursday, May 24.
The conference brought together a wide range of panels and speakers from different areas of the cannabis industry, such as governance and distribution, branding and finance. A panel, focused on the development of cannabis in the retail space, addressed how newly licensed distributors will bring former “black market” consumers into the legal space.
Panelist Mark Goliger, CEO of National Access Cannabis, told Investing News Network (INN) his company’s plans to bring products from licensed producers into Canada. Goliger explained that there are many working relationships currently underway, between medicinal and recreational cannabis, and that Tilray is a producer currently locked in with the company.
The next panel discussed the importance of branding and how some cannabis companies are forced to circumvent restrictive policies when advertising a product via social media.
Felicia Snyder, Senior Vice President of Growth at Hiku Brands, spoke to INN about the crucial steps cannabis brands must take to scale the brand scene.
“We really need to understand what consumer needs are as they evolve,” she said. “Understanding what these consumers need once they’re introduced to the category and what the category entails, more product formats, etc. I think that’s going to be critical to how a brand is able to ‘accompany the consumer on this journey.
One of the final panels of the afternoon looked at the financial side of cannabis and how the investment industry can effectively get started in one of the hottest commodities in the world. Canada.
Michael Landry, Managing Director of Equity Services at GMP Services, discussed one of the key traits he looks for in a cannabis business when determining its market valuation.
“The first thing is the high level of profitability that these companies will achieve,” he told the panel. “We think they are going to be able to generate margins between 25 and 40%, these are really high levels of profitability. We believe they are going to be able to operate at these levels for a few years before the division heats up.
On Friday, May 25, the Lift & Co. cannabis expo kicked off, with vendors as far as the eye could see and panel discussions with lots of ideas to share and learn.
In a conversation about corporate cannabis, touching on topics such as industry growth and profitability, panelists discussed the importance of maintaining a cohesive brand and ideology among its staff.
AC Braddock, CEO of Eden Labs and panelist in the discussion, emphasized the importance of consistency among his staff in terms of mindset surrounding both the brand and the product.
“This is an industry about vision, it’s about social justice, health and wellness. So it’s not hard to incorporate all of those ideals into your brand, but the most important thing is to incorporate those ideals into your team,” she said.
“Your team is made up of people who are in contact with the customers, so if they don’t believe in it, they’re not anchored in it, it’s not [get] from you to the world.
One of Friday’s final panels focused on collaborations, partnerships, and mergers and acquisitions in the business side of the cannabis industry. Panelist heavyweights included Michael Black, director at PwC Canada, and Rene Cormier, vice president of corporate finance at KPMG.
Cormier answered a question about how the market assessed its valuations on certain companies and what contributed to a stock being potentially overvalued or undervalued.
“There’s no silver bullet to this one, there’s no clear answer – you ask different people, you’ll get different answers,” he said. “What I will say is that there may be something important [in taking] a step back and maybe define how we think about valuations, so is it a fair price or a high price or a lower price? Compared to what ?
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Securities Disclosure: I, Olivia Da Silva, do not hold any direct investment interest in any of the companies mentioned in this article.
The post office Lift & Co. Cannabis Expo Toronto: Business and Media Day Roundup appeared first on Investment News Network.
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