This week has been a whirlwind. We’re preparing for our $30 million Series B round and also preparing for our public listing. We will send around our new business plan and other information for this round shortly. We can't wait to hear your thoughts. We have finalized the syndicate of banks who will be helping us with this raise. It will be Paradigm Capital, Clarus Securities and PI Financial. Off to the races.
This week we’ve been working hard to prepare all of the materials and logistics needed for our “roadshow.” We’ll be hitting several cannabis conferences over the next few weeks. We’ll be presenting at the Cannabis Private Investment Summit in New York on September 13th. We will also be presenting at the Arcview International Investor Forum in Chicago taking place September 16th-18th. Finally, we’ll be at the Extraordinary Future conference in Vancouver September 19th & 20th. We hope to see some of you at these events. We’ve done some great work updating our business plan and marketing materials and are looking forward to sharing them with you.
We’re also very happy to welcome Erin Shand to our team. Erin is my new executive assistant. She has a wealth of experience from various fields and is going to be a great asset to our team.
This week we received comments to lease from the landlord at 270 Hunter Road in Grimsby. We hope to complete negotiations and have this signed very quickly. We've already submitted the deposit to the landlord. We've received an estimate from the engineers to commence the plans. They're ready to go. We're locked and loaded and should have a building soon.
Also this week we received an accepted offer from Natalia Murataeva, a Ph.D. neurobiologist with more than 10 publications in well known peer reviewed journals. She will start with us in October and will steward the development of our Ultra Premium Products. Welcome aboard!
The big news this week is that we have a building. We'll be moving into 270 Hunter Road in Grimsby, Ontario, soon. The building is 123,000 SF and in a great location in Canada's equivalent of Napa Valley. It's also very close to the USA which should have some benefits when it comes to shipping. We'll be moving in the next few weeks. Greg from our Product Team is taking the lead on the construction, demolition, etc. It's time to rock and roll and start making some beer. In other news, I've spent most of my time this week preparing our business plan for our going public offering. It should be done soon. Can't wait to hear your thoughts
The Business Development and Fundraising Team is starting to feel the pressure as we prepare for our Series B raise where we will raise around $30 Million. We already have some very firm commitments for this raise from a few key institutions. All we need now is to put together the business plan and term sheet, wrap up the syndicate, and finish the financial model. It's a lot of work to do, and not enough time in which to do it.
Also this week, we made a few offers to some potentially amazing new team members. We will let you know if they accept.
Perhaps most importantly, this week we had a phenomenal meeting with one of the world's largest spirits brand. They seem extremely interested in working with us, and we are already working on follow-up. Oscar is taking the lead on following up with them and will provide updates. I want to especially thank Province Brands Co-Founder Tarek Tabsh and Province Brands Advisor Gavin Sathianathan who helped set up the meeting and were phenomenal in the room. Fingers crossed.
This week we met with several investment banks about joining the syndicate for our next raise. As you may know we are preparing for our next raise which will be our go public raise. Paradigm Capital will be underwriting the raise but we will need several banks to join the syndicate. There has been a tremendous amount of interest from these meetings and we are so thrilled to see interest from these banks. We should be announcing which banks will participate in the syndicate in the coming weeks.
On another note we have been making great progress towards our goals in the product team. We are all really pleased with the amazing job Ryan Naphin has been doing in managing that team and keeping everything moving in the right direction.
I could not be more proud of Elad Barak, Julia Romansky, Andrew DelFatti, and Meghan Lenko who helped us close our Series A round. We brought in a bit over $10,000,000 in this round and will announce the final amount once the remaining wire transfers trickle in early this week. These funds will help us build out our plant and purchase the equipment, but we'll need to raise a lot more to complete construction on the facility. I also want to thank all of you who participated in this round. We're so excited to have you along for the ride. Thanks for believing in us and thanks for your support.
It has been a crazy week for Province. The article that came out from the Guardian has gone viral and the interest has been insane. Today I did two interviews for the BBC (listen below) and one for ABC. The inbound interest has been absolutely amazing and unexpected. We're so excited to see so many folks responding to the work we're doing here at Province Brands. Thank you so much for your support and hard work making this dream come true.
This has been a great week for Province Brands. Not only did we file our patent application, but after some due diligence, we closed an investment of $5 million in our current Series A round from Still Meadow Holdings. We are truly honored to have them on board.
I should mention that our final international PCT patent application is available if anyone wants to review it. Just send me an email at email@example.com, and I will send you a draft. I am really proud of the phenomenal work that Erin Johnson, Rob Kevwitch, Jason Copan, Dallas Bonner, Robin Neri, and Jennifer Thomas did to get this done on time. I am really proud of the patent.
I am also proud to be running a company worthy of such a substantial investment from a company like Still Meadows Holdings. Elad Barak, Julia Romanski and the whole business development team did a great job ensuring we closed the investment. I expect we are just a few weeks away from closing our current round. Then we will really have something to celebrate.
This week we have been scrambling to complete our patent application and lock in the location for the brewery so we can begin construction. Last week we received an unfavorable report from an engineer and we may not be able to set up in Nova Scotia as we had previously planned. We are exploring an option in Ontario near Toronto.
This was a stressful week for us at Province. The engineering reports from the building we've been looking at in Nova Scotia came back pretty unfavorably. Meaning, the cost to retrofit the building would be substantially more than we originally anticipated. Our option agreement on our signed offer to lease expires the 18th of July, so we're sort of reevaluating and considering options. Feedback and suggestions welcome. Many of you have experience in real estate and we'd love your guidance.
On another note, we have had some tremendous progress on fundraising... so we'll hopefully making some announcements soon.
This week we signed a deal with Paradigm Capital to underwrite our Going Public raise. We chose Paradigm after meeting with many, many banks because while they are new to the cannabis space, they are one of the top banks in Canada when it comes to raising capital for the beer industry. We felt that Paradigm’s investors would not be overloaded with cannabis deals and ours was likely to stand out. More importantly, we felt that their expertise in and coverage of Canada’s craft beer industry would help them explain our offering in terms their investors and others would understand. Paradigm will not be the only bank in our go public raise. Working with Paradigm, we will create a syndicate of banks who will help with this raise. Since Paradigm is stronger with institutional investors, we will focus on finding banks with a strong retail book to help round out the round.
This week we also signed a strategic alliance with Element GP and publicly announced our plans to not just launch the world’s first beers brewed from the cannabis plant but also to launch a line of infused beers – basically nonalcoholic barley beers which are infused with a marijuana oil. Most of you have read our business plan and recall that our “Yandi Gold” is one such product, so this is not a surprise to you, but we had never announced this publicly. Element is a cannabis oil extraction company which makes premium cannabis oils. Their founder, Christopher Lecky had previously launched Canada’s first and best selling super-premium Vodka, Pur Vodka. He also created a super-premium gin called Romeo’s Gin which has done phenomenally well. We know that with Chris’s attention to detail and focus on quality we will be in good hands using some of their oils to make our beverages. Of course we will also extract our own cannabis oil – and the deal is non-exclusive, so we can work with others.
Additionally, this week we have come a lot closer to signing a final lease on the building in Nova Scotia. We’re just waiting for a final visit with the engineers which is taking place next week. To be clear, if their findings are negative we will not proceed with the building, but we’re very hopeful everything will work out okay. Also on the fundraising front, we have made a lot of progress an we have some very substantial commitments from some really legitimate players – a few since we presented at the DC Finance events in London and Israel in the past few weeks. We are moving forward quickly on some new hires, and I will be attending the International Cannabinoid Research Society Conference in Leiden, Netherlands with Dr. Erin Johnson and our recruiter Raymond Navis. A primary goal of this trip is to recruit top scientific talent.
Thanks to everyone who wrote in with feedback on the demolition issues I brought up in last week's updates. We are expecting more quotes this week and hopefully some of them will be for less. One of you pointed out that the quote we got is more or less on par with what should be expected, and I'm kind of embarrassed I don't have the experience to understand how expensive this kind of demolition can be.
This week Elad Barak and I are in Israel. We presented at the DC Finance investment event in Tel Aviv and received substantial interest. We're hopeful that with interest from this event as well as all the other exciting things happening we will be able to close the round pretty soon.
This has also been a busy week for some of our other teams. The deadline for completing revisions to our provisional patent application in time for filing for the actual patent is coming up very soon so our science team is really busy completing tests and making the patent application as perfect as possible. We only get one shot and we want to make sure this patent application is approved. We've also been hard at work getting estimates for the building construction and demolition and also selecting equipment. In addition, we've been interviewing some new employees. We have a lot of balls in the air right now, and we need to keep focus on the critical path and execute. It's time to stop thinking about it, stop talking about it and just do it.
At Province we believe in a radical form of transparency and that means sharing the good news and the bad news with our shareholders. My philosophy on sharing bad news is that it's better that our shareholders hear it from us than from someone else. We had lots of good news this week, including the prospect of a substantial investment from a major strategic investor - but the bad news we received was that the building we have signed a term sheet to lease is going to be much more expensive to occupy than we thought.
We knew we needed to clean some of the prior user's stuff out, but the first demolition estimate we received came back at $1.8 million and up to 6 months to complete. Also in this scenario, the demolition company was planning to keep all of the materials and keep the profit from selling the copper, stainless steel, etc. That would be prohibitive for us. We're still awaiting other quotes and looking for alternate solutions, but I wanted to share this in the event that anyone with similar experience might be able to provide us with their thoughts and advice on how to get around a massive demolition bill. Please feel free to drop me an email, or call me. I'm in Israel and London this week speaking at conferences with Elad Barak so please be mindful of the time difference if you call. Thanks again for all your support and thanks in advance for any advice you may have.
I am proud of the accomplishments of our fundraising team in the past few weeks. We are getting much closer to closing our current round. Also, I'm excited by the interest we are getting from multiple parties in our future going public round. The Business Development and Fundraising Team is really doing a great job. I also wanted to thank our Legal and Finance Team, and especially Wiehahn, who has been working tirelessly to get our lease done now that we have a countersigned offer to lease from our (likely) future landlord. Lastly, Erin from our product team has been out to the building and she doing a great job overseeing the quotations we are getting related to the construction.
Expect that next week we will announce a final location as to where we are setting up our brewery. It’s taken a lot of hard work to find the perfect place, and I’m pretty sure we found it. Very exciting. We’ve been receiving a tremendous amount of media attention lately and as a result we’ve been getting a lot of inbound interest in white label deals and other collaborations. Next week, I’ll be speaking at the Canadian Brewing Awards, and I expect even more interest.
Things are moving very fast and its challenging for most of us to keep up. For everyone on team Province, I recommend using discipline. Blocking certain hours of every day to carry out certain activities. You will never complete all of the urgent tasks on your plate but if you prioritize and block out certain times each day for different types of activities, you might complete the MOST urgent tasks on your plate.
I’m running so fast these days that I never have time to stop and reflect on our small successes. This week we’ve had a lot of successes in a row, and I feel it’s about time we call them out.
The Legal & Finance Team has made some great strides lately. They were able to hire a licensure consultant and remove a lot of the roadblocks for our licensure process. We were worried about getting our alcohol product Cambridge Bay into the market because it takes several months to get approval to sell beer in most of the Canadian provinces – and as you can imagine, we don’t have several months to wait to earn our first revenues. I was very happy that Jennifer, Krina, Michael, Jonathan and the others in the legal team were able to find a solution so that we can get Cambridge Bay into market just as soon as the product team figures out how to brew it in large enough quantities.
Additionally, Elad and the Business Development Team have already raised nearly $1.5 Million out of our $10 Million round, and the rest looks like it’s coming in soon. I know how hard raising capital is – everyone says they will invest but getting them to write the check is a different story.
Oscar’s Marketing Team has also done a phenomenal job getting the word out regarding our press release about the grant we received from the Ontario Centres of Excellence. We were covered 25 times in the national media, and we were on CBC. We’ll have CBC News coming out to film our facility on Wednesday as well as another national news outlet. I’ll be at Loyalist College this coming Wednesday for the filming.
After overcoming tremendous obstacles (which is part of the scientific process), the Product Team is finally brewing the first batch of beer we’ll make with Innofibre.
Ryan and Caitlin on the Productivity Team succeeded in getting Caitlin’s immigration permit so she can move to Canada and lead her team in person.
We’ll be announcing the deal with the CPC pretty soon. To the outside world that will be our next big milestone. But those of you who read these updates will know just how many milestones we’ve hit this week, and how many we hit every week. It’s been a great week for Province Brands. The thing about little victories is that they add up and over time to become big victories.
I am pleased to announce that Province Brands has closed a deal to reverse merge into a Capital Pool Corporation which is currently listed in the TSXV. This merger with this CPC will allow Province to go public on the TSXV in a relatively short time frame. A formal press release will follow soon. It is imperative that you keep this information confidential until the press release comes out.
Going public on the TSXV will give Province Brands access to institutional investors, capital markets, and most importantly, the ability to raise the massive amounts of capital needed to build out the world's first cannabis brewery and expand our business internationally. In the coming weeks we will be working with industry-leading investment banks to close down the remainder of our current 10 million dollar bridge round and initiate an additional financing round which will be concurrent with the public listing. Supply of capital pool corporations listed on the TSXV is at an all-time low. There are a few out there and I am very confident that we chose the best possible partners for this public listing.
When the press release is made public, you will have an opportunity to learn more about the CPC merger, their directors, and what they bring to the table. For any of you who have not gone through the going public process I am available at any time to discuss what this means for you and your investment or ownership in Province Brands, what opportunities it presents, and how we can work together to make this the most successful public listing for our business. I want to take a moment to thank Ira Levy who has worked tirelessly to make this CPC deal happen. He had tremendous support from Jennifer Thomas as well as our head of business development, Elad Barak. I think I speak for all of us at Province in saying that we can barely contain our excitement about this deal closing and the opportunities it represents. Thank you Ira, Jennifer, and Elad for making this happen.
Sometimes I think the title Chief Executive Officer is poorly named. We have to do so much more than execute and make decisions. I'm also the Chief Story Officer and Chief Inspiration Officer, and let's not forget the Chief Fundraising Officer. This week, I thought I'd share a recording of me practicing my presentation for the upcoming Kahner Global Cannabis Private Investment Summit which will be held May 2, in Beverly Hills. If you're interested in attending, let me know. We have a limited number of passes, but we may be able to get some discounts. Some of you have seen me pitch before, but this is a new pitch. I'm just starting to practice my pitch, so I haven't figured out where to put the emphasis, and my tone of voice is not right in a lot of parts. Also in this reading I went a bit over the seven minute time limit. But I'm hoping you can ignore all the flaws. I'm hoping you'll enjoy the story and find meaning in our mission - like I do every day. Comments / feedback welcome.
This was truly a landmark week for Province Brands. This week we began the process of producing our first batch of beer with our new partners at Innofibre in Trois Rivieres, Quebec. This is an $80 Million facility of a size and scale unlike anything I have seen before. It is so much bigger and cooler than the small method development facility we were working with in Colorado. From this facility we would be able mash very large quantities of hemp. Of course the vision is still to make our hemp beer in the same brewery where we will brew our marijuana beers, but this partnership will allow us to have beer on the market long before our own brewery is built. Our fist large scale mashing went really well. Indications are that we can still make some improvements in the amount of lignin we are removing – and this may require experimenting with different washing techniques than we are currently using – but if it can be solved just by washing in a different way then this is a relatively small problem to solve. We have not yet crunched the numbers to know for sure if this is the only issue. More to come. Whenever you are breaking new ground as we are you must expect lots of trial and error. In general, I think we’re in very good shape. Erin and Amal are hard at work figuring out how we can design our own reactor for our own brewery. We are learning a lot from this process which will help us design that reactor and I’m so glad we started working with Innofibre before starting the industrial design process. Below are some images from our production day.
I want to thank each and every shareholder and investor who has responded to our emails and elected to maintain their equity percentage in Province and invest in our upcoming Series A round. Your continued support and belief in the mission we are on means the world to us. I think I speak for everyone here at Province Brands when I say that we are incredibly fortunate and truly honored to have such a phenomenal group of investors at Province. If you're reading this and not sure what I'm talking about, before starting our upcoming Series A round to raise capital to build the world's first cannabis brewery, we chose to give all of our investors a two week window to maintain their equity percentage should they choose to do so. For those of you who have chosen to invest, please try to get your investment in before the deadline at the end of this week. If there is anyone else who is interested or has questions please reach out to me (firstname.lastname@example.org | +1 514-550-5868) or our head of business development, Elad Barak (email@example.com | +1 647-230-8121) directly.