Dooma Wendschuh Founders Update March 15, 2019

This week Oscar and I have been traveling to Denmark to meet with some of the world's largest beverage companies about an investment in our current $30 Million funding round. We also were in London where we presented to a major investment bank and several investors. The meetings were amazing. Response to our beer and our business is through the roof. We're looking forward to closing this round and hopefully listing the company (of course we cannot guarantee a public listing - but that is our plan currently). The hard part now is the follow up. We'll be pushing our business development and fundraising team to follow-up and I'll personally be reaching out and trying to close one of these strategic partners.

Speaking of strategic partners - in two weeks we have one of the world's largest beverage companies coming through our facility - they're brining their CEO and several members from their board. This will be our fourth in person meeting with them and we're hopeful we will be able to announce something soon after the meeting. Wish us luck!

Jennifer Dianne Thomas Founders Update March 15, 2019

This week has been exciting! Our processing license moved from “submitted” to “under review”! We anticipated getting an Intent to Deny letter from Health Canada (“HC”), because so many of our consultants tried to manage our expectations by telling us their other clients had to do a bit of work and Q&A with HC to even get to the under review stage. For the team that has been working on this project this is great news. It is indicative of the fact that we have prepared a sound package of materials for HC.

I want to acknowledge the team for this accomplishment because we have been in the trenches so long that sometimes we don’t pause to recognize when we hit a small milestone. Congratulations to everyone who has been working on this!

Dooma Wendschuh Founders Update March 8, 2019

So, two things: First I want to thank all of our investors and team members who recently have come forward with suggestions for 1) Investment banks to help us with capital raising and 2) equipment financing solutions as we’re desperately trying to find someone to finance the purchase of our equipment at a reasonable rate. Please keep these recommendations coming. We have not found a solution in either case and really need some help!

I also want to give a few shout-outs to members of our Product Team who have been doing the impossible pretty much every day. Firstly, to our master brewer, Dr. Rob Kevwitch. In recent weeks we’ve been asking more of him than we ever have before. He’s responding to the pressure by doing the impossible day in and day out, keeping spirits high, and making jokes along the way. He is really a model for what it takes to succeed at Province. I’m totally jealous of his ability to just take more and more weight and handle it so well. Perhaps it’s his training as a semi-pro mountain biker which has taught him to take a beating and just keep on going.

Secondly, a much deserved and overdue shout-out to Colin Cymbalisty. Colin never ceases to amaze me. Greg Foster runs our product team and is an all-star Province Brands MVP, but Greg was out of town for the past week - and my God - did Colin step up! He did a fantastic job running the meetings, keeping everything on track. In case you don’t know, Colin is like the queen bee at the center of our little hive – except he’s male, so he would be the King bee, but that doesn’t really exist but you know what I mean. He’s like the brains figuring our how we’re going to build this ‘brewery of the future’ and providing the direction and plan to everyone else on the team. It’s really incredible.

Travis Dafoe has recently joined our team, and he’s been a real trooper. Despite sounding really defeated when he realized (and this is a direct quote) “this thing’s really got a lot of hoses to connect.” He somehow managed to set up our state of the art $150,000 rotary evaporator despite never having seen one of those before – and he did it on an impossible schedule to meet Rob’s insanely tight timeframe.

Robyn and Dallas have also been doing the impossible to help Rob meet his tight schedule. Greg is his usual awesome self and Natasha has lately been knocking it out of the park with presentations for the business development team despite that not being her job at all. Our world class - and I mean seriously world class -bioprocess team Erin, Thomas, Bertil and Rodolfo, are also doing the impossible every day. I’m really privileged to have the experience of working with this team. It has been, and I say this in all sincerity, one of the most rewarding experiences of my professional career to watch these guys do the impossible day after day.

Oscar J-T Holm Founders Update March 8, 2019

Last week we all did 360 reviews of each other’s team members as well the leadership team. We also did self-evaluations and goal planing. Although this was a lot to fit in an already packed schedule, it is always good to stop up and reflect and think through was is working well and what needs to improve.

Jennifer Dianne Thomas Founders Update March 8, 2019

This week we have been diving deep into the regulatory framework for cannabis licensing. We have recently met with a governmental relations team, and we have been learning quite a bit about rumors in the industry - both true and false. 

One of the hardest parts of the entrepreneurial process is separating the wheat from the chaff.   

That being said we are in the process of navigating a licensing process that is best described as a black box.  

I am sure you all as investors also hear rumors about our industry as well. I want to invite you to reach out to us when you hear industry rumors that you think might impact our company. We are happy to walk you through the ways we may have already considered this issue to put you at ease and to the extent we have not heard of the particular concern we will appreciate the tip.

Dooma Wendschuh Founders Update March 1, 2019

Just a little note - This week we played a game internally to see how the company is using our 13 corporate "Values" as guideposts for our decision making. It was a lot of fun. I learned a lot about how we can improve our business and culture, but I also learned about what we're doing well. I want to give a shout out to Julia Romanski who won the values game and will receive 250 stock options as her reward. If you're interested in seeing our company values you can view them here (password: provbrands).

Dooma Wendschuh Founders Update February 22, 2019

My update this week is from my panel discussion on February 7th at the Arcview conference in Los Angeles. The discussion was titled “Crystal Balling the Future of Cannabis” and we discussed the future of the industry, federal legalization in the US, and the 2018 Farm Bill’s impact on the cannabis market.

Jennifer Dianne Thomas Founders Update February 22, 2019

The comment period for the draft regulations for edibles and beverages just ended. The company submitted comments to the proposed regulations. This process has inspired our leadership team to consider what we would do if none of the regulations changed. This thought process has fostered a plethora of great ideas. I want everyone to know that no matter what happens with the final regulations we have some great strategies in mind to make sure our products will still maintain the luxury appearance that we want to be known for and that you have seen in our initial plans.  

Oscar J-T Holm Founders Update February 22, 2019

This week we continued working on our cannabis packaging requirements with support from our legal department. We are also experimenting a lot with colors and different design expressions. Additionally, we have updated some of the global brand guidelines as well as parts of the business plan.

Oscar Holm, AllDooma Wendschuh
Dooma Wendschuh Founders Update February 15, 2019

The updates this week are a little lean because our departments were so focused on making the best impression possible for the investor tours that we were planning for last week. I am incredibly proud to say that our team members did a phenomenal job. The scheduling was well planned, the presentations were engaging, and the beer samples were a hit! We have received very positive feedback from the groups on the tour, and we will keep you posted on any new developments.

Oscar J-T Holm Founders Update February 15, 2019

Over the last week most of our team has been involved with a large investor due diligence tour where they have visited all our test facilities, Loyalists Collage and Province Brands’ building in Grimsby, and meet most of the staff and consultants involved in the company. We have also been working hard on experimenting with designs based on the Health Canada’s Guidelines on cannabis edibles.

Oscar Holm, AllDooma Wendschuh
Dooma Wendschuh Founders Update February 8, 2019

This week we’ve got a very important tour scheduled with some potentially high volume investors. Planning and preparations have taken up much of the company’s time, especially for the Business and Development Team and the Productivity Team. The tour will take place over two days and we are working to show off the amazing progress that we have made in the last few months. We should also be able to sample some product.

I spent some time this week at the Arcview conference in Los Angeles. I presented and made a lot of great contacts. We will be following up with them in the coming days.

The legal department has done an excellent job getting some very important licensing applications filed this week, and I’m very proud of how quickly and efficiently they have handled this task.

Jennifer Dianne Thomas Founders Update February 8, 2019

It is a huge milestone for the company to say that we have submitted our research license and processing license to Health Canada. We are confident that our applications are full, complete and well put together. It may sound basic but our research shows that most applicants struggle to submit complete and organized applications. It is believed that this is why so many of the applicants face delays. We believe that having a complete and professional application will help to move it smoothly through the process. Additionally, we are working in partnership with Auxly which has several benefits - they have gone through the process before and they already have security cleared personnel. As you have seen in other updates, we are building out the facility actively right now. Many applicants wait to receive a green light from HC before starting construction – another alleged reason for typical delays in the road to licensing. We are planning to have our laboratory ready for inspection in a few months. We hope this gives us the ability to simultaneously go through the site review process and the initial application review process.  

I want to applaud my team for completing this step and acknowledge how helpful it was to have Auxly as a partner in this process because of their institutional knowledge and prior experience. We signed a lease at the end of October and within a few months pulled together a complete application. After building selection occurs many people need six months to prepare their applications. Achieving this task is a little over three months after site selection is exciting and shows the dedication of the legal team. Days like this I am super proud to be a founder.

Oscar J-T Holm Founders Update February 8, 2019

Thanks to our legal team we are getting a better and better understanding of all the documentation from Health Canada’s proposed package regulations for beverages and eatables. We in the marketing and art team are trying hard to be as creative as possible and are working on redesigning our packaging for the Canadian market.

Oscar Holm, AllDooma Wendschuh
Dooma Wendschuh Founders Update February 1, 2019

This week was a good week for Province Brands. We made substantial progress on our fundraising efforts. Lauren went to London and spoke at the Future Cannabis Strategies Europe Conference and received a warm reception. We received favorable indicators that a major co-packing deal we have been working on with one of the world's leading sports nutrition companies may go through. We also met with one of the big beverage companies pursuing Province Brands for a possible large investment and that meeting was very positive. We attracted the interest of a major U.S. investment bank in supporting our fundraising efforts, and we were approached by a TSXV company about a merger and held an exploratory meeting with our C-Level staff and theirs which seems promising. If this merger comes together it will happen very quickly.

On a different front, our facility is starting to fill up with tanks and other equipment we have ordered. Check out our Instagram or our flickr for some of the photos. That's the good news and this week there's really a lot of good news. It's been one of the best weeks we've had in a long time.

The bad news is that our latest shipment of hemp to the United States has been held up in customs. It finally cleared on Friday of this week, but we are now two weeks behind schedule on our trial. This will further delay the launch of our Cambridge Bay Imperial Pilsner - which is already delayed due to issues with the last batch we produced. The product team is working to see how we can make up the time and get our Cambridge Bay Imperial Pilsner out to market.

Oscar J-T Holm Founders Update February 1, 2019

This week we have signed a two-month contract with Golin PR to help us with PR around lobbying the proposed rules and regulations on beverage products. The joint organization that Dooma is heading up is called the Cannabis Beverage Alliance. We have just finalized the logo and Johanna is working on setting up the website which soon will be announced.

Oscar Holm, AllDooma Wendschuh
Jennifer Dianne Thomas Founders Update February 1, 2019

I spoke at the Lyft Conference on a panel about cannabis edibles a short while ago. It was a really nice opportunity to get out in front of the public eye which is something Dooma usually does. It was a panel of four other women who were also running companies in the cannabis industry. Speaking alongside these other dynamic women made me very excited about what is coming in the edibles space, but it also made me realize how much more complicated and progressive our products are at Province Brands. While the industry is moving along and new players are coming into the market everyday, we are still working on products that are so far ahead anyone else in the market.

Dooma Wendschuh Founders Update January 25, 2019

As many of you know we’re putting together a coalition to lobby for change in proposed regulations and generally advocate for the cannabis beverage industry on an ongoing basis. I was recently elected co-chair of the board of directors of the organization so I will be instrumental in making sure we focus our efforts and the organization’s resources in the right place. I wanted to share the speech I gave at the first meeting of the organization’s members which took place earlier this week by telephone. Here is the transcript:

We’re on this phone call because maybe for some of us it’s subconscious – maybe for some of us it’s very conscious. But We’re all on this phone call because we’ve read these proposed rules something inside us is nagging at us, telling us that there’s something just not right about these proposed regulations for cannabis beverages. Don’t get me wrong – they could be worse – but you’re on this phone call – you’re considering getting yourself and your company involved in a lobbying effort because something tells you that these proposed regs are not right are not just and they need to change.

And there’s likely a good reason you feel this way. I don’t know how much experience you have with lobbying. I don’t have a ton but I know enough to know that policy isn’t ALWAYS made to benefit and protect the people – at least not entirely. And I also I know enough to know that policy doesn’t always change to suit those with the deepest pockets – although quite often it does. I know enough to know that the number one thing that changes policy – the thing that those with those deep, deep pockets are always trying to buy with their money – is relationships. Relationships with those who make policy. And in this case that’s where most of us are at a disadvantage. You see we’re on this phone to talk about a list of proposed regulations which were made by Health Canada. And while some do, most of us on this phone call don’t have very deep or long standing relationships with Health Canada. But there are some companies out there that do have those relationships – the specific licensed producers who were the first in Canada to get their licenses. Those who have been working with Health Canada for a long time. And these proposed regulations have the fingerprints of these incumbent LP’s all over them.

Do the entrenched licensed producers want alcohol companies competing with them – of course they don’t. So they’re trying to craft regulations that prevent alcohol companies from entering the industry. Do the entrenched cannabis companies want beverage companies to be able to produce cannabis beverages in their existing highly efficient facilities? Of course they don’t. That could drive these licensed producers out of business. So they’ve been working with Health Canada to craft regulations to make sure that cannabis beverages can only be made in THEIR facilities.

What we’re up against is a classic David and Goliath scenario. I mean these certain incumbent LPs have every advantage. They have the relationships with the regulators. They have a lot of money to lobby and push. And most importantly they have fear on their side. Regulators are afraid of what’s going to happen when they legalize cannabis beverages so they’re easily nudged towards more restrictive policies. So the end of the day we’re sitting here on the phone contemplating getting into a fight we shouldn’t win. But David did beat Goliath and we can win this.

I’m so sure we can win this. We won’t get everything we want. But I’m so sure we can get some of the big changes pushed through. Why? Because some of these proposed regulations look like industry getting greedy. There are proposed regulations on this list which are designed to clearly benefit select industry incumbents so much so that they do so at the expense of public health. And the agency promulgating these rules? It’s called Health Canada. Its mandate is to protect public health. So where we can highlight that these regulations stand in the way of pubic health, we have a chance of winning.

Let’s take an example. There’s a proposed regulation which says that cannabis beverages may not have similarities to alcohol or have brands associated with alcohol. Think about this for a moment. For generations children have been conditioned not to drink things that look smell and taste like beer and wine and spirits. They know the brands associated with beer and wine and spirits are for adults. You can leave a six pack of beer in your fridge go out for the day and your kids won’t drink it. But what if you left a six pack of grape soda in your fridge? Even if you tell the kids not to drink it there’s a good chance a can will be missing when you get back home. And by forcing cannabis companies not to make beverages which have elements in common with alcohol – let me tell you there aren’t that many other choices. These regulations effectively force companies to make sweet sugary beverages like infused sodas and juices the exact type of beverage that will appeal to children. Try telling your kid that the grape soda in this packaging is OK for him to drink, and the grape soda in this other packaging is NOT ok for him to drink. If Health Canada really wanted to keep marijuana out of the hands of children if they want to avoid accidental ingestion by minors – which is their mandate – they should encourage cannabis products to look and smell and feel like alcohol products – which kids know not to drink. But instead they’re pushing manufacturers away from such products and towards sugary beverages which are both appealing to children on the one hand – and full of sugar which is a carcinogen, causes obesity, and everyone knows it’s terrible for you. And you and I understand what’s going on here. The government is trying to protect its incumbent players in this industry from getting crushed by big alcohol rolling in. And that’s an admirable thing to do. But you can’t do that at the expense of public health. You can’t do that at the expense of Canadian families. This is a point we can win on.

I’ll give you another example. There’s a proposed regulation that Cannabis products can’t be made in facilities that also make alcohol or food products. Who has those kind of facilities? Do any of the incumbent cannabis companies? No but big alcohol does, big beverage companies do. So this is another attempt to protect our homegrown industry. Which again I think is a nice thing to do. But when you really think about it, making beverages in a safe reliable and consistent manner. Making beverages which don’t give everyone e-coli or some other food born illness – that’s really hard. There are companies out there who have mastered this really hard thing – who have a perfect record of food pr beverage safety and here’s health Canada saying those companies – those companies are disqualified from making marijuana product s. When you see instances like that where you can just go to Health Canada and tell them they’re not doing their job if they pass these regulations. If you can show them that their proposed regulations are not in the interest of public health. But if we do this right. If we all push together we can change policy, we can change Canada, we can set a precedent and change the world. I’m American – so by nature I’m a fighter. I’ve got that revolutionary blood in me. And let me tell you it’s boiling right now.

Listen maybe I’m naive. Maybe It’s just the way my mother raised me but I have always believed that when you are fighting for what’s right and what is just you will win in the end. And in my experience – sometimes it takes a long, long time, and there’s a lot of ups and downs and sometimes you want to give up but in my experience, if you see it through, if you stick with it… if you fight for what’s right and what is just you will always win. That’s why I’m here. I’ve been through that dark valley enough times to know there’s light on the other end. I’m here to fight for what’s right and just.

This moment in time reminds me of a quote from one of the first settlers to reach the shores of America – his name was John Winthrop but John F. Kennedy made the quote famous many years later. He said “we are as a city upon a hill. The eyes of the world are watching.” We are about to be the first country in the world to federally legalize cannabis beverages. Everyone is watching us. The choices we make, the decisions we make will shape lives far beyond Canada. We have the chance to do this right. And if we do the world will follow our lead. And we will all make a lot of money.

Dooma Wendschuh Founders Update January 18, 2019

I'm excited to welcome Fran Sanda to our Executive Leadership Team. For those of you who don't know, Fran was a Province Brands investor who read about our hiring needs in one of these weekly updates and reached out to express interest. We're very glad he did. Fran is joining Province Brands as our Chief Business Development Officer and will help me run the Business Development, Fundraising Team. Fran has many years of experience running sales organizations and was recently involved in the sale of his previous company Aruba Networks to HP. We're very fortunate to have him.

I also want to congratulate one of our all-time MVP's at Province, Caitlin Krapf, whom we recently promoted to Chief Productivity Officer. Our Executive team now consists of: Jennifer Dianne Thomas (Chief Legal Officer); Oscar J-T Holm (Head of Marketing); John Mogk (Chief Business Development Officer); Lauren Maillian (Chief Strategy Officer); Caitlin Krapf (Chief Productivity Officer) and me, Dooma Wendschuh (Chief Executive Officer). We're now 45 people strong at team Province if you include our part-time contractors and interns (but excluding our advisors and non-employee board members). We're becoming an army and a very powerful and capable army.

This week so many things have happened which have made me insanely proud to be part of team Province. You can familiarize yourself with the company and how its run by checking out our organizational chart.

Oscar J-T Holm Founders Update January 18, 2019

Over the last week we have had time to finalise the Yandi Gold global guidelines as well as starting on the Dagga guidelines. We also have had a meeting with legal in regards the proposed rules and regulations on packaging. There was also a good meeting with a potential investor in Toronto as the large DD tour got cancelled.

Oscar Holm, AllDooma Wendschuh
Dooma Wendschuh Founders Update January 11, 2019

This week Oscar and I met with a multinational beverage company which could be a great strategic partner for us. The meetings went well. The next step is for them to come visit our facility which should be happening soon.

We're also meeting with another beverage company next week. Interest in what we're doing is growing. We're also starting a lobbying coalition (called the Canadian Cannabis Beverage Producer's Alliance) to improve the proposed regulations - which could certainly be better for Province Brands. If you know any Canadian cannabis or alcohol businesses interested in joining our coalition please let me know by sending me an email or calling my cell.