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.

Dooma Wendschuh Founders Update January 4, 2019

I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday break. 2019 is here. I remember where I was in 2018 when it was announced that cannabis beverages would be allowed in Canada just one year after legalization. I remember thinking that October 2019 seemed like forever. Well now it’s just over 9 months away. This is the year we will sell our first products (our alcohol beer) and this is the year we will sell our first marijuana products. It will be one of the most exciting years of our lives – and I’m quite sure It will also be one of the most challenging.

We built this company on a dream – a dream that one day there could be a safer and healthier alternative to alcohol and that we could bring that product to market. This dream continues to drive everything we do at Province Brands. But 2019 is the year when the dream will begin to be tested in the real world. This will be the year in which consumers weigh in, where the market weighs in.

I can tell you right now that this year will not be smooth sailing. It will be full of challenges. There will be lots of crises. Nearly everything will go wrong. We will likely slip on some delivery dates. We will likely have product issues. Nothing will work exactly as planned. The team will lose sleep. There will be heated debates, maybe even fights. Passions and tempers will be high. There will be days when members of our team think to themselves “is all of this really worth it?” But by the end of the year both our cannabis and alcohol products will be in the hands of consumers and then everyone will realize that yes, of course it was worth it.

Province Brands has been through a lot since we founded this company in late 2016. But through it all we’ve become a globally known and respected brand without even bringing a product to market. When we bring our first product to market in 2019 we will become much more than that. All of those “firsts” we’ve been talking about since we started the company will begin to materialize. It will be a really hard year. But when we make it through this year, we will be a much, much different company. We will be unstoppable.

I want to thank everyone on our team and all of our investors for supporting us through everything that’s happened over the past 2-plus years. I look forward to having a beer with each of you in 2019.

Oscar J-T Holm Founders Update January 4, 2019

I hope you all have had a great time of over the holidays. I find it useful to take some time to reflect on the past year as well as putting my thoughts together for 2019. This weekend I will be travelling to Toronto to start up the marketing department and work on all the things that have fallen through the cracks. I will also be supporting Dooma and the fundraising team for some of the important investor meetings that we have in the upcoming weeks.

Oscar Holm, AllDooma Wendschuh
Dooma Wendschuh Founders Update December 14, 2018

It’s the end of the year and a great time to reflect on what we've accomplished. Here's a short summary of where Province stands today:

Province Brands is patent-pending on the formulation and process for the world’s first beers BREWED from cannabis in place of barley.

  • Province is currently using this process to brew Cambridge Bay Imperial Pilsner, a premium pilsner (which contains alcohol) by fermenting food-grade hemp (a fully legal type of cannabis). Province Brands has a supply agreement with the Canadian Hemp Farmers’ Alliance to supply hemp at CAD $55/ton (compare to Barley which commonly sells for CAD $600/ton).  

  • On October 17, 2019 Canada will allow the sale of marijuana infused beverages. Province will use it’s patent pending process to brew alcohol-free beers from the marijuana plant which intoxicate using marijuana or its phytocannabinoids.

    • Province Brands’ marijuana beers will have a rapid onset thanks to an “accelerant technology”.  

    • Province Brands is currently developing a “decellerant” technology to shorten the duration of effect of edible cannabis. This is technology Province intends to license to other companies making edibles or other beverages. 

    • Province is developing an ultra-premium line of beers designed to give a sensation which is less like the high of marijuana and more like the pleasant sensation of drinking alcohol. 

Province Brands is under construction on a 123,000 SF Building which will be the world’s first cannabis brewery.  

  • Funded capacity:  20,000 HL per year.

  • Currently raising CAD $30,000,000 to increase funded capacity to 175,500 HL per year. At this capacity the facility could generate CAD $130,000,000 per year. 

Province Brands has a world class team of 10 scientists & engineers.

  • 3 Ph.D. Scientists

  • Collectively they have been published 55 times in peer reviewed journals

  • Collectively they have been named as inventor in 99 granted patent applications 

Province Brands has signed LOI’s to provide co-packing services for several other licensed producers and beer breweries to make nonalcoholic marijuana beers for them when it becomes legal in October 2019.

Oscar J-T Holm Founders Update December 14, 2018

After months of work I am really happy to announce that we have finalised the Cambridge Bay global brand guidelines. We have also started to work on the colour scheme for interior of the brewery and visitor centre in Grimsby (see below). Finally we have decided to move on from Duet PR and start working with Golin PR beginning in the new year.

oscar founder.jpg
Oscar Holm, AllDooma Wendschuh
Jennifer Dianne Thomas Founders Update December 14, 2018

I am very proud of our team this year! I have been reading their year-end reports and they have accomplished so much. It is encouraging but it is also sobering knowing that despite all the progress we still have so far to go. I know that next year 2019 will be a pivotal time for the company as legalization opens up. We plan to blow expectations away.

Dooma Wendschuh Founders Update December 7, 2018

This week we made substantial progress on licensure. I am really proud of Jennifer Thomas and the entire legal department for obtaining the requisite licenses needed for our business.

We have been continuing discussions with some perspective licensed producer partners and strategic investor partners. We are also making some new hires. We received a positive response from a gentleman to become our COO. Look for more information on him in the coming weeks. We are still looking for someone to fill the role as president, so please let us know if you have any suggestions. 

Jennifer Dianne Thomas Founders Update December 7, 2018
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We are considering implementing on a training program for new managers and leaders in the company. Let us know if you have any leads on trainers in this area.

We have been debating internally about ordering desktop computers or laptops for the team as we move to a new location in Grimsby. We have found that most employees would prefer laptops but some internal stakeholders have raised concerns about security issues with laptop devices (especially given all of the companies IP and trade secrets). We can’t spend too much time micromanaging this issue and would love to lean on your knowledge in this area. Any tips or guidance?  

As a small group, prioritization is super important. We have to have precise laser focus on the current goals of the company. Sometimes that even requires putting aside projects that provide less value to the company’s overall goal. 

Team productivity and motivation are critical to the success of our next few projects. 

Dooma Wendschuh Founders Update November 30, 2018

This week we had a massive scare when DME, the brewing equipment manufacturer we ordered our brewing equipment from, went into receivership. DME is the largest manufacturer of brewing equipment in Canada and one of the largest in the world. It looked for a while like we would lose our deposit as many others have who had deposits on equipment with the firm. It was a six figure deposit. Thanks to Greg's quick thinking and Jennifer's hard work, we were able to make a deal to still get our equipment - and to get it for a small fraction of what we would have paid had they not gone into receivership. It will be a challenge to maintain the equipment if DME does not get purchased out of receivership and stay in business, but we will find a way. I was really proud of the way our team handled this. Hopefully nothing like this happens again but I'm confident that we'll know how to react if it does.

Dooma Wendschuh Founders Update November 23, 2018

This week we have been hard at work on a proposal for the sports beer project. This was submitted and we're awaiting a response. Fundraising efforts continue and we have been approached about a merger with a Nasdaq listed company. We are looking forward to receiving more details about the merger opportunity. We have made an offer to a new senior team member and we're awaiting response.

The Product Team continues to make great strides, and Rob will be completing the process and flavour iterations we've been working on in a few weeks. This means we'll have lots of beers to give away as samples again. It's been a really long time since we've been able to give out samples. These should be a substantial improvement over our previous sample batches. We're very excited about that.

I wanted to share an interesting report I was sent on the beverage sector from Berenberg. Please view it here: Berenberg Beverage Sector Report

Jennifer Dianne Thomas Founders Update November 23, 2018

We are doing a lot of interviewing in hopes of filling holes in our leadership team. We hope to establish the team that we need to build the brewery on time for legalization. In this process it is interesting to see what qualities we all value in leaders. For example, is a charisma more important that clarity? Is a talkative over-eager person annoying or passionate?  

We are also looking actively for a new Toronto location. Yes, we heard your advice and have come to the agreement that having a presence in the city is of value to the team. Here are some of the parameters that Dooma has asked us to work within the following parameters:

  • Up to a 2 year lease

  • Rent should be under $2400 including electric, internet etc. If we cannot find a place with utilities included, rent should be under $2,000.

  • Needs to be at least 400 SF.

As I embark on this project, I can admit that we need help finding an office. The parameters above are just a starting point, but if anyone knows of office space or has suggestions we are excited to here from you. Please help us!

Dooma Wendschuh Founders Update November 16, 2018

This week we have been following up with numerous prospective investors as we've been marching forward on closing our $30 Million round. It is unfortunately taking longer than we had anticipated to close, but we are making good progress and expect to have it in the bag soon.

On another interesting note, we were approached by a major global health and wellness brand about making a "sports beer" - basically a nonalcoholic beer with non-psychoactive phytocannabinoids and other compounds which could be used pre-workout or after a workout. We are preparing our proposal for them and should have something for them soon to continue the discussions.

We completed our floor plans for the building in Grimsby, and we have submitted them to David Hyde to complete the security plan so that we can obtain our licensure.

We also are honoured to welcome two new team members to our team. Jessa Fitzpatrick is our new development coordinator and Steven Brencur will act as our new project manager.

Jennifer Dianne Thomas Founders Update November 16, 2018

This week I have to give a big pat on the back to Ira and Elad! They are team members that went with me to the MJBIZCon conference. It was amazing to see them in meetings with investors this week. I am really proud when I see team members speaking passionately about the company and their combined efforts I believe helped us secure more investments.  

I highlight their excitement and efforts because one goal we have right now in the leadership team is empowering the team to feel like their roles at Province are career positions and not jobs – “The most important thing is that people in the company feel that they are making a career and are part of something big rather than just doing a job.”

I believe their excitement is hopefully an indication that we are getting closer to our goal of a deeply entrenched, loyal, and invested team.

Oscar J-T Holm Founders Update November 16, 2018

Lots of work are going on in the Marketing Team. We are now working on the final bits of our first large can production for our upcoming 7% ABV imperial pilsner, Cambridge Bay. There has also been quite a lot of meetings with new potential partners as well as interviews with potential hires for different roles within Province Brands.

Oscar Holm, AllDooma Wendschuh
Dooma Wendschuh Founders Update November 9, 2018

A major focus over the past several months has been hiring. Now that we have Marija Desnoyers on our team as our head of HR, we have made some great progress and really rounded out our team. However, we are still struggling to close some of our most important roles. We've been looking for a president for quite a long time. Someone who has experience and expertise in entrepreneurial ventures and who knows how to start and run companies. Someone who has successfully raised substantial funding for past businesses and who understands capital markets, investor relations, and knows how to manage and run a team. We're also looking for support in our Business Development and Fundraising Team. If you know anyone who might be suitable for either of these positions, please let me know.

In other news, this week the company made some great progress on our production trials, and our new engineer, Colin, made substantial headway in planning the production systems we need for the brewery. We also received some of the equipment we have ordered for our facility.

Oscar J-T Holm Founders Update November 9, 2018

This week I have been in Canada and focused on fundraising. The week started with the DC Finance Investment Summit followed by a 48 hour due diligence trip to all our test facilities in Quebec, Montreal, Loyalist Collage, our new building in Grimsby, and finally to finish off in Toronto.

Oscar Holm, AllDooma Wendschuh
Jennifer Dianne Thomas Founders Update November 9, 2018

Like any start-up we have had some ups and downs in our hiring process. As we are start to plan for hiring employees on the factory floor we are working on creating workplace perks to help us attract the top talent in an area like Grimbsy, a very competitive environment for workers. We know that employees are voluntarily quitting their jobs at the highest rate since 2001.

Today’s job market is ripe for job hoppers and employees are keeping their eyes open for their next big opportunity. Employers are scratching their heads, struggling to retain staff in the most job seeker favorable market in over a decade.

Unions are common in this area and we have already been approached about workers’ unions. We hope to establish a workplace that will be free from the need for unions because of our adherence to the highest workplace safety standards, on campus perquisites, and fair and top of market compensation packages.

Our product is complicated to make, and we will not be successful if we have a revolving door of employees. We are fighting against current market stats that tells us “30% of job seekers have left a job within 90 days of starting.”

These issues are easy to fix if we acknowledge them in advance, and we work on them before we even hire our first full wave of employees in Grimsby.

We will start by paying close attention to the motivations for why employees leave in our marketplace. We are acknowledging that the modern workforce doesn’t allow for employers to simply pay high salaries or provide a suite of benefits. Employees are looking for more than that and can find it elsewhere.

Dooma Wendschuh Founders Update November 2, 2018

We’re still working on raising our Series B funds. This week we participated in the Hong Kong Cannabis Investor Symposium as well as the DC Finance even in Toronto. In addition, part of our team met with some promising prospects in Kuwait.  

Another prime focus for this past week has been preparation for a major institutional investor who will be visiting Canada to tour our facilities, lab, and office. All of our departments have been working diligently to make sure that everything runs smoothly and successfully. 

Lastly, we were very excited to send out our press release regarding our alcohol product, Cambridge Bay. You can read it here

Jennifer Dianne Thomas Founders Update November 2, 2018

It was tough week in the best way. We worked hard to achieve a ton of goals and it was pretty satisfying. To me these are the best weeks because you’re exhausted but feeling accomplished. I am particularly excited that we are making strides on our second patent and that we just received word that we have moved to the final round on our OCE funding application. This would mean a second big research project with a university! Big things are happening.