Exclusive Interview with Geocann Founder and CEO Jesse Lopez
Geocann was created to help solve the challenge of cannabis products’ delayed onset. The company’s VESIsorb delivery system technology is designed to improve bioavailability of cannabis and CBD products. Founder and CEO Jesse Lopez spoke with New Cannabis Ventures about Geocann’s product portfolio, strategic relationships and opportunities ahead. The audio of the entire conversation is available at the end of this written summary.
From Natural Products to Cannabis
Lopez has a background in natural products, previously founding health and wellness company SourceOne Global Partners. Cannabis was not in his plans, but people from the cannabis space kept asking for his insight built in the natural products space. He eventually served as an advisor to a cannabis company and decided that he wanted to make a contribution to the industry.
Sam Davidson, who previously worked at SourceOne Global Partners, joined Geocann and quickly moved up to become COO. Recently, the company added Michael Davidson, MD, as its Head of Innovation, Technology and Clinical Research. Dr. Davidson has a strong track record of developing supporting science for natural products, according to Lopez.
Geocann is focused on clinically supported cannabis formulations. The company works to identify natural products that it can add value to by improving bioavailability with its drug delivery technology, according to Lopez. Geocann demonstrates its value through clinical research.
IP is an important part of the company’s strategy, and it has developed a wide range of product applications. Geocann’s product portfolio includes functional beverages, capsules, tablets, edibles and topical products.
The company is headquartered in Fort Collins, Colorado, and it has a sister office in Chicago. Geocann’s technology partner Vesifact is located in Zurich, Switzerland. The company also has a network of relationships across markets like Australia, Brazil, Canada and Europe.
As legal and regulatory environments continue to evolve around the world, Geocann is actively pursuing further relationships in markets like Australia, Brazil and Europe, particularly in the U.K.
Geocann targets lifestyle and medical brands of cannabis companies that share a common vision for innovation, technology and clinically supported products, according to Lopez. On the cannabis side of the business, it works with companies like Curaleaf and Sunderstorm. Within its CBD business, Nestlé Health Science is one of Geocann’s key partners.
The company has a philosophy of doing business face-to-face, with its team spending a lot of time on the road meeting customers. But, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced a major change. Zoom has become a mainstay of daily operations, and the company has been able to navigate this challenge and captures some of the success driven by growing demand for cannabis product, according to Lopez.
Raising and Allocating Capital
The bulk of Geocann’s funding has come from businesses the team is familiar with, friends and family. The company has not encountered funding challenges, and it has been profitable every year that it has been in business, according to Lopez.
While it has been fortunate in the funding arena, Geocann still takes a conservative approach to capital allocation. It is investing in the safety of its products and in its research and product development. For example, the company is exploring FDA Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) certification. The company ultimately wants to demonstrate the clinical benefits of its products, so it views its investments through the lens of their commercial value.
Opportunities for the Future
Geocann’s revenue is up 70 percent, while its bottom line profit is up approximately 600 percent. 2020 is likely to be its most profitable year yet, according to Lopez.
The ambiguity surrounding the FDA’s position on industrial hemp remains a challenge, but once that position becomes clearer, Geocann is well-positioned to meet market demands.
To learn more, visit the Geocann website. Listen to the entire interview: