July 17, 2019
Dooma Wendschuh is co-founder and CEO of Province Brands, a Toronto-based startup that created the world's first beer brewed from cannabis.
Before entering the cannabis industry, Dooma was co-founder and co-CEO of sekretagent Productions, which helped develop and launch the popular Assassin's Creed franchise.
He joins the show today to discuss cannabis as a less harmful alternative to alcohol, why long term winners in the space will be in branding - not cultivation, and the new guard of cannabis companies.
By Rena Sherbill
Today, I am very happy to be joined by Dooma Wendschuh. Dooma is co-founder and CEO of Province Brands, a Toronto-based startup that created the world's first beer brewed from cannabis. Prior to founding Province, Dooma was the co-founder of a well-known Colorado-based cannabinoid research and consumer products company. Before entering the cannabis industry, Dooma was co-founder and co-CEO of sekretagent Productions, Inc., which helped develop and launch the popular Assassin's Creed franchise.
1:20 - What made Dooma pivot from the video game world to the cannabis sector. Importance of leaving a legacy and chance to change the world - creating a better class of psychoactive; cannabis can be a a less harmful alternative to alcohol.
6:30 - Cannabis beverages will be future of industry. Evidenced by biggest companies to get into the cannabis sector have all been from alcohol space - Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ), AB Inbev (NYSE:BUD) partnering with Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY), Hexo (NYSEMKT:HEXO) with Molson Coors (NYSE:TAP), Sproutly Canada (OTCQB:SRUTF) with Moosehead, Heineken (OTCQX:HEINY) with CannaCraft. Problems still exist with the cannabis beverage space that Province is working to solve.
10:00 - Province's timeline of going to market. In 2016, no one thought cannabis beverages would ever go to market so Province has 2-3 year head start. Patent pending technology. First to be brought to market will be solving problem of cannabis waste - stalks, roots and stems will be used in beer. HealthCanada regulations: in October 2019 application process begins to get cannabis beverages to market.
22:10 - Cannabis brews won't likely be available at a regular bar, but proliferation of private clubs, much like Soho House, are starting to pop up around Canada. Over time it will be available at a traditional bar.
23:35 - Where does Province fit in the sector among the bigger alcohol companies. 'They have their foot in the door, but Province opened the door.' Bigger companies are still beginning their R&D programs into what kind of beverage they want to focus on. Province is in year 3 - further ahead in the process. Plans for licensing Province's technology and in discussion for co-packing partnerships using its facility.
27:14 - Background of staff: lots of experience in the beer industry. R&D team has 10 research scientists, 3 PhDs, 57 publications in peer review journals, 99 patents received in the past.
29:50 - Where cannabis industry is headed, comparing it to other burgeoning industries. Hard time to be invested as it's at a point of transition. Factors will keep share prices high in the next year for some companies, but many are focused on cultivation and the prices are falling while cost of cultivation is not. Over 2-3 years the sector will correct; commodity businesses won't be overvalued as much and the brands will rise. Long-term winners will be those to develop brands.
35:17 - Regulations especially over the next 5-10 years will be perpetually changing because it's a new industry, governing bodies are learning what works from different jurisdictions. To succeed you have to be nimble and quick. Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC) has raised more money than anyone else, they can make so many mistakes and still be ok. Definitely one of the blue, or green, chip cannabis stocks. The big companies will stick around for awhile and get bigger over the next few years. Specialist companies like Province will be part of the new guard - if you solve a problem and do it well, you can grow very quickly. Case in point: Uber's (NYSE:UBER) market cap is larger than most car companies.
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