“She just lives the best life she can every day and just being around her makes you want to revisit your goals” – Soroush Rahimian
“Emma overcame every challenge and had creative ideas for every situation” – Phil Lebeau
“She is conscientious, caring and always willing to lend a hand” – Magdalena Blasiak
“Emma is a confident speaker with a strong ability to keep staff engaged and active in the learning process” – Alisa Mayberry
Emma Andrews is the current Chief Commercial Officer at BevCanna (CSE: BEV), positioning herself as a strong and forward-thinking leader in the cannabis industry. Andrews is a versatile professional who uses every opportunity for continuous self-improvement. As a dynamic leader with proven expertise in building wellness and lifestyle-focused brands, Andrews is passionate about education, nutrition, innovation, health sciences and marketing, which helps her to deliver an “anything but average” approach to building world-class programs, products, and experiences.
Emma, thanks for joining MoneyWorksMagazine today. Can you start by providing our readers with a more detailed description about what BevCanna does?
BevCanna is an emerging leader in the cannabis industry, particularly because of our infused product strategy. Our “big picture” business model is manufacturing and distribution of premium and innovative beverages infused with cannabinoids for our own in-house brands and white label clients. The BevCanna team consists of established and experienced beverage experts. Currently, BevCanna is operating within California and Canada, with plans to capitalize on the global market through export, where legal.
What makes BevCanna unique?
What is your company’s mission and long-term vision?
BevCanna’s vision is to become an established global leader in cannabis-infused beverages. Our mission is to offer world-class processing and white labelling manufacturing services.
What BevCanna does is unique in many ways. First, we have an exceptional team, which together hold an extensive portfolio of expertise in different beverage categories and bottling techniques including functional beverages, alcohol and nutritional products. Second, BevCanna’s assets and infrastructure are unlike any that currently exist within the industry. Our world-class facilities include a spring water aquifer located in the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia. Considering the reputation of cannabis cultivation in Canada, BevCanna aims to not only create branded products but to also provide vertical integration through on-site cultivation. BevCanna holds an Industrial Hemp License through Health Canada, and is pursuing an Outdoor Cannabis Cultivation License for summer 2020. Third, BevCanna has multiple revenue streams, which creates a stronger bottom line. This includes house brands, white labeling services, cultivation, and we’re actively pursuing joint venture, licensing and acquisition opportunities.
Are you selling BevCanna beverages in Canada or the US?
We are planning to begin sales of our products in Canada after the second wave of cannabis legalization and regulations take effect in October. This round of regulations includes beverages, edibles, and other infused products (the prior legislation in October 2018 was predominantly around dried flower and a limited selection of concentrates). Our first Canadian products will be available on the market in early 2020. BevCanna has also been considering the US market, and our team recently completed the R&D phase prior to launching a powdered version of our beverages in California.
Generally speaking, has there been a recent advancement in the cannabis industry that you’re particularly excited by?
Honestly, I don’t think many people would say this, but I find the regulations in Canada (which are typically considered to be stringent and restrictive) a “playground” for us. I think that the strict rules force brands and marketers to be a lot more creative.
For example, we are highly restricted in terms of what we can put on the container of the product. Honestly, the only branding that we can get on a package in Canada is our logo. Also, the size is restricted, and the placement as well. We are required to have a cautionary statement. I would say that many people look at this as a barrier toward making compelling brands. However, as a nutritionist, I believe consumers will now pay a lot more attention to the ingredients in our products, so I’m working hard to ensure that there are no objections when the consumer selects a BevCanna product. They aren’t shopping so much for the brand as they are valuing what’s inside the container, and how it’s made. I think it’s a true creative opportunity to double down on our formulation to make sure the technology is compelling and that the product works. Generally speaking, it drives businesses to be a lot more innovative in their products and processes.
In addition, with such intense regulations, the consumer can be assured that the legal product is produced and packaged at the highest standard possible and that the ingredients are clean. Products sold in the illicit market can’t give the consumer the same assurances. I think this is where the legal market has a significant advantage right now!
What’s BevCanna’s most recent newsworthy announcement?
I would say the most exciting recent announcement was unveiling our first two cannabinoid-infused drink brands, Anarchist Mountain beverages and Gruv. Flavours found throughout the West Coast inspired our Anarchist Mountain beverage portfolio. The brand itself is named after the location of our bottling operation, on Anarchist Mountain in B.C., and it will be made with cannabis grown in BC. An iconic regional brand!
We also recently made an announcement about a line of cannabis infused iced tea beverages under the brand Gruv. This is an easy drinking range, with accessible taste profiles, and a lower potency (microdose) so you can relax and unwind without becoming overly intoxicated.
How did you get started in this business? Also, what was your background prior to the cannabis industry?
My background is actually in the natural products and wellness industry. I always like to draw a parallel, saying that my nutrition and wellness background is highly complementary to the cannabis industry. Usually, people consume cannabis products for recreational purposes. However, the consumption of cannabis can also be driven by a desire to feel better. The latter is an example of the audience that I used to speak to and work with through the natural products industry. As a consumer myself, I also see value in cannabis for general health, happiness and well-being. Joining the BevCanna team, I wanted to apply not only my nutritional background but also my experience in product development and my passion for the cannabis industry.
A community of thoughtful and educated retail investors is the main driving force behind MoneyWorks Magazine. They’re involved in the market, they are building dynamic portfolios, and they’re ready to find the next big thing. If you stepped into an elevator with one of our readers and had 30 floors with them to pitch your company, what would you say?
I genuinely like to pitch the two major areas of expertise that set us apart: beverage knowledge and bottling/manufacturing experience. Our team has extensive knowledge in the beverage industry, including functional beverages, nutritional beverages and alcoholic beverages. All of those expert minds are now the driving forces behind the BevCanna brands and corporate strategy. This gives me, and should give investors a lot of confidence in how we’ll take the lead in an emerging category – cannabis infused beverages. Also, BevCanna is well regarded for our assets and infrastructure. We have a world class bottling facility, decades of experience operating from our plant in Osoyoos, BC, a spring water aquifer, and next summer outdoor cannabis cultivation! If I were pitching a retail investor, I’d say straight up that I believe that we have the perfect storm: the necessary expertise, and assets for success.
Is your company planning on capitalizing on both US and Canadian markets or is there an opportunity abroad?
We’re open to global export. BevCanna is currently going through the process of obtaining our EU GMP certification. There are regulatory and quality assurance procedures that need to be completed above and beyond what we do for Health Canada licensing. However, GMP certification will allow us to export globally to other nations where medical or recreational cannabis becomes legalized, beyond Canada. Moreover, we also have several ongoing discussions about potential acquisitions and licensing agreements on an international level. So there’s definitely lots of expansion potential to address the global market in the next year and beyond for BevCanna.
Give us one piece of advice you’d give to someone who would like to begin investing in the cannabis space?
As an investor myself, I’d say: DIVERSIFY! Look at the entire supply chain! The past five years of cannabis investment have been all about cultivation.
With the second wave of legalization coming in Canada, there is a shift occurring in the industry into derivative products and infused products. If potential investors are ready to pay attention beyond just cultivation, start by going further along the supply chain. Take a deep dive look into a potential company’s processing and manufacturing capabilities, and branded goods strategy. Try to fully understand how these products will actually make it to the distribution phase.
Comprehensively, my advice for potential investors would be to diversify your portfolio and to include investments that have a little bit of each part of the supply chain. Many people talk about entrepreneurship and startups, so there couldn’t be a better time for this industry. We’re still in the early days of cannabis legalization for adult-use, and Canada is leading the way. When you think of the global opportunities on the horizon, I think that time is on our side.
BevCanna Enterprises Inc. develops and manufactures cannabinoid-infused beverages and consumer products for in-house brands and white label clients. With decades of experience creating, branding and distributing iconic brands that have resonated with consumers on a global scale, the team demonstrates an expertise unmatched in the emerging cannabis beverage category. Based in British Columbia, Canada, BevCanna has a 100-acre outdoor cultivation site in the fertile Okanagan Valley and the exclusive rights to a pristine spring water aquifer, as well as a world-class 40,000-square-foot, HACCP certified manufacturing facility, with a current bottling capacity of up to 72M bottles per shift/per annum.