It was the cannabis drink company that attracted Green Thumb Industries as a strategic partner – New Cannabis Ventures

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Exclusive interview with Cann co-founder Jake Bullock

Cannabis drink brand Cann offers consumers an alternative to alcohol. The company, co-founded by Jake Bullock and Luke Anderson, and its microdosed products have captured the attention of renowned investors and celebrities. Bullock spoke to New Cannabis Ventures about how Cann’s products are formulated, the company’s distribution and how he sees the growth of the beverage category. Audio of the entire conversation is available at the end of this written summary.

The genesis of Cann

Bullock and Anderson have been friends for 10 years. They started at Bain & Company at the same time and found they shared a growing frustration with alcohol as they got older. Hangovers were worse, but alcohol was still a central part of socializing. Bullock felt that cannabis drinks with the same kind of buzz suited him perfectly as a consumer, and together the co-founders pursued the idea of ​​putting cannabis in a can.

Assorted Cann drinks

The senior management

The co-founders are joined in the company’s management team by talents like Chief Revenue Officer Chelsea Bedard, who has spent years working in the tech arena. Vice President of Operations Ishan Kapoor, Vice President of Strategy Blair Ballard, Director of Marketing Ashley Fields and Director of Special Projects Kui Murage are also key members of the company’s leadership team.

Cann has grown significantly over the past year and a half. It started with 10 to 15 team members in California, and it now has 35 full-time employees in multiple states, according to Bullock.

Cann team members

Drink formula

Cann’s base product contains two milligrams of THC and its Hi Boy product contains five milligrams of THC. Its product portfolio also includes Roadies, liquid sachets that allow consumers to prepare drinks on the go.

Cann’s Core Beverage Product and its Hi Boys.

When it comes to formulating the drinks, Cann’s team focus on sourcing the highest quality ingredients. For example, the company uses lemon juice from Sicily. The products do not contain artificial sweeteners or preservatives. Instead of focusing on cheaper or easier-to-find ingredients, the team is focusing on what’s compelling and tasty, taking inspiration from ingredient trends and cocktail recipes.

Manufacturing and distribution

Cann manufactures its drinks with partners in California, Nevada, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Illinois. The company entered the Illinois market in April through a partnership with Green Thumb Industries (GTI), which now manufactures and distributes Cann’s beverages in the state. The drinks are also sold at GTI’s Rise dispensaries in Illinois. Bullock hopes to see this relationship grow and expand to more GTI markets.

New markets and growth

With the evolution of adult use in New York City, New Jersey and Connecticut, Bullock sees opportunities for Cann in these markets. Cann has seen other brands as potential acquisition targets, but nothing has yet come across the team’s office that has been a compelling buy. The company has its hands full with its own brand at the moment. The acquisition is also not in Cann’s near-term future. Bullock believes Cann has the opportunity to be a standalone business helping to reshape the social drink landscape.

As new markets will be on the company’s radar, the regulatory environment will influence how the company decides to grow. Federal legalization will eventually happen, but for now Cann must operate state by state. This limitation can influence which markets make the most sense. On the flip side, current regulations have kept some potential competitors out of the space, for now, giving Cann time to connect with consumers and build a brand, according to Bullock.

The cannabis drink opportunity

The beverage category did not take off as quickly as expected. When Cann first launched, many people thought the drinks would be a fading novelty, but the category is growing, according to Bullock. He believes logistics are a big part of the reason for the slower adoption. Other cannabis products, such as flowers, vape pens, and concentrates, are relatively small and light. A canned drink takes up more space in stockpiles and delivery vehicles, creating supply chain problems.

When accounts stock drinks, offering Cann and other choices, consumers react, according to Bullock. The company targets a particular type of consumer, one Bullock describes as a “healthy hedonist”. This type of consumer is social and probably drinks alcohol in a social setting but thinks about their health and what they consume. This type of user may never smoke cannabis and worry about controlling the experience of eating an edible, according to Bullock. Cannabis drinks offer an alternative.

Cann sees alcohol as his main competitor, rather than other cannabis drinks. He tries to lower the prices to be more competitive with alcohol. She sells her products in packs of six, like alcohol. Taking even 10 to 20 percent of the alcohol market would be significant, according to Bullock.

Cann’s investors and financing

Cann has attracted famous investors like Gwyneth Paltrow, Ruby Rose and Rebel Wilson, as well as investors like Navy Capital, Imaginary, Global Founders Capital and GTI. So far, the company has raised more than $ 30 million, mostly in equity, according to Bullock.

When the company started out, conversations with investors were about hand-sealed product prototypes in Bullock’s basement. The team had to sell the idea of ​​a microdosed cannabis drink. Now that Cann has gained ground in the market and received considerable attention, the conversation has changed.

Cann had to raise a lot of capital to build his brand, but he knew how to put it to good use, according to Bullock. The company has entered more markets and learned more about its consumers. In the future, there are some creative debt solutions that can help the business grow.

Cann’s continuous buzz

California remains the company’s largest market, and it will focus on growing its core business there. Bullock sees the opportunity to enter parts of the state that are just beginning to allow dispensary licensing. The company will also continue to explore product innovation and add new markets to its footprint.

The buyback rate is one of the most important metrics for the Cann team. They want to know if a consumer will buy their product again, how much they buy and how often. The company invests a lot of time talking to consumers to get their opinion. The Roadies product was actually launched in response to consumer feedback.

Right now, Cann is gearing up for the holiday season, a time when social touchpoints are increasing and demand for social drinks is increasing. It will also invest in its current platform to continue to grow its brand and move the beverage category forward.

To learn more, visit Cann’s website. Listen to the entire interview:

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Carrie Pallardy, a Chicago-based writer and editor, began her career in the healthcare industry and now writes, reviews and interviews subject matter experts in several industries. As a published writer, Carrie continues to tell fascinating and unknown stories to her network of readers. For more information, contact us.

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