Exclusive Interview with Grown Rogue Founder and CEO Obie Strickler
Grown Rogue (CSE: GRIN) (OTC: NVSIF) started in Oregon’s extremely competitive recreational cannabis market, and now the company, which recently listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange, is expanding its vertically integrated model to more states. Founder and CEO Obie Strickler told New Cannabis Ventures about the company’s portfolio, its expansion plans and his outlook on success as a multi-state operator.
Grown Rogue was founded in 2016, but Strickler first entered the cannabis industry in 2006, when he and his wife started a small medical company. They began with a single facility between 5,000 and 10,000 square feet and eventually scaled up to 100,000 square feet and four different projects. Strickler, drawing on his experience outside of the cannabis space, brings a strong business skill set to the table. He has a BS in geology, worked in the natural resources space, ran a consulting firm and founded a tech company.
The three core elements of the company’s strategy include brand, vertical integration, and multi-state growth, according to Strickler. Focused on Grown Rogue over the past few years, Strickler has guided the company to brand and vertical integration success in Oregon. Now, he is preparing to take that model to more states. The company has secured a distribution license in Eureka, California. Strickler expects the company to make announcements about expansion into more states over the next six to twelve months.
A comprehensive product portfolio is a vital part of Grown Rogue’s business model. The company uses both indoor and outdoor grow to make products including flower, pre-rolls, vape cartridges, concentrates, and edibles. It also has patent-pending nitrogen sealed technology to ensure product freshness. For its most recent product launch, edibles, Grown Rogue partnered with internationally recognized chocolatier Jeff Shepherd to create a chocolate bar. CBD will be the next area of interest, according to Strickler. The company uses crowd-sourcing and analytics to divide its products into five categories – Relax, Optimize, Groove, Uplift, and Energize – and ensure consistent consumer experience.
Grown Rogue is largely funded by a tight-knit group of private investors and high-net-worth individuals, according to Strickler. The company also took on additional investment as part of its preparation for its public listing on the CSE. The decision to go public was fueled by a desire for transparency and to create a platform for future financing.
While Strickler was not able to offer exact revenue projections for 2019, he did share the company is operating at 30 percent month over month compound annual growth rate up through the third quarter of 2018. While this growth rate will likely dip as revenue grows, he expects the company to continue adding to its market share going forward.
Strickler knows many companies in the cannabis space are pursuing multi-state business models and facing the same challenges surrounding access to capital and compliance. He believes the Grown Rogue team is a big differentiator that means the company is prepared to execute its business model, deliver quality products, and maintain strong regulatory compliance.
To learn more, visit the Grown Rogue website. Listen to the entire interview:
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