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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.

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